By Cynthia Igbokwe
Some Stakeholders of Anambra West Local Government have lamented what they term the poor representation by the member representing Anambra West Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Patrick Obalim Udoba
The member had on Thursday, January 28, shunned a planned town hall meeting for his accountability and stewardship
A Non-Governmental Organization, Hope Givers Initiative, (HOG-I) and key stakeholders in Anambra West Local Government Area, are however demanding accountability and transparency from politicians and leaders in the region.
The meeting, cum workshop which was held at Umueze Anam, Fides gathered, was aimed at educating rural dwellers in communities making up the local government on the roles of the lawmakers and the importance of quality representation in the region.
The Executive Director, Hope Givers Initiative, Onyeka Okey- Udegbunam, said the event was a dialogue session between the member representing Anambra West and his constituents, adding that the essence of the programme was to enable the people to understand the role of lawmakers, as well as communicate their issues and needs to their representative.
Mrs Udegbunam said the event was supported by Christian Aid Nigeria, an organization which advocated quality and inclusive governance, which, according to her, would accommodate the people in hard to reach areas of the state.
Earlier, Mrs. Eucharia Anekwe, while calling on the citizenry to hold leaders accountable, blamed ethnic loyalty, partisan politics, and personal interests, as the factors responsible for the failure of legislation in Nigeria.
Speaking to Fides, the participants said poor representation was the cause of underdevelopment of the area.
The President General of Nzam Community, Mr Fidelis Nnazo, complained of no access road to the community during the rainy season except by the use of canoes and speedboats
He described the health state of Nzam Community as horrible, noting that the only accessible health centre in Nzam was managed by only one staff member.
Mr Nnazo called on the lawmaker to hasten and do the needful to alleviate the plight of the people.
The President General represented by Nwambu Martins, said the community lacked quality representation and that politicians only visited the community during electioneering periods to make promises.
Also, the PG of Orumbanasa, Comrade Lawrence Nnacho, said the seminar availed them the opportunity to rub minds and chart ways to get the best out of the lawmakers representing their community.
Nnacho disclosed that the seminar had laid the foundation to challenge the lawmakers to deliver on public interest by drawing government’s attention to the plights of the community, adding that the community had expected lawmakers to attract projects to establish the amenities that would improve the standard of living of the people of the area.
In Solidarity, Mr Paul Obiora, youth leader of Umueze Anam, said there had never been good representation in Anambra West, even as he said that the people that represented the community in the past failed woefully.
Mr Obiora urged the people never to sell their franchise but to utilize their voting power and say no to bad representation and leadership, even as he suggested the need to look inwards to identify the best candidates.
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Anambra West Constituency at the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Patrick Obalim Udoba, when contacted, denied claims that he shunned a town hall meeting with his constituents.
Udoba dismissed claims that he failed to show up at a meeting with his constituents at Umueze Anam as mischievous.
‘I find it strange that anybody could accuse me of refusing to meet with my constituents. There is no iota of truth behind this claim as I have always shown willingness to interact with my people as part of my open door policy,’ he said.
The lawmaker however admitted that he was contacted on phone by one of the organizers of the event, though not through an official channel, but that he accepted to attend if he was available.