Anambra Lawmaker, Hon Patrick Udoba shuns accountability forum, kept guests stranded for hours


By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu

Anambra lawmaker and member representing Anambra West constituency in the state house of assembly, Hon. Patrick Obalim Udoba on Thursday shunned a well planned town hall meeting for his accountability and stewardship by a Non Governmental Organization Hope Givers Initiative,HOG-I.

His constituents and guests waited for him hours without end even when he reassured that he would be at the meeting, but he never turned up possibly not sure of his stewardship and accountability to his people.

Hon Udoba had scheduled a town hall meeting with a Non-Governmental Organization and advocacy group, Hope Givers Initiative, HOG -I, a forum where his constituents expected to meet him to possibly evaluate and proffer a way forward on some of the key problems of communities under his constituency.

The meeting later held at the Umueze -Anam town hall but without the presence of the lawmaker nor a representative was the height of let down and disappointment to the constituent members and the organizers who came to the venue and waited in vain for the lawmaker to show up, address them and possibly receive some questions where possible.

The meeting, with the presence of several President Generals of some of the communities, later digressed into a seminar where the NGO oriented the participants on their roles to good governance.

Speaking to the unhappy participants held the opinion that leaders representing the constituency do not try enough to alleviate the suffering of their communities even as others blamed poor representation as to the bane of underdevelopment of the region.

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The President General of the Orumbanasa community, Comrade Lawrence Nnacho said that the essence of sending them to the House of Assembly was to gain public representation and not for private interest.

“We did not send them to the assembly for their gain but the collective interest of the constituency. We will challenge them on how they were able to deliver on public interest. We expect them to build schools, hospitals, water projects, and the rest as our representatives.

“In my community, Orumbanasa, we live on an island where our people are predominantly farmers. We have no means of transporting our farm produce to the markets except by speed boats. The government have failed to help us to even provide engine boats for transporting our farm produces to the market”

“Our schools lack government presence because 30 percent of the teachers in our community are PTA teachers who are paid by the villagers. These are areas the government could have helped but they have failed to deliver. We don’t have pipe-borne water, we are living with water but we don’t have water to drink.

President General of the Nzam community, Mr. Fidelis Nnazo reeled out that his community does not have an access road to their homes and farms. According to him, when it rains, there is a hardly accessible road in the town as they resort to speedboats to go around the community.

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Fidelis who was represented by Nwambu Martins, also accused the lawmaker of showing less concern in dilapidating Nzam health center which he said was left for a single staff to manage. He complained that there is a dearth of personnel and equipment in the only hospital serving the Nzam community.

Mr. Paul Obiora, the youth leader of the Umueze Anam community accused representative members of only showing up during the electioneering period after which they disappear. He said there has never been a good representation in Anambra west to date adding that people that represented the community in the past failed woefully.

He urged the people of the region to shun bribe and utilize their power to say no to bad representation and leadership. He also enjoined community members to look inwardly to identify who will better their lives and go for such when the election comes.

Speaking at the workshop, Executive Director, Hope Givers Initiative ( HOG-I) Mrs. Onyeka Okey-Udegbunam said the event was supposed to be a dialogue session between Hon. Patrick Udoba and his constituents adding that the essence of the program was to educate the people to understand the responsibilities of the members representing them as well as communicate their issues and needs to them.

Mrs. Udegbunam said the event, supported by Christian Aid Nigeria as an organization owns it as a duty to advocate for quality and inclusive governance which according to her will accommodate the people in hard-to-reach areas of the state.

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Earlier, Mrs. Eucharia Anekwe while calling on the citizenry to hold leaders accountable blamed Ethnic loyalty, Partisan Politics, and personal interests as the factors responsible for the failure of legislation in Nigeria.

The lawmaker reacts

Reacting, the lawmaker representing Anambra West local government constituency at the Anambra state House of Assembly, Hon. Patrick Obalim Udoba denied claims that he absconded from a town hall meeting with his constituents.

Udoba dismissed claims that he failed to show up at a meeting with his constituents at Umueze Anam on January 28 as mischief.
He said: “I find it strange that anybody will accuse me of refusing to meet with people of my constituents. There is no iota of truth behind this claim as I have always shown willingness to interact with my people as part of my open door policy.

The lawmaker, however admitted that he was contacted on phone by one of the organizers of the event and he accepted to attend if he is available.

“The truth is that one woman contacted me that they have a programme at Umueze Anam and would like me to come and I said okay not minding the fact that such invitations needs to pass through official channel and details of my role stated. I made up my mind to attend but another official matter came up and when they called me, I told them that I would not make I again.

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