Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, has called on federal lawmakers of Abia origin to work together and with the State House of Assembly irrespective of party differences for the greater good of the State.
Orji stated this in his welcome address to federal lawmakers of Abia origin during the special plenary session held in their honour at the Assembly complex in Umuahia on Wednesday, saying “This special session is in tandem with the Legislative Blueprint of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly, emphasizing the necessity to synergize with our Senators and House of Representatives Members of Abia origin on issues of national importance and mutual benefits geared towards moving our dear state forward and providing the citizenry with dividends of democracy”.
He further urged them to use their positions to attract more federal government presence to the State particularly as it concerns the conditions of federal roads in the State.
“Now that the Budget Process is in progress, it is expedient that we urge you to use its instrumentality to attract federal government presence to our dear state. The following federal roads in the state need urgent rehabilitation/reconstruction: Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia – Ikot Ekpene Road, Uzuakoli – Ohafia – Arochukwu – Akwa Ibom Road, Umuahia – Bende – Arochukwu – Akwa Ibom Road and Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway”, he said.
He also urged the federal lawmakers to attract a conventional federal university to the state.
“The need for a conventional federal university and a federal secretariat in Abia is long overdue. We urge you to use your good offices to make it possible in the nearest future”, he emphasized.
Responding, the Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Honourable Nkiruka Onyejeocha, thanked the Speaker and Members of the Abia State House of Assembly for the honour done them with the special plenary. She pledged to work with all relevant stakeholders, irrespective of party differences, for the progress of Abia and the general good of her people, saying “Your invitation to us across party lines is an indication that we can work together as Abians. As a member of APC, I hereby promise not to antagonize the Governor and government of Abia State but to criticize them constructively whenever the need arises”.
On his part, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, congratulated the Abia Speaker and his colleagues on the “superlatively remodeled” Assembly complex, promising that, as lawmakers at the federal level, they would do everything within their powers to address the numerous issues afflicting the State using necessary legislative instruments. He also advised the Lawmakers in the State to remain focused on their jobs and not allow themselves to cave in to pressures from detractors. “This Assembly has to collaborate with the Governor to move the state forward. If, for example, a road collapses after just three months of being constructed, you summon the Commissioner responsible and ask them questions to which they have to provide answers. That is what is expected of the Assembly in the discharge of their oversight functions. If you need any support from us, we are ready to give it to you”, he concluded.
Political stakeholders and residents of the State have been commending the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, for being the first Speaker in Abia State to organize such a special plenary session in honour of federal lawmakers of Abia origin as a way of promoting unity, peace and harmony in the State. Speaking to journalists on the development, Hon Emma Iroegbu, a political leader, said “it is the first time such would be happening in Abia and probably the entire federation. The Speaker has proved that he has the capacity to bring Abians together no matter their differences, to support the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and his adminstration, to bring greater development to the State”.