2020 IN REVIEW: How Senator Ifeanyi Ubah Tackled Covid 19 And Poverty at the Grassroots
2020 was a year like no other, suffix to say! For many Anambrarians, as at this time last year, concepts such as “lockdown”,“mask mandates”and “social distancing”were unknown to most of us. Today they are part and parcel of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives.
By the first quarter of 2020, the Federal government began to shut down its cities to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve.
Here in Anambra this piece highlights on what Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah did to cater for his constituents in particular and Ndi Anambra (even beyond) in particular.
When Things Got Tough…
The World Bank Group forecasts that the largest share of the “new poor” will be in South Asia, with Sub-Saharan Africa trailing behind. Its however evident that COVID-19 has triggered a global crisis like no other – a global health crisis that, in addition to an enormous human toll, is leading to the deepest global recession since the Second World War.
There is a famous expression in English which states that “When the going gets tough, only the tough gets going”. Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah and the Anambra Progressives Forum rose up to the occasion. This formidable team of philanthropic individuals is made up of well-meaning Nigerians, friends and associates (mainly of Anambra descents) of Distinguished Senator (Dr.) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, who represents Anambra South Senatorial District in the Nigerian Senate. Members of this group which consist of businessmen and women, established health practitioners, etc; both in the diaspora and in Nigeria, including the likes of Dr. Cletus Ibeto (CON), Dr. Alex Okafor Chikason (OON), Chief (Sir) Dan Chukwudozie (Dozzay Oil), Pharm. Sam Ubachukwu, Chief Frank Okafor, Chief Tony Okonkwo, Sir Nnamdi Obi, Sir Uche Obiakor and Sir Paul Okafor, to mention just a few of the benefactors, accepted to join forces with the Distinguished Senator to put up what has been accepted as a novel initiative in the health management process in the country. “Novel” in the sense that such occurrence has never taken place in any part of the country both before then and up till now.
Battling Health Downturn Occasioned By Corona Virus
In March 2020, the YPP Senator, convened the Anambra progressives and raised a total sum of 343 million naira (as at then) to accelerate the implementation of their health intervention agenda in Anambra state. This resulted in the accelerated construction and commissioning of two (though would have been three), world class hospitals and isolation centres with, ambulances purchased from the best automobile outlets in the USA along with hospital equipments. which will serve as centers for infectious diseases control, to battle the novel Corona virus, as well as other health needs of our people.
Today, each of these two magnificent structures stands in Nnewi and Awka respectively, providing health care interventions that will last generations and delivering succour to our people traumatised by a declining healthcare system in our dear State.
In addition to providing good quality assurance of healthcare services in the state, the construction of these facilities was also a medium of creating jobs for indigenes of the host communities and the state at large.
As Anambra State FA Chairman, Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah in April of 2020, extended his goodwill to sports journalists, through monetary donations and Covid-19 palliatives.
These palliative kits included face masks, hand sanitizers, and thermometers. He went on acknowledging their relentless fight against Covid-19.
In May 2020, Senator Ubah kicked off the distribution of palliatives across the 21 local government areas in Anambra State, as part of measures to alleviate the effects of the ravaging pandemic. He recognized the fact that the period was unsettling and difficult for Ndi Anambra, as the disruption of their daily sources of livelihood and economic activities which has impacted negatively on their ability to meet their basic needs due to the national lockdown. The palliatives distributed include: 26,000 bags of 10kg rice; 11,200 bags of 5kg garri; 9,400 cartons of tummy tummy noodles; 6,000 bottles of cooking oil; 32,000 bottles of hand sanitizers; 65,000 disposable face masks; 8,000 washable face masks; 2,000 bags of 25kg garri; 500 bags of 25kg rice; 42,000 thermometers, and 62 Keke tricycles.
While ensuring equitable distribution of these items to all the 21 Local Government Areas in the State, Senator Ubah reinforced the need to combine public health efforts with palliative measures, so as to prevent hunger and food insecurity from creating further health and social challenges in the state.
Addressing Social Injustice Across Board
As the national leader of the Young Progressives (YPP), distinguished Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah condemned in it’s entirety the Lekki Killings occasioned by the Endsars Protests against police brutality in the country which basically affected the youths of Nigeria.
