The name, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Emeka IhediohaÃ¢â‚¬Â is not unfamiliar to many a household in Ngor-Okpala, and Aboh- Mbaise from where he hails from. He is the Hon. Member of the House of Representative who represents Ngor-Okpala/Aboh Mbaise Federal Constituency. Apart from being Deputy Speaker, he is also House Committee Chair on Marine Transport. He was elected House of Representative Member for the first time in 2003 and ever since then, and even now has maintained a firm grip on his position not minding dissenting views or opinions.
The contrary voices arose as result of his so to say sit-tight disposition which according to silent majority of Ngor/Okpala people robbed them the opportunity to have a shot at the position in 2007. During this period, unconfirmed report has it that Hon. Emeka Ihedioha paid money to some king-making politicians of Ngor/Okpala extraction to allow him contest for the Federal House of Representative which was believed to have been zoned to Ngor/Okpala in 2003. The lobby, allegedly allowed Hon. Ihedioha to hijack the position which an Ngor/Okpala man or woman ought to have occupied. Hon. Ihedioha for the records became a member of the Federal House of Reps for the first time in 2003 and for the second time in 2007 and for third time in 2011.
However, that is history for now. The question is has Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in all fairness/justice bestowed on Ngor/Okpala LGA constituency projects that have direct bearing on the lives of people? Can he in all honesty say that what he has given to the people of Ngor/Okpala in terms of constituency fund-initiated projects is commiserate to the constituency fund he collects on behalf of his constituents? These are not mere rhetorical questions that should be swept under the carpet, but ethical, imperative and insightful questions that beg for answers. This is because of the consensus view held by many to the effect that Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has not impacted much on the lives of people from the LGA.
The last time I visited the council area, I had the opporunity to see Solar Energy Project initiated and executed with the constituency fund by Hon. Ihedioha which was located at Okpala, Nkwala (a popular weekly market) and Umuneke Ngor. The solar Energy project got me thinking on its value to the inhabitants of the council area. Apart from illuminating the strategic places where they were located especially in the night, I cannot come up with any other importance the solar energy powered lights could serve as most of the places where the solar lights were erected are not known for nefarious/criminal activities. In my thinking it is a project of little value. There are no doubt that majority of Ngor/Okpala indigenes long for projects that will put food on their tables, make life better, tackle bad roads and erosion, create job opportunity for the youths, provide portable water and deal with health related problems in rural areas among others.
Recently too, I was able to visit Umuneke Ngor where the council area is to have firsthand information from the inhabitants who live close to a newly built Ã¢â‚¬Å“allegedÃ¢â‚¬Â computer laboratory (with MDGs inscription on its wall) being a constituency project allegedly initiated by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. While one must commend him for this initiative if he is the brain behind it, it is not out of place to say that the laboratory if finally equipped and becomes functional will encourage most rural dwellers to visit the place to repair their computer system, have their hand written scripts typed, scanned, photocopied etc. In addition, it will provide job for a few unemployed persons apart from serving as an avenue for training would-be computer literates who live at the grassroots. It is important to note that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one thing to build a laboratory and another to adequately equip it as well as employ people who will manage it.
While I commend him for providing fund for the renovation of Okpala Secondary School, electrification of a few village(s) in Eziamma in the time past, it is important to draw his attention to the Augean Stable which stare his constituents from Ngor/Okpala in the face to wit; lack of good roads, unemployment, inadequate rural electrification, non – renovation of dilapidated public schools across the communities that make up the council area, reactivation of some comatose reservoirs, to mention a few. It is therefore high time he started tackling the above problems with the constituency fund he gets.
He should also use his network of connections to attract investors to the area, who will invest in the education, agro, communication, health or the banking sector as there is no bank t in the council area as well as the provision of scholarship to indigent students. If the above challenges or some could be achieved in no short time, you would not have only endeared yourself to your constituents but left your footprint in the sand of time. The time to write your name in gold is now. God bless Ngor/Okpala Council Area.
Nwao(r)gu, Faustinus wrote from Port Harcourt, Rivers State and can be reached on 08035601312. Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com.