This bond of friendship and unity with political actors contributes in no small way in engendering peace and stability in the State and in the District.
Enugu West Senatorial District is one of the Senatorial Districts of Enugu State, South East, Nigeria. Created in 1991 as a split from the Old Anambra State. The District is made up of the Old Udi Division and Old greater Awgu division, which is today housing Aninri, Awgu, Oji River, Ezeagu and Udi Local Government Areas.
The inhabitants of the District are predominantly Farmers with a lot of notable personalities that have contributed in no small ways in the Economic and Socio-Political Development of Nigeria.
The District has a wide mix of abundant mineral and Human Resources. It occupies a larger part of the Udi hills with lots of potentials, making it a safe haven for investors. Invariably, Enugu West can be argued to be one of the Senatorial Districts in Nigeria with the most highly educated, vibrant, mobile and happy people.
One factor makes Enugu West stand out among the other Senatorial Districts in Enugu State ; While Enugu East and North Senatorial Districts could be said to be homogeneous in nature, that is, a people that are from one nation; hence, referred to as ( Nkanu and Nsukka people), it is not the same with the West.
The West has different tendencies and factors, among which is the Agbaja and Greater Awgu factors. These tendencies and factors were a major threat to peace, stability and development in the District way back in time. It harbored tension, disaffection and disunity in the District. Politics was then “ survival of the fittest”. Peace was greatly eroded and “the strong always had their way”. Most election issues ended in acrimonious court cases with the winner highly distracted and the looser unforgiving; thereby bidding farewell to inclusive development of the District. The story remained the same until the year 2003, when the man Ike Ekweremadu came on board as the Senator Representing the District. Then, the story changed and the District became a model for other Senatorial Districts in Nigeria. Four broad strategies could be argued to be responsible for the positive change of fortunes for the District irrespective of the inherent cultural diversity within the District. All introduced by this pragmatic and people oriented Senator. They include his humility, Inclusive policies and Programmes, constructive engagement of the people and the massive attraction of infrastructures and empowerment to the
Earlier in his mission statement from his policy document in 2003, Senator Ekweremadu said “my mission is to ensure effective representation of the people of Enugu West Senatorial Zone in the Senate in such a manner that would bring about economic empowerment and social upliftment of our people as well as overall economic development of our Zone within the context of a democratically stable, united and prosperous Nigeria. To ensure that our people count and are considered in any calculations and permutations going on in Abuja.”
True to his words, today Enugu West is considered in all the political permutations in Abuja, courtesy of our pragmatic leader and Senator. He achieved all this heights through his unfettered humility to all, which enabled him to build bridges across divides; in the different people of Enugu West, Enugu State and Nigeria at large.
Using his popular open door policy, he was able to run an inclusive programme which carried Constituents along, big and small, poor and rich; be it in Abuja, Enugu or in Mpu his home town, his doors are always open, and he is ever ready to hear and solve or advice on problems and issues involving constituents.
Adopting the inclusive policy, Ekweremadu mobilized Constituents to be involved in developmental programmes in the District. He used the bottom/ top approach in the attraction of projects to the constituency, with every local government area having reasonable number of staff in his aides Corp, who contribute in the formulation of policies concerning the District.
His people oriented programmes includes attraction of massive road construction, rural electrification, water resources with emphasis on Ivo Dam project and importation of a motorized drilling machine for drilling of boreholes, educational institutions like the open university Awgu, assisting the people to have a fair share of offices and appointments in the federal public service, etc.
Others include using the instrumentality of his Non Governmental Organization, the Ikeoha Foundation to provide Constituents with Scholarships and bursaries, Quiz competitions, Adult Education, Micro credits to vulnerable people, retraining of Graduate Engineers, ICT Training facilities, Sponsoring of Youth sports competitions and so on, have positively created the much needed cohesion, brotherhood and unity greatly needed in the constituency.
Worthy of note too is Senator Ekweremadu’s contributions to national unity and development through his various bills and motions in the National Assembly, which includes the popular “Doctrine of Necessity”, his exemplary chairing of the 1999 constitutional amendment committee which successfully amended the Nigerian constitution for the growth and development of the nation, his contributions to restructuring; including his advocacy on State Policing, Single Six year tenure for the executive arm of government. Others are his popular book “ Who will love my Country “ and the numerous paper presentations and Public Lectures culminating in his recent appointment as a Professor by an American University.
The ability of Prof Senator Ekweremadu to work flawlessly with his colleagues at the National Assembly and with the Executive Governors of Enugu State since the dawn of the present republic has greatly endeared him not only to his constituents but also to the state. This bond of friendship and unity with the State Chief Executives and other political actors in the State contributes in no small way in engendering peace and stability in the State and in the District. Recall that he worked with the then Governor Chimaroke Nnamani as both Chief of Staff and Secretary to the State Government, collaborated with the then Governor Sullivan Chime( who coincidentally is also from Enugu West )and is presently having a positive synergy with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Executive Governor of Enugu State.
Senator Ekweremadu is also on one on one interaction with all the Traditional Rulers in the District, making sure that things are moving well and that peace is maintained in every community.
Everybody, both constituents and every other person is in touch with Senator Ekweremadu. Call him on phone, send him a text. One hand, he is with you. That is the strength of a great leader; That’s effective representation; That is the beauty of Democracy. That is the secret of the peace, development and political stability in Enugu West since 2003. It is the Ekweremadu style.
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Dr Luke Mgboh, public affairs analyst, ives in Enugu