By Amaefula Amadi
Golden fishes have no hiding place is a saying that has remained true as it has remained timeless. In life, whatever or whoever is good and virtuous no matter where hidden or, holed up is always fished out when the appointed time arrives, and appreciated. What exposes these special creatures to the public glare most times are good works they have carried out overtime using the instrumentality of their offices.
Beyond mere appreciation, they are also celebrated one way or the other. Most times, we have seen situations where such men and women are called by people to continue in the good works that ab initio raised them to public consciousness. This call is especially common in the realm of politics and elective offices.
Perhaps, this is why as 2015 elections begin to knock on our doors Imolites and indeed Nigerians are beginning to be inundated with stories of endorsements and call on perceived good individuals and office holders to run for one elective office or another. Sometimes, one is compelled to wonder where these men and women being urged to run are coming from, and where they possibly will be going to, if elected or appointed since their background are largely shrouded in secrecy.
While still lost in deep contemplation about this group, one also comes across some calls that could be described as welcome. Calls which seem perfect in all ramifications. By ramification I mean a situation where both the callers and the message make profound sense. The callers exist and can be recognized unlike in the previous situation where at times those behind the calls are faceless. Just like those making the call, the man or woman being urged to run also possess all that it takes to offer effective, efficient and result-oriented representation. For this group most people know where they are coming from and where they are headed because they have been able to use their respective offices to positively affect lives.
Recently, there were newspaper reports of a group urging the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu to run for Okigwe Senate seat in 2015. After going through the report which gave the name of the callers as Uwajumogu Grassroot Movement (UGM) something told me that the call was indeed, timely and most welcome. I said so for some obvious reasons. First, as a voter desirous of seeing quality representation from 2015, I think it is time we begin to urge or, even, compel people oriented politicians to step into the ring for next year’s battle. As far as I am concerned, the era when this kind of good natured men and women are left to indulge in “siddon look” apologies to late Bola Ige should be over by now. That is if we are serious about genuine and practical transformation of our state and nation.
Secondly, since Speaker Uwajumogu won election and got elected speaker of the State Assembly he has done so much to merit that kind of call. Within the confines of the legislative chambers he has been able to instill an uncommon bond that has brought unparallel unity and oneness among the lawmakers. This cohesion has seen the House achieving unprecedented feats. In his own Ihitte-Uboma State constituency, and Okigwe zone he has also leveraged his position to attract dividends of democracy for the people.
Because of the way and manner he has been going about his legislative constituency tasks, Rt. Hon. Uwajumogu no doubt stands tall today as one of these golden fishes that cannot have a hiding place. And that to all intents and purposes was why the group made the strident call.
While not claiming that the man is a saint or perfect, it is indisputable that he has shown brilliantly like a star on a dark night in his three years of representation as Speaker and member representing Ihitte-Uboma. His performance and large heart is such that at the moment he has loyalists and supporters even outside his Okigwe zone and state constituency. In fact, it was the discovery that his natural goodness is being felt everywhere.
Just as he has stamped his authority outside, the Speaker has held his people spellbound with outstanding and never-before-seen achievements. Everywhere one turns to, in Ihitte-Uboma and to some extent, Okigwe zone hundreds of pointers exist to give weight to this irrefutable truism. Lets us just take what he did in December 2013, to buttress what is being said here.
It is a fact of history that for the very first time in the political history of his council and indeed, Okigwe zone the Speaker last December organized the first ever massive empowerment in the council. Massive in organization and content the event in no unequivocal terms guaranteed the position of the Speaker as an icon of hope of the electorate and a pathfinder for political office holders.
Few days to that epoch making empowerment, I remember having a chat with an opposition party official in Owerri. And I can still recall vividly that he was full of praises for the Speaker for having the large heart to cough out huge sum of money to empower his people ,that is where the opposition is right besides, in view of the pervading culture of selfishness among the political class, what the Speaker was doing certainly seemed strange and out of this world.
For those who witnessed the programme the massive empowerment of rural women doubtless, was the highpoint of the event. It was said that over two hundred widows and indigents were empowered with cash grants to start small scale business. Looking at the level of poverty in the society today, the Speaker really deserves commendation for this brilliant initiative. As pillars of most families it goes without saying that any strategy aimed at tackling this deadly scourge in rural families must as a matter of priority start with the women. This is exactly what Mr. Speaker did thus fuelling hopes that the malaise would someday soon be drastically cut down in the council area.
Luckily, for those nursing this hope, indications are that this expectation would be met and even, surpassed. At the moment, there are gratifying reports that most of those that enjoyed the new lease of life have put them to good use. If this is so, then common sense dictates that biting poverty would soon be banished from Ihitte-Uboma.
Apart from women, communities and groups whose long initiated developmental projects got stalled due to financial insolvency equally got financial lifeline on that occasion. Most of the communities that got this financial handshake have actually lost hope of ever completing such projects before the Speaker stepped in. with the lifeline, these communities no doubt have returned to sites for the completion of these projects that would ultimately impact the living standard of the people of these communities.
Long before the massive empowerment by the Speaker, it is on record that he has in many other ways shown positive leadership. One key area in which he has been alive and kicking is the education sector. Since he assumed office, hundreds of Ihitte-Uboma indigenes have drank from the educational benevolence of this man whose love for education and knowledge has remained unrivalled.
Particularly heartwarming is his indigent gifted pupil’s scholarship scheme that has guaranteed educational opportunities for over fifty bright students. Parents whose children have benefitted from this largesse have been all praises for the wonderful initiative lending weight to assertions in many circles that the concept is unique.
Recently, the Speaker upped the ante of his love for scholarship and knowledge with the award of University scholarship to three young scientists of the State. According to Rt. Hon Uwajumogu, the three young men who demonstrated innovation and creativity deserved every support if our long quest for technological breakthrough is to see the light of the day. Against this backdrop, he offered the three youth’s full scholarship at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
It is difficult to capture all the good deeds of Rt. Hon. Uwajumogu here. But one very clear fact is that in three years he has achieved so much that cannot be swept under the carpet no matter how hard one tried. These achievements have become part and parcel of the everyday life of his people and consequently have become an integral part of their culture and tradition. Everybody of course knows that people no matter how old or where they reside never forget their way of life. To me this is what the Uwajumogu Grassroots Movement (UGM) could be said to be doing. And if you ask me it is a task that deserves the support of all good man who desires that our democracy continues to touch the electorate positively. Speaker Uwajumogu has remained focused and committed to touching lives positively, so everybody should work with UGM and OPPM to drag him into Okigwe senate race.