…Her plans to transform Isuikwuato-Umunneochi federal constituency
By Foster Gabriel
“I did not just come out to contest election to represent Isuikwuato-Umunneochi at the federal House of Representatives in one day. I thought through it for years. I asked myself hard questions. Onyinye can you do it if you are given the mandate by the people. Remember the name and reputation your father built over the years, you wouldn’t want to toy with it.
“If you must join politics, it must be for the people. Where best do you think you can deliver? You have been worried about the welfare of your people, how do you intend to help them. You are going to contend with forces, do you think you have what it takes to triumph. When I answered yes to all these questions, I rose and took up the gauntlet. Today I am the APGA candidate with clear focus on how I intend to win this election and help my people to experience the good things of life that has eluded them all these years.”
Dr Onyinye Kay Rufus-OBI was discussing how she decided to take up the challenge to contest to represent isuikwuato-umunneochi at the federal house of reps.
One of the questions was how do you feel that the APC candidate, Dr Nkeiru Onyejeocha has stayed at the House for 16 years and is still clutching at every straw to go for the 20th year despite obvious protest within the whole constituency.
Her response was simple, “I refuse to be drawn to discuss any personality. She has done her best and should allow others to also offer their services to the people as nobody knows it all.
“Personally, I feel this is the time appointed for me to deliver the people. I go around isuikwuato-umunneochi and I check with other constituencies and I said naa, Onyinye your people are still backward, you have a lot to offer these people and you cannot afford to sit back. This is why I have been going round with my team all over to make the people understand why there has to be a change. Now.
On what she intends to do for the people, Dr Onyinye Rufus-OBI said that besides her full agenda which she intend to release to make the constituency the envy of other cities, she has also taken time to sit with village and community leaders to know their peculiar challenges, which has also been factored into her agenda. She said that beyond research, the greatest way to help a people is to know the exact problem they experience and employ professionalism in solving them. This she noted is one of her strongest point in the ongoing campaign which in her camp has been feverish.
On how she intends to win the election, Dr Onyinye Rufus-OBI said that a good market sells itself. According to her, God has blessed her with unique ideas and those that know how useful she will be to the constituency if elected are even the ones spearheading her campaign. Nevertheless, she said that her team has taken time to move around to see people one on one and she believes the message is sinking. Also she noted that her party APGA is quite familiar with the people and nobody will waste time to vote another party that has unleashed great suffering on the masses.
One of the messages she passed across to the people is that they cannot afford to make a mistake by voting any wrong person to suffer for another four years. She also maintained that there is need for equity and Isuikwuato is well favoured to get the position to represent the people.
SO WHO IS DR ONYINYE KAY RUFUS-OBI
From research, she had early exposure in politics through her father, late Rufus OBI, founder and CEO of famous Rufus Obi Chemists, who always takes her around while visiting formidable politicians like Chief Michael Okpara and other notable juggernauts in the state for political meetings. She is given to philanthropy and her records show that she does not discriminate whether the person is from Umunneochi or Isuikwuato, Yoruba or Hausa.
Although she is regarded as quiet she is calculating and not flippant. She is not arrogant and respects elders but highly principled.
She is a go getter by nature prompting analysts to believe that she will dwarf Dr Onyejeocha in achievements by all standards. She is urbane. As a child she spent her vacations abroad and got good exposure way back.
One should think that being born with a silver spoon would have made her proud and arrogant but the opposite is the case. She is humble and down to earth.
Growing up, she spent her vacations abroad (mainly in Europe and America) traveling with her parents.
She has been exposed to wealth early, has enjoyed life and would not have reason to divert people’s money because of her good upbringing and genuine heart for the people.
Dr Onyinye Kay Rufus-OBI, a woman of great virtue falls within the group of people who Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart referred to as those whose palm kernel were cracked by the gods. Right from childhood, she knew she had a date with history and that her destiny has a lot to do with meeting peoples’ needs.
What she did not know was the form it was going to take.
In her make-up, she had also discovered her joy comes from making people happy, and had also once confessed, “There is this peace I have when people are happy.” Talk about that peace that passeth all understanding.
Most widows, women in general, orphans and those economically challenged will forever remember her for these kind gestures and she does not make it public.
Early in life, Dr Onyinye learnt from her Father, the late Rufus Obi, who founded famous Rufus Obi Chemist that you should put the people first. The Abia state we know today came into existence because people like her late father were among the front runners that championed the cause sacrificially. The light her father sparked many years ago has grown to become a burning fire in her heart, prompting her to keep it alive. It’s all about people.
Making up her mind for this task, did not come in a day like she said. She had wanted to play at the unseen background of liberating people without much ado. But destiny said no.
She has been approached so many times to come out for the sake of the people but each time she refused. Thank God for reason that took over emotion this time.
But now she is out, not just like others but with a burning desire to make a great difference.
Having offered to represent Isuikwuato/Umunneochi at the federal House of Representatives is very cheering to the constituents. Many people feel it’s about time. Isuikwuato on its own has been marginalised.
The people gave out the mandate in all fairness and for equity but for four terms that mandate has been held tight by the one who had it, while Isuikwuato with great sons and daughters has remained simply an observer. This is why the people applauded when Dr Onyinye threw the hat in the ring.