. Petition INEC, begin collection of signatures
. Disgruntled opposition members behind move – lawmaker
By Steve Oko
The days of the member representing Ukwa federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Uzoma Abonta may have been numbered as his constituents have initiated the process of his recall.
Addressing a world press conference Monday, at Obohia Town Hall, Ukwa East, the constituents accused the lawmaker of underperformance and arrogance, and vowed to recall him.
The constituents who spoke under the platform of Coalition For Ukwa Leadership Accountability, COFULA, claimed that since 2007 when the lawmaker went to the green chamber “he has not attracted any identifiable project” to the constituency nor held a town hall meeting to present his score card.
Speaking at the conference, co-convener of COFULA and former Special Assistant to the Governor on Niger Delta Affairs, Comrade Kingsley Nna, regretted that “Ukwa is the only oil-producing federal constituency in Abia but without any thing to show for it due to poor representation and abysmal performance” of the federal lawmaker.
” Hon. Abonta’s 15 years in office is 15 years of emptiness, self representation and nothingness”, he lamented.
He accused him of laying false claims to attracting the Obohia – Akwete-Azumini-Ukanafon road which according to him was the pet project of former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Ufot Ekaite.
Abia portion of the road which links Abia and Akwa Ibom, he said, ” has remained impassable” without the lawmaker making any meaningful efforts to fix it.
” I challenge Abonta to publish his score card. His only achievement is his personal house in the village which is even not accessible”, he alleged.
He also called for a review of all NDDC projects in Ukwa land with a view to ascertaining who the contractors are, the amount so far released for them and their various stages of abandonment”.
Speaking also, Co-convener of COFULA, Dr. Chidi Nwankpa, accused Abonta of “representing himself and not the people”, challenging him to publish any verifiable project he had attracted for the people.
Nwankpa who said the move to recall Abonta had the support of all the people of Ukwa from various political divide, called on the lawmaker to “honourably resign or be disgraced”.
In a remark, retired Magistrate, Lady Emily Herbert, accused the lawmaker of abandoning the constituents especially women and youths.
“Every four years they gather women to be clapping hands and after that they are abandoned”, she fumed.
The coalition passed a vote of no confidence on the lawmaker, and read a copy of its petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, seeking Abonta’s recall.
A communique by the coalition read in part:”We hereby commence the immediate process of recall of Hon. Uzoma Abonta in line with the Electoral Act. The collection of signatures for his recall is already on.
” We highly reget the unproductive 15 years of Hon. Abonta at the National Assembly”.
The petition to INEC read in part:” The over 15 years of Hon. Abonta’s representation of the constituency is a colossal waste. He has failed, neglected/ failed to use his office to attract commensurate projects to the constituency. Ukwa federal consituency has the worst of roads in Nigeria; no electricity, hospital and water.
” We crave your indulgence and provision of a conducive environment for the process of Abonta’s recall.”
Some of the people at the press conference were former Commissioner for Women Affairs, and a retired Permanent Secretary, Lady Chinedu Brown; Hon. Chinenye Ukaegbu; Chairman, Ijaw Youth Conference in Ndoki land, Comrade Sampson Belle; Youth Coordinator, Ukwa East, Ebenezer Adiele; and Bishop Chris Nwosu.
Other were Lady Dora Uchegbu, Chinyere Alunna, Ibeakolam Nwagbara, and Chief Enyinnaya Okere.
When contacted, the lawmaker denied the allegation of underperformance levelled against him, dismissing those calling for his recall as ” disgruntled opposition members”.
He said that contrary to the allegation, he had attracted over 15 roads and health facilities plus other projects to his constituency, adding that large population of his constituents had recently passed a vote of confidence on him.
On the the abandoned federal road that passed through Ukwa to Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Abonta accused the All Progressive Congress, APC-led federal government of abandoning the project because he is in the opposition party.
” The road abandoned is a federal road and was abandoned by APC because we are in the opposition. When Goodluck Jonathan left office and APC came in, it abandoned the road”.