From Kenneth Udeh, Awka
Abia North Senator and Senate Chief Whip Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on Saturday administered the distribution of empowerment items to Anambra Central constituents, the exercise involving the distribution of over 400 tricycles by their senatorial representative, Senator Uche Ekwunife.
Kalu’s presence at the exercise elicited great euphoria amongst people, who expressed their joy by heaping praises on Senator Kalu for attending the event.
The Senate Chief Whip being the South-East leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) honoured the invitation of Senator Uche a People’s Democratic Party (PDP ) to preside over the empowerment programme held at the Senator Uche Ekwunife Centre, Awka, Anambra.
Prior to the flag off, Senator Kalu initially paid a courtesy visit to Ekwunife’s constituency office, where he was received with a magnanimous ovation from the party faithful, stalwarts and beneficiaries.
In her introductory speech to Senator Kalu, Senator Uche disclosed that the empowerment exercise was the 9th to her constituents, on why she invited the Senate Chief Whip despite their party differences.
Ekwunife said that human development has nothing to do with political affiliation, she also stated that Senator Kalu is an elder statesman leader to all politicians, saying that Senator Kalu is the only Southeast political leader she invited to the event.
‘This has nothing to do with political affiliation but the commitment 9th Senate. In addition, Senator Kalu is also the Chief Whip of the Senate, he is also my leader not the Chief Whip of the All Progressive’s Congress (APC), but the Chief Whip of Nigeria,’ she said.
‘More importantly like I said earlier he is my leader our relationship can be traced right from so many years back when we were both in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the People’s Progressive’s Alliance (PPA) and to the APC before I now returned to the PDP.
‘Moreso, he is man full of compassion and immense kindness and he has played a supportive role all through my political aspiration, when I contested for Governorship under the platform of the PPA , he was there for me as leader and financier.
‘I am very grateful and loyal to him, I am also excited that he physically decided to attend this event although the exercise is quite one. He is my leader, colleague, friend and most importantly the Chief Whip of the Senate.’
About the empowerment, exercise Ekuwnife disclosed that the event was part of her transportation empowerment scheme to empower her constituents, she revealed that four hundred and sixty-seven tricycles will be given out to her constituents.
‘Asides today’s scheme I have given out a total of two hundred and twenty nine tricycles while today I am giving out sixty seven for four local governments in three months time,’ she said.
‘I will giving out another sixty nine to the rest of the wards. Also, I have given out Sienna vehicles in addition to the construction of twenty seven roads in my district, currently we are also building forty seven schools.
‘In the area of job creation, I have facilitated jobs for over 300 people in the Federal civil service. For the women I have empowered them to venture into trading and also facilitated skill acquisition and SME trainings. To foster unity amongst among the people training on conflict resolution was organized for traditional rulers, community leaders and the clergy.
‘The chairman of the occasion, Senator Kalu emphasised the essence of the empowerment to lives of the beneficiaries drawn from seven local governments of Anambra Central senatorial district.
‘Kalu clarified that his presence at the event is to represent the President of the Senate , Ahmed Lawan , he maintained that though he and Ekwunife belonged to different political parties, he’s attendance is to further reinstate the commitment of the members of the 9th Senate to work together in oneness regardless of politics, tribe or religion.
‘On behalf of the Senate I want to express my gratitude to Senator Ekwunife for a relentless support to uplift her people, though I belong to the APC which I am very proud, the current 9th Senate is colourless when it comes to working for the people.
‘Empowerment of this nature is highly beneficial for the society because it will lift the many people above the poverty line, many families will be lifted by this act,’ said Kalu.
‘Senator Ekuwnife is a household name in the Senate, she is no doubt a powerful woman. I appreciate her efforts in remembering the poor and downtrodden in society. Also, I am impressed by the quality of women on her team and she’s different from other politicians who remain in Abuja after winning elections, she has constantly kept in touch with her constituents.’