Adibe Emenyonu writes on the grand reception by the people of Owan Federal Constituency of Edo State to welcome their son and immediate past Deputy Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Pally Iriase for bringing development to the federal constituency
For the rural Owan communities which comprises Owan East and Owan West Local Government Areas, it was a thing of joy as they rolled out the drums to celebrate one of their illustrious sons, the immediate past Deputy Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Pally Iriase, who they so much cherish for his outstanding performance while on his eight years sojourn to the Federal House of Representatives.
To Joel Oni, a native of Uzalla, Owan West council area of Edo State, the community’s source of water supply was from Uhonmuke River before a modern water scheme of 5,000 litres capacity borehole was constructed by the Benin Owina River Basin Development Authority some years back.
He said, “Water has been a problem of our community until this water project was brought.”
While the people of Uzalla are happy over the borehole attracted to their community which has hitherto solved the problem of water supply, the people of Uhuonmora and Sabondida Ora, also in Owan West, were elated for the roads constructed within their areas to ease transportation and access to bigger cities like Benin City, Auchi and Ekpoma.
In the words of Sunday Obuh and Andrew Omo, farmer and commercial bike rider from Uhuonmora, and Sabongida Ora respectively, “our people are happy about the roads (Community Bank and Obudabini Roads, Ukpafisi Road, construction of Ukhiavbegbe/Ogbo/Ekhare street roads with drainage”, adding they are happy with whoever built the roads for them. But like Oliver Twist, they asked that more of roads be constructed so as to facilitate the prompt evacuation of their farm produce.
Similar sentiments were registered by Mrs Gloria Nosakhare and Mrs. Ayekenmi Ifijie on the construction and equipping of the Comprehensive Health Centre at Ikpeyan-Okpuje, Iuleha, the 360 sitting capacity town hall in Eme-Ora, and the reconstruction of Ikhin -Otuo road, linking Oown West and Owan East Local Government Areas; the construction of Igue-Sale, construction with asphalt overlay of RCCG road, Otuo, construction of Ugbebhegbe road with culvert and drainage also at Otuo and construction of access road to Otuo, the District Earth Dam at Otuo especially the reconstruction of Otuo-Afuze road as well as Ikhin-Otuo road linking the people of Owan East and Owan West.
In the health sector, credit was also given to Iriase for the completion and equipping of the Women and Children Hospital, Otuo; provision of a new ambulance; completion and equipping of a Comprehensive Health Centre in Okpkhumi Emai, Ihevbie, and Eruere community.
It was for these reasons that in appreciation of what can be described as effective representation that people of the two local government areas which constitute Owan federal constituency, decided to honour their son for a job well done on Saturday, July 6.
At the well attended ceremony, chairman of the “Committee of Friends” a non-partisan group that organised the reception, Mr. Ambrose Imoode in his welcome address, described Iriase as a rare son of Owan, adding that Owan has in the past been faced with leadership problems which had always affected development of the area.
He however noted that with characters like Rt. Hon Isumafe Obohkuaime Pally Iriase, whose contribution to the development of Owan as witnessed from the various projects he attracted, ‘the jinx that has been broken”.
Imoode recalled the supply of Toyota Hilux vans to the police divisions in Sabongida Ora and Afuze, headquarters of Owan West and Owan East local government area respectively as some of the outstandingly contributions of Iriase to the security of the two areas.
“We cannot also in a hurry forget the electricity to Imafun-Otuo, procurement and installation of 300KVA transformer with feeders pillars to Edion Broadway, Emabu, Yaba, Okhuame and Iyagbe Ihievbe communities; Installation of transformers at Eme-Ora, Avbiosi Old, Afuze and Otuo communities; installation of 500KVA transformers at Sobe, and Otuo; as well as provision and installation of hundreds of Solar powered street lights in various communities like, Uzebba, Ikhin, Warrake etc”, he stressed.
Summing up the achievements of Iriase, chairman of the occasion, Mr. Solomon Ogoh, said within the time Iraise was in the house of representatives, he attracted numerous projects in terms of roads, healthcare, water, electricity, education, security and empowerment.
He said there is no doubt that the federal constituency was about the least developed before the coming of Iriase in 2011, noting however that being a development-oriented politician, he (Iriase) designed and conceptualised projects that have today, impacted positively on the Owan Federal Constituency that one could say veni vidi vici; where and when commeth another?
Appreciating his people for the reception accorded him, Iriase described his journey to the national assembly as very successful and the reason why his people are celebrating him.
He said the functionality of community development is based on seeking the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people, promising that every ongoing project even as he has exited from the national assembly would be completed.
“In my bid to give functional meaning to constituency projects, all the projects I attracted are domicile with the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)”, he declared.
According to him, “I feel great, I feel happy, they didn’t wait for me to die before they write all these on my tomb. I am still alive and they are celebrating what I have done, I feel highly fulfilled.”
He however advised the representative that took over from him to adhere to the standard already set by ensuring the records are broken.
“Nigerian politicians must learn from this my experience, the man who spearheaded this reception is the same person I defeated during our election so it humbled me to see the same man being in charge of this reception”, Iriase declared.