Posted by Agwu Okojogho, Umuahia | 21 November 2014 | 4,355 times
Strident opposition has continued to mount against the return bid of Senator Uche Chukwumerije for a fourth term. Whereas Chukwumerije says he needs a foruth and last term to be able to bring to his constituents, a bumper harvest, arising from the status his fourth term would confer on him, some of his constituents are saying that they have not felt the impact of his 12-year sojourn in the Senate and he should therefore perish his ambition by giving younger people the opportunity to grow in their political carreer.
From his scorecard, Chukwumerije has attracted “substantial investment resources to Abia North totalling more than N33.7 billion,” ranging from infrastructure to empowerment.
He told newsmen that if he is allowed to go for a fourth term, his constituents, constituency, Abia and, indeed, the enire Igbo nation, would benefit immensely. According to him, he could attract in a year, projects worth more than what he was able to attract in 12 years.
But many of his constituents would have none of that. They want him to quit the stage and make way for younger ones. One of such groups is the Concerned Leaders and Principal Stakeholders of Abia North Senatorial District, which has vowed to resist any attempt from any quarters to impose Chukwumerije on the zone in 2015.
Briefing newsmen in Umuahia against the backdrop of a publication by a group known as Igbo Youth World Congress to the effect that Senator Uche Chukwumerije has been given an automatic ticket to return to the Senate for a fourth term, the stakeholders insisted that it is the right of the people who bear the brunt of poor representation and bad governance to choose their representative.
Some of the leaders numbering about 50, including Dr. Eme Okoro, Chief Ndidi Okereke, Dr. Leo Ogba, Chief C. I. Ude and Prof. Onwukwe Alaezi, who spoke during the briefing in Umuahia, vehemently rejected the return of Chukwumerije to the Senate.
They urged the Senator, who they alleged, had told them that he would not run again after his third term but assist the people in electing the person that would take over from him, to honour his words rather than be hounded out of the Senate.
Said Dr. Okoro: “We do not admire the idea of foisting Igbo leadership from outside Abia State or from outside the confines of the Senaorial District, too. Very often, we hear all kinds of report from the press and from non-existent groups. There is one that calls itself Igbo Youth World Congress that went on air to announce that a particular person has been given an automatic ticket to return to the senatorial district
“We are completely satisfied that we have a responsibility to the constuency and to the constituents to express their feeling.”
Re-emphasising a statement endorsed by the stakeholders, Dr. Okoro maintained that Senator Chukwumerije has done three terms amounting to12 years, which he said have had no meaningful impact on the lives of the constituents of the senatorial zone.
“We have certain objections, certain concerns that cannot result in creating a new impact on us if he were to go to a foruth term,” he said, adding: “In a delegated democracy, there is also the absolute need to recognise that those who make up the constituency have every right to make contributions as to who will represent them.
“We believe that Abia North has a considerable competent people to generate a popoulation from which we can elect a new senator who has experience, expertise and who can begin to iniate a new and better fortune for us, networking in such a way that we should be part and parcel of a new Nigeria.”
Dr. Okoro stressed that it is incumbent on the zone to send its First Eleven to the Senate for affective representation.
•Photo shows (L-R), Prof. Alaezi, Dr. Eme Okoro and Dr Leo Ogba during the briefing in Umuahia.
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