I Represented Anambra Central Senatorial District Contituents With Fear of God – Ekwunife

….Says She Suffered Lots Of Blackmails, Slanders In Last Election

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

The Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Senator Uche Ekwunife, PhD, CON (IYOM), says What she has achieved in the last four years was made possible because of her personal commitment, determination and love for good governance, and above all putting the fear of God in the service for humanity.

Sen Ekwunife who stated this during a thank you meeting held in Awka said that It was sad to note that the last election was characterised by a high level of blackmail and slander, carefully targeted at her person by forces in the opposition, who she said were obviously intimidated by the massive goodwill she enjoyed from the people.

Her words, ‘Meetings were held and plans were hatched to constantly pit me against, HE Mr Peter Obi. My statements at every occasion were consistently misrepresented. Worthy of note was my statement in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state during the Presidential campaign flag-off of my party, PDP, where I factually stated that Nigeria does not need a kindergarten President while expressing support for the candidate of my party.

‘Of all the about 18 Presidential candidates, the opposition mischievously directed my statement to Obi in a wicked bid to further strengthen their campaign of calumny against me.

‘The blackmailers did not stop at this. My official letter head was forged and circulated on social media with statements that never emanated from me. Press releases that did not emanate from my media office were widely circulated. On the election day, bulk SMS messages sponsored by the opposition were sent to constituents, attributing statements I never made to me. The opposition believed that their blackmail would help them gain sympathy and votes from unsuspecting constituents who were clearly unaware of their machinations.

‘I am however unshaken by how things panned out. No level of blackmail and slander can erase my achievement and records of representation in the last four years,’ she said

Sen Ekwunife while bemoaning the last election incident reeled out her achievements.

‘In line with my promise to be a strong voice for not just the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District but the people of South East region, on Wednesday October 9, 2019, I rose on the floor of the Senate to decry the non-inclusion of South East on the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), this led the Federal Government to appoint one of our sons as a non-executive commissioner representing the South East on the Board of the commission.

Senator Uche Ekwunife receiving royal blessings from Anambra Central traditional rulers during the Thank You Meeting.

‘Aware that education is the bedrock of the society, we have aggressively invested in the education sector. We began with the distribution of educational materials to over 133 secondary schools across Anambra Central and have as of today facilitated the construction of several buildings in over 38 schools. We have equally facilitated the supply of school furniture to selected schools within our Senatorial District.

‘Furthermore, in our quest to eradicate mass illiteracy in the zone, we re-constructed/renovated 33 blocks of classrooms and awarded scholarships to pupils and students at both primary and secondary school levels. More so, my bill for the establishment of Federal University of Science, Technology and Innovation to be sited in Agulu has passed second reading. We believe that when actualized the institution would provide more than 3,000 direct employment and about 8,000 indirect employments for constituents.

‘Road infrastructure is a very important developmental asset and its economic and social benefits are enormous. To improve the state of infrastructure in the zone, we embarked on road construction projects in over 33 communities in the Senatorial District. In 2022, due to my unprecedented efforts in road construction, I received a gift of PDP expression of interest and nomination forms from a UK based Nibo Indigene, Dr Somtochukwu Nnabuife who I never knew or met.

Dr Nnabuife during my phone conversation with him stated that he was impressed by my intervention on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Road Nibo and this moved him to save me the cost of purchasing the nomination forms for my re-election. Even though, we did not succeed with our re-election bid, I appreciate Dr Nnabuife and many others who acknowledge our delivery in the last four years.

‘Beyond the road projects, we concluded a phase of “Operation Light Up” Anambra Central with 18 communities as beneficiaries. The second phase saw 44 communities benefit from the project. The solar-powered street lights were installed in market squares, village squares, community roads, churches and residence of some community leaders, including Traditional Rulers and Presidents General.

‘In the area of housing, we completed and handed over 14 units of 3-bedroom bungalows and 1 unit of 8-bedroom Bungalows to beneficiaries in different communities. They are distributed as follows: Abagana – 2, Agulu -2, Nri -2, Awka -2, Oba -1, Ukwulu- 1, Isuaniocha -1, Nawfia -1, Umuoji -1, Enugu-Agidi 1, Igboukwu – 1.

‘One of my major landmark achievements are the attraction and construction of the under-listed zonal office of Agencies of the Federal Government to Anambra State;

(a) Construction of Solar and High Energy Cosmic Ray Laboratory and Technology Skill Acquisition Centre at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka – a massive project that will serve not just Anambra State but the entire South East region

(b) Construction of SHEDA Science and Technology South East Zonal office which has started operations in Awka with the main office under construction at Nri, is another of our major achievements.

(c) The ongoing construction of Bio-Resource Development Center Abagana. A huge research and development subsidiary of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA)

‘These establishments will provide job opportunities for our teeming youths and offer different skills to thousands of artisans and youths across the South East.

Her Words, ‘In line with the global partnership in actualizing one of the Sustainable Development Goals – Clean water and Sanitation, we facilitated over 16 solar-powered boreholes with overhead tanks in different communities (Adazi-ani, Aguluzigbo, Nri, Amansea, Awba-Ofemili, Awka, Nibo, Okponu, Isiagu, Ukwulu, Eziowelle, Uke, Oba, Ojoto, Enugwu-ukwu, Umunnchi and Nawfia).

‘We are also aware that investments in human capital development remain the key to economic growth and productivity. In 2021, we trained 623 women on leadership and entrepreneurship and organized vocational training for 320 youths and women in the 7 LGAs of the Senatorial District. We equally trained 600 youths and women on skill development and capacity building on modern confectionaries and held a symposium on community security/policing for Presidents General, Past Presidents General and Traditional Rulers of communities in Anambra Central.

‘Also, we trained 500 youths on entrepreneurship development skills through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN). 350 unemployed youths and women were equally trained on the assessment of microbial level for livestock research on agro value chain and mechanized animal husbandry – they were given start-up kits worth N150,000 each.

We equally held a 2-day workshop on waste-to-wealth using recycling techniques for youth empowerment in Anambra State. 153 youths were trained through the Raw Material Research and Development Council with a start-up grant of N100,000 given to each participant. We also trained 113 youths and women on entrepreneurial skill development in commercial fish value chain aquaculture.

‘Furthermore, we trained 120 men and women on snailery production and enhancement processes for agro entrepreneurs. These trainings were done for optimal engagement of our teeming youths in Anambra Central and to make sure they are self-reliant in the areas of agriculture value chain, capacity building and entrepreneurship development skills.

‘ In the area of employment: cumulatively, we have facilitated employment for over 671 constituents in different federal government agencies – this is part of our effort to ensure that qualified constituents get the opportunity to fill in available vacancies in federal government civil service. I also secured political appointments for some of my constituents.

In 2021, we facilitated the Federal Government Special Works Programme for 774,000 jobs. 1000 beneficiaries were selected from across the seven LGAs in Anambra Central and they received a credit of N20,000 monthly stipend for 3 months. Participants were engaged in community development services etc.

‘We also facilitated CBN intervention funds for 739 constituents. These facilities were between N500,000 – N10,000,000 for which close to one billion naira was credited to constituents.

‘We equally facilitated the FG conditional cash transfer of N20,000 for over 100 women in Anambra Central at an event held in Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka.

‘Empowerment programmes were held for men, women and youths across the 7 LGAs where the following items were distributed: 204 tricycles, 82 industrial sewing machines, 50 hairdressing machines, 50 manicure ovens, 110 industrial steam irons, 6kg gas cylinders for 780 women across the 58 communities of the zone. There are so many other attracted empowerment programmes too numerous to mention,among others.