By Boniface Okonkwo
With the general election barely one year away, politicking has started. Idle politicians, who lost elections in 2019, are suddenly finding their voices. For some whose stock in trade is to peddle half truths and outright lies, they have already started plying their trade. Unfortunately, Nigerians won’t easily cave in and accept their familiar lies this time.
The 2023 elections will not be won on the altar of lies, sentiments or party affiliations. They will be won based on track records and antecedents of politicians, effective representation, oversight functions and how politicians in the National Assembly have used their positions to better the lot of their people.
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In Anambra Central senatorial district, where the very ranking Distinguished Senator Lilian Uche Ekwunife holds sway as a political dinosaur, those who suddenly find their voices only during elections will be disappointed in 2023.
For ignorant political distractors, who are unaware of Ekwunife’s unmatched records in the Senate, we may have to lecture them. It is on record today and the evidence is there for everyone to see. Ekwunife is the most active female senator in the Ninth National Assembly and one of the best the chamber has had since 1999.
In terms of bills and motions sponsored on the floor of the Senate, Ekwunife has the highest as a female senator and one of the overall highest in the entire Senate. For her, the people come first and she does not shy away from this responsibility in the Senate, where she holds sway as chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
Unknown to many political illiterates who have deliberately decided to peddle falsehood, Ekwunife was the sponsor of the Electoral Amendment Bill that birthed what is celebrated across the country today. Ekwunife took on the job to sponsor the Electoral Amendment Bill when it was not convenient to do so.
And, contrary to false claims that she refused to vote in favour of electronic transmission of results, Sen. Ekwunife was not on the floor on that fateful day. She had planned to participate actively, but the leadership of the Senate, without any prior notice, decided to vote on a different day. So, political vultures and mischief-makers, I hope you can sleep well now. Ekwunife doesn’t run away from her responsibilities. It is not in her DNA.
Victor Umeh, who many believe may run for Anambra Central senatorial election in 2023, has claimed, but falsely, projects he executed when he was a senator for only 17 months. His supporters are always in a hurry to deceive Ndi Anambra that he attracted projects worth millions of naira to Anambra Central.
These claims are lies from the pit of hell. Umeh only inherited projects already captured in the budget, which were facilitated by Sen. Ekwunife when she headed the Petroleum Downstream Committee before she was erroneously removed by the court.
For an Amazon who has repeatedly won elections on different political parties’ platforms, especially the opposition in Anambra State, Sen. Ekwunife remains the best candidate to beat anytime. The earlier Umeh realises this obvious fact, the better for him.
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As always, Umeh will be thoroughly flogged again next year, when Ndi Anambra will again overwhelmingly return Ekwunife as the senator representing Anambra Central. You can replace your best with mediocrity. It’s forbidden in Igboland.
Anambra Central people are too sophisticated to be deceived by someone who is a pretender and has nothing serious attached to his name besides petty politics. Who will want to change a winning team in the middle of a crucial tournament and replace the team with a wobbling and an unstable politician? Only a fool will make that mistake. Unfortunately, Ndi Anambra won’t sit back and allow another daylight robbery like the one of 2019.
For a woman who has attracted projects to Anambra Central worth over N10 billion; given federal civil service jobs to over 1,000 constituents; awarded scholarships to thousands of students in her place; intervened in several other critical areas; sponsored some of the highest number of bills and motions in the Senate; and speaks for her people at any given time, she deserves another rewarding term to represent Anambra Central senatorial district in 2023.
Like Mazi Omife Omife rightly noted, since the Second Republic, no woman had represented Anambra Central in the Senate until the coming of Senator Ekwunife.
Hear him: “I won’t deny that all the men who served as Senators in the past, did well to the best of their abilities. But let me observe that as former Chairman of the General Assembly of ASATU and incumbent National President of Association of Past PGs of Anambra State (APPAS), I have gone round all the communities in Anambra State, Anambra Central inclusive.
“Let the truth be told. I will swear in the name of all the known gods in Igbo land. No Senator in Anambra State has equaled the performance and achievement of Senator Uche Ekwunife in spite of her uncompleted tenure in the 8th Senate. She simply performed wonders on several fronts encompassing infrastructure, educational projects, programmes, scholarships, job creation, youth employment, name it.
“Indeed, if we have 10 Uche Ekwunifes in Igboland, I guess all Igbo governors will have little job to do in their respective States, going by her massive record in Anambra Central.
“Anybody therefore coming up to challenge Senator Ekwunife in the coming Anambra Central Senatorial election or anybody who votes against her, simply does not have the interest of Anambra Central constituency at heart. It is as frank as that.
“This time around, there is absolutely no vacancy in Anambra Central Senatorial election. Unless Ekwunife is arrested by the police which is impossible. The court will not stop her this time.”
Nothing more to add. Senator Ekwunife is a moving train. She can’t be stopped. Blackmail, lies, intimidation or shenanigans won’t derail her plans and the wish of Ndi Anambra, to have her re-elected in 2023. One good term, deserves another.