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Ndoma-Egba: A Senator’s Empowerment Initiative

By Michael Jegede

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is known to be one of the highly respected federal lawmakers in the country today, due to his valuable contributions to discussions on the floor of the Senate, which have greatly helped in the growth and sustenance of our democracy, 15 years after its entrenchment.

The legal practitioner turned politician appears to have become a legislative brand of sort having spent eleven fruitful years in the Red Chamber, rising from being the Senate spokesman to the Deputy Majority Leader and now Majority Leader.

Since his inauguration as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2003 representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he has pushed for the execution of various projects in his constituency and initiated manifold humanitarian/outreach programmes that have gone a long way in ensuring the empowerment of his people. The impact of Ndoma-Egba’s representation seems to be quite superlative, such that he has continued to receive endorsement from different individuals and groups to remain in the Senate for a record fourth term come 2015.

Just last week, prominent Nigerians from all walks of life gathered at Government Secondary School, Ikom, Cross River State to witness the seventh empowerment programme of the Senator in three years. The occasion was attended by the Senate President, David Mark; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke. Some of the items distributed at the event included: cars, generators, deep freezers, viewing centre equipment, laptops, farm tools, oil mills,
beans/corn mills, Garri Processing Machines, musical equipment to a number of churches in various communities across the six LGAs in Cross River Central. Also the sum of one million naira was given to each LGA in the district for petty business women, one million naira each LGA for widows and N200, 000 each for the 120 beneficiaries of the CBN/Ndoma-Egba Business Enterprise Training.

Speaking at the empowerment programme, Imoke commended Ndoma-Egba’s empowerment drive, describing him as a true son of the soil who has made significant impact in the lives of his constituents.

Hear Imoke: “All our representatives must engage in empowerment, they must ensure that truly our people feel the impact of democracy because
our people are getting wiser and wiser, our politics is getting smarter and smarter. Our own senator today is giving account, what we are going to see is meaningful empowerment. We have come today for an exercise our people consider imperative of our leaders, today we have come to witness the good things senator Victor Ndoma Egba has brought for his people of the central senatorial district. I also want to thank our son for being part of that family that have made Cross River State proud. For us that have come to witness this empowerment we must say thank you to the leader of the senate not just for this empowerment but for everything he has done for the state”.

On his party, the Senate President who was the Special Guest of Honour used the occasion to join the endorsement train for Ndoma Egba’s fourth term ambition. According to him, the Senate Leader has done much in the empowerment of his people to deserve another term.

While commending the unity between Governor Imoke and Senator Ndoma-Egba, not minding the rumours making the rounds that the duo have been at loggerhead over 2015, Mark said: “The governor said something vital here today which is sustainable empowerment; how would we have sustainable empowerment? It’s very simple, if Victor Ndoma Egba goes back to the Senate there would be sustainable empowerment, if he doesn’t return, sustainable empowerment cannot be sustained….I
hope the language is very clear to those who have ears, go home and spread the message”.

Dr. Sandy Onor is the Director General of the Campaign Organization of Mr. Goddy Jeddy-Agba, a leading aspirant for the governorship ticket of the PDP in Cross River State for the 2015 elections. Onor at the occasion told Ndoma-Egba, “You create harmony, you bring light which electrifies the Senate, we need men like you in Nigeria today, it is for you and men like David Mark who have banished the ugly saga of banana pills off the office of the Senate President that has made the Senate become much respected. You are therefore not single barreled but double barreled. On behalf of the good people of Etung we want to pay you back using our tongues, we shall vote for you mightily and exceedingly and build for you another pedestal that will take you back to the senate, God bless you”.

Noting that Ndoma-Egba’s effort in putting smiles on the faces of the underprivileged in the society is quite laudable, Loveth Nkan Bisong, a banking and finance graduate of University of Calabar (UNICAL) from Etung Local Government Area who is one of the 120 beneficiaries of the CBN/Ndoma-Egba Business Enterprising Training that received N200, 000 each as start-up capital said: “The programme was very interesting.

It teaches you how to start your own life and be self-reliant. I just want to thank Senator Nodma-Egba for his benevolence. He has done so many things but people don’t know because he is not the noise-making and bragging type. He doesn’t show off. A lot of people have benefited from his kindheartedness. For the three weeks of the training, there was enough food for everybody; transportation was made available for us. We really had a nice time because we didn’t lack anything in the course of the training courtesy of our able and dynamic Senator.”

Few weeks before the empowerment programme took place, the Senate Leader had gone on an inspection tour round the various communities in Cross River Central to ascertain the quality and level of work done on the completed and ongoing projects facilitated by him. At the end of the exercise, which was more like a carnival with his numerous admirers and supporters joining the tour, Ndoma-Egba told journalists that the cost of the projects that were inspected excluding the Trans-African Highway and the Calabar-Oban-Nsan-Okoroba road can be put at N7 billion.

According to him, “There are projects that I have attracted to the constituency that we can’t put a cost to. One of them is part of the Trans-African Highway in my constituency. That is in millions of US dollars. Then there is the Calabar-Oban-Nsan-Okoroba road. It is a major project running into tens of billions. It is about 80 or 90 billion naira.”

 

The erudite gentleman politician also has his personal social responsibility projects such as the scholarship scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate students for which about 600 people have so far benefited and the Computer Literacy Programme that has recorded huge success and trained over 6,000 students since its inception in different areas of Information and Communication Technology, ICT free of charge. There is also the medical intervention programme, where he brings in medical experts from outside the country to give free medical attention to his constituents.

As seen in the exceptional leadership style of Senator Ndoma-Egba, it is important for elected office holders at all levels of governance to strive hard to live up to expectation in the discharge of their duties as representatives of the people. It is only in so doing that the masses can feel the true dividends of democracy, which according to Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865), the 16th President of the United States of America is “Government of the
people, by the people, for the people”.

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