ASSESSING OBI LAWMAKERS’ PERFORMANCES FROM 1999—2016

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By Ugaba Emmanuel

When the military under the headship of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar decided to handover the reins of power to the civilians in 1999, Obi State Constituency was not left out.

Late Hon. Moses Eje flew the Peoples Democratic Party’s ( PDP) flag in the Benue State House of Assembly where he represented Obi state constituency from 1999 to 2003. He was a young, vibrant and dynamic leader who had no previous legislative experience apart from being a student union activist.

He was impactful and influential in the House, having held a key position as Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation. As a young legislator, he was in a hurry to make his impact felt across the entire Igede nation.

In trying to do that, he stepped on the wrong toes of some powerful individuals that crippled his ambition of going to the National Assembly.

Unfortunately, however, he was not able to achieve much in the area of critical infrastructures but contributed to human capacity building by way of influencing employment to few individuals.

Aside that, late Hon. Eje, aka Ilonejwo was well attracted to Obi people in particular and Igede nation in general. His demise is still felt across the igede political landscape today.

In 2003, Hon. David Edor Egboja succeeded late Hon. Eje, having lost to Hon. Ezekiel Ogah in the councillorship primary election.

Hon. Egboja was equally very vibrant and dynamic. He was too hurry a legislator to make impact both in the House and in his constituency. He assisted many young boys and girls from his constituency to gain employment to various organisations including Benue Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.

At the end of his tenure, plot to make him chairman of Obi local government council was vehemently resisted by his people.

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Hon. Edor 

Hon. William Edor Ogbole was elected in 2007 to represent the constituency in the state Assembly where he was very lucky to clinch the position of the Deputy Speaker, a number 4 citizen.

This office would have afforded him the opportunity to attract series of democratic dividends to his constituency, but it was not to be due this ‘perfect imperfections’.

He used his position to fight Obi Local Government chairman of his time by causing his suspension for one month and denying the people of his constituency of having a Micro Finance Bank that was being built for the people. His personal relations with his people — even his close associates — was not very encouraging.

However, one thing he did that his successor should try to dig out is a motion he moved in 2007 concerning the construction of a bridge across River Obi to link Igwe and Odiapa with Obarike-Ito, headquarters of Obi Local Government Council.

His plan to return to the House in 2011 was annulled by the people of his constituency because he was too loyal to a fault to make any meaningful and useful impact in the House.

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Eworo’s electric poles for Adum West.
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Rt. Hon. Eworo

 

Hon. Ogbole was in 2011 replaced by a young vibrant and dynamic personality, to whose enthronement this writer had contributed immensely, not by cash but by words and action — Hon. Nick Eworo, aka ODUJELAHO.

Rt. Hon. Eworo was a Kano-based business man and a philanthropist who assisted many people from Ito in particular and Igede in general before venturing into politics.

Hon. Eworo was noted for vibrancy and dynamism in the House plenaries and equally wanted to ride on a very fast lane by changing the political tempo in Oju/Obi federal constituency in 2015 PDP primary election. He, however, played the Maradonic style of the political game that had now made him to return to the House in a grand style.

Prior to now, Hon Eworo was being criticized variously for his maradonic style of politics, but little did the people know that he had, and still has, good plans for his people.

At the wee hours of his first tenure in office, he supplied about 5 electric transformers to the rural areas and today, the people in those localities are now hopeful of seeing the light before long.

The rehabilitation of Ugbodom – Akwunda – Adum-Owo road is another pointer to his development agenda for the socio-economic advancement of his constituency.

imageIn a five minutes chat the writer had with the Rt. Honorable last week Wednesday, he unfolded his plan to work assiduously to ensure that a bridge is built across River Obi to link Igwe and Odiapa with Obarike-Ito, noting that it is very important for the people because that is the only access road to Taraku and to Makurdi. He regretted the havoc the non-construction of the bridge had done to many lives and properties in the past and would not like to see a repeat of the ugly past.

Now that Hon. Eworo has started to impact on the people of his constituency in the areas where his predecessors failed woefully, what would you say are his political goals?

His ability to change over from the umbrella party to the broom, singing the Change song, is an indication that to be relevant in government or any organizations, one must be able to respond quickly to the wind of change, which it is believed, is responsible for his success. With this, do you not think he will perform well in a higher responsibility if given the chance to go higher?

*Emmanuel is a public affairs analyst and commentator on political issues; ugabaemmanuel@gmail.com

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