By Tony Nwankwo
Member representing Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Oghene Emma Egoh, says his development strategy for the constituency focuses more on empowering the people. Speaking at a Cultural Awakening and Sensitisation Festival, held in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism under the theme: Culture as an Instrument for Unity in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency. Oghene said culture was an instrument for development and integration.
So, having served the area in different capacities before joining the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he was in a better position to understand the issues that affect the people. He referred to Amuwo-Odofin as a mini Nigeria, where all tribes and cultures co-exist.
Speaking at the event, Oghene said the purpose was to let the people know that culture could be responsible for progress and unity. “We have a rich culture so our people should not copy foreign cultures?”, adding that the Federal Government was collaborating in the festival through the National Institute of Culture and Orientation (NICO) because culture could ensure development. “People should respect their culture. Our culture does not permit people killing one another. So, when some people rise up to kill other people, you know they have abandoned their culture.
Hon. Oghene explained that Amuwo Odofin is a settlement owned by the Aworis, yet over the years, they have accepted non-indigenes from other part of Yorubaland and other parts of the country to settle. “It is only a people with a welcoming and accommodating culture that can do this”, he said, adding, “it is this peaceful and accommodating cultural heritage that has given me the privilege to stand as a non-indigene to represent the area in several capacities. For instance, I was a councillor in Badagry LGA in 1986; supervisory councillor in Ojo LGA, and later publicity secretary for NRC before becoming as member, House of Representatives, representing the good people of Amuwo Odofin in the National Assembly.
“This event of February 1, has no political connotation, but permit me to intimate the people of some of my activities so far since I was given the mandate to go to Abuja to represent them”, Oghene pleaded. “My first motion in the House, was on the infrastructural decay in Festac, Satellite and other areas where no additional roads had been constructed since its founding 40 years ago. Our people also suffer from the absence of potable water. That formed the basis for my first motion, which, even the former chairman, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Mr. Ayo commended me for bringing into fruition. I also moved the motion on the rehabilitation of Old Ojo Road which government is now looking into. I also fought for the road linking Festac Town to ASPMDA market where our people do business. The road itself needed rehabilitation and I was able to ensure that N300 million was added to the budget for this. The construction is now on-going. We have sunk several boreholes at Mazamaza, Mile II, Agboju and there are other two ongoing at Adesoba and Abule Osun waterside.
“On security, I was instrumental for the patrol of OP MESA in Festac Town, following armed robbery incidents sometime ago where a mother and her baby were killed. I brought this to the knowledge of my colleagues at the National Assembly, necessitating the introduction of patrol vehicles to the area. On youth development and empowerment, I moved the motion calling on foreign investors to be given a conducive environment to operate in the country. This was to create jobs to alleviate the plight of our unemployed youths. In my own little way to check unemployment of youths in Amuwo Odofin, in my first year in office, I organised a skill acquisition / empowerment programme, where youths were trained as barbers, hairdressers and soap makers while over 500 youths were empowered with clippers and hair dryers. The youths, through the National Youth Council (NYC) reach me whenever they need my attention. Meanwhile, I am impressed on how the 300 widows I empowered about a year ago, are faring. I have kept tab on their development. A year earlier I had empowered over 200 families from this constituency with tricycles, grinding machines, sewing machines, deep freezers and motorcycles and have put together a free medical programme where free blood sugar test and free eye tests were conducted for those who attended. At the end, free eye glasses were given out and medical counselling provided to those whose status were threatened.
Within months in office, I restored light to our Riverine communities of Amuwo-Odofin, donating three transformers to help alleviate their power supply issues. Just recently, I contacted the management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company in Festac, following the incessant quarrel between consumers and EEDC concerning the unavailability of pre-paid meters which the consumers had insisted upon. The EEDC ;people have assured me that their problems have been resolved so very soon they will provide everybody with pre-paid meters.