Ninth NASS: Rep. Onuigbo Promises To Continue To Redefine Representation

By Ikenga Chronicles June 12, 2019

Ninth NASS: Rep. Onuigbo Promises To Continue To Redefine Representation

The member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South federal constituency, Rt. Hon. Sam Onuigbo, has promised to continue to redefine parliamentary representation for his constituents and Nigerians in general.

Rep. Onuigbo stated this in his statement, following his inauguration as a ranking member of the ninth National Assembly, at the House of Representatives complex, Abuja, Nigeria, on June 11, 2019.

The honourable member who called on Nigerians to doggedly fight for, and protect, the fundamental norms of democracy such as a robust legislature, an independent judiciary, and a free press, said that the ninth National Assembly will not be a “rubber-stamp legislature”. 

He promised to sponsor more people-oriented bills and motions, address the legitimate needs and aspirations of his constituents, and generally continue to be Effective, Accessible and Responsive to his people and their needs. 

Rep. Onuigbo said that success in addressing the needs of Nigerians in general and his constituents in particular can only be guaranteed when leaders and the people work in symphony with themselves. 

Below is a fulltext of his statement:

Redefining Representation In Nigeria: Statement by Rep. Sam Ifeanyi Onuigbo FCIS, FNIM(Odozi Obodo) On His Inauguration As A Ranking Member Into The 9th National Assembly, As The Member Representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency, House Of Representatives, Abuja, On Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

[Protocol]

This year is a unique year, not only for me, or the good people of the great Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South federal constituency, but also for Nigeria as a whole. That is because, the country just witnessed two decades of uninterrupted democratic rule, the inauguration of six consecutive National Assemblies and for the good people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency, the first time that we are getting a ranking member. 

2. As Winston Churchill rightly said during his speech before the British House of Commons, on November 11, 1947; 

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…”

Nigeria, has of course tried military rule for decades and we must agree that for us, democracy has been the best. 

3. But for democracy to function effectively, our belief in the fundamental norms of democracy must be strong and doggedly fought for and protected. And for this to happen, the principles of separation of powers, obedience to the rule of law, and respect for the freedom of the press, must be unwavering and unconditional. A robust legislature, an independent judiciary, and a free press, ultimately oil the wheels of democracy. Let no man deceive you with anything else. It is my hope then that the 9th National Assembly must endeavour to follow suit from the gains recorded during the 8th National Assembly, and continue to put Nigeria first, irrespective of the pressures that may be mounted on it. I am thankfully, part of the 9th Assembly, and will stamp my feet on the ground and ensure that this Assembly works fervently for the good of the country. 

4. As a representative of the good people of the great Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency, it is also a time to bring home, the added dividends of having a ranking member for the first time, at the House of Representatives. More than that, I will continue with my resolve to redefine representation by being Effective, Accessible, and Responsive (EAR), to my constituents. 

5. I ran for office to redefine what we had hitherto known and come to believe as what representation should be. I worked hard in my first term to represent my people that way. I did not see the need for representation that entails being distanced from my people by instituting all the bureaucratic and material accoutrements that turn a servant-leader into a god before his/her people, and thus make him/her inaccessible and scaredly revered. That will not address the humongous problems that we face as a constituency. Make no mistakes about it, our people had been deprived of the benefits of governance over the years. 

6. In furtherance of my leadership ideology therefore, this tenure will witness more activities and effectiveness for my people— identify the pressing needs of my people and Nigerians in general and working hard, to the best of my ability, to effectively address those needs in alliance with my people, other Nigerians, and with the blessings of God. 

7. I will also continue to be accessible to my people. I do not see how one can effectively address pressing needs, without being accessible to the people who directly have those needs, and who, as much as they can, have ideas on how best to address the needs. We did that during my first tenure, and we will do more during this second tenure, in symphony, with ideas from my constituents.

8. We will also be more responsive. While the job of a legislator is to make laws primarily, our people have so many individual needs that we must always be responsive to, as genuine and people-oriented leaders. We will do more of that this tenure. I also plan to sponsor more people-oriented bills and motions.

9. This year is a unique year, and I see it as a God-given chance to build on the foundations we laid in the past four years, and we will do that with all we have. Leadership is a collective responsibility, as I have often said, and as the representative of the good people of great Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South federal constituency, the responsibility does not fall on me alone. It falls on all the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia North/South federal constituency. It is my hope, therefore, that we will all work together to ensure that together, we address the problems we face as a people. 

May God bless us.

Rep. Sam Ifeanyi Onuigbo (Odozi Obodo) FCIS,FNIM,

Ikwuano Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency,

House of Representatives.


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