Senate : Abia North now voiceless, former commissioner laments
By Steve Oko
Former Commissioner for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development, Abia State, Barr. Gabe Igboko, has lamented that Abia North Senatorial District has “suddenly become voiceless” at the Senate.
Igboko who made the observation in a media chat in Umuahia noted that “hitherto Abia North was reputed as a zone that had produced vocal and respectable senators and parliamentarians par excellence at the Red Chamber” until the emergency of the incumbent Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
The former Commissioner regretted that while Kalu’s predecessors distinguished themselves and were held in high esteem of vibrancy by their colleagues, the incumbent had rather become “comical”.
He said that former occupants of the exalted seat passionately and aggressively pursued the cause of the district and indeed entire zone, Kalu had regrettably engaged in “un-parliamentary faux pas and unguarded comments”.
His words: “It’s very appalling that Abia North which had produced great voices at the Senate has suddenly become voiceless.
“We knew how Senator Ike Nwachukwu stood out among his colleagues when he was there; Do we talk of Isikaraka (Senator Uche Chukwumerije) a social crusader of note that was adored by his fellow senators and dreaded by Igbo enemies? Or do we talk of the eloquent and quintessential Senator Mao Ohuabunwa that distinguished himself meritoriously among his colleagues? But now what do we have? – a very ludicrous situation indeed!”
Late Uche Chukwumerije
The American-trained legal luminary and political economist said it was embarrassing that Abia North heavily endowed with great intellects would be “reduced to such level of political mediocrity, more so at the exalted red chamber, a place where countries world over send their best and most articulate”.
He challenged the incumbent to “wake up to the realities” and rise up to his responsibilities of giving the zone quality representation “instead of chasing after imaginary shadows”.
But he doubted the possibility of such expected level of performance as he immediately gave a popular legal maxim, “Nemo Dat Quod Non Habet ( you cannot give what you don’t have!)”.
“I want Kalu to know that campaign and propaganda period is over. Let him perform the magics he claimed he had the ability to do. He should ensure the timely delivery of projects captured in the budget for Abia North, but if he finds the job so overwhelming as he obviously seems, let him honourably quit”.
He expressed disappointment that most projects already captured in the 2019 budget for the District had been temporarily suspended obviously due to lack of pressure and follow-up from our senator.
Igboko further regretted that “instead of championing the cause of Abia North our Senator with questionable mandate is busy playing to the gallery and making remarks that will extricate him from his pending criminal matter.
“What the man who claims to have our mandate is doing at the Senate is to dance to the tune of those who he thinks can let him off the EFCC hook. That’s why he isn’t focused. He can never bite because he is living in fears.
“This amounts to sacrificing the well-being of the District on the altar of self interest. He has so far demonstrated that he is not there for the people but for his personal interest”.
Igboko further noted that the victims of the recent flood disaster at Nkporo communities which rendered many folks homeless would have received assistance from the relevant federal agencies “if Abia North still had a voice at the Senate”.
He lamented the present skewed and oblique trajectory of the District at the National Assembly.