By Chike Okeke
There are legislators and there are legislators. In the various State Houses of Assembly and the National Assembly, many members merely warm their seats. Although, the 1999 Constitution stipulates a minimum of 180 sittings in a year, a number of legislator attend to their various businesses regularly and only attend sittings to make up the number, fulfill the requirements for minimum number of sitting days and collect their huge salaries and allowances. However, there are a few members who have genuine reasons to be in the Assemblies to serve their people. They see politics as a call to National Service. They may be very successful in business but since they are in politics in the interest of the generality of the citizenry, they give it their best endeavours.
One such public spirited politician is Hon. Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo who represents Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. In the past six years, this household name in Anambra State has gone through the mill in politics. He has experienced the various twists and turns in his political career, winning every election he contested but denied his hard won victory through machinations and intrigues. It was same experience in the 2015 General Elections where, though he won convincingly, defeating his opponents in every polling boots with very wide margins on votes, his opponent was declared winner. It was only through the instrumentality of Almighty God that the Elections Petition Tribunal gave him his deserved victory.
A man with a transformation agenda to provide service to humanity, his quest for professionalism and specialization routed him to many trainings, conferences and exhibitions round the world which included value world conferences in Amsterdam, value engineering exhibition in China, Buffaloes fire fighting equipment exhibition in the USA, Oil and Gas exhibition in Germany, Chemical spill cleaning pump exhibition in Sweden, etc.
Educationally, Hon. Nwankwo is no neophyte. He holds a BSc in Accounting from the University of Port Harcourt and is currently studying for MSc in Business Administration (Leadership Option) in the University of Liverpool, UK. A giant stride towards excellence has earned him series of awards including Peace Ambassador Award from Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Award of Excellence from Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Igbo Youth Congress Award, etc. At the Iguaro ceremony in his home town, Enugwu Ukwu, Anambra State on January 7th, 2017, he was conferred with the Chieftaincy Title of Onyendozi (The Reconciliator) of Enugwu Ukwu na Umunri.
Since his swearing in, he has moved three motions in the House. The first was a motion to mandate the House Committee on Environment and Habitat to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Environment to include contracts to control gully erosion in Enuagu, Uruogbo and Osili Villages in Enugwu Ukwu in Njikoka LGA, Udu Donka (Agulu Nanka) and Haba Agulu erosion sites, Adazi Nnukwu gully erosion site, Enuabo village, Obeledu erosion site, Dunukofia Nkwelle Umunnachi and Ukpo erosion sites in the Supplementary Federal budget for 2016. The motion was unanimously carried and the House resolved accordingly. The House further urged the Ecological Fund Office to take measures aimed at controlling the menace, urged the National Emergency Managing Agency (NEMA) to, as a matter of urgency send relief materials to victims of the erosion. The House further mandated the Committee on Environment and Habitat to urgently visit the affected sites.
He also called the Nation’s attention to the fact that the health centres and facilities in his constituency have been abandoned and are in bad infrastructural state. They include University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Comprehensive Health Centre, Abagana, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Centre for Community and Primary Health Care Ukpo and the UNIZIK Community Medicine/ Primary Health Care Centre and Diagnostice Cemtre Neni.
Having moved the motion to this effect, the House urged the Committee on Health Care Services to ensure the rehabilitation and equipping of the Medical Centres and that the three (3) Federal Health Centres in the Constituency are functioning with adequate staff and personnel.
His Dozie Nwankwo Foundation has become very popular for its far reaching impact on indigenes and inhabitance of Anambra State during its Medical Outreach which is held every year, the most recent being on December 12th, 2016. Free medical consultation and treatment, ophthalmology examination and treatment including surgery and provision of medical glasses and dental treatments /surgeries are regular features of the outreach.
However, the most enduring impact this builder of men and monument has made in his constituency was witnessed on Saturday 10th December, 2016 at Obu Umunri Palace, Enugwu Ukwu. This was his Women and Youths Empowerment Programme. Politicians usually organize empowerment programmes for different segments of the population in their various constituencies but that of Hon Dozie Nwankwo that day was unique, spectacular, far reaching and unprecedented.
He said he wished to thank members of his campaign organization who worked very hard for his electoral victories and the generality of the less privileged in his constituency. Six (6 no)salon cars, over 150 tricycles (Keke napep) and Hundreds of Sewing machines, grinding machines, textile fabrics, hair dryers, motor cycles were distributed among many indigenes and inhabitants of all the towns in the three local governments that constitute his federal constituency. A number of wheel chairs were also distributed to the physically challenged. It was generally confirmed that this very empowerment programme was the most far reaching in scope in Anambra State and that never in the history of the state had such number of such number of poverty alleviating facilitates and equipments been given to such number of beneficiaries.
The atmosphere was electric, the ovation was thunderous and the crowd stood in wonder and bewilderment. It looked like a movie scene tales by moonlight but real. It needed to be seen, to be believed.
There is no doubt that the Hon. Dozie Nwankwo Empowerment Programme has put food on the table of thousands of people, made equal number of people bread winners in their families, thereby improving the social status and economy of the three local government areas in the state in particular and Anambrarians generally.
If service to the people is a major yardstick with which a politician’s role in the society should be accessed, then Hon. Chief Ferdinand Dozie Nwankwo (Onyendozi) has surpassed expectations. Does he really belong to the political class in Nigeria? Or a different genre in politics. Here come their genre leader, the leader of our dreams. A better one is yet to come or may not even have being born. May we have more of his kind.
–Okeke is a political analyst.