From PETER OKORE, Umuahia
Ahead of the 2019 general elections in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia state has commenced the process of nominating candidates to vie for the National Assembly seats. Of the three senatorial districts of the state, two have, through a well attended Town Hall meetings by “who-is-who” in the party hierarchy and membership from Abia – North and Abia-central zones, respectively, have resolved to return their serving representatives at the National Assembly in the 2019 Senatorial elections.
The senators whose nomination processes have been set in motion are Mazi Mao Ohuabunwa for Abia–north and Chief Theodore Orji for Abia-central. The mandates are contained in the respective communiqués issued at the end of Town Hall meetings conducted at their respective constituencies, recently. The case of Abia-South is yet un-clear as the incumbent Sen. Enyinna Abaribe is currently completing his third tenure in the Senate.
In the Communiqués, issued after the Town Hall meetings attended by members of the National and state Assemblies, government functionaries within the constituencies, party members and officials as well as party faithful, members (in their different localities) unanimously endorsed both Mao Ohuabunwa and Theodore Orji to fly the Party’s flag for their respective districts, come the 2019 elections. They commended the representations of the senators and implored both not to relent in their endeavours.
The motion adopting Mao Ohuabunwa at the Ohafia Local Government Council Headquarters, Ebem, recently, was moved by the chairman of Umunneochi Local Government Area, Chief Okay Igwe and supported by the member representing Arochukwu state constituency in Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Luke Okara. In the motion, the people resolved that they were impressed by the score-card presented by Ohuabunwa; including his oversight functions, and thereafter adopted him for nomination to run for a second tenure in the National Assembly.
Presenting his scorecard earlier, Ohuabunwa gave a run-down of his activities in the Senate as well as what he has been able to achieve for his constituents since he went into the senate. He pleaded with his constituents to allow him run for a second term so as to complete his plans for his constituents and continue to use his experiences and contacts to make more quality contributions for the good of the entire country, vide the process of law-making .
According to his score card, Ohuabunwa has sponsored 13 Bills and moved 14 Motions in the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Some of these Bills include; National Centre for Cancer and Treatment, Bill 2015(Sb.10) passed into Law. Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology Act Cap.N116 LFN2004(Repeal and Re-enactment Bill(SB.11) Second Reading and An Act seeking to establish the Federal College of Education(Technical) Arochukwu(Second Reading,etc. The Motions included: That on the reconstruction of Arochukwu-Ohafia Federal Road (Passed); Motion on the plight of Locum Medical Doctors in Internship training (passed), etc.
The senator told his constituents that contract for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Arochukwu-Ohafia federal road has been re-awarded to two contractors for a more efficient performance and close monitoring. He said while one contractor starts from Arochukwu –end of the road, the other will start from Ohafia; while both of them will meet at a point on that road. He said work on the road would start during the dry season, this year.
Business Hallmark check reveals that the Ohafia-Arochukwu road has become a death-trap now and a ghost of its former self. Presently, the road has been cut into halves at several points by gully erosion; giving rise to creation of many diversions through the bushes. According to the checks, a journey of one-and-a half hours from Umuahia to Arochukwu, now takes more than three hours . Several potholes and crevices now adorn the entire road.
The senator condemned the presence of soldiers on the streets in the South-East, saying that their presence creates fear in people and sends a danger of war–time situation in the areas, where the operation Python Dance military exercise is currently taking place.
In his words:” Nigeria is passing through perilous challenges. What we need now is restructuring and devolution of power. With democracy in process, military decrees should give way. The federal government should remit the 2014 National Conference Report to the National Parliament for consideration.”
This is just as a telecom expert –turned politician, Chief David Ogba Onuoha (a k a Bourdex), has faulted the 8th National Assembly for not satisfying the expectations of the citizenry. He expressed optimism that the change the Nigerians desire will only come in 2019, when a knowledgeable new crop of lawmakers would be elected senators . He regrets that the eighth National Assembly has failed to reflect the wishes of Nigerians.
Speaking during an interactive session at his country-home, Igbere, Bende LGA, Onuoha, who contested the Abia-North senatorial seat under APGA in the 2015 election, said “it was perplexing that the Nigeria senate should reject a crucial issue as devolution of powers to the states, in the ongoing constitutional amendment”.
Onuoha-Bourdex, who is just home after a study visit to China and U.S. Parliaments(in-session) remarked that the on-going constitutional amendment presented a golden opportunity for our federal lawmakers to show that they represent the interest of Nigerians.
He, however, commended the present National Assembly for preserving the independence of the legislature, pointing out that if State legislatures replicate such disposition, the cause of good governance would be felt in the country’s practice of democracy.
Meanwhile, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has, in a statement on the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group and its subsequent proscription by South-East governors said:“We want to remind Nigerians that the reason why the national assembly embarked on Constitution review was to enable us look into issues that are agitating the minds of Nigerians and creating tension among us. We have promised that the exercise would be continuous.
“We intend to keep that promise by further taking decisions that would strengthen and improve on our structures. The eighth national assembly, on resumption, will play its constitutional role by addressing all those issues that are agitating the minds of our people and over which they feel so strong.”