While condemning the use of brute force on the Lekki #ENDSARS protesters, the Senator described the ordeal as “inhuman and totally unacceptable”.
In his words he said:
“My heart bleeds as I received with shock the news and gory pictures of what happened at Lekki Toll Gate last night as well as other pictures of victims of the ongoing #ENDSARS protests in various parts of the country,”
Being an advocate for youth leadership, and an accelerator of youth prosperity in the country, Senator Ubah reiterated that dialogue remains the only way out of the impasse.
He further stated that
“No life of any Nigerian youth taking part in a peaceful protest deserves to be taken for whatever reason, no matter the provocation, and no responsible government turns its weapons on its own people”
“I stand with the youths in these trying times and condemn totally the use of live ammunition on peaceful protesters”; Senator Ubah proclaimed.
He did not stop at mere rhetorics as he went on to further express his heartfelt condolence and sympathy with some of those that lost loved ones during the protests through private visits. The Distinguished Senator then implored the youths to give the Government a chance to engage them in fruitful dialogue and find a lasting solution to their genuine demands.
Celebrated His Day With The Disabled And The Blind
On the 3rd of September, the Distingushed Senator took advantage of his birthday celebration to extend a massive hand of fellowship to the disabled in the State by donating to them motorised wheel chairs,phones for the blind , walking aides , wheel chairs as well as clutches. These items were distributed to hundreds of them in the state along with food items bags of rice ,cows indomie, hand sanitizers and face masks. Several homes for both the motherless babies and the disabled were also sent the above mentioned materials. Distinguished Senator also used the occasion to announce the creation of an office of a senior special adviser for the disabled and encouraged them to use that medium in communicating with him whenever they need his attention or intervention.
Conflict Resolution & Curtailing Of Violent Tendencies: Leading By Example
On the 22nd of October, 2020; Senator Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, stepped into the frontline to mitigate the brewing #EndSars tension in his Senatorial District; Anambra South. He fearlessly moved around Nnewi, Ozubulu, Oraifite, Ichi and various other towns in the absence of any security details as the IGP through an internal memo directed CPs in all formations of the Nigeria Police to withdraw all security details attached to VIPs in the country. In acts of bravery, Senator Ubah engaged the angry youthful mob that came out in en masse to express their anger. Senator Ubah succeeded in averting what would have been monumental damages to public properties as well as the potential looting of private businesses that hoodlums would have used the opportunity to perpetrate.
The Senator seized the opportunity to address the issues raised by the restive youths and urged them to always remain peaceful and law-abiding. Subsequently, he mobilized youths from Nnewi and patrolled around the L.G.A’s in Anambra South to ensure that no private or public property was at the risk of being destroyed or vandalised.
As an elected public servant, he believes it is his core responsibility to do everything within the ambit of the law to defend and protect the lives and properties of his constituents not just on the floor of the Senate, but at the grassroots level too, in clear exhibition of capacity and his bond with the youths.
He also visited the traditional rulers of Ukpor, His Royal Majesty Igwe Felix Chinedu Onyimmadu, and the Grand Patron of Osumenyi Development Union, High Chief Bath Obidike, where he called on them to continue promoting peace and ensure that there is no further attempt to destroy public properties in their communities.
Bridging The Gap
In November of 2020, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District and National Leader of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, carried out a night inspection tour of the 2 kilometer Solar Powered Street Lights he provided for NdiIkpa Ugwunano Community of Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State to assess the work done by the contractors.
Accompanied on the inspection tour by his wife, Mrs. Uche Ubah, Senator Ubah was met by a cheerful community that trooped out once the news of his arrivals filtered in.
The indigenes expressed their gratitude for the developmental interventions by the Senator. He assured them of his continuous support and further implementation of more development policies and projects in the community as well as other communities that make up the senatorial district .
In December of 2020, the people’s Senator, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, continued working tirelessly and round-the-clock to deliver democratic dividends to the people. This time around, he faced the dilapidated road network in the Zone and commenced palliative works in order to ensure smooth movements during the yuletide.
While the rehabilitation works progressed, public Safety was also made a priority. For instance, commuters around the Nnewi axis were directed to use alternative routes to ensure safety and help smooth operation by the workers within the time frame of delivery.
