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Nigeria presently is home to the highest-paid lawmakers in the world, however, when you juxtapose this humongous pay doled out to these legislators with the quality of service they offer to their constituents, it may lead you to tears provided you have a functional conscience. This set of legislators at their best offer nothing but plain ineptitude, gross underperformance, and sacrilegious looting of the common patrimony of their employers who voted them into power.
For the constituents of Owerri Federal Constituency, their situation appears compounded as they seem to have entered what many Nigerians term ‘one chance’ following the decision they unanimously made for themselves in the last general elections which were conducted in 2019. The people of the constituency elected Engr. Ikenna Elezieanya to represent their Federal constituency in the Green Chambers of the Nigerian National assembly, two years down the line, the engineer turned politician has not only failed rather he has failed abysmally by every standard measure performance-wise.
Owerri Federal constituency comprises three Local Governments namely; Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, and Owerri West Local Government Areas. It is home to highly cerebral and intelligent people who occupy the State capital of the Eastern Capital. People of Owerri are also widely believed to be politically savvy. How intelligent and politically aware people like the constituents of Owerri Federal constituency ended up with a political clown like Hon Ikenna Elezieanya as their representative in the House of Representatives is such a sad tale.
Elezieanya who took advantage of the potential vacancy created by the elevation of his erstwhile inept benefactor to the Senate in 2019 has over the last two months outrightly shown that he lacks basic understanding of what he was elected to do. In this contribution, the reading public would be brought up to terms with his journey so far in the house as a rep member, judgment, however, would be reserved for his employers – his constituents who elected him to represent them.
The House of Representatives has two PRIMARY duties: making laws and scrutinising the work of the Government. Other duties are SECONDARY. The legislative arm of government in any part of the world is solely saddled with the responsibility of making and amending laws in line with the wishes and aspirations of the citizenry. The legislature as the primary institution for making law is fundamental to democratic governance. To make laws or amend an existing one.
It may interest the reader to know that Hon. Engr. Ikenna Elezieanya has not sponsored one BILL in the house in twenty-five months. Not one single BILL. When the reader considers the fact that over the same period of time, some of his colleagues have sponsored over 20 BILLS which are now at different stages of legislative action, it would surely leave any conscientious individual in heart-wrenching pain. Are Nigerian laws now perfect? Doesn’t the Owerri Federal constituency deserve federal presence through the BILL that would be geared to achieve that? What happened to attracting research centers through BILLS? What happened to amending existing BILLS to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Owerri people? The questions are better left for the reader. The only fact we are interested in is that the Honourable member is yet to sponsor his first motion despite receiving over twenty-five million naira taxpayers money for 25 months. For the reader who may need to further fact-check this claim, well, we simply track every BILL in the National Assembly using data made available from the National Assembly archives and a dedicated website for the tracking activities in the Nigerian National Assembly known as PLAC BILLSTRACK, it can be accessed via https://placbillstrack.org/index.php.
MOTIONS: For starters, motions are a proposal made by a member or a group of members to the house to do something, order something to be done or express an opinion with regards to some matter of urgent importance. When successfully delivered, they give rise to what is termed a ‘resolution’. Resolutions are prayers of a Motion agreed to by a Legislative House. They are usually used to express sentiments of a House or to compel a committee to carry out an investigation. Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya Motions were only adopted twice which one of them was in the case of the motion on the abandonment of Owerri-Aba road by Arab Contractors Nigeria Ltd which was about asking the House to mandate Arab Contractors to go back to the site and complete the Project, well, almost a year after that Motion, that project still remains the way it is. It would shock the reader to discover that the Rep member has only moved 5 Motions in two years in the house.
CONSTITUENCY PROJECTS: Still keeping it objective, we would bring the reader up to speed with all the constituency projects that has been attracted by the Honourable member, meanwhile, it is important to mention that Constituency Projects are carried out through the use of Constituency Fund which is a form of government funding appropriated by the legislature, directed to ensure equitable distribution of public goods through constituency-based projects. Public goods or projects of this kind include the provision of boreholes and public health services, renovations of roads and parking facilities, lighting of public spaces and roadways, among others. In 2 years, Elezieanya has attracted the following projects;
- Three modern classroom blocks at Ndegwu Community Secondary School.
- Three classroom blocks at Central School Umuguma
- Two Classroom blocks at Okuku Primary School and 3 classroom blocks at Central School Oforola.
- Two modern classroom blocks at Naze Primary School and
- Three blocks of classrooms at Agbala Primary School.
Our findings revealed that all the above-named Projects were constructed using funds from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) 2020. The truth is that Hon. Elezieanya played almost zero roles here apart from monitoring the project.
Construction of a modern borehole project with big overhead tanks at Nkwo-Orji market, Borehole projects each for Owaelu-Uratta, Azaraegbelu, and Okolochi Communities. On this, our findings showed that some of the boreholes were already malfunctioning and defective. Sadly, as the only member from the entire Southeast that is a sitting member of the House of Representatives ‘Committee on Water Resources’, these projects are outrageously too poor.
On road construction, Hon. Elezieanya has not attracted any road project in two years. It is rather alarming that the following road projects have not commenced despite appearing in the budget and getting funding;
– Okpuala-Obibiezena-Naze road, in Owerri Federal Constituency(2.8 KM
– Umuegwueze-Area H by Saga Suite road, Nekede, Owerri Federal Constituency (1.6KM
– Umuguma-Okuku road in Owerri Federal Constituency(2KM4KM
– Orogwe-Ndegwu-Amakohia ubi Road, Owerri Federal Constituency(2 KM).
Perhaps Hon. Elezieanya would be in a better position to address these concerns.
Furthermore, roads such as the Ishi-Uzo-Umu-Awaka-Emii Road which Africa Daily News, New York visited is still not getting the needed attention despite the fact that the contractor was already mobilised to site. The same story goes for the FUTO – Ihiagwa – Nekede road which the rains have rendered almost impassable. He could perhaps get the credit for the Orogwe-Ndegwu-Amakohia Road which was attracted by his predecessor in 2019 which he effectively monitored and is now at almost 100% completion.
EMPOWERMENT: This could be where Hon. Elezieanya could get some credits but then again, they are all a drop in the ocean when compared to the figures appropriated for those purposes under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which is domiciled under the ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja to buttress this, consider this example, an item captured as ‘EMPOWERMENT FOR OWERRI FEDERAL
CONSTITUENCY’ was captured at the cost of Sixty million Naira (₦60,000,000.00) but our investigations showed that there was nothing on ground that justified that disbursement. Generally, lawmakers find it very convenient to loot under the guise of Capacity Building and Empowerment projects because of its ‘soft’ and unverifiable nature.
In conclusion, Engr. Ikenna Elezieanya needs to be reminded that the next elections are just two years away and his scorecard should be of concern to him if he is actually in politics to serve humanity and not himself. Posterity is already taking records but ultimately, his constituents would decide his fate.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK