A philanthropist and strong public advocate, Mary Ikoku, has joined the race to represent Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency of Abia state in the House of Representatives ahead of 2023 general elections.
Mary, CEO of the Access Media Limited and founder Emerge Women Development Initiative has now obtained expression of interest and nomination forms from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in readiness for party primaries in coming weeks.
Addressing teeming supporters including men, women and youths shortly after, Mary who was recently honoured with a unique traditional title by Ohafia community as ‘Nwanyi bu Ihe’ said she was desirous of ensuring quality representation of her people.
She said, “My people have endured over 20 years of misrule and have remained without any visible developmental experience, yet there have been those who have led the state in the past and present, yet youths have remained without jobs, women are left to struggle while men have to go through rough paths to cater for their families.
“I have come to show the way and put more smiles on the faces of our people more than I have done through my philanthropic programmes.”
Talking about why she decided to step out and contest to be at the House of Representatives come 2023, the communication expert cum political strategist said, “Over the years, I have sat like many, on the side-lines of politics, ‘just doing the little I can’ but I have come to realise by my various interactions and work within my community and in development institutions, that there is room to do and achieve much more that will positively impact on the people and our communities.
“It is my belief that to be solely satisfied with personal comfort in the midst of the retrogression of our society amidst growing poverty is not only being selfish but grossly underutilising the talents and abilities that God has given us to serve and contribute meaningfully to the development of our community and nation. This personal philosophy has greatly influenced and channelled my thoughts and actions.
“My vision and commitment in this endeavour is for the people. Beyond politics, it is my passion to feel and understand the pulse of the people – our thoughts, expectations and understanding of the course set before us and the way forward.
“We have endured governance that has for too long been less than capable of delivering its promises or meeting the desires of the people for basic development. We have groped in the dark for far too long. I am Nwanyi bu Ihe, ihe ga adi na Arochukwu-Ohafia Constituency come 2023. I am a Strong Voice for our Constituency, I will speak for you and represent you well.”
Chief (Mrs) Ikoku later visited APC National Secretariat in Abuja where she met with the National Women leader, Hon. Betta Edu, in a rousing reception.
At the meeting, the elated women leader while hailing the House of Representatives hopeful expressed optimism that Mary would beyond clinching APC ticket, win at the general election.
Hon. Edu who repeatedly promised to continuously support Mary’s aspiration said it was high time women of proven character are entrusted with public positions.