Expectations Of Abia Electorates As The 7th House Of Assembly Settles Down For Business

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Written by Divine Nwankwo (A guest writer)

Exactly one month today, precisely on 10th of June, 2019, history was made at the Abia State House of Assembly as the 7th House was inaugurated with the Member representing Umuahia Central State Constitutuency, Rt. Honourable Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji emerging as the Speaker and Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu, representing Ohafia South clinching the Deputy Speakership postion. The House as the rules demand has equally ratified norminations of other principal officers of the House to include; Majority Leader-Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, Deputy Majority Leader-Hon. Paul Taribo, Chief Whip- Munachim Alozie, Minority Leader- Abraham Oba and Deputy Minority Leader Chukwu Chijioke

Having settled down for the legislative business, which involves legislation, represention and oversight, the expectations of Abia electorates are rife. This is because these representives are elected to represent the interest of their various constituents in the House, through effective and efficient law making. In the course of their legislative business, they are expected to report to the House by moving motions of urgent public importance that would tackle issues being faced by members of their constitutuencies

It is expected of the 24 law makers to help the Governor consolidate on his achievements in the last four years, especially based on the five pillars of development he has enunciated for the administration. This they could do through sound legislation and adequate oversight.

Abia people and residents need adequate security of lives and property. They desire to sleep with their two eyes closed. They need conducive atmosphere to ply their trades. Those producing all sorts of agricultural products would go to farms without fear of attack from herdsmen and their like.

The electorates desire legislation that would result to better governance and more dividends of democracy in the State. Legislations that would assist the Governor and chief executive officer of the State to consolidate on his achievements. The need to sustain fixing of bad roads and other infrastructure, both in the towns and hinterlands as well as provide other social amenities including improved healthcare, education, electricity among others cannot be over-emphasized. The electorates equally demand the law makers to see to it that parastatals are rejigged and their workforce are paid as and when due. Of course, the State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu during his second term inaugural speech assured to consolidate on welfare of the workforce through systematic clearance of all salaries of parastatals and pension outstanding in the State. He promised to rejigg some parastatals to make them self sustaining and able to pay their workers as and when due while also defraying all pension outstanding.

Good a thing, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji in his inaugural speech after emerging unopposed as the Speaker of the 7th House assured that the House shall be a vibrant and result-oriented one, saying that ” We are the House of the people, by the people and for the people and we shall endeavour to make the people the centre-point of all our actions and decisions. We are therefore committed to the enactment of sound laws and legislation that will help in uplifting the lives and well-being of Ndi Abia”. He further expressed joy that the Governor mentioned provision of jobs for the youths as his major objective in his second term and stressed thus “I note his enviable strides with the Enyimba Economic City and other initiatives aimed at industrializing Abia State and creating jobs for our youths. We pledge to work with him by way of legislation for him to actualize his visions”. Mr. Speaker went ahead to assure the Governor and the people of the State that this 7th Abia State House of Assembly would work very well with the Executive arm of Government to ensure expedited treatment of correspondences and Bills from the Executive arm.

Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji has just within one month of these assurances started rebranding the State House of Assembly by working the talk. Under his leadership as the Speaker, the House has already swung into action with its oversight functions, as separate ad-hoc committees have been constituted to investigate the operations of some parastatals in the State including ABSU, Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu (ASCETA), Abia Polytechnic Aba, School of Health Aba, ABSUTH Aba, Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA) and Hospital Management Board (HMB). The committee is saddled with the responsibility of identifying issues of non payment of salaries that have bedevelled the institutions concerned. This is important because, these institutions of government are expected to generate funds and run their establishments while the State government provides them with subventions. The House has equally set up a committee to investigate circumstances on the Lokpanta Quarry Sites and another
committee to investigate the circumstances behind the abandonement of real estates in the State, issues that were brought into the House as matters of urgent public importance. The 7th Abia l House of Assembly has also passed a Resolution on the security breach in Isu clan in Arochukwu LGA and mandated the Committee on Lokpanta Quarry Site to also look into the security breach in Isu clan.
Within this one month too, the
HAB1 2019, a Bill seeking the establishment of the Abia State House of Assembly Service Commission scheduled has passed First and Second Reading. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Orji has instituted series of awards for the staff of the Assembly to encourage their performance. Very importantly too, the State House of Assembly has fortified its media team to the level that Abia people and Nigerians at large within and outside the country now follow up with plenary proceedings of the House, especially through the social media. This idea is unprecedented in the history of the State House of Assembly.

This good beginning implies that better days lie ahead of the good people of Abia State. Also that the next four years, the House would give them tangible reasons to smile through effective representation, sound law making and efficient oversight.

The Honourable Members should manitain the tempo as well as sustain a robust House. The electorates would not appreciate rancour and backbiting among them. The electorates rather demand unity from them as they carry out their legislative functions. They should know that they are in the House to make good laws for the people of Abia State regardless of their political linings.

Of a truth, there is an increasing need for the Governor to consolidate on the achievements his administration has recorded in the past four years. Particularly, the Governor has severally made public of his intentions to create over 700 thousand jobs he promised Abia people through Enyimba Economic City. To achieve this, the House is expected to support the Governor in that regard, hence the growing need for legislative support in that regard. Going by what the House has done within this one month, it is expected by the electorates and entire people of the State that the Abia State House of Assembly would perform and ensure Abia State is taken to its enviable height. May the expectations of the electorates in the performance of the 7th House of Assembly be fulfilled! God bless the 7th Abia House of Assembly! God bless Abia State!

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