I’M NOT A POLITICIAN! I AM ONLY GOING INTO PUBLIC SERVICE! NOT TO ENRICH MYSELF, BUT TO CHANGE THE STATUS QUO! – AWADE FRIDAY

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We recently had a chat with C’RS popular comedian and OAP! Now aspiring member of the State’s House of Assembly.

Awade Friday, known as Last Prophet {Otwetwe} spoke to us about what promted him to join politics. Even though he wouldn’t want to be addressed or referred to as a politician, but a common man who has decided to go into public service with the Interest of the Obanliku community at heart –giving a thousand and one reason on why he is the best candidate to represent his people and fulfil the mandate.

YOU’RE POPULARLY KNOWN  AS LAST PROPHET AND OTWETWE, CAN YOU RE-INTRODUCE YOUR SELF AS A POLITICIAN?

Friday Awade – First of all I’m not a politician! I’m only going into public service. My name is Awade Friday. I’m from Obanliku LGA, Beshiri North to be precise, Shikpeche village.

YOU RUN ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SHOWS ON RADIO AND YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN COMEDY, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO JOIN POLITICS?
Friday Awade – I started thinking beyond myself. As a comedian all I did was make people laugh, as a radio presenter it was all about the Otwetwe show being the voice of the people. But, what happens to my immediate constituency that don’t have access to radio to know we’ve been their voice. Whereas there is high rate of poverty and underdevelopment in Obanliku. There’s really no political and economic blueprint. We need to be part of the process, challenge the status quo and at the same time, give them a different view.

DON’T YOU THINK POLITICS WOULD BE A STRUGGLE WITH YOUR ENTERTAINMENT CAREER?
Awade Friday – No! It’s actually going to boost my entertainment career as I also have plans of using my office to develop the entertainment industry and mentor younger talents. When elected a Member of the House of Assembly, I’ll still be available to anchor some certain events because I’m not going into politics to enrich myself.

YOUR DECISION TO JOIN POLITICS AS A HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY MEMBER IS QUITE COMMENDABLE BUT HOWEVER WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION FOR YOUR POLITICAL PURSUIT?
Awade Friday – The quest for more, like I mentioned earlier – We need a breath of fresh air. A progressive representation, something they can relate with and see results. And i see myself as that bridge between these two perspectives; between the older generation and the new, between the poor and the rich, between the disadvantage and the advantage, between the farmers and market women. I have come to give fresh hope.

WE HAVE TWO STRONG LEADING POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO RUN UNDER SDP?
Awade Friday – I perceive a political party as just a channel, a means to an end. I chose SDP because I want the people to make the decision, not the political class.

WITH STRONG POLITICAL OPPOSITION DO YOU THINK YOU STAND THE CHANCE OF WINNING?
Awade Friday: Right now in Obanliku, it is assumed that they are only two candidates running the election; Awade Friday under SDP and others. It’s visible to the blind and laudable to the deaf that our campaign strategies are directed to winning. But above all, Power comes from God. I know with God on our side victory is certain.

IF GIVEN THE MANDATE WHEN ELECTED WHAT ARE THE MAJOR PROJECT AREAS YOU’D LOOK INTO AS PART OF YOUR CONSTITUENCY COMMITMENT?

Awade Friday – In politics sometimes you talk less and do more and sometimes you do less and talk more. I have a document I call the document of hope which is supposed to guide me and my campaign promises. One of the things I’m going to look into is social welfare to improve the life of people in ObanlIku. Through this social welfare plan I intend to capture the aged and carter for them. Another welfare project is introducing a subsidized transport scheme that would run between Obanliku to neighboring villages and even to Calabar.

We’ll also look at youth empowerment, as I intend to establish deliberate entrepreneurship development projects. Social welfare plan for the traditional rulers, provision of portable drinkable water is not left out as we plan to collaborate with Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) Agency.


We further intend to bring the attention of the government to create rural roads to facilitate movement of goods and services.

Another area is the area of Tourism and Sport which we intend to promote pageantry as an attraction to Obanliku during our New Yam festivals, bringing local and international attention to Obanliku. We also intend to organize talent hunt for sports and entertainment, and also resuscitate the council football team with private management.

The area of peace and security is very important to me, as we share boundaries with international borders. We currently don’t have a viable police post, our security lapses are so peril. We lack proper security apparatus and our security attention is so weak. I’d also be introducing a yearly Obanliku Security summit, that will bring together our sons and daughters who have serve in the military security agencies to help brainstorm and proffer solutions to foster any bridge of public peace and security. I’ll also inaugurate the Obanliku Peace Committee. We’d encourage communities and village peace by extending a hand of fellowship across other communities. Propose police post in strategic relevant areas to facilitate quick response to distress calls and security surveillance. We’d set up and encourage a local security watch as well, something I’ve already call “The Obanliku Neighborhood watch”. I’m also going to encourage and support neighboring border community security meetings.

In the Health sector, we’re going to improve on the health care support and run campaigns with relevant agencies, access to periodic health check for the aged. Provision of first aid kits for schools in Obanliku, mother and Child Care are not left out.

For Educational development – We’ll introduce and provide mentorship opportunities, and prepare our children with basic perquisite for civil responsibility and leadership development. Not leaving out upgrading our school facilities – Like constructing an internet enabled library. Provisions of incentives for both students and teachers will also be captured.

This are the 5 sectors I intend to look into as a house member through law making and proper representation, Inline with the Social Democratic Party ideology! We believe in the triumph of social justice, the mobility of human dignity, the harmony of fairness and equity. The Power in solidarity. We believe that they should be reward for good governance, and it should be driven by effective leadership.

AS A POLITICAL CANDIDATE, WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON POLITICAL VIOLENCE, DO YOU SEE POLITICS AS A DO OR DIE AFFAIRS?
Awade Friday: No! Politics is not a do or die affair! I do not encourage political violence and thuggery. I believe election should be free and fair.

DO YOU THINK THAT BEING A POPULAR COMEDIAN AND ENTERTAINER GIVES YOU A CERTAIN ADVANTAGE?

Awade Friday – It does give me an edge actually, it gave me the acceptability am enjoying right now. I basically use the entertainment approach in my political pursuit.

MAJORITY THINKS YOU SHOULD STICK TO YOUR ENTERTAINMENT CAREER, HOW WOULD RESPOND TO THAT?

Awade Friday – Lecturers, Medical doctors and Lawyers leave their fields to go contest for election. Why should ours be different? How about the likes of Kate Henshaw, Mercy Johnson, Desmond Elliot, Richard Mofe Damijo etc. They are entertainers and are doing well in Politics, except entertainers in Cross River State that are failing in their political offices.
Whereas entertainers in other States are well involved in Politics, it’s only in C’RS state entertainers are depriving themselves of politics. They know themselves if they ever read this interview. They are not doing well!

HOW FAR WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CAMPAIGN RESPOND RATE FROM THE GRASSROOT?
Awade Friday – It’s been amazing. Our campaign has been people centered.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE YOUTHS OF OBANLEKU?
Awade Friday – Shun Violence. Youths makes up to 50% of the voting strength in Nigeria and so they need to utilize their demographic advantage in doing what’s right by voting for the right person without shedding blood. They should vote for capacity. Vote for SDP.

Credit – Rita Charles and John Okoi For Glance Magazine.

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