Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The four towns of Anaocha one state constituency in Anambra state comprising Agulu, Adazi-Ani, Adazi-Nnukwu and Adazi-Enu have unanimously committed themselves to prayer sessions for God to intervene in the legal war between the winner of Anaocha one state assembly elections and member representing the constituency in the 7th Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon. Ejiofor Ebele Leonard, and his antagonist.
The lawmaker who functions as the Deputy Minority Leader of the 7th state assembly as well as the chairman House Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and Foreign Partners has the sympathy of his constituents due to the life-changing projects and programmes he executed in the area in his first term.
Ejiofor who spoke with our correspondent at the state assembly complex Awka said his constituents were currently unanimous in prayers to enable him to triumph at the election tribunal because they wouldn’t want his mandate to be stolen as his antagonist was bent on thwarting his victory at the polls.
He said that the state assembly election in his constituency was free and fair and that he defeated the incumbent with a wide margin but could not comprehend the reason his opponent has refused to accept defeat in the spirit of sportsmanship and let the sleeping dog lie.
The Deputy Minority Leader recalled that in his first outing to the state assembly, he did quite a number of constituency projects which he said cut across the four communities in his constituency. Chief amongst these projects were his educational empowerment schemes which aimed at alleviating the plight of indigent people in acquiring formal education.
Apart from his scholarship schemes, the lawmaker noted that his zeal and passion to deploy youthful energy into meaningful ventures could not be overemphasized; this he said prompted him to organize and galvanise youths who possessed inexplicable enthusiasm for craftsmanship to undergo vocational trainings for skill acquisitions adding that his constituents had been beneficiaries of democratic dividends and result-oriented representation at the state assembly under his stewardship.
Ejiofor stated that the support his constituents gave him during the 2019 state assembly elections for Anaocha one constituency was so enormous and unquantifiable that he defeated the incumbent, in spite of being a money-bag.
He said the election was a fierce battle but expressed profound gratitude to ex-Governor Peter Obi whose goodwill and reputation in the area paved the way for his electoral conquest into the 7th Anambra legislature.
The lawmaker whose constituents nick-named Mandela Anaocha, further disclosed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) provided the platform for him to embark on his second tenure at the state assembly stressing that the party’s internal democracy offered a level playing field for all and sundry which he leveraged on to return to the legislature for another four-year term.
The not-too-young to lead astute politician emphasized that he was the first person to let the people of Anaocha one constituency know that a representative could be seen and interacted with. He said that because one is a House member does not place him or her over and above others thereby ridiculing the mandate of the people.
The lawmaker said, “I interact with everybody irrespective of political party affiliations. I believe it is what gave me an edge over my opponent in the last election because despite being an incumbent with so much money, I still defeated him without any money. So I believe that the changes I brought endeared me to my people.”
Ejiofor however assured his constituents of robust representation at the 7th assembly stressing that he would continue to appeal to the executive arm of the state through motions to rescue his constituency from uncompleted road projects and other projects in the area.
According to him, “In my community Adazi-Nnukwu there is a road project going on there but it has been abandoned for some months now and I don’t know the reason for the abandonment. Again, Obeleagu community secondary school in Odida-ama village Agulu needs government attention in terms of perimeter fencing to secure the lives of the students.”
He therefore faulted the performance of the Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency (ARMA) saying that the agency was not doing enough to maintain roads in the state. He pointed out that most of the roads in his constituency were in deplorable conditions and bedevilled by flood and erosion menace.
The lawmaker also reaffirmed that teachers at the ill-fated Obeleagu community secondary school Agulu complained to him that each time they returned from holidays, they found out that their files and other valuable items were missing from the principal’s office due to the fact that the school was not fenced to protect it from bandits. That corps members posted to the school were also afraid to live there-in for fear of being attacked by hoodlums.
He also pointed out that virtually everything has been stolen from the science laboratory of the school despite countless pleas by the principal to government to come and fence the school to protect it from external forces alleging that all were to no avail even as the lawmaker took cognisance of the fact that most times female students were vulnerable to rape in the school.
The Deputy Minority Leader recalled that some time in the recent past, killer herdsmen attacked a farmer in Ifite-Ani village Agulu where they attempted to kill the farmer over a stick of cigarette but was rescued by vigilante operatives who heard him screaming for help after sustaining severe machete cuts. He expressed worry that such fate might befall Obeleagu community secondary school Agulu because the school was not fenced.
Ejiofor also listed some roads in his constituency that are deathtraps to include Nwa-agu junction Agulu, Nneogidi-Agulu-Nise road, Neni-Adazi-Enu road and a host of others stressing that the rate of potholes on the roads could ignite catastrophe.
The lawmaker who reassured his constituents of people-oriented representation at the 7th assembly, among other numerous pressing constituency issues, said he would intensify and expand his education programme to accommodate more beneficiaries as well as provide borehole water facilities across the four towns of Anaocha one constituency.
He said he would support the realisation of the policies and programmes of the incumbent state government but stated that his loyalty to Mr Peter Obi, ex-governor of Anambra state and vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remained sacrosanct.