By Stella Edoho

i got curious about a press statement credited to Hon.Bassey Dan-Abia jnr (member, representing Eket Federal Constituency) and widely reported on several multimedia platforms including Daily Independent newspaper of Monday, August 4, 2014 page 5 thus “SCHOLARSHIP:-A’IBOM ACCUSES KUKU OF BIAS ON BENEFICIARIES”.

As a Constituent of Eket Federal Constituency,I have chosen to join issues with my representative(Hon.Bassey Dan-Abia jnr) in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly for two reasons. First, I am one of those who went on record to cry foul, when a judicial mis-step pronounced him as the ‘duly’ elected member of the House of Representatives for my constituency. That verdict abruptly occasioned the eclipse of our legislative candle that was at its peak in vibrancy, constructive engagement,proactive and result-oriented representation in Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, who gave us the pride of place in the National Assembly. I need remind Hon.Bassey Dan-Abia jnr that, even when Hon.Eseme Eyiboh was on his first term in the House, his efficient networking earned him a distinction in that House occasioning his (Eyiboh’s) emergence as Chairman, House Committee on Media/Public Affairs and the official spokesperson of that hallowed chamber. Accordingly, there is no gainsaying that, Eyiboh was among the wheelers and dealers in the House thus attracting so much projects and programmes to his Constituency.

Again, while on his second term, which your entry aborted, Hon. Eyiboh was Chairman, House Committee on Donor Agencies. He was one of the prime players in the mainstream politics of the House and inter-arms lobbying. Eyiboh was not known for complaints but always dominating with ideas and initiatives. At the heart of a formal cerebral powerful lobby group in the House, which made effective use of legislative tools to advance the interest of their constituents and other national goals was Hon Eyiboh as its Dean. We look back at Eyiboh’s tenure when he was one of the leading lights of Integrity Group in the House with nostalgia and a sense of loss. That was the good old days when he effectively put our constituency on the political map and walked the paths less taken by feeble minded leaders.

Secondly, I have to rejoin my representative(Hon Bassey Dan-Abia jnr)with regret that, our constituency is now like an orphan in the National Assembly. It is an uncommon setback that we have been relegated to the status of self pity and oblivion in the National Assembly. It is sad that our dear representative(Hon Bassey Dan-Abia jnr who engaged the services of political buccaneers to fight hard to get to the House by all means,has suddenly lost his thinking cap on arrival at the House of Representatives. Our representative though lipstickish, is sulking and neighing like a horse in a trap.

I am alarmed that as a representative of a people noted for depth and uncommon pedigree,you hon Bassey Dan-Abia jnr have sadly chosen a press statement to complain and blame everyone, except yourself on a matter which exposes your failings and glaring legislative incompetence. This resort is made more childish and ridiculous, considering the enormous allowances in the legislative powers of oversight, appropriation and other instruments cum constructive network at your disposal to engage.

Whilst appreciating your legislative disability, I am however stunned by your belated but veiled courage, to observe the consistent margnalization EKET FEDERAL Constituency has been subjected to, on the interventionist programme of Amnesty. For the unsuspecting, the Special Scholarship Programme available is to constituents from oil producing communities. I am sure Hon Dan-Abia jnr is not also feigning ignorance of the Overseas Retooling and Skill Acquisition in Welding, Fabrication, Piloting, Instrument, payment of skill gap stipends of the same Amnesty Programme. Sad to note, our people have been short-changed from these opportunities which is their right for the asking.

Even projects and programmes facilitated by Hon Eseme Eyiboh in the National Budget, are today, extinguished under your legislative representation and watch. A generational shame to behold.Wither NTA Channel 35, Eket? What about the 8no. Primary Health centres at Akpautong, Uquo, Edor, Etebi, Okat, Ikot Ntan Ide, Afaha Atai and Ikot Nkan, which contracts were awarded by Primary Health Development Agency and equipment supplied even as we are faced today by challenging public health predicament? Lest we forget to ask,what happened to Ntan Ide-Ikot Udo bridge; Cross River Basin irrigation project at onna; Federal Ministry of Environment Okat-Mkpok Drainage/Erosion control;Upenekang e-library; and various solar driven streets and agricultural infrastructure in the four(Local Governments Areas amongst others.?

This ugly situation in the Interventionist Amnesty Programme among others, has again brought to fore my stand that, Good Governance. emanates from the philosophy that the ultimate reason for the existence of any government is the common welfare of the citizens,it embodies creating the nexus between the Governed and Government with the provision of the material conditions for individual and collective self-actualisation.

In perusing the facts of Hon Bassey Dan-Abia’s Press statement,I wish to posit that, Amnesty Programme is an interventionist agency for the Oil Producing Areas and funded from the National Budget approved by the National Assembly.

WHEREAS, as a member of the budget approving authority(National Assembly),his use of press statement to engage the outcome of his representation deficit inflicted on our constituency is ridiculously defeatist and an expose` of an eclipse of a representative as well as legislative shortsight.

IT IS NOTED that, the principle of “He who feels it, knows it” may have found reason in his seeming and abysmal loss of grip in this strategic arm of Government as his press statement reveals.

IT IS FURTHER NOTED that, it is now sufficiently clear that, even though Hon Dan-Abia replaced Hon. Eyiboh to represent Eket Federal Constituency, we are yet to be represented. It is disgusting that with the constitutional time allowance ticking to the end of tenure and as a beneficiary of our poor leadership recruitment process, my representative is still learning development process in the legislature.

Today, the clamour in Eket Federal Constituency is deafening for the return of the good old days, to once again revive and jump start our self recovery. Honourable,the self pity your press statement portends has persuaded your constituents to appreciate your disability in the high wire politics of the National Assembly. The hills of opportunities in Nigeria are evidently too high for you to climb on our behalf.This Hills require personal organisation, emotional stability, entrepreneurial instinct of an investor, the survivalist shrewdness of a fox and the humility of an apprentice to forge our alliances in diversity.You could not venture these hills because you never realised the import of network and realignment with other forces to actualize our collective interests and aspirations as a people of an unusual heritage.

My dear brother, I appreciate that the human mind can only be governed and its spirit conquered by Social Justice and Fairness. However, I implore you to WEEP NO MORE, FOR VERY SOON, THE PEOPLE OF EKET FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY WILL AGAIN HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY IN 2015 TO RISE BEYOND THE PREJUDICES OF EXCESSIVE CHAUVINISM TO RIGHT THE WRONG THAT NOW HAUNTS US; AT LEAST, THE SECRET IS NOW UNFOLDED…

Your Constituent

Lady Stella Edoho

writes from the devastated community of Eket.
Courtesy: Trumpet News

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