By Clifford Ndujihe
A member of the House of Representatives, Chief Dozie Nwankwo, has advised some politicians and leaders to stop playing politics with the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed no fewer than 1.8 million lives across the world.
Commending the Federal Government and few alert state governments for their efforts in controlling and limiting the spread of COVID-19, Nwankwo charged all Nigerians in leadership position to desist from playing politics with something as serious as the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead they should join other citizens to dedicatedly abide by all the instructions and directives of the World Health Organization, WHO, the Federal and State Governments and health professionals to avoid contracting and spreading the dreaded virus.
With unity of purpose, the Njikoka/Anaocha/Dunukofia Federal Constituency of Anambra State legislator said that the nation shall overcome the ravaging pandemic.
Nwankwo, who for over 20 years has organized humanitarian services, education scholarship distribution and youth/women empowerment items to members of his constituency and beyond, yearly, said with their tenacity, doggedness, survival instincts and faith in God, Nigerians will pull through the COVID-19 challenge.
“Like any other bad dream and disturbing crisis that we faced before now, we need to remain steadfast, stay safe, stay home and alive for each other because together we shall all brace up, pull through and survive this too,” he said. He added that his palliatives for the citizens of Anambra state to help cushion the effects of the lock-down occasioned by the COVID-19 plague would soon be delivered to them.
On his agenda in the National Assembly, Nwankwo who was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019, said he has been liaising, relating and communicating with his constituents to ensure that their welfare and safety were guaranteed. He said that his shopping list at the National Assembly was drawn from a three-part town-hall meetings with participants drawn from all the communities in the federal constituency.
They included Enugwu-Ukwu, Nawfia, Abagana, Enugwu-Agidi, Nimo, Ifite- Dunu, Ukwulu, Nawgu, Umunnachi, Umudioka, Ukpo and Abba. Others were Aguluizigbo, Agulu, Nri, Neni, Obeledu, Akwaeze, Adazi-Enu, Adazi-Ani and Adazi-Nnukwu among others.
In a telephone interview, he said that the meetings enabled him to get a first-hand information from representatives of the community within his constituency and the constituents, who he established a convivial channel of communication with.
Nwankwo, who is also a member of the Enugwu Ukwu royal cabinet and holder of the “Onyendozi Nwachinemelu” title said the meetings were organized to tell his people how far he has gone in pursuit of their welfare at the National Assembly.
Pointing out that his Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo Foundation was established as a vehicle to give back to the society, he pledged to continue to represent them well, involving his official and personal resources to get things done for them, especially the free medical outreach, which has so far touched no fewer than 500,000 lives and beneficiaries since 2009; women/youth empowerment, for citizens of the constituency; scholarship scheme for 200 indigent but bright students; provision of educational aids and materials to students and pupils in the federal constituency; provision of support to more than 5,000 widows, payment of monthly stipend to 400 old citizens in the area.
Nwankwo has also empowered about constituents with 1000 with cars, Keke tricycle, motor cycles, sewing machines, hair dryers, wheel chairs, grinding/blending machines to empower them. He has regularly organized skill acquisition and take-off financial support for no fewer than 1,000 citizens.
Speaking on his desire to touch people’s lives more, Nwankwo disclosed that he is building a state-of-the-art Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre in Enugwu-Ukwu for the training, education and benefit of people of the federal constituency.
His free medical outreach, involving eye and dental treatment/surgeries, tooth refill, clef palate surgeries and general treatment flag off was performed by the Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano who was represented by his deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke.
A key citizen of the area and traditional Prime Minister of Neni, Chief Anthony Obiagboso Tonimass Enukeme, in an interview described Nwankwo as “one special young man who would take Anambra to the Promised Land, having started so well in the House of Representatives.”
Enukeme, a key player in the distribution/sales network of the nation’s petroleum sector and derivatives, said Nwankwo “has done what Napoleon Bonaparte could not do”.
Enukeme pointed out that Nwankwo has turned the Neni Health Centre to a cottage General hospital within such a short stay in the National Assembly.