NDOMA-EGBA: A SENATOR'S FOURTH TERM AMBITION
Victor Ndoma-Egba, the Senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial Districts is one of the highly respected lawmakers in the National Assembly today. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has, undoubtedly, been able to carve a niche for himself since he was first elected into the Senate in 2003. As a matter of fact, the humble, easy-going and kindhearted lawyer has become an unmitigated legislative brand of sort, as a result of his mastery of the lawmaking business over the years.
The Senator, who is currently the Majority Leader of the Senate, was at the secretariat of the Cross River State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), last week, to notify the party of his intention to return to the Senate in 2015 for a record fourth term. With his declaration at the state party secretariat in Calabar, it is now very clear that the Senate Leader has yielded to the call on him by his people to continue to provide them with robust representation and quality leadership in the upper legislative chamber beyond 2015.
At the secretariat, Ndoma-Egba said he would like to be judged by his records, noting that "As a legislator your primary assignment is to make laws and as at today I have 39 bills to my credit. As a legislator turning out bills is not enough, but turning them into law matters. The famous Freedom of Information (FOI) bill was introduced by me."
Wondering why those seeking to unseat him have now resorted to "propaganda and falsehood" in their desperate attempt to discredit him, the Senator challenged his opponents to make public their contributions to the advancement of their constituency. According to him, "I am a lawyer, I deal with facts. I have done a lot. It is not propaganda but fact." The number-three man in the Red Chamber, however, implored PDP leadership in the state to accord equal treatment to all aspirants saying that "I appeal for neutrality in this matter; a situation where functionaries of the party take sides will be totally unacceptable."
Prior to Ndoma-Egba's notification of intention to the state party leadership, various youth and women groups, professional bodies and political blocs in the state have already endorsed him for continuity based on their satisfaction with his monumental achievements which are obvious for everybody to see.
In a rally which took place at Ikom, 44 youth/women groups, led by representatives of the Central Senatorial District of Cross River State in the Nigerian Youth Parliament, NYP, demanded Ndoma-Egba's return to the Red Chamber in 2015. Addressing the crowd at the rally, leader of the District in the NYP, Ayu Ojor, declared that it was only appropriate to return Ndoma-Egba to the Senate. According to Ojor, "It is not easy to rise to the position of Senate Leader. The last time we had this kind of opportunity was in the Second Republic, when Senator Joseph Wayas was the Senate President. So, now, we have this opportunity, we don't want to lose it. We even hope we get something higher in 2015. I have been directed to endorse the re-election of Senator Ndoma-Egba, the one we know, the voice of the senatorial district; the only one to lead us in the right direction."
In the same vein, the League of Professionals as well as the Grassroots Democratic Movement endorsed Ndoma-Egba as their candidate for Cross River Central senatorial race in the 2015 general election. In a 12-point communiquÃ© read by Demetrius Okim and signed by 31 professionals, including Senator Mathew Mbu (Jnr), Ndoma-Egba's predecessor in the Senate, members of the group, outlined some laudable feats of the three-term Senator, which they said, earned him their endorsement.
Hear them: "At a recent meeting of professionals held at Ugep and after a critical analysis of his contributions in the Senate, having awarded more than 500 scholarships, sponsored over 200 pilgrims to Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia, provided large volume of agricultural inputs, trained over 500 indigenes in Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, and even providing them with start-up capital, laptops for students, among many others, and that every member of the Central Senatorial District has been touched, and has shown total and unalloyed loyalty to the PDP, we endorse the Senate Leader to go for another term."
Ikom Women in Politics were equally not left out of the gale of endorsements for the Senate Leader. In their words: "Ndoma-Egba is the only Senator who has 71 projects across the Central Senatorial District; it has never happened before. All of you are witnesses to these facts and because he has done this, we have decided, as a family, to return him."
Ndoma-Egba's fourth term ambition received a bigger boost when political elites from his senatorial district adopted him as their desired candidate for the 2015 Senate poll. The pronouncement was made at a meeting held in Ikom by the political stakeholders operating under the umbrella of Central Stakeholders Forum (CSF) with membership from the six local councils in Cross River Central.
While the meeting of the political elite was in progress, students of the Niger Delta region operating as a wing of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), reportedly, stormed the venue to proclaim their support for Ndoma-Egba's return to the Upper Chamber. Speaking on behalf of the students, National Vice President of NANS (Special Duties), Comrade Ufuoma Victor remarked that their resolution was reached based on the exceptionally outstanding records of the Senator.
Other groups that had also thrown their weight behind the fourth term aspiration of Ndoma-Egba include the Ikom branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Cross River State Legion for Democratic Advancement (CRSLDA), a socio-political group based in Calabar called Victory Chapter Four, the Positive Impact (PI) group among many others. They all appear to have resolved to ensure the victory of a man that has been tested and can be so much trusted and relied upon for further transformation of the central senatorial district, Cross River State as a whole and Nigeria in general.
Written by Michael Jegede.