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From Okey Sampson, Aba
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, recently visited Aba to commission some constituency projects initiated by Hon Ossy Prestige, representing Aba North and Aba South in the House of Representatives.
They include new constituency office complex, asphalted road, reconstruction of a three-classroom blocks, free school shuttle bus service, free legal aid desk, water boreholes and free medical services. Others are: electric transformers, streetlights, fully built skills acquisition and training centres, computer laboratories and toilet facilities in schools.
On arrival in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, Dogara paid a courtesy visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at the Governor’s Lodge in Aba.
After exchanging pleasantries with the governor, the Speaker in company of his host, Hon Prestige, moved straight to the palace of Eze Isaac Ajuonu Ikonne (Enyi 1 of Aba) where he was conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Omeudo” (Peacemaker) of Aba.
Speaking at his palace, Eze Ikonne said that he and his cabinet decided to confer the “Omeudo” title on Dogara because of his sterling leadership qualities in the House of Representatives, qualities, which he said, have united all the lawmakers in the lower chamber regardless of their political leanings.
The revered traditional ruler, who thanked Dogara for the support the leadership of the Green Chamber has been giving to President Buhari in the fight against insurgency, corruption and in ensuring peace at the National Assembly, also used the opportunity to thank the lawmaker representing Aba North and South for living up to the billing of adequate representation of his constituency.
He appealed to the Speaker to assist the state governors and lawmakers from the South-East to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the deplorable state of roads in the region and to also see ways of addressing the plight of traditional rulers across the country.
After commissioning some of the projects, the Speaker later met with the people of Aba North and Aba South constituency. Speaking at the reception organised for him Dogara who marvelled at what Hon Prestige was able to achieve in just two years, said as the Speaker of the House, he could not boast of the type of constituency office the Abia federal lawmaker had built. “Thoroughly, as his name implies, the constituency office located on the city centre was simply prestigious,” he said.
The Speaker who said that he was in the state to honour the invitation extended to him by Prestige as he marked his two years in office, described the lawmaker as one that has been able to distinguish himself in his service to the country and to his constituents through his contributions on the floor of the house and the manner he has carried out assignments given to him despite being a first timer at the National Assembly.
“Ossy’s voice is one of the loudest,” he said. “Though he is coming to the National Assembly as a first timer, he has been able to show himself worthy of representing the people of Aba North and South. He is a leader of association of parliamentarians. Ossy is pregnant with ideas of projects he would deliver to the people. He has delivered some, but he has lots of projects to give birth to and he can achieve this through your (Aba North and South) support and prayers.”
He assured traditional rulers in the country that efforts were being made to ensure that they are given constitutional roles even as he called on Nigerians to continue to support the present administration led by President Buhari.
In his speech, Prestige bemoaned the current economic recession in the country, noting that he has been able to make personal sacrifices where necessary in order to ensure that he effectively solved the teething problems in his constituency.
According to him, he has been able to provide energy facilities, transformers, good road network, sanitation and water scheme, health and medical services, scholarships to indigent students and undergraduates to further their education abroad, among several other empowerment and human developmental projects he has executed in the past two years of representing the people of the area.
He pleaded for more federal attention to be given to some of the projects in the state, noting that “though we are happy that Odukpani-Ikot Ekpene-Aba road has finally been awarded by the Federal Government, we are uncomfortable with the contractor’s insistence on starting the construction from the Odukpani end of the road.”
He called upon the Speaker to assist the state in ensuring that work starts from the Aba end of the road or at best, from both ends of the road simultaneously. He also bemoaned the dehumanizing condition of Port Harcourt road, Aba, the supposed gateway into Aba city from the Port Harcourt International Airport.
The State Chairman of APGA, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, thanked the lawmaker for living above board and for speaking for the down-trodden since two years of his representation and urged him not to relent in his efforts.