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Corruption is the single greatest obstacle preventing Nigeria from achieving her enormous potential, it is very safe to say that graft and senseless looting of public funds have now become institutionalised in Nigeria. One of the biggest participants in the present sleaze are Nigerian lawmakers who have sworn to be wicked, selfish, callous, and shameless about their quest to enrich themselves at the expense of their constituents and electorates.
The system of government Nigeria currently operates provides for three arms of government. While the legislative arm makes the law, the judiciary interprets and the executive implements and executes. Ostensibly going by what is obtainable in the US from where Nigeria copied her democracy, this was structured to curb the tendency of tyranny and to reduce the workload on the arms individually. The law-making arm of government here in Nigeria has abysmally failed in its duties of making laws and providing checks and balances where necessary.
While some of these lawmakers who have contributed to this glaring failure may be pardoned or ignored, Senator Onyewuchi Ezenwa, the Senator representing Owerri Zone (Imo East) cannot be accorded such luxury. Being a ‘first timer’ in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, he has proven to be a mistake, a very big one.
Onyewuchi, the UNN schooled Sociology graduate previously represented the Owerri-Municipal/Owerri-North/West-Federal Constituency of Imo State under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party in the Federal House of Representatives where he took mediocrity to great heights while hoodwinking his impoverished electorates with empty promises and in some rare cases, peanuts.
Typical of Nigerian politicians, Onyewuchi took advantage of the political situation in Imo in 2019 to gain elevation to the red chamber of the National Assembly, simply put, the white-bearded Senator got to the Senate, not on the strength of his performance in the House of Representatives, but rather on sneaky political arrangements.
On assuming office as the Senator representing Ala Owerri in the National Assembly, Onyewuchi has failed to live up to expectations by any yardstick or assessment tool. To begin with, he manipulated his way to emerge as the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on State and local government, a tier of government that has remained redundant in Nigeria for donkey years, As a key figure of that committee, Onyewuchi and his goons have clearly demonstrated their cluelessness about it; the much advocated Local Government Autonomy has remained a mirage in many States.
Recent developments in the polity have proven the lawmakers to be saboteurs and selfish putting their own interests above the country’s on whose mandate they were elected to serve, in this regard, Onyewuchi has failed to show any positive sign no matter how little, rather than borrow a leaf from the likes of Senator Enyinaya Abaribe to be a formidable voice for his much marginalised people, Senator Onyewuchi has remained an ‘efulefu’, not even the insecurity in Imo State can force him to speak truth to power. It is rather pathetic.
In the Nigerian National Assembly where Onyewuchi has holed himself up, asides lawmaking, there is this money-bazaar they have termed ‘Constituency Project Allowances’ which they all shamelessly participate in, it is a ‘money party’ where they are dolled out billions of naira to service their constituencies. A quick tour of the various local governments that the Urrata born Senator represents amongst which are; Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise, Ezinihite Mbaise, Ikeduru, Ngor Okpala, Mbaitoli, Owerri West, Owerri North, and Owerri Municipal Local Government Areas can force any human being with a conscience to weep. There is clearly nothing to show for these funds, apart from a few State government-funded projects in these areas, nothing is going on infrastructurally, Onyewuchi’s body language has shown that he cares less about what the populace think, feel, say or do. He is simply unapologetic about his desire to continue mismanaging and siphoning these monies while his constituents groan under the shackles of misrepresentation.
Onyewuchi’s body language has shown that he cares less about what the populace think, feel, say or do. He is simply unapologetic about his desire to continue mismanaging and siphoning these monies while his constituents groan under the shackles of misrepresentation.
It doesn’t just end at the mismanagement of Constituency allowances, it is no longer news that Onyewuchi, just like his fellow greedy colleagues takes home at least twenty-nine million Naira monthly in salaries, allowances, and undue entitlements, the lawmaker hasn’t considered it imperative to bring succour to his poverty-stricken constituents, not even the Global Covid-19 pandemic could force him to jettison his resolve to keep his electorates abandoned. Unlike some of his colleagues, The former house of Representatives member failed to provide palliatives to cushion the effects of the battered economy on the people he is representing. With Onyewuchi in charge, it would be difficult for the common man on the streets to experience the ‘dividends of democracy’ in the real sense of it.
Putting Onyewuchi and youth empowerment side by side, would leave a sour taste in the mouth of anybody that attempts it, perhaps, aside from empowering his Constituents with ‘cosmetics’ which included powders and creams in 2019, empowerment to the inexperienced business man turned politician only means handing embarrassing peanuts to some of his political watch dogs he often refers to as ‘his boys’. The jamboree is simply carried out without any bit of conscience or goodwill.
Two months ago, when Senator Onyewuchi remembered that he was in the National Assembly to make laws and make meaningful contributions and not to sleep, he quickly trumped up an obnoxious bill, titled Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Bill 2021 as his solution to the incessant insecuirty bedeviling Nigeria. It was a bill seeking to prohibit the payment and receipt of ransom for the release of any person kidnapped, imprisoned or wrongfully confined with the punishment of imprisonment of not less than 15 years! It was painfully ironic that while other lawmakers were looking for ways to mount pressure on the executive to secure the country, Onyewuchi was busy looking for ways to jail helpless Nigerians who cannot watch their loved ones die in the hands of their captors. In Onyewuchi’s books, when Nigeria fails in her constitutional obligations, her innocent citizens should suffer the consequences. Such a pity!
Clearly, from available indices, it is a known fact that Owerri Zone currently lacks representation in the Nigerian National Assembly, and it is s only her constituents who would continue to feel the brunt. It takes only decent, disciplined, and integrity-personified fellows to drive people-oriented representations, Senator Onyewuchi Ezenwa is nothing but an opportunist in the political spheres, he is a square peg in a round hole.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK