Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji has said that the time had come for members of the National Assembly from Abia State to synergise with their state counterparts for the overall good of the state.
He made the call during a special plenary of the state legislature held in honour of Abia members of the National Assembly, saying that all political office holders should put Abia first irrespective of the political party they belong.
The Abia federal lawmakers were represented by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha during the historic visit, signaling a new vista of cooperation among Abia politicians across the political divide.
Out of the 11 lawmakers from Abia in the National Assembly PDP has two senators and six House of Representatives members while APC has one senator and two lawmakers in the House of Representatives and APGA with just one member.
The Abia Speaker noted that even with the political pluralism of the state, lawmakers in the federal legislature should put aside their political differences and work as a cohesive body for the good of the people they represent.
“This special session is in tandem with the legislative blueprint of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly, emphasising the necessity to synergise with our Senators and House of Representatives members of Abia origin on issues of national importance and mutual benefits geared towards moving our dear state forward and providing the citizenry with dividends of democracy,” the Abia Speaker said.
He reminded the federal lawmakers of the need to attract federal projects to Abia, noting that more federal presence were needed in the state in terms of road infrastructure and tertiary institutions.
“Now that the budgeting process is in progress, it is expedient that we urge you to use its instrumentality to attract federal government presence to Abia our dear state,” he said.
Orji listed the federal roads in Abia crying for urgent rehabilitation/reconstruction to include: Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road, Uzuakoli – Ohafia – Arochukwu – Akwa Ibom Road, Umuahia – Bende – Arochukwu – Akwa Ibom Road and Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
He further pointed out the absence of “a conventional federal university and a federal secretariat in Abia” adding that these federal projects were long overdue hence the Abia federal lawmakers should work hard “to make it possible in the nearest future.”
While responding the two federal lawmakers respectively acknowledged the need for all political office holders from Abia to work together to move the state forward.
“Your invitation to us across party lines is an indication that we can work together as Abians. As a member of APC, I hereby promise not to antagonise the governor and government of Abia State but to criticize them constructively whenever the need arises,” Hon. Onyejeocha said.
Senator Abaribe advised the state legislators “to remain focused on their jobs” adding that they should take their oversight functions very seriously and collaborate with the governor in the interest of Abia people.
“That is what is expected of the Assembly in the discharge of their oversight functions,” he said, assuring the state lawmakers that “if you need any support from us, we are ready to give it to you.”