ABH DECIDES 2022: “I have what it takes to revamp the ABH Gym”- Igwilo Joshua, Defence Minister Aspirant
The lifting of the electoral ban has been met with declarations from various aspirants for different offices in the ABH executive arm. In an interview with the ABHPRESS, Igwilo Joshua, an aspirant vying for the post of the defense minister bared his mind on his plans for ABH if elected.
Interviewer: Good evening. Can we meet you?
Igwilo Joshua: My name is Igwilo Joshua Makwochukwu, a member of the 2k18 MBBS set and an aspirant for the office of the defence Minister. Good evening sir.
Interviewer: You’re vying for the post of ABH defence minister? What motivated this move of yours?
Igwilo Joshua: So, first of all, all major motivations for running for this office is the ABH gym, as it is not in a good state. So one of my major focuses is actually making the ABH gym a good place for everyone to work out, for every Brownite, both male and female. And also the ABH security from the past tenure has actually been good. There have been cases of theft – I think one case of theft from A Block and one on G Block. However, compared to previous tenures, this is actually the best I’ve seen since I moved to ABH in the past three to four years. So, my major drive is to make the ABH gym one of the best gyms that ABH has ever had. That’s actually one of my major motivations for that position.
Interviewer: Are you a regular at the gym?
Igwilo Joshua: Yes, very regular sir.
Interviewer: So if you’re elected as Defence minister, what will you do differently with the ABH gym?
Igwilo Joshua: So, currently I have a three-point agenda. That’s my plan for ABH; the three-point agenda. Before I go into that, I have to mention that one of my major targets is to have a very robust and dedicated gym committee because that was one of our major problems this last tenure, as I was actually part of the gym committee this last tenure. My plan is to have a robust and dedicated gym committee because I plan to do a lot of fundraising. There are a lot of things I need to fix in that gym and the ABH house of assembly can’t give me that money as it is a lot of money. I will be targeting really dedicated people to the gym and people that have the zeal and skills to fundraise; that is my first line of action.
My three-point agenda is; renovation, publicity and funding. So in the renovation of the gym, I’ll first of all work on the structure, the electrical work because there is currently no light in the gym, the equipment because a lot of equipment are bad: all benches are bad, the breacher cords, and even the barbells are bad. I also need to buy more dumbells but the thing is doing all these things still does not guarantee that Brownites will use the gym.
So my next point is publicity. Publicity is where I want to hit it. For my publicity, I want to do class drives and ABH exhibition shows. This would more or less guarantee more people joining the gym. The plan for the class drive is to target every single class because we are going to have members from every single constituency and set in ABH.
The next thing I want to work on is funding because with everything I’ve said, if I don’t have funds, I can’t do anything and that’s the truth. My funding is going to target alumni because I know a lot of them. I have few personal relationships with people that have been working in this ABH in the past from the 2k13 set up to the 2k16 set. These are the people I know I can talk to and people that will readily donate to the gym.
Interviewer: How do you Intend to make ABH gym attractive to the female folks?
Igwilo Joshua: I know very well that females don’t actually use the gym. I think there are different reasons for this. I remember one time that two females came to register but when they saw the gym, they went back. The gym doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing enough for them because females are actually billing on where they work out. They are actually conscious of the environment. So my plan is to improve the aesthetics as I said, the structure, which I want to work on, and the painting. I want to work on the structure itself. There are a lot of things I want to do: the aesthetics one, then the equipment for them to work with is not there in the gym.
When the females come, they actually have nothing to work out with because the female anatomy is different from the male anatomy. What we need to work out with are the bench, press-marching, squats, pull-up bars and the rest, but females need more of resistance bands and yoga mats for those who do squats. Females usually would focus more on their lower body than their upper body, so they do abs benches. I need to get all those things for the females so as to include them. I plan on providing that, then ensuring publicity to more Brownites in general and to females in particular. These three points will actually get me more female gym users.
There is another thing I was thinking of but I feel is too far off as it has to do with a lot of talking to the Hall warden and a lot of supervisors. I think some females are conscious of working out with a lot of guys in the gym because I’ve been there before and some females were actually telling me that they feel somehow working out with that amount of boys. So maybe we would open a different female gym. I was looking at the Jaja annexe that is not in use by anyone and I thought of using it, but that might be a very long shot as it would involve a lot of talking to people, talking and talking and they might not approve it. So it’s not something I will put in my manifesto but it’s something I will try to do.
Interviewer: Ok. Are you on the hall’s security committee?
Igwilo Joshua: Yes, I served in the gym and security committee in this outgoing tenue.
Interviewer: How close are you to the current defence minister? And how Is your working relationship?
Igwilo Joshua: I will say we are close, we are really close. I really worked hand in hand with him in the aspect of defence and also in the gym. So on the aspect of defence, there were sometimes when he had to travel, perhaps to go home to do something, and he just tells me “okay o, take care of the Hall” and all that. Our working relationship is really good.
