By Jude Atupulazi
It is not getting to the top that matters. Anyone can get to the top. What matters is what one does while at the top, especially if the person is a public officer. In Nigeria, especially a few years back, the practice was to use people and hit the top, only to sever relationship with them, thus establishing a disconnect between that person and the people.
For such a person, life outside public office can be a scary experience as they cannot walk the streets confidently and freely for fear that those they left in the lurch may take out their frustrations on them. With the Ekweremadu saga still ringing in the ears of many Nigerians, there is no doubt that more of such will follow for as long as public servants continue to display aloofness to the people.
However, for the people of Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State, it is a case of a massive connect with their representative who has continued to remember his roots. That representative is Hon Pharm Obinna Emeneka, member of the State House of Assembly representing Anambra East Local Government.
Through his Medical Outreach Programme, he has continued to touch the lives of his people in positive ways. And so, on August 24, Hon Emeneka flagged off the 2019 edition of his Medical Outreach, this time at General Hospital, Umueri. It attracted both the old and young from the community and beyond who were eager to benefit from the lawmaker's gesture.
Speaking on the occasion, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, said the event was a proof of the mutual relationship between the State Government and the legislature, which, he noted, had engendered even development in the state, as well strengthened the health sector.
The 2019 edition of Hon. Emeneka's Free Medical Outreach attracted thousands of Ndi Umueri, both young and old; stakeholders in health care delivery in Anambra State; top government officials; legislators; traditional rulers; presidents general, among other dignitaries.
Flagging off the exercise, Dr. Okpala commended Hon. Emeneka for his humanitarian services to his constituents and beyond and noted that the legislature was vital, crucial and strategic in achieving the goal of the Anambra State Government in health care delivery, by assisting the government in making the right policies.
The Anambra State Health Commissioner further explained that the health care system in Anambra State needed to be strengthened, and disclosed that the Willie Obiano Administration was currently working on providing a functional health care system which hinged on service delivery, essential medications, availability of human resources, information management system and governance.
He also revealed that the State Government would want the legislature to back the Public Private Partnership (PPP) with a law, in order to boost the confidence of investors in investing in health care system in the state.
The Speaker Anambra State House of Assembly, Right Hon. Uche Okafor, who described Pharmacist Emeneka as one of the most brilliant and outstanding legislators in the state's Seventh Assembly, explained that legislators had three Primary functions which included lawmaking, oversight functions and effective representation, and appealed to the people of the constituency to always pray for the lawmaker, even as he promised that any motion brought to the House of Assembly by Hon. Emeneka for the good of his people and the state would be diligently considered.
Earlier, the benefactor, Hon. Emeneka, who expressed immense joy at the success of the programme, said that what he was doing was in line with the blueprint of the Governor Willie Obiano Administration. He disclosed that he started the Free Medical Outreach eleven years ago before venturing into politics.
The lawmaker who made it clear that the exercise would cut across all the communities in his constituency, said that he came with a team of both Nigerian and European Medical professionals, comprising Fifteen medical doctors, ten pharmacists, five laboratory scientists, nurses, among others, and assured that the programme would be sustained by the Grace of God.
Others who spoke at the event included the National President, Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Chief Alex Onukwue; the Traditional Ruler of Umueri, Igwe Ben Emeka and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Hon. Kate Edozieh. They all showered encomiums on the Lawmaker for what they saw as his effective representation.
Some of the beneficiaries, Grace Mbanugo, Elizabeth Onuorah and a primary four pupil, Master Odinaka Nnaemeka, all prayed God to bless Pharm. Emeneka.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi; the Transition Committee Chairman of Anambra East Local Government Area, Barr. Obi Nweke; the Traditional Ruler of Aguleri, Igwe Dr. Mike Idigo, and his Nsugbe counterpart, Igwe Victor Ntooka.
Emeneka's latest programme comes on the heel of similar ones in the past which included the provision of three water boreholes in Umueri Community and scholarship to secondary and post graduate students. Others are construction of 24 market stalls at Igbariam Ekedo Market, completion of Umuoba Anam Town Hall, construction of a 2000-seat capacity town hall at Nando Community, Empowerment of constituents with over ten Sienna buses, among other things.
For the people of Anambra East State Constituency, it has been a win-win situation with their representative.