There is no doubt that 2018 will witness increased political activities.This is consequent upon the various political parties primaries that will hold this year, and the scheduled general elections that will come up in February 2019. The feeling is in the air. Breath taking actions and decisions are expected to be the talking points, as well as intricate political alignments and realignments. Upheavals are also expected.
Already, political gladiators are taking the centre stage. Contenders and pretenders alike are squaring up to either contest or recontest available political positions. This, of course takes guts as some more are still consulting and weighing their chances.
One man that has taken the bold step to declare his ambition to recontest the position of the senate to represent Owerri Zone is Distinguished Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu. This declaration did not come to many as a surprise because Senator Anyanwu in his current first tenure in the Senate has not only performed above expectation but has also shown sufficient capacities to merit re- election. And since the reward for hard work is more work, the good people of Owerri Zone of course cannot wish otherwise.
Electing Akaekpuchionwa of Ikeduru and Nwachinemere of Mbaise nation as Senator representing Owerri Zone in 2015 is undoubtedly the single most significant political gold mine the people of Owerri Zone ever struck. Senator Anyanwu began in earnest to turn the story of a near docile Senatorial Zone around. He focused his unwavering commitment and energies on the cardinal areas of youth employment, skill acquisition, women empowerment and infrastructure development. His foremost motion that passed a vote of confidence on the Senate leadership led by Dr. Bukola Saraki did not only bring stability to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also brought the name of Owerri Senatorial Zone to national limelight, as well as endeared Senator Anyanwu to the leadership of the Senate and his Distinguished Colleagues.
This courageous motion and endearment unknown to many kick-started a flurry of positive narratives that is being told in Owerri Zone today. Senator Anyanwu is one of the most consulted Senators in the Senate, even among former governors, former ministers colleagues. He is the only senator that is the chairman of a Senate Committee and also a vice Chairman of another Committee. That is Ethics, Privileges and Petitions, and Banking Insurance and other Financial Institutions respectively. He is also a member of critical Senate Committees that include NDDC, FCT, Youth and Sports etc.
It is instructive to note, that Senator Anyanwu has leveraged on these privileged and strategic committees to attract the dividends of democracy to the people of Owerri Zone. When the mention is made of marginalization in the South Easth, the impulse might be a sense of self pity. But, the quality leadership and commitment of Senator Anyanwu is unparallel and hope rising. For example, his bill on the establishment of the South East Development Commission which has gone through second reading will not only assuage the ill feelings in the geo- political zone, but will significantly address the infrastructural question in the zone.
Similarly, Senator Anyanwu’s bill on the upgrade of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education to a Federal University of Education which has gone through public hearing will among other gains enhance the capacities of both the staff and students of the foremost institution. Evidence abounds in the number of graduate youths that have secured Federal employment through the office of Senator Samdaddy in just two and half years. According to records available in his office, over 68 youths of Owerri Zone are currently working in CBN, NAFDAC, FIRS, CUSTOMS, NSCDC, Prisons, National Open University, Public Compliant Commission, etc all to the ingenuity and credible representation of Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu.
His skill acquisition program for mainly non graduate youths of Owerri Zone is unprecedented and top notch. He started with the training of 110 youths from across the zone in Aluminium doors and windows fabrication. Today Senator Anyanwu is training over 200 youths and women of Owerri Zone in cosmetology, fashion designing, confectionaries, Computer, Bead and Bag making, Driving, CCTv installation and maintenance etc. The beauty of what this grassroot politician is doing is that the beneficiaries are sent to existing shops for a minimum of three months to learn these skills.
In the area of projects, Senator Anyanwu’s position in the Senate has hugely impacted on projects implementation in the Zone as against what obtains in other senatorial zones in this period of economic challenges bedeviling the country. His intervention through the NDDC in the rehabilitation of Ekemele Akabo portion of Owerri Okigwe road, Awaka Ezeogba portion of Owerri Umuahia road and the reconstruction of Nkwerre street in works layout of Owerri Municipal is most relevant to the socio economic welfare of the people.
In fulfillment of his campaign promise to reconstruct the Ukwuorji Atta Amaimo Obohia Afor Ogbe road, the workaholic Senator Anyanwu practically slept in the Port Harcourt office of the Niger Delta Development Commission during the last Senate recess to ensure that all the bottlenecks inhibiting the commencement of the road project were removed. Road users and communities along this stretch can today heave a sign of relief. Similar stories can be told of installation of transformers at Timber market at Naze and Obohia Ekwereazu, renovation of schools at Nnarambia Ahiara, Egberede Nguru, Ogbe Nneishii, solar powered boreholes at Arugo park, Timber market Afor Oru, Umuokpu Emeabiam, Ulakwo Enyiogugu, Amakohia Ubi, Mini Stadium and street light at Amaimo and Ugirike, Cold room at Afor Ajala Mbaise, the list is endless.
The declaration of Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu for second tenure is not only achievement driven, but is Legislatively benefiting and politically correct. Most political commentators argue on the benefits inherent in returning performing lawmakers, and Senator Anyanwu simply fits into this argument. The reason may not be farfetched. Legislators like wine becomes better over time. One may therefore be tempted to suggest that the stellar performance of Senator Anyanwu in his first tenure in the Senate may not be unconnected to the experience and exposure he garned in his eight years in the State Assembly.
Consequently, re- electing Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu to the senate will be gainful to the legislative institution in the country, as well as to his Owerri Zone constituents, especially at a period when his party, the PDP is poised to take over the mantle of leadership at the national level and Senator Anyanwu may emerge as a principal officer in the senate.
What is good for the goose it is said, is also good for the ganders. This statement as cliche as it may sound shows the need to replicate a treatment meted to one person to another for the sake of fairness and justice. It has become a norm in Owerri Zone and the constituting Federal Constituencies for elected office holders to go for at least two tenures. For the records, the immediate past members that represented both Mbaitoli Ikeduru and Aboh Mbaise Ngor-Okpala Federal Constituencies served three terms of twelve years each. In the same vein, the Members representing Owerri Federal Constituency and Ahiazu Mbaise Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency are currently serving their second tenures. Senator Anyanwu will therefore never be an exemption, especially when he is performing.
It is against this backdrop that Distinguished Senator Samdaddy Anyanwu is expected to be returned unopposed to the Senate come 2019. This position is going to strengthen the already established political arrangement in the Zone and further consolidate on the achievements recorded by Senator Anyanwu.