Agbese: Redefining quality representation

Many, especially bootlickers that are good at eye-service, according to the Nigerian parlance, may classify this article as one of their variety since the focal person is now a politician, having contested for his first ever political seat in the House of Representatives in the 2023 general elections, and far beyond expectations won with wide a margin. By and large, I am not into partisan politics, though, I count it a great joy at any time I see leaders, especially parliamentarians in Nigeria, adeptly representing their people by providing with their basic social amenities.

Though, everyone is said to be a political animal, I think my case is different in view of the fact that I pick my pen to do analysis on local, national and international issues of human concerns empirically, irrespective of the character involved or, the background of the issues. It is in this connection that I have decided to take a glance at the exemplary leadership prowess of one of the finest parliamentarian in Nigeria’s green chamber. He is presently representing the good people of Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadigbo federal vonstituency of Benue state. This charismatic and erudite legislator is no one other than Chief Honourable Dr. Philip Agbese, popularly known both at home and abroad by millions of his supporters as ‘Okanga Osisinabo1 of Idoma nation.

Like I said from the onset, as an academic working at the Federal College of Education, Okene, Adavi local government area of Kogi state, my resolve to write this article is to present a balanced reportage that every Nigerian across board can easily consume and digest. You see, as a Nigerian, there are things I cry about silently, there are also things I talk about in prayers, as well as others I discuss in group chat. However, there are very important things like this article that I cannot pretend about but to somewhat bring it to the awareness of the public.

All the same, I don’t want to bring in religion into this piece, but I can’t talk about Honourable Philip Agbese without making reference to the Scripture. Proverb 29:2 of the Holy Bible says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but if the wicked rules, the people mourn”. Wickedness is evil. Wickedness and destruction go hand in hand thus, woe on to those who find joy in using their position of authority to cause unthinkable pains for their followers. Of what gain or joy for you to see your fellow in agony while you keep lavishing the resources that should have been used to provide basic social amenities for them? Very painful, a compassionate Nigerian may be correct to say.

However, my happiness is that in the midst of the turbulence and perilous times the global community is going through due to climate change, political crisis, wickedness, etc, there are leaders who still believe they are indebted to their followers. I mean leaders with compassionate heart who, regardless of alarming human quest for money, fame and materialism, still count it a great privilege to use their position of authority to put smiles on the faces of their people, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliation.

There are leaders who can go the extra mile to ensure that their constituents feel the positive impact of governance via human capacity building or community development. It is in this connection that the name Honourable Philip Agbese keeps ringing on and on, in my mind! Agbese, the deputy spokesman of the House of Representatives, has exhibited exceptional leadership qualities in the last one year as a parliamentarian in the National Assembly. At local, national and international arena, Agbese has remarkably built positive image for the House of Representatives’ leadership and its members.

Records indicate that even before his foray in politics, Agbese is renowned for his compassion, human capacity building and community development. This has greatly transformed the lives of hundreds of people across board especially those from Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadigbo of Benue state. It is in view of his numerous humanitarian gestures that compelled thousands of people compelled him to contest for the House of Representatives which he won by a landslide. Agbese’s scholarship scheme has empowered many indigenes of Benue South Senatorial District, especially indigenes of Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadigbo federal constituency.

Among his numerous achievements is his sponsorship of the Bill for the establishment of Federal College of Agriculture Ado, Benue state. When established, the Federal College of Agriculture will enhance the socio-economic development of Benue South Senatorial District and the state generally. Agbese has also provided security gadgets for the vigilantes and hunters in Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadigbo federal constituency to enable them provide adequate security for his people.

This indeed has gone a long way to curtail the high rate of insecurity unlike in the past where on weekly basis human lives and properties got destroyed. He distributed food items to his constituents during festive periods to cushion the global economic meltdown which affected food production and supply in Nigeria. Others are massive renovation of public schools, community clinic, traditional chiefs palaces in his constituency. He constructed bridges and across most of the rivers and streams, among many others amenities across his constituency. Indeed, the one year of legislative business by Honourable Chief Dr. Philip Agbese was highly impactful.

Dr. Adai Dauda, a teacher, public affairs commentator and community development expert, writes from Federal College of Education Okene, Adavi local government area, Kogi state.