Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State, Chinedu Ogah is an uncommon politician; he is better known as a philanthropist.
Even while he was in the courts battling to retrieve his stolen mandate from the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, who was last October confirmed the true winner of the 2019 election of the federal constituency by the Court of Appeal, Enugu division, did not weaver in giving succour to humanity.
So, immediately he was sworn in as the member representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency, Ogah held several empowerment programmes aimed at alleviating the sufferings of his constituents.
One of such activities was when he singlehandedly paid the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for over 850 students drawn from the two council areas of the constituency.
Daily Sun gathered that it cost the lawmaker over N12million to pay the fees for the students who were carefully selected from families and backgrounds with financial difficulties.
Ogah’s magnanimity has lifted deep financial burdens on many families in the constituency and made things easier for the students as they prepare for the annual examination.
On the day of the event, the students as early as 8am besieged the Ikwo home of the lawmaker in readiness for the exercise.
Addressing the students, he said the gesture was part of his many contributions towards removing the name of the state from the list of educationally disadvantaged states in the country.
He emphasised that education remained the bedrock of a truly progressive society, adding that except due attention was paid to the educational sector in the state; true development and advancement will continue elude the state.
He advised the students to work hard in their studies, shun cultism, examination malpractice, indecent dressing and other anti-social behaviours that could affect their future, describing them as leaders of tomorrow.
“We pay for WAEC every year but the only thing is that we increased the number a lot this year. Our plan and budget was to pay for 600 candidates but we have now is 850. The money I am using to pay for this WAEC is the money I suffered to get; it is my hard earned money.
“As am giving it to you, it will translate to success. It is my salary and allowances and I said I am not going to use it for any other thing other than on you people.
“So, study very hard and make good results because it is the only way you can pay me back. We have given scholarship to 31 graduates to do their masters and I am ready to assist you more”, he told the students.
Head, Exams Admin of WAEC, Mrs. Chuks Egwu-Agha who witnessed the disbursement, also advised the students to study hard and make good results to make Ogah happy and encourage him to do more.
On his part, a member of the State Secondary Education Board, Okulegu Bethran commended the lawmaker for the gesture.
He said while many politicians were building hotels and wasting their monies on irrelevant things, Ogah was investing in his constituents.
Similarly, the lawmaker has also distributed about fifteen tricycles, hundred and fifty motorcycles, and cassava grading machines to indigent persons in his constituency.
Ogah further distributed bags of rice, cows, wrappers, cooking condiments to widows from the two local government areas.
One of the beneficiaries of tricycles, a blind man who and father of three, Mr Ogonna Nwokora Isaiah from Enyibiri Aliki Ikwo, expressed shock over what he described as an unmerited gesture.
He, however, broke down in tears while praying to God to continue to bless the lawmaker for his people.
“In short, this is tears of joy because I am overwhelmed; I didn’t expect this type of gesture to come to me. I really thank God for this gesture from Comrade Chinedu Ogah.
“I lost my sight in 2008; without Chinedu Ogah, I wouldn’t have made it in life even to marry; Chinedu Ogah married this woman from Ngbo for me. He paid every dowry.”
He said the wife will be the driving the tricycle to raise money and train their children in school and solve other personal needs.
Wife of the beneficiary, Theresa said “We have three children; Chinedu placed my husband on monthly stipend that is what we have been using to sustain ourselves and the children.”
Emeka Nweke, who got cassava grinding machine, said the tool will be giving him daily income.
The benefactor told Daily Sun that the empowerment materials cost him about N150m saying “instead of me not to do it, I had to take a loan from the bank because I have to empower this people. If not for their votes, I wouldn’t have been at the National Assembly today”.