By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The compendium of the achievements of Senator Ike Ekweremadu on behalf of his constituency distributed at the recreation centre in Udi last Saturday was aptly labeled “An Epitome of Quality Representation.”
It was as such not surprising that Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State would confess that he had no choice but to present himself for the constituency briefing.
Governor Chime who is from Enugu West Senatorial constituency in seeming approval of Senator Ekweremadu’s representation said: “As his constituent I had no choice but to be here. I had no choice because he is doing well and if he were not doing well I like many others would not have been here,” Governor Chime said last Saturday.
The constituency briefing in Udi and Agwu, two of the major towns within the Enugu West Senatorial district took place on Saturday, October 30 and Sunday October 31 respectively.
Besides Governor Chime, also present at the ceremony at Udi were five members of the State House of Assembly from the Enugu West Senatorial district, namely Johny Obidima (Oji River), Mauel Njeke (Udi North 1), Abel Chukwu (Aninri), Cletus Enebe (Agwu North) and Chika Emeh (Udi South).
The constituency briefing was an opportunity for Ekweremadu, Ndigbo’s number one person in the Federal Government to articulate his representation of his constituency in the period between 2007 and 2010.
The briefing was also an opportunity for the deputy President of the Senate to acknowledge and reward his political operatives in the constituency. Hundreds of them went home on the two days with portable generators popularly referred to as “I big pass my neighbour.”
While hundreds of those present at the Udi briefing fixed their on the generators apparently aiming to go home with at least one to oppress their neighbours, Senator Ekweremadu and his aides were themselves immersed in boasting how they had supposedly oppressed other senatorial constituencies in the country to deliver democracy dividends to Enugu West.
Among the booty delivered by Ekweremadu to the people of Enugu West as disclosed in Udi were roads, appointments into federal offices, micro_credit grants, scholarships awards among others.
Senator Ekweremadu since his first tenure in the Senate between 2003 and 2007 used the Ikeoha Foundation as a vehicle to deliver democracy dividends.
He has also undoubtedly since his elevation to the office of Deputy Senate President in 2007 used his powerful office as the Senate’s number two man to browbeat federal officials to the benefit of his constituents. It was, perhaps a far cry from his time in the Senate between 2003 and 2007 when internal politics of Enugu State stifled his profile in the Senate.
Senator Ekweremadu has especially tapped resources from the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) office to the benefit of constituents.
Among projects facilitated by Senator Ekweremadu through the MDG are the construction of blocks of classrooms with furniture and VIP toilets in three primary schools and one high school, the provision of computer centres, computers and their accessories in 12 schools, the construction of library, library furniture and books in 5 schools , the provision of basic drugs in five health centres and the supply of books and instructional materials to two schools in Mpu Aninri and Awgu local government areas of the constituency.
Senator Ekweremadu also revealed that he had facilitated the appointment of more than 40 persons from within and outside the constituency into political offices at the federal level.
Besides, he claimed to have facilitated the appointment of more than 300 constituents into the federal civil service.
Senator Ekweremadu also in the period between 2007 and 2010 awarded 632 scholarships more than double the 253 scholarships he awarded in his first term reflecting his increased capacity as deputy Senate President.
Besides, the Senator reported floating a quiz competition in a bid to revive the spirit of healthy competition among secondary school students in the constituency through his self funded Ikeoha Foundation.
Also in a bid to boost education among constituents, the foundation distributed 22 adult literacy centres for the benefit of the 81 wards in the senatorial constituency.
Besides, the foundation has also extended micro credits to women committee_operative societies and widows spread across the senatorial district.
In a bid to dissuade the youths in the district from bad habits, the Ikeoha Foundation he said introduced an annual football tournament. In the first tournament in 2009, Ezeagu Local government area went home with the trophy and a cash prize of N1 million. Agwu local government area went home with the trophy in 2010 and equally bagged N1 million.
A host of stakeholders from the constituency endorsed Senator Ekweremadu’s performance during the briefing at Udi. Among them were Ike Eweta and Aniude Gilbert respectively chairman of Udi and Ezeagu local government areas.
Perhaps the most ringing endorsement on that day came from Chief (Mrs.) Ify Ozoani, the PDP Southeast Zonal Woman leader who praised Ekweremadu to high heavens describing how he had repeatedly opened doors to her in Abuja for contracts and other favours.
“Ike Ekweremadu has done very well and I am not lying. Go and meet Ike Ekweremadu even at 12 a.m. even for a letter of recommendation and he will give it to you.”
“Me, I don’t know of 10 terms or anything like that my own is that if he has done well give it to him because it is constitution we are following,” she said.
Senator Ekweremadu used the opportunity to address the issue concerning the rift in the state chapter of the PDP which has seen the Governor and his associates fight the dissolution of the state executive of the party allegedly masterminded by the party national chairman, Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo.
Nwodo is from Enugu and was a former Governor of the State
Noting his motif, Senator Ekweremadu said that all that was done was to compliment the efforts of the State government which he claimed had done its best for the state.
“We have tried to do these things in a way to support the Governor.
We believe that what we are doing is to partner with the government of Enugu State and if it pleases god to return we will only build upon what we have done,” he said to the ovation of those gathered.
He also requested for cooperation for the Governor noting that the Governor would perform best when given the opportunity to perform.