By Sunday Iduh
Being a legislator goes beyond wearing of baba riga popularly called agbada, or dressing stylishly in foreign suits or driving around in SUVs. A lawmaker represents the yearnings and aspirations of the constituents. He or she must be able to connect with the electorate by way of providing dividends of democracy for the generality of the people to foster effective representation.
Sadly, some lawmakers in the Benue State House of Assembly, since they were elected into office, have not recorded any remarkable achievement. They have not executed projects, neither have they provided the basic amenities needed by the people who voted them into power. Some of them have no bills to their names.
One legislator who has distinguished himself among his colleagues is the member representing Adoka/Ugboju State Constituency, Hon. Michael Audu. He has proven to be a true representative of his people.
It is not surprising that his overwhelming victory at the polls was largely described as a clear indication of the level of confidence reposed in him by the people of Adoka/Ugboju state constituency.
The electorate are always excited when their representative is living up to expectations. This was the case with the people of Ogobia-Ugboju as the lawmaker recently donated a 500 KVA transformer to the community.
Ogobia people had no electricity. Now, they have more reasons to smile as they will soon put the long blackout they have experienced behind them and begin to enjoy stable power supply.
Findings indicate that Ogobia community, especially the Ipaha section has endured blackout for a long period as a result of the damage of the transformer.
Addressing the gathering of jubilant residents at the popular Ogobia T-Junction, Hon. Audu said, providing dividends of democracy is his priority as their representative and regretted the delay in fixing the transformer.
According to the assembly member, “I am aware of the hardship the lack of electricity has caused you. As an assembly member, I consider it my primary duty to provide democratic dividends to my people anytime resources are available.”
He said the delay was due to expert advice which indicated that the earlier 300KVA transformer procured was of low capacity compared to the voltage needed to serve the community.
“There was earlier arrangement to install a 300KVA transformer but after consultations with experts, I discovered that the capacity is too low for the area of coverage. At that point, I made up my mind to get a higher transformer (500KVA) no matter the amount of money it will cost me,” Hon. Mike told the people.
“Today, I am happy that even though it took time, I’m able to bring a product that would not only serve my people better but for a longer period.”
There is also an ongoing construction of a bridge to link Ugboju-Ehaje and various communities to Emichi.
On the health front, Audu has visited Victory Hospital, Ogobia where he paid the bills of over 20 patients. He has also paid hospital bills at St Joseph Clinic in Ogobia, Ugboju and Buh Clinic in Adoka. The lawmaker has set aside one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000) monthly for the settlement of medical bills of those who cannot afford them.
The education sector is not left out as the member bought and distributed books and other learning materials to students across his constituency.
This is what true leadership entails. It is not mandatory that a lawmaker must solve all problems of a people but he or she must have the political will to enhance practical development.
The era of lawmakers living in affluence and opulence at the expense of the electorate is gradually eroding. This is why many lawmakers face outright rejection whenever they seek another term.
It is high time lawmakers in the Benue State House of Assembly, especially those who obviously have not brought practical projects implementation to the doorsteps of the constituents have a rethink. They must not forget that 2023 is near and anyone who does not perform creditably well does not merit any re-election.