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I’m A Technocrat In Politics, Offering Service – Senator Ipalibo 

I'm A Technocrat In Politics, Offering Service - Senator Ipalibo 

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I’m A Technocrat In Politics, Offering Service – Senator Ipalibo

 

 

NASSNEWS: kindly Introduce yourself Distinguished Senator

 

 

 

SENATOR IPALIBO: My name is Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo, I am the senator representing Rivers West Senatorial District.

 

 

NASSNEWS: How did you come to politics?

 

 

SENATOR IPALIBO: I have always been a public servant. All my life. As a medical doctor, I’ve worked in general hospitals, comprehensive health centers, and teaching hospitals as a consultant dermatologist, I worked in the Ministry of Health as Director of Public Health Services, and also went on to be the Director General and later as the Permanent Secretary at the time, I acted as commissioner for Health in the Rivers State Ministry of Health, I went on to serve as the head of service and Secretary of State COVID-19 in River State.

So public service is something that’s very dearing to me, I was a very committed public service worker. When the opportunity came for me to work as a politician, I saw it as an additional ministry,

I was elected as the Deputy Governor of Rivers State. In 2015. I served for eight years, up to 2023. I was then asked by my people to represent the River West, which is now my constituency at the Senate.

 

 

NASSNEWS: Can you compare civil serve to being in politics? What’s your experience?

 

 

 

SENATOR IPALIBO: For me, basically, my passion is service to the people. How can I improve the standard of living of my people, of the people I serve, of Nigerians? How can I make life better? For them? How can I get the youths to understand that they have a destiny to fulfill? How can I get them properly? adequately educated, unemployed according to the skills that they have?

 

 

 

NASSNEWS: Now, what is the difference between being a civil servants and being a politician?

 

 

SENATOR IPALIBO: Basically, it’s all about service. I remember that when I first joined politics, I was Secretary to State Government. It is by political appointments. I later went to full time politics, that I was always there was one terminology that was used for me, which I felt was very endearing. that is, ‘you know, she’s a technocrat.’ I felt that was very endearing. I didn’t think he was demeaning. I enjoyed it. So when the technocrats issues came out, especially in health, I was always at the forefront. I enjoyed working as chairman of the taskforce on primary health care and disease and immunization. Even as deputy governor that was rooting for all the deputy governors. I took that up in my state with a lot of passion. And we achieved a lot in that area. I was chairman of the Boundary Commission. I don’t know why people feel that there is a different view civil service on politics, because if you look at it as service to the people that you have been called on, you know. So, whether you are in civil service, whether you are in politics, it should be your passion is to touch lives. In those days, I know, we used to speak of the civil service as the engine room of governments, I don’t know whether it is still the same. This is because sometimes you hear people say, you know, the civil service and the policy side. But if you follow the rules or regulations of the service, it’s still all about discipline. It’s all about meritocracy. And it’s all about excellence. And that’s the way I handled it as head of service.

 

 

 

NASSNEWS: What are your achievements during your time as Secretary to State Government?

 

 

SENATOR IPALIBO: I mentioned primary health care that I was chairman of the task force on primary health care and immunization. Yes, that was as deputy governor. Yes. And that was for eight years. When I served as secretary to the state government, it was under a military administration and the military administrator was a very disciplined administrator. He appointed me as head of service and secretary of state government. So that period was the last set of combination of SSG and head of service, before there was a splash in the regulation. So that was from 1998, to 1999. We were the people who actually superintended in a way, the elections that brought about the 1999 democracy, Democratic leaders, starting from the local government, chairman, and onwards.

We were supposed to ensure that the communities were carried along that there was harmony between the communities. There was peace, there was harmony, we made sure that the traditional rulers were knew what their rules were in the communities.

 

 

NASSNEWS: What’s your views about youths and violence?

 

 

SENATOR IPALIBO: We debated on a lot of violence. Honestly, I worked with the youth. I was working with them as the president of the boys brigades, boys and girls brigade for a number of years, and, and the boys and I noticed that there was a lot of self confidence in them, self motivation. They wanted to achieve goals, they wanted to make a mark, I was quite surprised when I came back into full time politics in 2015, and I noticed that I was now dealing with those with entitlement mentality. They were more of like, this is our own, this is our entitlement. It was all working well, on peace.

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