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By Hon Ifeanyi Ibezim
On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, in a shocking decision, a five-man Special Appeal Panel, sitting at the Appeal Court, Enugu, nullified the mandate freely given to me by Umu Idemili to represent Idemili North and South Federal Constituency at the 9th National Assembly.
I have since made known my reservations about the rationality of the judgement, as it does not reflect the true interpretation of the facts nor in line with due process. But be that as it may, I still believe in the judiciary in spite of its challenges. I have also accepted the judgement in good faith.
It is ironic that this judgement came barely few hours after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila had given his nod to the four bills and eight motions that I had presented to him for approval and onward inclusion on the Order Paper of the House. These bills and motions were geared towards the rapid socio-economic development of our dear country.
Some of the bills include Amendment Bills on the Nigeria Investment Promotion Act, Allocation of Revenue Act, Price Control Act and Casino Taxation Act.
The Motions border on
These bills and motions are in addition to the two motions earlier presented and adopted by the House in plenary. The Ad-hoc Committee investigating my motion on SIM Swap Fraud had only just begun public hearing when the news of the judgement of the Special Appeal Panel came. Few weeks earlier, the House had adopted the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Port Decongestion. It was a motion I moved in June, seeking for maximum utilisation of the Eastern ports and the decongestion of the Lagos Ports that led to the setting up of the Ad-hoc Committee.
With utmost sense of fulfilment, I am therefore satisfied that I have sufficiently exerted myself at the House of Representatives within the last five months. Let me therefore use this opportunity to sincerely thank Mr. Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the leadership of the 9th House of Representatives and my colleagues for the support they gave me in my short stay at the National Assembly. The bridges of friendship we have built in the last five months are uncommon. I shall forever cherish the memories. Our understanding and determination to serve Nigerians better particularly our collective resolve to change the budget calendar is historic and most patriotic.
I urge you as colleagues and members of the 9th National Assembly to sustain the momentum; the comradeship and zeal to provide legislative framework for the nation’s economic development. I also pray you to take a closer look at our judiciary to see how it can be strengthened to dispense justice without bias, favour and inducements. Unwittingly, the judiciary is now being dragged into election conduct instead of being an impartial arbiter in electoral disputes. This portends threat to our fledgling democracy.
In a special way, I appreciate Mr. President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for encouraging the cordial atmosphere and goodwill at the 9th National Assembly, especially his commitment and support towards changing of the budget cycle of our nation to begin in January. It is indeed a joint task that would profit the development of our nation.
To my Governor, His Excellency, Chief Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, I sincerely appreciate you for your fatherly role not only to our great party, All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), but to me as a person. Your support and faith in me had aided my journey this far. I am very grateful Your Excellency.
To members of my campaign organization and Reality Movement, I sincerely appreciate your love, dedication and passion. You are the reason for the mission.
To my immediate family, I appreciate your prayers and patience. Thank you so much.
Umu Idemili, I know how painful and disappointing this news has been to you. From Mama Nkiru, the banana seller at Eke Umuoji, the ebullient Chinedu, the vulcanizer at Afor Nkpor and to the young Rowland at Mgbuka Market, Obosi, I feel your pain. This is particularly painful when many of you have invested your dreams and aspirations in this mandate; a mandate that was already cruising at a comfortable altitude to give birth to a new Idemili. This outcome is obviously not the news you wished to hear. But we shall not let this moment define us.
It has been said that it is in the midst of disappointment that we often experience the beauty of God who turns trials into triumph. Some call moment like this ‘Beautiful Disappointments’; a period when God reveals Himself to us in powerful life-changing ways. As a Christian, I believe in that. Therefore, disappointments may slow us down, but they don’t have to keep us down.
I urge you to take solace in the fact that collectively we have set new parameters for quality representation. I am profoundly proud of what we have achieved and the bonds of brotherhood we have built. I appreciate the labours and sacrifices we have made in the last 12 years; from when our journey to the Green Chamber began in 2007 to this moment. Sincerely, I thank you for your loyalty, solidarity and support in the course of our journey to this mandate. There’s no doubt that our mandate has been ordained by God. In the fullness of time, God will manifest Himself in us.
In my short stay at the National Assembly and through your support we were able to prove that indeed effective representation is possible in Idemili and that we have truly been short-changed over the years. The legacies we have left in such a short time would further highlight my sincerity of purpose and drive to ensure an inclusive and effective representation for Umu Idemili.
The Special Appeal Panel had delivered its own justice but God who is the ultimate Justice has not finished with us. At His appointed time, we shall reap the fruits of our years of labour and our dreams shall be fulfilled. But until then, we shall remain strong and hopeful. Don’t be cowed by this temporary setback. It is during life’s most trying times that we discover who we really are and the fullness of the strength that lies within us. Our dreams for a greater Idemili shall ever remain green. In no distant time, we shall be back stronger and better to fulfill those dreams.
To my brother, Hon. Obinna Chidoka, this is another opportunity for you to make a difference. In good spirit of a greater Idemili, I pray you to consolidate on the sincere efforts and foundations that we have laid in the last five months.
The essence of our quest for this position is not for personal gains or interests, but to use the instrumentality of the National Assembly to bring effective and inclusive representation to Ụmụ Idemili. We hope that the common and greater good of Ụmụ Idemili shall be put before personal dreams and interests.
As you continue the journey of representing us at the 9th National Assembly, I sincerely hope you imbibe this. I wish you success.
Long live Idemili
Long live Anambra State
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
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