SUNDAY NWAKANMA reports on the recent interaction of some Abia state lawmakers with their constituents and lessons that can be learnt
Democracy is a system of government which usually benefits the mass of the people, hence its wider acceptability across the world. It is one system which allows for even distribution of what today has come to be known as democracy dividends, especially across the length and breadth of Africa.
This much was recently demonstrated by some state lawmakers in Abia state House of Assembly including; the House leader and member representing Umuahia East, Hon. Chidiebere Nwoke, the member representing Aba North and Aba South in the House, Hon Nwogu Iheasimuo, otherwise known as “Onye Keke” and member representing Umuahia North, Hon. Emeka Ejiogu. respectively. It was surely one way of paying obeisance and saying thank you to the electorate whose mandate the lawmakers are discharging. The legislators chose the period of the last yuletide to show appreciation to their people. They generously lavished some items, including financial empowerment of the people.
Apart from cash, their empowerment items include Sienna cars, Passat cars, and other items to put smiles on the faces of their constituents, and as reward for the steadfastness, support and loyalty.
This foursome took the bull by the horn to emulate the state chief executive, Governor Theodore Orji and his wife, Odochi in assisting in the empowerment of Abians. However, it was not so for even some core leadership of the state House of Assemble who did not go beyond issuing their constituents with only minimal cash, wrappers and cups of rice for the Christmas celebration.
Of the four, Ejiogu distinguished himself as a leader to be trusted and a member of the House to be reckoned with. While others hide from their constituents, Ejiogu was busy giving democracy dividends to people in his Umuezemai Oriendu Autonomous Community, in Umuahia North LGA country home.
To start with, the state lawmaker, handed over 5 Sienna cars to the five ward chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in his constituency and another 4 to his constituents who are party executives at the local government level. This did not end there, as he proceeded to dole out 30 fridges, 20 deep freezers, 20 flat screen LG televisions, 20 generating sets, over 300 bags of rice and over 230 pieces of wrappers, as well as cash estimated to be over N.5 million to other stakeholders and women that were at the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the lawmaker said he was doing that to thank God for the gift of life, revealing that in his constituency, PDP is still strong and a good shelter. According to him, other parties have fallen by the wayside, stating that he was following the footsteps of the state governor and his wife in empowering Abians.
And in a show of appreciation, the party’s secretary in Umuahia North LGA, Asobie Ukanwa who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries for the empowerment, thanked the lawmaker for his gesture. Similar appreciation was made by a former state lawmaker and immediate past special adviser to the governor on health matters, Mrs. Blessing Azuru, who commended Ejiogu for being there for his people.
Similarly, the lawmaker also spared time to wine and dine with his “Ejiogu Angels”, female youths from his Umuahia North constituency, giving out another set of items which include freezers, fridges, generating sets, LG flat screen televisions and cash worth over N300,000 to those who attended the occasion.
Ejiogu was quick to point out that the female youths were there en masse to vote him in during the elections, but were mostly neglected by other politicians, hence the need to make them feel the impact of their labour. As if that was not enough, later that evening, the lawmaker played host to various Ohuhu youths and showered similar gifts , items and cash on them.
Addressing the youths, Ejiogu advised them to be steadfast in their support for the PDP at the constituency, LGA, state and in the country, stating that all he was doing was to compliment the good gestures of both the governor and his wife to the Abians.
Continuing with his strings of empowerment programmes, Ejiogu summoned all Ohuhu undergraduates to his country home, where the more than 580 students who attended went home with cash and vivid chance of winning a scholarship from the lawmaker during the next academic session.
Speaking on one of the occasions, a former member who represented the constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Clement Onyeziri described the rare privilege as unprecedented in the history of the constituency, while an Isingwu ward executive of the PDP, Mr. Obinna Nwakanma described him as a rare breed of Ohuhu politician who deserved another term in the law-making chamber to complete his plans for the constituency.
In all, Ejiogu has done more than any other politician in the history of the membership of the 5th state House of Assembly, and the Umuahia North state constituency never had it so good.
His complimentary role to that of the state governor should be something that the state chief executive should be proud of, especially in this era where politicians seem to be more self-centered and tight-fisted. Ejiogu should be a model example for other state lawmakers, and should even be decorated for this rare gesture, for according to him, “Ohuhu is where politics started and we know how to play it. We are synonymous with the word, politics.”