From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), for the House of Representatives seat for Katsina-Ala/Ukum and Logo Federal Constituency in Benue State, Dr. Richard Gbande has expressed sadness over what he termed as a gross under-representation of the constituency over the years, declaring that he was out to effect a shift from the tendency if elected.
Gbande, a former Chairman at the Benue State Local Government Service Commission said having served the state in various capacities, he was well grounded with issues that confronts the people on a daily basis and would deplore the experience garnered in the process to tackle same headlong.
In an exclusive chat with The AUTHORITY in Makurdi shortly after he picked the PDP ticket to fly its flag at the just concluded primaries, the former National Vice Chairman, Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), stated further that having domesticated himself in the vineyard of public service over the years, he remained the best option of all concern for the seat.
“I am very confident going into the race. As you are already know , I have just been nominated by my party, the PDP to fly its flag at the forthcoming general elections and to which I must say am humbled and grateful to our delegates and leaders of the party at the various levels in the state.
“Am a grassroots person with a very deep understanding of the complexities in my constituency especially as it regards what the people need to better their standards of living and so, coming from this background, I know exactly the kind of legislation that I will be taking to Abuja if given the opportunity to represent my people.
“We have never had it very good in terms of representation over the years and one of the major reasons for this has been the tendency of electing people who are completely disconnected with the people but am believing God that my people will do the correct thing this time around by electing one who understands their plight and would work towards alleviating same which I think they have seen in me which I believe also informed their decision to nominate at the primaries.”
Gbande informed that having been made to shelve his ambition in 2011, in obedience to the collective decision of the party leadership and stakeholders; he was overwhelmed that his continued loyalty had finally paid off with his selection. He thanked the leadership as well as its membership for considering him fit to fly its flag at next year’s elections.
He charged the people to critically examine candidates from all the political parties and vote them in based on their merits and antecedents.
He expressed concern that over the sad development whereby people were impoverished by politicians holding elective positions so that they could become vulnerable and willing to trade off their conscience and collective interest over transient benefits during elections. This development he insisted must be resisted by the people in 2019.
While suing for support that will enable him get elected into the green chambers of the National Assembly, Gbande charged the electorate to deviate from the retrogressive trend of accepting what he termed as such ‘Greek Gift’ from political office seekers, must of whom he pointed out do not mean well for them and would abandon them shortly after been elected only to resurface during periods of electioneering.
He appealed to the people of his constituency to asses him based on his record of service and conduct over the years both in public and private life saying he had a strong desire that if such are made parameters upon which people are elected, he was trusting God that victory was going to be his come 2019.
While counselling his supporters to at all times conduct themselves in the most peaceful manner during the period of campaigns, the former Benue State Chairman of NULGE, enjoined them to intensify grassroots mobilization with the view to telling the people the benefits that his representation will avail to them if given the mandate.