Hon. Charles Chinwendu Odedo,
House of Representatives member for Idemili North and South Federal Constituency of Anambra State, Hon. Charles Chinwendu Odedo, is keeping up with campaign promises, writes Charles Onyekammuo
One general negative perception among the people concerning their elected representatives is that they hardly keep to their campaign promises. Thus, promises made on the soap box are largely seen as mere vote catching gimmick that are to be abandoned as soon as the person is elected into office.
Many a time, politicians are known to have promised the electorate water and in turn “imported” the dry desert” instead, or an Eldorado only to have them in squalor. For this reason, promises are seen as something from the blues. However, this may be arguable as some politicians have somehow distinguished themselves creditably in keeping faith with campaign promises.
One of them is Hon. Charles Chinwendu Odedo, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) representative for Idemili North and South Federal Constituency of Anambra State. Odedo recently kept his promises of building a community library and computer centre for the people of the federal constituency as well as a secondary school for Abacha Community which hitherto had no such school among the 17 communities that make up the constituency.
At the official opening and hand-over of the library and computer centre located at Nnobi town in Idemili South Council area of the Federal Constituency, Odedo told an assemblage of his constituents who gathered that he chose the education sector for attention of all other things, adding that for democracy and good governance to flourish, the youth being the future leaders of the country must be properly educated and empowered, while those in positions of authority must be held accountable in the discharge of their duties.
He remarked that the occasion was the celebration of the importance of education in the lives of the people and their future, realising that education is the greatest legacy that can be bequeathed to the youth for them to survive, compete and excel in their chosen endeavours.
The commissioning of the library and computer centre, he said, marked the provision of education and computer literate opportunities to the youth of the area and the adult population to educate themselves.
To support this which he pointed out formed part of his campaign promises during the 2011 electioneering for the people's mandate to enable him represent them in the green chambers of the National Assembly, the ACN member donated three buses to three private schools in the area which didn’t benefit from the Anambra State Government’s donation of buses to government public schools in the state.
The beneficiary schools which were handed over the keys to the buses displayed at the commissioning ceremony by Chief M.C. Omenugha, a respected citizen of Nnobi Community in the constituency included Madonna International Academy, Trinity Model Secondary School and Seat of Wisdom Secondary School, all in Nnobi town.
Odedo who described the occasion as a celebration of the importance of education in the lives of the youths also laid the foundation stone for the first ever secondary school in Abacha Community providing hope and proper representation to the constituency.
He noted that out of the 17 communities in Idemili North and South Federal Constituency, Abacha is the only one without a secondary school and the laying of the foundation, for one, marked the fulfillment of the promise he made to the community during his electioneering campaign.
He nonetheless commended the parish priest of Saint Michael’s Catholic Church, Abacha, Reverend Father, M.O. Machi who provided a two classroom block as soon as he made the promise and kept the school already operational with an intake of about 200 Junior Secondary School Students (JSS1) who are already studying.
He said he had awarded contract for the construction of a block of six classrooms with VIP toilets and expected that the project would be commissioned before the end of the year. Scholarships were awarded to the best ten students of the school.
Besides, he launched N50million Idemili scholarship fund to help the youth of the federal constituency acquire the necessary education that will make them secure their collective future and refocus them to understanding the benefits of education.
He said that the sitting of the library and an internet ready computer centre in one central location was an idea he conceived as a solution to the locking up of such projects inside school premises thereby limiting public access to them. He expressed the hope that the location will make the centre useful to communities like Nnobi, Nnokwa, Awka-Etiti, and Alor all in Idemili South Council and beyond.
He therefore reiterated the need for politicians to always fulfill their election promises to the people, adding that since he was sworn in on June 6, 2011, he had redeemed such promises like providing jobs for four Idemili people from different communities as his special assistants in the National Assembly, presentation in September 2011 of a total of 12 vehicles to different people from the federal constituency as part of his empowerment programme, provision of solar powered street light to 10 communities and two motorized bore-holes at Nkpor Main Market and Trinity Model Secondary School in Nnobi as well as the launch of N50million Idemili scholarship fund.
He insisted that the cost of education in Anambra State remained the highest in the country and proposed to the Anambra State government to consider the introduction education at primary and secondary school levels, and limiting the tuition cost of University education to N 20, 000 per annum.
He, however, commended some states of the federation that have introduced free education to some level especially Imo, Rivers, Delta and Sokoto States, adding that alleviating the heavy burden of Education today will be the prosperity and security to be enjoyed in time to come.
The president General of Nnobi Welfare Organization, Professor Edwin Akusoba, who spoke on behalf of other Presidents–General from the other communities in the federal constituency described Odedo as their son in action and deed, adding that the projects he had executed represents one of the benefits of having a dedicated representative of the people who desired the upliftment of their welfare.
The library and computer centre he said marked a departure from the dull mental moment of any serious youth who wants to acquire the requisite Information Technology skill to equip himself for the challenges ahead.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwaal, who was represented at the occasion by member representing Nnewi North/South/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Chris Azubogu, described Odedo as a silent operator and achiever who doesn’t make noise. From what he had seen, he said his constituents will never regret sending him to the green chamber having known him as a goal getter with sound pedigree.
Senator Chris Ngige and former Anambra State governor, who represents Anambra Central senatorial zone in the Senate, said he had shared very good intentions with Odedo and that he had remarked him as a very good legislator who always thinks of how to improve the welfare of his constituents. He called on the people of the federal constituency to build on the foundation the legislator had laid.