By Tony Udemba
It was a joyous moment for the people of Ajeromi-Ifelodun in Lagos recently. The lawmaker representing the constituency at the House of Representatives, Rita Odichinma Orji, distributed several hundred bags of rice and beans to members of the community.
Goats, tubers of yam and cash gifts were also distributed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislator at the event that held at Saint Mary Catholic Church recreational field, Ajegunle.
In her opening remarks, Orji, who is also chairperson, House Committee on Diaspora Matters, said her action to felicitate with her supporters and members of her constituency in the season was to express gratitude to them for their support and votes during the 2015 general election.
According to her: “You are the ones who made it possible, through your massive votes, for me to be your representative at the House of Representatives in Abuja. For this overwhelming support, I will always appreciate you and ensure that I participate in making good laws that will alleviate the sufferings of the people of Ajegunle and Nigerians in general.”
She noted that her gesture had nothing to do with political party, tribe or religion, asserting that it was about her capacity to deliver on the promises she made to empower the people of Ajegunle. She said, in view of the hardship being suffered by the people, especially the stifling fuel scarcity across the country, it became expedient for her to lighten up the mood of the members of her community with various gift items during the Yuletide, even as she noted that she had been doing that during every festivity, whether Christian or Islamic festivals.
The lawmaker, who also spoke on constituency allocations, said the federal lawmakers were saddled with the job of making good laws and carrying out oversight functions while the executive arm of the government implements the laws, and executes projects.
“As a lawmaker, I ensure that projects for my constituency are captured in the yearly national budget, but it is regrettable that, up till now, the projects, which I had fought hard to be included in both 2016 and 2017 budgets, have not been executed by the government,” she said. She bemoaned the collapse of the Wilmer-Kirikiri Road and said she would work on the road and a few others this year in order to make life easier for the people.
Some of the empowerment projects she had executed in her constituency include free medical outreach and establishment of an ultra-modern medical clinic, periodical distribution of foodstuff, facilitation of the rehabilitation of Otto Wharf Road by Julius Berger, rehabilitation of local roads, drilling of water boreholes, skills acquisition training for youths at the Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha, and Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Victoria Island, among others.
Two buses donated by the legislator to convey children to school and back home at no cost were also unveiled at the event. She also distributed bags of rice, beans and tubers of yam to members of the constituency, PDP supporters and community leaders.
A community leader and PDP chieftain in the area, Chief Fakunle, led other party members as well as a chieftain of the APC in the area to endorse Orji for a second term. The event, which was attended by representatives of the PDP from the South-West zone, Lagos State, Ajeromi Ifelodun, community leaders, Christian and Muslim groups, also witnessed the presentation of a special recognition award to the lawmaker by representatives of the Orlu Gburugburu Cultural Union of Nigeria (OGDUON), for her landmark achievements and selfless service in Ajegunle.