Mao explains bid to return to Senate, carpets Kalu for misrepresentation

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From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia

Ahead of the full blast launch of campaigns for his Senate return bid, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa says he was desirous of going back to the red chambers of the National Assembly to enable him to complete, some bills he proposed in the 8th Senate, as well as to restore the voice and revive the vibrancy of Abia North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

Mao, who spoke during an interaction with the Correspondents Chapel of Abia State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Umuahia, also said that he was seeking to return ticket to the Senate to help fight insecurity ravaging Abia North, adding that he was equally provoked to join the senatorial race because of the alleged misrepresentation by the incumbent Senator representing the zone, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.

“Ancient Moa,” as he is popularly called, lamented that Abia North was not reaping the full benefits of foundations he laid in the 8th Senate designed to improved infrastructural development and provide employment opportunities in the zone because of the inability of his successor to follow up on some of his (Mao) unfinished life-transforming bills.

Carpeting the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, for failing to use his position to address the security concerns in the senatorial zone, Mao said that Kalu’s representation was below par.

Mao,  two-time House of Representatives member, said that during his first week in the Senate, he moved a motion on the dilapidated Arochukwu-Ohafia road which prompted the Senate to raise a high-powered delegation led by Senator Barnabas Gemade to assess the road; and thereafter, contract for reconstruction of the road was awarded, which by its plan and design, was to be completed by 2019, or latest 2020.

But the former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament said “but as I speak today, that road is still undergoing construction. If I was there, it would have been completed by 2019.”

The “Follow Better, Better Go Follow You” proponent said he was almost through with the bills that would have facilitated the establishment of a federal polytechnic at Item in Bende local government area and make the federal government to take over the College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu.

He lamented that his inability to return to the Senate in 2019, stalled the actualisation of the bills, and by extension, realisation of the institutions, because his successor could not follow up on the bills.   

Mao who said three bills were passed into law to his credit during his sojourn in the Senate, explained that he was angling to return to the red chamber to ensure that many of his bills which could not see the light of the day in the 8th Senate, could be realised and passed into law, as well as to ensure that the people of Abia North reaped maximum benefits from the Agric Loan Credit Scheme which he sponsored.

“One of the reasons I also  want to go back, in addition to many other bills that have passed First or Second reading and stopped which I thought I would have concluded but they are still there, basically gives me the boost to go back.

“But this one particularly, which is already an Act but I didn’t stay for my people to reap the benefit, and it is painful to me, is the bill on Agric Loan Credit Scheme which include the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, among others,  which many people are enjoying, but it is my bill.

“I crafted the bill because I come from an agrarian constituency, my people are agric oriented. My idea was that I will be one of the people to implement the bill and I will come to my constituency to gather people every month, every quarter, and they will be given loans to boost agriculture which would lead to food security,” he said; regretting his constituents were not benefitting because “those who took over from him don’t even understand what is legislation.”

Mao is also miffed by what he termed as the high level of misrepresentation by Kalu, saying that Kalu has failed to raise issues of utmost importance affect the people of Abia North, including insecurity, at the hallowed chambers of the Senate.

“Today, nobody speaks for Abia North. To go to Umunneochi today, you carry your heart in your hands. The people are suffering, under bondage. Look at the level of kidnapping when even a Primate of the Methodist Church was kidnapped and, today, as I speak, not a voice raised it on the floor of the Senate.

“You know that if Mao Ohuabunwa was there, I would shout to high heavens. A Prelate kidnapped and N100 million cash ransom was paid, rather the Senator representing that area takes pride in seeing his people suffer. Instead of going to find out what the problems are, you are saying that you brought ruga.

“Instead of you empathising and sympathising with your people, you are taking pride in seeing your people being maimed, in seeing your people being raped and killed; when, by right, as a representative of the people, you should stand on the floor of the senate and condemn insecurity.

He also said that Abia North people were now being seen as jesters because of positions taken by their Kalu without recourse to his constituents. He gave examples of Kalu’s positions on electronic transmission of election results and Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, as totally different from that of Abia North people.

Mao emphatically said that Kalu has betrayed the people he represents by supporting the Muslim-Muslim ticket when his constituents were 99.99 per cent Christians and do not support the Muslim- Muslim ticket.

He described as a big lie, Kalu’s position that there was no network in Abia North to facilitate electronic transfer of election results. “OUK lied when he stood in the senate to claim that there is no network in Abia North. We are in support of electronic transmission of election results. There is network,” he said.  

According to him, the high level of representation by Kalu has prompted he people to resolve that they “have to recover our voice because nobody is speaking for us today, rather we are known as jesters.”

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