By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja

Love and gratitude came to play. And so, hugely manifested itself in the result of the primaries. Out of 132 votes cast, he amassed 80 to clinch the ticket for a return to the House of Representatives under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. 

That was Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader of the House. From a distance, his closest challenger in the PDP primaries that held on May 22, 2022, Princess Pat Ajudua polled 35 while the third person in the race, Mr. Kayinebi Mobushi got a paltry 17 votes. 

The returning officer, Returning Officer, Chief Funkekeme Solomon declared Elumelu the winner of the contest for polling the highest number of votes.

He said: “At the end, Mr. Kanyinebi Mobushi, scored 17 votes, Mrs. Pat Ajudua, scored 35 votes while Mr. Ndudi Elumelu scored 80 votes. “Elumelu, having scored the highest votes, is hereby declared winner and returned as the candidate of the PDP for the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the 2023 general election.”

Simply put, the outcome of the exercise showed that the people of Aniocha North/Oshimili South Federal Constituency in Delta state gave a verdict and made their choice in Elumelu.  Don’t get it twisted. Delta is literally PDP and PDP is politically Delta. In his reaction, Elumelu profusely thanked every stakeholder that made his victory possible.

“I feel very happy; I thank the Almighty God, only Him has done this. Most importantly, I thank my family, they have given me all the support. For few months, they have lost me because of this election. I give them thanks; I thank my mother for being a wonderful mother.

“I thank my brothers – Peter, Tony, all of them. Most importantly, I thank my governor, the Ekwueme of the universe. My federal constituency will always stand by you; whatever you ask us to do, we will do.

“Thank you so much for providing the enabling environment for me to come out victorious. Most importantly, let me thank the hierarchy of PDP in Abuja led by the National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, for allowing transparency in all the processes that has happened today”, he said.

But let truth be told, Elumelu’s emergence as the PDP flagbearer for the constituency in the 2023 general elections wasn’t a product of a big bang. It is a function of a robust representation and sacrifice for his people at all times.

Elected first into the House in 2007, Elumelu swiftly distingushed himself in a manner that gave him a comeback in 2011. Though he ran unsuccessfully for governorship in 2015, Elumelu however returned to the Green Chamber in 2019 to become the minority leader of the House.

In his first legislative journey in the sixth assembly, Elumelu chaired the House Committee on Power. He was later to also   Chair the House Committee on Health and possessed the membership the information, Climate change, Interior, Water Resources, Science and Technology, National Security and Public Safety committees.

Elumelu has also thriven on presentation of motions and bills which are the core legislative functions of any parliamentarian.

Amongst the bills since his return included the National Health/ Insurance Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill 2019, Electoral Act / (Amendment) Bill 2019, Nigerian Metallurgical Industry Bill, 2019, Lobbyists / (Registration and Regulation) Bill 2019, Federal Audit / Service Commission Bill, 2019.

Similarly, the motions included the probe of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC on the alleged directive to corps to pay ransom in the event of their kidnap. This particular motion was titled “Need to Investigate the Alleged Insertion of the Advice for Payment of Ransom into the National Youth Service Corps Pamphlets Containing Security Tips”;   motion to investigate the alleged lockup of about 1000 Nigerian workers by a Chinese company operating a steel plant in Edo state; motion to stop the entry of herdsmen from other African countries into Nigeria; motion on “Rampant Cases of Violence, Incessant Rape and Ritual Killing of Our Women Folks, a Call for Urgent Intervention” which came on the heels of the killing of BRT passenger Miss Oluwabamise Ayanwola last year.

Elumelu can also strike the cord of controversy sometimes. Recall the motion on the resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami over the terrorism comment. Recall also the motion to stop the disbursement of repatriated £4.2 million looted by ex-governor of Delta State, James Ibori and return it to Delta.

That wasn’t all. Elumelu also sponsored the motion to urge the security agencies to find the whereabouts of a former Vanguard Newspapers reporter, covering the House, Tordue Salem who was later found dead in Abuja.

Also, playing the role of the chief opposition lawmaker, Elumelu had also led the minority caucus to reject the non inclusion of electronic transmission of election results clause in the recently passed electoral act amendment bill.

The lawmaker has not stopped chiding the ruling APC for the way it runs the economy and fights corruption. He has also continued to criticize the administration to keep it on its toes for good governance. Elumelu is also an incurable optimist in the believe that PDP will return to the center in 2023. This played out during the PDP convention in Abuja on October 30, 2021 where he said that  APC has led Nigeria to precipices.

He said:”Leaders of our party, the APC has led our nation to the precipices. Their ugly agenda to balkanize and push our nation into a failed state is too evident to ignore. There is anger, frustration and hopelessness everywhere, but hope comes for our nation with our readiness to return to power”.

Elumelu’s legislative interventions would not be complete without a mention of his charitable contributions to his constituency.

In May, last year, during, his empowerment programme that held at the Cenotaph, Asaba, capital of Delta State, Elumelu gave out  111 electricity generating sets, 90 deep freezers, 148 motor cycles and 107 tricycles to 350 beneficiaries. This was outside many other projects he had attracted to the area and several of his constituents he had also assisted to secure jobs in many establishments.

Indeed, with his generosity, track record and political pedigree, the reasons he polled that number of votes are not far-fetched. It’s simply love from home it’s expected that the love from his people will ultimately send him back to the House for the forth time in February, 2023 when the general elections will hold.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.