By Clifford Dike
The legendary British writer C.S Lewis, perhaps had Ideato North and South federal constituency and the exhilarating performance of its representative in the House of Reps, Dr Chigozie Pascal Obi in mind when he uttered the timeless quote:”mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth”
Conversely, a broad spectrum of Ndi Ideato ultimately shares C.S Lewi’s sentiment on continuity judging by the current groundswell of support for his re-election to the House of Representatives.
Who would not want a continuation of a quality and people oriented representation? Nobody, of course and this explains why the Ideato nation insists it cannot afford not to return Dr. Obi to the House.
Apart from the need for him to continue with his superlative representation of Ideato people and delivery of dividends of democracy, political leaders and opinion moulders in constituency hing their desire for Dr. Obi’s re-election on national interest as regards parliamentary stability and growth of participatory democracy such as ours.
The high turnover of federal Parliamentarians every four years, especially in the Southeast, according to them does not make room for a robust legislative experience as obtained in the United States and other participatory democracies around the world where some Parliamentarians spend upward of two, three decades in the hallowed legislative chambers.
A beautiful road is the darling of motorists and thus they keep plying it. This maxim finds definitive expression in Dr. Obi whose three and half years legislative journey is replete with quantum achievements.
When he was elected to the House of Reps in 2019 to represent Ideato North /Ideato South federal, his constituents entertained no doubt about his preparedness and capability to perform and he has not disappointed so far.
It is for this reason that the mantra in the constituency today is: Pascal, ga na agara anyi ije na Abuja ( Pascal will continue to represent us in Abuja).
In just three and half years in the House of Representatives, Dr Obi has brought the Ideato nation and indeed Imo state to national consciousness on the floor of the House through:
*Urgent call on the federal government of Nigeria to carry out full rehabilitation and reconstruction of Akwakuma – Orlu – Mgbee – Obiohia – Urualla – Akokwa – Uga federal road. It was adopted by the House and equally captured in the 2021 budget.
*A motion urging the federal government of Nigeria to create one more Federal Government College (FGC) in Imo State. Every state has three except Imo. This received instant approval and Obi, a result-oriented Federal Lawmaker insisted that it will be sited in Ideato Nation.
*A motion for the extension of Federal Medical Center Owerri to Ideato. It was also approved and included in the 2021 budget.
*A motion for the total turnaround of the National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu vis-a-vis workforce, facilities and structures. It gained approval.
*A motion for the canalization of river banks. This will protect our communities from excessive flooding during the rainy season.
*A motion urging the federal government of Nigeria to build more Ear/Eye hospitals in other parts of the country since the only Ear/Eye Hospital is located in Kaduna. It was approved, hence Ear Center for Lagos and Eye Center for Owerri, Imo State.
*A motion on the looming reoccurrence of Ebola crises in Nigeria: The need for the federal government to put in place detective measures in our airports, seaports and land borders.
*Calling attention to the need to construct a perimeter fence at the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri.
All communities in the federal constituency bear witness to Dr Pascal Obi’s socio-economic and infrastructural blitz.
This can be gleaned from the total number of boreholes he has drilled at designated points within the following communities:
He has also either established or upgraded comprehensive Health Facilities situated
AKPULU, OSINA, OZU – URUALLA, UMUOKWARA, AKOKWA, DIKENAFAI, OBIOHIA, NTUEKE, UMUMAISIAKU, UMUOBOM and OGBOKO.
Phase similar project is also ongoing at UMUALAOMA, UMUAGHOBE, UMUCHIMA, UGBELLE, UMUESHI, FMC ANNEX UMUEZEALLA – OGBOKO
Ideato is prone to erosion hence Dr Pascal Obi is paying special attention to roads and erosion control in the constituency.
So far, to his credit are a 1.5 Km Road at Akpulu, a 1.5 Km Road at Nneato-Ogwugwu Dikenafai, erosion control at Obiohia,
Solar-powered street lights at Umukegwu- Akokwa, Ozuakoli – Urualla and Obiohia – Umuago road.
A firm believer in human capital development, Dr Obi has established a plethora of various skill acquisition and empowerment programmes and centres across the constituency and has also, through his influence, secured federal jobs for several qualified persons in the constituency.
A seasoned optometrist who has transversed public life at a relatively young age, Dr Obi was born in 1970. He read Optometry at the Imo state university and later capped it with a Masters’s degree in Public Health from the University of Nigeria Enugu campus.
A knight of the Catholic Church, Dr Obi joined the Imo State Ministry of Health Owerri in 1998.
He would rather rise to become The Acting Director of Public Health and Primary Health Care in the ministry and also the coordinator, of the National Programme for Prevention of Blindness (Vision 2020).
Former Governor of Imo State Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha appointed Dr Obi Permanent Secretary and Principal Secretary to the Governor, a position he held till August 2018 to seek elective office.
As another election year (2023) approaches, the mood in Ideato is that of unwavering determination to travel the Dr Pascal Obi’s route once more,this time around through the Labour Party route.
As a deft politician who correctly guages the mood of his people and weighs their political aspirations and interest, Dr.Obi has keyed into the raging Peter Obi and the Labour Party revolution for the overall interest of the Ideato Nation.
Labour Party and its Presidential candidate, Peter Obi has become a national movement, a moving train every right-thinking politician who wants the best for his people must join hence Dr. Pascal Obi wasted no time in hopping in on board.
From all ramifications, the people’s parliamentarian, the Avatar of Ideato politics, Dr Chigozie Pascal Obi ( Ugwusinachi) is a king awaiting formal crowning. The crowning will of course happen in February next year when the Ideato nation would have resoundingly voted him and the Labour Party for a return to Abuja!
Clifford Dike writes from Urualla, Ideato North, Imo state.