#UcheQuestionsUche: An Interview With Uche Chuta, Abia Governorship Contestant


Veritas Vincit -Truth Prevails

Below are some questions some people have asked me at some point or the other. I want to share my responses. I just feel like making these answers public on my birthday.

Q: Are you still a youth?

A: I stopped being a youth when I crossed the 35 years old bridge. This doesn’t mean that there are no 40 year old youth. How else will you describe a person who at that age has never had a stable well paying job and a home he can call his own. This is the plight of majority of the people in this demographic in Nigeria. Their lives have in a way not yet started and so if you tell them that because of a number they can no longer benefit from youth empowerment scheme then it’s like you’re killing them whilst alive. In a way Femi  Adesina, the SA to Mr President was right when he said we should talk about the mental age and not chronological age. I am however not sure if he’s ready for what that conversation will bring for it will show a generation angry with Nigeria.

Q: Why did you run for office?

A: There are multiple reasons why I ran and not a single reason. Anyone running first of all runs to win. I needed to send a message to my generation most especially that we have the right not just to vote but to be voted for. We need to understand that there’s no problem to aspire and it’s actually a problem when we don’t, and just accept status quo. Our elders have told us repeatedly that we should not have “big eye” . This means according to them that we should not think of  becoming Ministers, Ambassadors, Senators and even Representatives. We should restrict our ambitions to Councilor, LGA Chairman or PA positions. The irony is that even those positions presently are majorly occupied by those elders.

Q: Are you saying  that youth should be given positions just because they are youths?

A: Not at all. What we need are the right people in office, with that in place,  youth in office will naturally follow. If one seeks political elective office one should have a clear vision of what he or she wants to do. This should be articulated and presented to the people. The elected official should then be accountable to the people in delivering his election promises. What we presently have in Nigeria are political jobbers in office who want to get elected to get more power, maintain relevance and want to lord their new status over the people. There’s no hope for young people emerging under such people because there was no true intention to empower and put in place succession plans for youths. What we need to do is replace our rulers with leaders.

Q: Can this replacement be done via the elections process?

A: We have had 5 elections since 1999. The same group of people have continued to emerge as winners. This cycle will continue because the electoral process is presently wired to favour those who have controlled the power and resources of Nigeria.

Q: What’s the way forward?

A: I have always believed that the solution is for us to expand the choices for the electorate. If candidates A, B  and C are vying for governor and they are all equally capable to give purposeful leadership then whoever wins is a win for the people. You can see an example of good choices when you consider the democratic party primaries election in 2008 that was composed of Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton amongst others. In the absence of this then we need a truly independent electoral body that abhors corruption in all forms and at all levels.

Q: Do you consider yourself a politician?

A: I participate in the political process which is not limited to voting. This doesn’t make me a politician. I don’t believe that people should call themselves “politician” when asked what is your job. It is the existence of the Nigerian”politician” that provides a cycle of corruption and personal enrichment as a lifestyle of those elected in and those who want to be elected in. If at all there should be a job called politician it should be “one who truly desires to serve the people”.

Q: Will you run for office in 2019 and if not what will you be doing politically?

A: If INEC is not strengthened as an institution along the lines which I mentioned earlier then my chances of winning are pretty slim. I ran for office in the 2015 elections and that will forever be a reference point to encourage others and so I don’t need to do this again. I am presently more interested in focusing on educating the next generation of voters on their civic responsibility. I am teaming up with a couple of people to form an NGO that will educate young people from the ages of 10 – 17 who will potentially become registered voters within the next 2 electoral cycles (2019 and 2023). This education will teach them how to identify candidates who mean well for them and also encourage them to become the best that they can be so that one day they can also become viable candidates.

Q: How is your family?

A: My wife and I were a blessed with a son Chetachi Seth Chuta in August. It has been an exciting new phase of my life as a parent. It has brought its own challenges but life has a way of ensuring that you are able to handle any new level that you are taken to.

Q: Seems you are always busy. How do you relax?

A: I play scrabble online. It helps to relax me. I will love to play video games but I don’t have anyone to play with. I’m patiently waiting for my son to be old enough so he can be my gaming partner lol. I used to go to the movies with my wife regularly but that hasn’t been possible of recent.