Ireti Kingibe is a Nigerian politician and civil engineer currently running for the FCT senatorial office in the 2023 general elections under the Labour Party (LP) platform.
Who is Ireti Kingibe?
Hajiya Ireti Kingibe married one-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babagana Kingibe until they divorced.
She is partly Fulani, partly Yoruba, and partly Ibo.
Ireti is the younger sister to Ajoke Mohammed, the wife of former Nigeria head of state, Murtala Muhammed.
Ireti Kinigbe’s age
The female politician was born on June 2, 1954. Ireti is currently 68 years old and would be 69-year-old by June 2, 2023.
Ireti started her education at Emotan Preparatory School, where she completed all of the requirements for her basic education.
She then proceeded to Queen’s College in Lagos and Washington Irving High School for her high school education.
After that, she enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in civil engineering and then went on to pursue her career.
Professional career (before politics)
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Ireti worked as a Quality Control engineer with Bradley Precast Concrete Inc. from 1978 to 1979.
She left to join the Minnesota Department of Transportation Design unit, where she worked as an engineer between 1979 and 1991.
Returning to Nigeria for her one-year mandatory national service, Ireti worked as a Project Supervisor with the Directorate of works, Nigerian Air Force base in Ikeja, Lagos, between 1981 and 1982.
After that, in 1982, Ireti was given the opportunity to work for the New Nigeria Construction Corporation in Kaduna.
She held the position of planning engineer while she was employed by the company. After that, in 1985, she left to take a position as a consultant for Belsam Ltd.
From 1990 to 1994, Kingibe was employed at Lodigiani Nigeria Limited in Lagos as a regional engineer.
The city of Abuja is where she currently serves as a Senior Partner at Kelnic Associates.
Ireti Kingibe’s political career
Ireti joined partisan politics in 1990 when she joined the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). She was appointed as the Adviser to the party’s national chairman.
She was the candidate for the All Nigeria peoples party for the FCT senatorial election in 2003.
Ireti then defected to the PDP in 2006 before leaving to join the All Progressive Congress(APC) in 2014.
In 2015, she ran under the All progressives congress (APC) but later withdrew.
She joined Labour Party in 2022 and became the FCT senatorial candidate for the 2023 Nigerian general elections.
Why is she contesting for the FCT Senatorial seat?
According to Mrs Kingibe, she is not contesting the February 25 election to enrich herself.
The LP Senatorial candidate, while speaking to journalists in Abuja, also gave an insight into the reasons the national assembly rejected the bill seeking Mayoral status in the FCT.
She said, “That Mayor Bill was first written by the Senator that was Senator from 1999 to 2003. It hasn’t been passed yet because we haven’t gone about it properly.
“You also have to remember that from 1999 till now, a huge chunk of that time, that is 12 years, has been occupied by one senator.
“Now, the last time that the bill was not passed, I went around and asked some of the senators, why did you reject it as it doesn’t have anything to do with you. They said, ‘Well, madam, we didn’t like how the bill was presented. It was presented to us that we should pass it so that he (the lawmaker representing FCT in the Senate) when he finishes as Senator should go and become mayor.
“I even sat the lawmaker down and told him that part of the reason we’re not getting this mayoral seat is because you’ve personalized it. I told him that if you throw it to the people and make them understand that they all will fare better under an elected mayor, I assure you, they alone are enough to put the necessary pressure to get it.”
According to Kingibe, many residents of the FCT do not feel the presence of the government was due to poor representation at the National Assembly.
“I am running because I can see a great lapse and lacuna in the representation of the FCT. I have lived in the FCT since 1988.
“If you remove Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse, Wuse 2, Central Business District and Airport road from FCT, there is nothing left, development is zero, you can’t go to Nyanya and see any decent road, nowhere has water, nowhere has light.”
She said most of the roads, schools and other basic infrastructures in the nation’s capital had been in a deplorable state, with little or no effort by the government to fix them.
She added that insecurity has become more prevalent in the FCT which has led to farmers abandoning their farms over the fear of being killed.
According to her, highbrow areas in the FCT are getting undue attention in terms of infrastructure to the detriment of the suburbs which have little or no government presence.
Kingibe said her major focus when elected as Senator representing FCT at the Red Chamber will be to tackle the infrastructural imbalance in the FCT and ensure the issue of insecurity is addressed.
“FCT except for Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) is primarily agrarian, but because of insecurity, nobody can go to the farm.
“Even if there is insecurity in the land, FCT is the capital, with a little bit of effort, we should be secured in the FCT, but we are at the point where nobody can go to the farm.
“I feel that there is a lack of will to fix insecurity, and what I am bringing to the FCT is goodwill, determination to work, sincerity, integrity and honesty, the things I cannot do, I will tell FCT residents that I cannot do it.
“I pledge to donate my basic salary, if I win the senatorial seat, to a special fund to tackle the infrastructural deficits in rural communities in the nation’s capital.
“I am bringing a credible representation, I am not going there to put anything in my pocket, at my age I have everything that I want, I am not trying to move to a better house, but I want to give back to the society that has been good to me.
“I didn’t join politics for anything other than improving the country and the people. A nation and a government are judged by the well-being of the people, that is what determines success.
“When people ask me if I can reduce the salaries of Senators, I tell them that I don’t think that can happen with me alone, I think that the National Assembly is overpaid but it is not within my scope of duties to be able to do something about it.
“I should be able to pass laws with other Senators if when I get there, we are able to do so together, but notwithstanding that, I can make a difference to the lives of the residents of the FCT and that is basically what I am bringing to the table.”
Originally tweeted by IRETI HEEBAH KINGIBE (@ireti_kingibe) on October 2, 2022.
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