Speculations of a plan by Dr. Pat Asadu to seek a fourth term as the member representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives have sharply divided his constituents.

By Chinenyeh Ozor

Asadu

Dr. Pat Asadu who is chairman of the House Committee on Ports, Harbours and waterways has represented the Constituency since 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu state.

The situation is such that the people of the constituency are divided into different warring groups with some threatening to truncate his ambition on the grounds that he had served them for 12 years without commensurate results while others insisted that he remains their saviour.

In his party, the tension is so high that it has led to accusations and counter-accusations are being made even on posters pasted around the constituency.

Central to the issues around Asadu’s fourth term bid is that it seriously undermines the age-long zoning arrangement in the constituency.

The people of Nsukka and Igbo Eze South are bound in one federal constituency. Asadu who hails from Igbo-Eze South local government area has held the seat since 2007. The Nsukka people who are divided into Nsukka Central, East and West are thus clamouring that the seat should shift to Nsukka West (Ovogovo) for justice to be seen to have been done.

In 1999 to 2003, Nsukka Central produced the late Alex Eze; from 2003 to 2007, Nsukka East produced Charles Ugwuwhile. Nsukka West was yet to produce a MHR before the zoning shifted it to Igbo Eze South in 2007 which produced Dr. Asadu who has held the seat since then. The apparent fourth term bid by Asadu has apparently hit many constituents from Nsukka West on the wrong side leading to agitation against what they perceive as the marginalisation of their people and the demand for equity and fairness. Among the groups championing the agitation of the people are Ovogovo General Assembly; Ovogovo Forum, Ovogovo United for Gburugburu and Nsukka Unity Forum.

Before now, a group known as Ovogovo Young Professionals (OYP) had fired the first shot when it flayed the representation of Dr. Asadu.

The group in a statement signed by its National president, Hon. John Eze said: “Dr. Pat Asadu has failed the constituency woefully; he has no business going back to the National Assembly.”

“We need a vibrant federal lawmaker that will attract federal presence to our area as well as touch the lives of the people of the constituency, and not bench warmers in the National Assembly.” It could be recalled that in the 2015 general elections, Nollywood actor, Andy Okonkwo who has just declared his intention for the gubernatorial race in Enugu state under the APC and his brother, Peter Okonkwo, incumbent commissioner in the state jostled for the seat with Asadu, but the incumbent prevailed.

Findings by our correspondent showed that those interested in the race include: Chinedu Nwamba, member representing Nsukka-East Constituency in the Enugu State House of Assembly, a former member of the House of Representatives, Charles Ugwu, a serving commissioner in Enugu State, Barr. Peter Okonkwo, a former governorship aspirant in the last governorship election, Mr. Chidi Mark Obetta, an Enugu-based lawyer, Barr. Maximus Ugwuoke, among others.

The battle has already shifted to the social media where promoters of the Ovogovo agenda are slugging it out with loyalists of the incumbent lawmaker.

Asadu did not respond to enquiries by Vanguard on the unfolding development even though associates dismiss the agitation against his bid as one fired by bitterness. “It is unthinkable for some persons to just come up and start telling bare-faced lies simply because they are interested in a position being occupied by someone else.

“To set the records straight, it is pure fallacy for anyone to say that he has not sponsored any bill in the House. He has so far sponsored not less than nine bills and five motions, including a Bill for an Act to amend the River Basin Development Authority Act; A Bill to repeal the Nigeria Ports Authority Act; A Bill for the establishment of Forensic DNA Database in Nigeria; A Bill to establish the Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy to provide for courses leading to the award of degrees, among others,” an associate said on the condition of anonymity.

 

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