Senator Ezea must wake up from slumber

It is heart breaking to know that Senator Okechukwu Ezea, representing Enugu North, Enugu state, has practically nothing to show his constituents for his representation at the National Assembly in the past one year and counting.

It is even more heart wrecking when his name enjoys prominent position amongst senators that had performed far below average in the 10th Senate.

Recently, a national newspaper published an investigative report on the performance of each senator in the 10th Senate, and our own senator was mentioned among the senators that had not sponsored a single bill in the past one year.

According to the report, “Senators, who are yet to sponsor any bill within the period under review are Victor Umeh (Anambra Central), Titus Tartenger Zam (Benue North West), Anthony Ani (Ebonyi South), Imasuen Neda Bernards (Edo South), Oluwole Fasuyi Cyril (Ekiti North), Okechukwu Ezea (Enugu North), Chukwu Chizoba (Enugu East), Kaila Samaila Dahuwa (Bauchi North), Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), Khabeeb Mustapha (Jigawa South West), Rufai Hanga (Kano Central), Abdulaziz Yar’adua (Katsina Central), Mohammed Dandutse Muntari (Katsina South), Peter Jiya (Niger South), Adegbonmire Adeniyi Ayodele (Ondo Central), Oyewumi Kamorudeen Olalere (Osun West), Pam Dachungyang (Plateau North), Onyesoh Allwell Heacho (Rivers East), Ibrahim Lamido (Sokoto East), Manu Haruna (Taraba Central) and Musa Mustapha (Yobe East). However, Ani, Dachungyang and Mustapha were inaugurated into the Senate at later dates”.

The report further revealed that the Senate Majority Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) sponsored 23 bills, which is the highest number of sponsored bills, within the period under review, while, the Deputy Senate President, Barau I. Jibrin (APC, Kano North) closely followed with 15 bills.

Continuing, the report disclosed that among the former governors in the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu (APC-Abia North) has five bills to his name: the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024; the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024; the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

Regrettably, Enugu North has never had it this bad in contemporary times, especially, when it comes to representation at the National Assembly. This is the reason Senator Ezea must wake up to his responsibility, going forward.

Nevertheless, it is still early for Senator Ezea to remove the apron of self interest he had adorned himself with, and go down to work to satisfy the collective interest of the good people of Enugu North Senatorial District.

While the senator may still have chance to salvage his seeming failure to fit into the shoes of those before him, the consensus among his constituents today is that his performance is poor.

It is on the premise of the above and the ungodly attempt by his media aides and “trade by barter supporters,” that hushed voices are telling the true story in their homes, palm wine and pork meat joints, as well as village squares across the six local government areas that constitute Enugu North Senatorial District.

A visibly angry constituent, Chijoke Asogwa, expressed regret for ever supporting the incumbent senator during the last election.

“We were scammed, with campaign rhetorics that Okey Ezea was going to represent us very well at the Senate, but when he eventually won the election, he became the opposite of what he preached before the poll. We have never had it this bad. When I read the Daily Trust report on dormant senators who could not sponsor a single bill in one year and the name of Okey Ezea was conspicuous on the list, I was ashamed as a constituent who contributed to his emergence as a senator. It is very clear that we made a wrong choice. He was not prepared for the job at all.

“His media aides are also not helping matters as they are labouring to force down our throats, tissues of falsehood on the achievements of the senator within the period under review. Their greatest propaganda and blackmail tactics is that no constituent, including former law makers in the zone, understands the function of a law maker, except Okey Ezea and his media attack dogs. We would continue to ask questions no matter their insults and blackmail tactics”.

This is as, Mr. Okonkwo Alumona, a constituent and Labour Party faithful, said that it is too early to access the performance of the senator.

He argued that the senator still has ample time to prove himself a worthy representative of the people at the Senate.

Mr. Alumona said: “Our senator is a first time senator at the National Assembly. He needs time to understudy the system first before pushing for things in the right way. I am optimistic he is going to outperform those before him. We should just be patient with him”.

Meanwhile, an elderly constituent, Mrs. Nkwo Omeje, said that Senator Ezea has no fear of God in him.

“They came here and told us that they are going to change things, but instead things are getting worse by the day. We learnt that the federal government approved palliative for the constituents, through the senators and those in House of Reps, but because it does not benefit them directly, they refused to follow up the matter. We are watching, and we will pay them back at the appropriate time. They will not stay there forever,” she lamented.

Countering her perception of Ezea’s representation at the Senate, and his performance within a given period of one whole year and counting, Mr. Ozoemena Eze said that one year is not enough sample size to evaluate four years.

He noted that the appropriate sample size, if he is allowed to use that nomenclature, is to divide four into three, which, one year, falls short of, because four divided by three is more than one.

“So, let us tarry awhile, before this assessment. This is so that we can get it right. The three years left is enough time for him to change the tide. Let us support and give him a benefit of doubt, and be hopeful that he will do the right thing. I am, however, pained that his name is listed among non performing senators in the 10th Senate. But as I said earlier, it is too early to make a conclusive statement on this subject matter”.

Another constituent, Mr. Joseph Ozioko, said that he was not surprised at the poor performance of Senator Ezea, because his election was not based on his popularity or track records but sentiments around Peter Obi in Southeast during the poll.

“Did he run any robust campaign before the election,” he queried.

His victory, Mr. Ozioko said, was based on the acceptable of Labour Party across South-east because of Peter Obi and nothing else.

“Let those of them claiming victory in Labour Party contest coming election outside Obi, let us then assess their popularity,” he challenged.

The constituents, he added are the ultimate losers in this whole power game.

According to him, “If Ezea cannot point to a single verifiable achievement in one year, when is he going to do something? Aside from local government election, which takes place every two or three years depending on the state involved, the presidential and parliamentary election circle is four years. Meanwhile, a cursory look at the election circle shows that real governance takes place within the first two years, while the concluding two years is dedicated to electioneering, preparatory to another election circle”.

In conclusion therefore, if Senator Ezea has the best of intentions for the good people of Enugu North as his media aides and Labour Party barter supporters would want every constituents to believe, it would be safe to temporarily conclude that the green horn law maker lacks the capacity to live up to the responsibility of his exulted office.
Linus Aleke,
[email protected]