By Chioma Ndife
The auxiliary Bishop of Awka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye, has charged the member representing Anaocha 11 Constituency, Hon. Ejike Okechukwu, and other legislators in the Anambra State House of Assembly to be committed in making people-oriented laws.
Bishop Okoye gave the charge last Sunday at St. James’ Catholic Church, Neni, Anaocha Local Area of Anambra State in a sermon during the Thanksgiving Mass embarked for Hon. Okechukwu. He noted that the commitment of the House members in making people oriented-laws would help in transforming the living conditions of the masses.
Bishop Okoye charged Okechukwu to ensure people-oriented representation through the programmes he planned to implement for his constituents and recalled that the house member had contested twice before to represent his people before his victory after the third attempt. He called on him to bear in mind that victory came from God alone, saying that God allowed him to occupy the position due to the things God wanted to do through him.
In his words, ‘You have contested many times to serve your people at the State Assembly and was declared winner after many attempts at the last concluded election. You have also returned after your victory to thank God and ask for grace to serve effectively to better the lives of your people. It is important that you place God first because God, the giver of victory, granted you victory for a particular purpose. Be sure that you allow God’s purpose to be accomplished through you. Be conscious of the laws you make. I’m not just talking to you, I’m also speaking to other House members present here. Make laws that will be favourable to the people.’
The Catholic prelate admonished the house members to desist from acquiring wealth for their comfort and that of their family members but to focus their attention on the wellbeing of the masses and cause the necessary change through the important position they occupied. He stated that more attention should be paid to the health sector, education sector, electrification, tax collection procedure among others, and urged the House members to assist the executive in getting the state more functions, saying that the government in power must find ways of addressing issues that usually emanated during tax collections and regretted that a man was beaten to death due to his refusal to pay fees as demanded by some tax collectors.
Bishop Okoye gave guidelines which the house members must follow in serving their people effectively and maintained that serving society comes with various pains. He advised the members to know that the beauty that came with such pains remained forever.
‘Make effective use of your oversight functions; don’t shortchange the masses, especially in awarding contracts; always recognize the grassroots that you represent; make functional laws; be in harmony with other arms of government but don’t disregard your duties to please them (arms of government); be service oriented; be mindful that God and people are watching you and you will be held accountable for all your actions’ he charged.
Fides gathered that the Thanksgiving Mass came sequel to Hon Okechukwu’s successful inauguration as a member of the 7th Assembly in Anambra State after emerging victorious in the highly contested election.
The thanksgiving was also to appreciate God for the gift of another child which he blessed the family with after doctors had declared that they would be unable to have another baby.