Interviewer: Did you make consultations with him as regards your ambition to succeed him?
Igwilo Joshua: Yes, I did.
Interviewer: Okay. So what was his response when you did?
Igwilo Joshua: He was really glad and excited because he knew I was the right man for the job.
Interviewer: So with this, will it be safe to say that you are his anointed candidate?
Igwilo Joshua: No, when I told him I was going for the post, he was cool with it because he knows I am capable for the job. There is no godfatherism when it comes to the office of the ABH defence ministry.
Interviewer: What are the things you are bringing to the table if elected?
Igwilo Joshua: I plan to host some programs during my tenure which would last for eight months, give or take. First of all, I plan on holding the normal fire drills that usually would happen every year. Then I plan on bringing defence classes which didn’t hold in the last tenure. I have spoken to a lot of Brownites and they are really interested in the defence classes. The defence classes are just to teach people about self-defence in different aspects like taekwondo or karate. Then I would like to hold the ABH exhibition show. This will be the first time anyone will do this as a defence minister so I want it to be a very memorable event that the next defence minister and the one after him would imbibe in their tenures. I want it to be a part of the gym culture as it will promote the gym and give it a good rep. For the defence classes, I think the reason why we didn’t hold it in the last tenure was that it was scrapped by the house due to a lack of funds. I won’t say lack of funds but at that point, the house was trying to ration funds because of the bad state of the country and all that, so it was scrapped. But for my tenure, I really really plan on holding it. I will try my best to convince the house and if the house feels it’s not necessary, I will still try my best to hold it. Money that comes from the gym registration and all that can be put into the defence classes, if Brownites really want it. Another thing I would want to do is ‘Mr. Macho’, which also didn’t hold in the last tenure and the reason why it didn’t hold was that there wasn’t enough money for the Hall week. It was part of the budget but the hall week fundraising started very late, I think six weeks to the Hall week. II know this because I was part of the house of Assembly for this outgoing tenure. I remember that was when they impeached the deputy hall chairman or chairperson. So the funding for the Hall week started very late and they couldn’t do the ‘Mr. Macho’ but I plan on having a ‘Mr. Macho’ for this year’s hall week.
Interviewer: Apart from working in the ABH defence ministry, do you have any other form of experience that could make you sellable?
Igwilo Joshua: So aside from working in the ABH defence ministry, I was also part of this outgoing house of Assembly. Also in Port-Harcourt where I live, I am a gym trainer. I have also been to different leadership training programs like the CHECK leadership training program for which I enrolled and I currently have my certificate for. I was also part of another leadership training program; it was an online program that held in…I can’t really remember the university now, I’ll check for it. So I feel with this experiences, I can lead the ABH defence and gym committee. Since I know a lot about fitness, I will be able to properly guide brownites on how to work out right and how to stay fit. And since I was also part of the house of Assembly, I already know the running and working of the hall, so I won’t make some silly mistakes people will make if they are not part of the hall. So I feel with all these experiences I will be very efficient in my role as the defence minister. Also to add to my leadership experiences, I’m also a journal club head for CRIH Ibadan; CRIH means College Research Innovation Hub. It is a very big research innovation hub in Ibadan. I was also the head of the research unit in CHECK before they dissolved it because they wanted to focus more on outreaches. So I have served in those leadership capacities before.
Interviewer: On security, are you aware of a breach in ABH wall around A Block?
Igwilo Joshua: Yes I am, and the hall management has always been reminded of this. I remember when this was brought to the floor of the house but the same reply was the case.
Interviewer: What will you do to fast-track the repair?
Igwilo Joshua: I just spoke to the defence Minister and it has been repaired. The major problem now is the fact that at that area, there is no barbwire and lighting. I plan on working closely with the ABH hall chairman to handle that.
Interviewer: There is a gate at the gym area. How do you intend to regulate movements in and out of ABH?
Igwilo Joshua: Normally, the cafe is actually the major problem. The cafe actually made it an easy way for non-brownites to come into the hall. So what I would do is to ensure that by 12A.M, no non-brownite should be in the hall. Another thing is the table tennis and snooker area. It will actually be restricted to Brownites alone. Then the reading room is off limits for non-brownites. I also want to work closely with the security men and the porters to enforce these things. This will actually reduce the spots where these threats, let me not say threats, these non-brownites that might steal from us would hide. So that is my plan.
Interviewer: Let me go a bit practical. As the defence minister, if you are to get a message from an armed robbery gang of a purported operation in the Hall, what will be your line of action, knowing fully well that they might not even show up on the said date?
Igwilo Joshua: (Laughs) Okay, let me address this seriously. So my first line of action would be to inform the head of the security, that is the chief security officer in ABH, who would after speaking to him, give me the go ahead to inform the Hall warden. As soon as the hall warden is informed, security around ABH would be increased and the local police officers would be informed immediately.
Interviewer: Alright. Thank you for your time. That will be all for now.