The member-elect for the Kaura Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Donatus Matthew, tells ISRAEL BULUS how he won the February 25 National Assembly on the platform of the Labour Party.
BEFORE NOW, NOT MUCH WAS KNOWN ABOUT YOU. WHO ACTUALLY IS DONATUS MATTHEW?
My name is Donatus Mathew. I am from Kpak, Kagoro chiefdom in the Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State and presently an elected member of the Federal House of Representatives to represent Kaura on the platform of the Labour Party. I was born in 1976. I attended LGEA Primary School Kadarko, then proceeded to Saint Jani Seminary, but completed my secondary school education at Teachers’ College, Kagoro. I am a graduate of Saint Albert Institute with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and I am married with four children.
YOU WERE DECLARED THE WINNER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTION FOR THE KAURA FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY ON THE PLATFORM OF THE LABOUR PARTY. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CONTEST THE ELECTION?
There are a lot of issues, personal and communal, based on our perception of how things should be done as everyone will testify to the issues and the problems we are facing in the Kaura Local Government Area, and to a larger extent, the state and the national levels. So, it became very imperative that people should decide for themselves. So, people like me, with great conviction, believed and adopted the ideologies of the Labour Party and the candidate for the Labour Party at the presidential level in particular. So, it was one of the issues that drew our attention.
I joined the Labour Party to work for the presidential candidate then. But later on, in the course of events, many people came up to suggest that we should go into the contest, which I reluctantly went into, because I never intended to before now. However, after due consultation, people insisted that I should come for service and that triggered my interest. That was the simple reason why I joined the contest. Also, we want to give people the credible leadership they expect, most especially my constituency.
SOME NIGERIANS WERE SHOCKED WHEN YOU WERE ELECTED BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED YOU DID NOT GO OUT TO CAMPAIGN YET ENJOYED THE VOTES OF THE ELECTORATE IN YOUR AREA. HOW WILL YOU RESPOND TO THAT?
You know, everybody has their understanding of what a campaign is. I think they probably defined a campaign based on their understanding. But you see, nobody will go into a contest without going out to campaign. That is one. Two, who are they even campaigning to? You see, we are politicians from the grassroots and the people from the grassroots know us very well. So, we do not come from any other place and go around telling people this is who we are or this is what we want.
Already, by a mere declaration that someone like me was joining the contest, there were people all over the area that could say one or two things about me. So, I have the people, I have the masses. All I needed to do was to go round and thank them and tell them to join me and help me in this quest and that was what we did.
The wrong idea people had was that one must have money and that one must have a big car; that is wrong. So, they focused on those who had money and big cars. They minded me riding a motorcycle. So, that was why many people could not understand that I was campaigning because they knew I rode a motorcycle and I don’t know if my movement on a motorcycle was what made them think that I was not campaigning. That is left for them. But as far as I am concerned, we took our time; we went round, we met with people, begged them for their support, we solicited their support for which, at the end of the day we had every cause to glorify the Lord.