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2015 POLL: JUBILATION GALORE AS BASIL EKWEM GOES FOR HOUSE OF REPS.

By CLETUS AZUBUIKE
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Given the academic and technical nature of law making, the House of Representatives is not a place for mediocres, and allowance collectors. Therefore, it calls for men and women who are not only academically sound, and equipped, but members who are morally good and articulate enough to confront the daunting task of law making. That informs the rational behind Chief Basil Ekwem's quest for House of Representatives seat of Nkwerre/Isu, Nwangele, Njaba federal constituency in 2015 elections.

For him, the present honourable member representing his federal constituency whom he worked hard to install has not lived up to the expectation of the electorate. The constituency lacks projects that they ought to enjoy from the constituency projects allowance which every member is entitled, and their voice is hardly heard in the house.

Against this backdrop, it is only normal to unravel the back ground, and antecedents of this tough talking man who is full of energy and has the panache to change the course of events in the House of Representatives for the betterment of his constituency. Delving into his biography, Chief Basil Ekwem hells from Isu in Nwangele local government Area of Imo State. Born some years back, into the family of Mr/Mrs Louis Oguwuike Ekwem of Dim Na Nume of Nwangele LGA, Chief Basil Ekwem started his early education at Central School Dim Na Nume, Isu where he received his first school leaving Certificate.

He went to St. Augustine Grammar School Nkwerre for his West African School Certificate, and finally studied and obtained a B. Sc. Degree at the University of Lagos.

As a self employed professional, Chief Basil Ekwem runs a successful Real Estate Consultancy outfit.

Before now Chief Basil Ekwem has encouraged candidates of G.C.E by paying their examination fees. It is his intention to award scholarships to successful candidates up to their first and second degrees at any universities of their choice. Only recently, he engaged the services of dentist doctors who treated and healed over 1000 poor villagers with various degrees of teeth decay, and ailments free of charge and the people received this rare largesse in awe. As if these are not enough, he has lined up a number of projects geared at achieving youth empowerment and human capital resource development in the constituency. The list of what he planned to embark upon if he is elected is endless.

However, what is vital here is his mission and brand of representation. With more people from the South East having his type of philosophy, the issue of marginalization of the South East will be a thing of the past. He has passion and love for the less privileged and will stop at nothing to attempt to alleviate their sufferings. He intends to try to initiate bills targeted to cater for the poor.

Therefore, the coming of Chief Basil Ekwem offers a new hope in the political horizon. It smacks off a new beginning, and challenge that he is capable of surmounting in a bid to achieve efficiency of representation. As a people's representative in direct opposite to what appears to be the norm, he will not personalize his views, and vote in the plenaries of the house. Rather he shall always involve his constituents by starting his speeches with “we in the Nkwerre Isu, Nwangele, Njaba Federal Constituency ask for, demand, or vote yes or no, as against the use of the pronoun “I” that exonerates his constituents.

With the entry of Chief Basil Ekwem in the House of Reps, his constituency voice can no longer be dwarfed by voices of other federal constituencies across the political divide and landscape of the country expressed by their elected representatives in the floor of the house. Being a vibrant young man, he promises to succeed exceedingly where others failed woefully to leave their foot prints in the sand of time.

As trends of legislative events continue to evolve in the House of Representatives, more, and more professionals, and the best brains have continued to express interest to contest for seats in the house. What this heartwarming omen presupposes is that people will be making great mistakes to elect hooligans, and political neophytes into the house. It is only the best candidate or nothing. Chief Basil Ekwem fits into this vital political space in the Nkwerre/Isu, Nwangele, Njaba constituency.

In the process of law making, he will break the jinx of the old order in which his constituents know next to nothing about bills and Acts of the National Assembly.

Before now most representatives had never thought it wise to bring home bills served on them for their inputs. But Chief Basil Ekwem having observed this lapse after his research of the business of the house, has resolved to domesticate bills in his constituency using the language of the people before they are passed into law. This is a pointer to the fact that the actual manner of representation has began. It puts paid to what many honourable members failed to execute erroneously wearing the toga of master of it all or a monolithic.

Suffice it to say that the subtle hand and the deft touch are the prime movers of human action. That is, with his vision, and mission in the house, democracy shall be making impressionable mark in the minds of our people literate and illiterate alike.

Therefore, democracy will no long be read only on the pages of newspapers, magazines and other news media, but seen and practiced as “the government of the people, by the people, and for the people” and by extension for the greatest good of the greatest number of people.

With the assistance of hindsight, it is glaring that most people do not realize the import of their purpose and expectation from their constituents in the house as a whole. This is because they have gone there with absolutely wrong motion.

As such it needs to be emphasized that the House of reps is the closest to the masses. That informs why it is premised on proportional representation as opposed to the senate that is zonal based. In essence, while the senate is farther removed from the people, the House of Reps breaches the legislature gap by taking care of a smaller population of the senatorial zone. The element of home grown democracy has been built into this system by the Obasanjo administration when constituency allowance of various budgetary estimates were enacted into law to afford each honourable member and Senator the fine opportunity to propose and execute projects that will affect the lives of their constituents, and senatorial zones.

No honourable member who understands the working of this political system and machinery assumes monolithic status. Rather he or she knows, and tries to employ the service of the electorate that voted him or her as assistants in law making. How to accomplish this depends largely on the method of the honourable members. As such Chief Ekwem will ensure that constituency projects are evenly spread across the local governments that make up his federal constituency.

But for Chief Basil Ekwem, these things are specifically stated and encapsulated in his programme. There is no doubt that his entry into the house will make remarkable difference to his constituency.

Naturally, people will begin to wonder how Chief Ekwem will achieve all these in a house comprising of 309 members. First, for an introvert, this may prove a herculean task, but for an extrovert like him, the use of peoples' psychology comes handy. As a team player, and an emotionally well adjusted being, he will blaze the trail where others fumbled, and stumbled. People fail as leaders because they never prepared for leadership. Chief Ekwem has carried a study the working of the National Assembly that will enable him to excel and bring the dividend of democracy to his people.

There will be a paradigm shift from the notion of making laws in the thinking and imagination of Chief B. Ekwem. There are laws, and there are laws. But Chief Basil Ekwem would want to direct his mind to those aspect of bills or laws that affect human life and his constituency. Such bills or laws that will put food on the table for his impoverished constituents who have suffered massive emasculation of the Nigerian economy by successive past administration.

The laws that will in concrete terms address squarely the issue of directive principle of state policy in the first chapter of the 1999 constitution which enshrines social security allowance as it affects his constituents. It is rather unfortunate that despite the huge oil revenue no government in Nigeria has been able to muster the needed political will, and economic wisdom to actualize this constitutional instrument to alleviate the suffering of her teaming unemployed citizens and the aged. Chief Basi Ekwem will not rest until this is achieved.

BY: CLETUS AZUBUIKE

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