Subsequently, in his usual fashion of empowering women and youths in Anambra, Sen. Ubah on the 8th and 9th of December 2020, partnered with the National Directorate Of Employment (NDE) to organize an empowerment training program for entrepreneurs, artisans, youths, and women. Markets where also not left out as soft loans were disbursed to traders too.
Participants of the training workshop not only recieved certificates and stipends presented personally by Senator Ubah, but had the opportunity to engage in an interactive session with him where they tapped from his wealth of experience in international business and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah also used the opportunity provided by this interactive session to get first-hand information about their experiences at the training workshop as well as receive feedback from them on possible personal or community-based challenges they may wish to convey directly to him.
While addressing the participants, he charged them to always think outside the box and adopt innovative means of developing their individual potentials and capability especially as white-collar jobs are becoming increasingly difficult to go round. He also gave out take off grants to some outstanding talents discovered at the end of the workshop.
He implored the youths to imbibe his vision of restoring the commercial glory of Anambra state while thanking the management and staff of the NDE as well as the consultants that handled the training sessions for a job well done.
On the 14th of December, Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Uba facilitated a Capacity Building training in collaboration with the National Productivity Centre, Abuja which covered a wide range of entrepreneurial and self-reliant skills ranging from tailoring, perfume production, makeup artistry, Etc.
The program saw over two hundred youths enthusiastically receive exposure to new skills, under the guidance of the facilitators and consultants. While declaring open the workshop, Senator Ubah pointed out that this opportunity will greatly help in easing over-dependence on scarce white-collar jobs and in the long run drastically reduce the number of our teeming youths currently idle.
As the country is poised to battle the challenges of recession in the coming months, it has become even more imperative that deliberate action policy plans be put in place to counter as well as cushion the effects of the harsh realities that the situation brought out by the lockdown and economic meltdown are bound to bring on our people.
The distinguished Senator is currently working round the clock to ensure that the youths in Anambra South Senatorial District and the state at large get actively involved in various entrepreneurial ventures as well as acquire basic skills capable of making them drivers and triggers of economic revolutions and revival in the state.
On 20th December 2020, the Senator representing Anambra South and National Leader of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, inspected the newly built solar-powered street lights that he provided for Ndị Umeraku Umụoma community of Uli in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The Senator who was accompanied by the Secretary of Anambra Progressives Diaspora, Vin. Onyeka, and State Coordinator of Afa Igbo Efuna, Hon. Mba Iloka also maintained that the street lights were provided to enhance security in the area.
The Community representatives of Ihiala, led by the Coordinator of Ihiala Progressive Movement (IPM), Hon. Emmanuel Egwu thanked the Senator for his numerous contributions towards promoting the well-being of the people. The IPM leader further commended the senator for the quality Bills and Motions that he has sponsored at the upper chamber and urged him to keep the good works up.
His Impact On Ndi Anambra
What Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has demonstrated in the past one year is immeasurable.
He is one of the few politicians in our society who take delight in serving the people and he considers himself as servant of the people.
He has also been a vital voice in consolidating Democracy in the country, promoting unity in diversity and championing courses that elevate the welfare of Ndi Igbo generally. Hence the sobriquet, The Prince of the Senate, given to him by no other person than the Senate President himself.
Prior to his venture into the murky waters of politics, he deployed his personal resources to establish the Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club (FCIU) and built a world-class Stadium which has helped talented youths in maximizing and actualizing their potentials apart from giving Ndi Anambra a vibrant football club they are proud of, while providing entertainment destination every weekend for several families that visit the stadium to watch matches and catch in, on the thrills that come with match day life activities.
It is no doubt that Senator Ubah represents the hopes, aspirations as well as interests of several youths in the state, hence the intimidating followership he commands via the open door revolution
The pandemic slowdown has deeply impacted businesses and jobs. In Nigeria, companies-especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the developing world- are under intense strain, with more than half either in arrears or likely to fall into arrears shortly.
With the likes of Senator Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah in power, Ndi Anambra needs no longer despair as he is a beacon of hope, conscientious leadership, contented and development driven by nature.
His leadership prowess offers a glimmer of good news. The Interventions implemented throughout 2020 showed that Ndi Anambra are indeed in safe hands with an Ifeanyi Ubah no matter the downturn..
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