STEVE OKO writes that there has been a huge relief in communities across Abia North senatorial district as the immediate -past senator representing the zone , Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP) has continued to commission some recently -completed people-oriented projects facilitated by him.
Some of these projects crucial for human existence and survival include primary health care centres and water projects.
Perhaps what amazed the people most as observed by The AUTHORITY Newspapers South East Voice in most of the communities visited was the fact that the senator who lost his re-election bid at the February 28 poll still considered it important to ensure the completion of the projects he had promised to deliver to the people.
From Umunneochi to Ohafia, Arochukwu to Isuikwuato, as well as Bende Local Government Area, it has been a jubilation galore as the people heaved sighs of relief witnessing the inauguration of projects very dear to their hearts.
In one of the outings, a traditional ruler , HRH Eze Wilson Egbo of Umucha Amuda Isuochi, Umunneochi LGA, was so emotional that he jettisoned his royal dignity and knelt and prostrated in the open field in appreciation to God for using the senator to bring solution to decades of acute water shortage in the community.
As Ohuabunwa and his entourage stormed the community to commission a solar -powered water borehole project the joyous royal father in his remarks at the event confessed that one of the most pressing challenges of his subjects had been taken off the way.
The project sited at the premises of a Primary Health Care Centre also attracted by Senator Ohuabunwa was executed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources .
The highly elated monarch who said acute water shortage had been the major challenge of the community, in an emotion-laden voice glorified God for using the senator to end decades of their water needs.
He showered blessings on the senator for the gesture which he noted, was the ultimate need of his subjects.
“Since 2001 when I was coroneted this community has never witnessed such a great project “, he declared.
He expressed shock that the senator could still have the courage to ensure the execution and completion of projects initiated by him despite being out of power .
The monarch prayed God to “restore Ohuabunwa’s stolen mandate” , so he could continue with “his good works for the people”.
Similarly, the traditional ruler of Amaekwu Lokpanta also in Umunneochi LGA, HRH Eze Thomas Obike was full of excitement as he conveyed his subjects gratitude when the senator also came to inuagurate a modern primary health centre centre built in the community.
The monarch confessed that he was most impressed that the project executed by the Primary Health Care Development Agency was delivered within a month it was flagged off, saying it was the first time he witnessed any government project executed with such uncommon dispatch.
Obike said Ohuabunwa was the only politician to attract any government project in the community which he said was abandoned by government.
He poured encomium and blessings on the former Speaker ECOWAS Parliament, praying God to help restore “his stolen mandate”.
Ohuabunwa is currently challenging the election of Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressive Congress at the Election Petitions Tribunal.
Similar view was shared by his Achara Autonomous Community counterpart, HRH Eze Celestine Onwuka, when the senator came to commission yet another primary health care centre he also attracted to the remote community that could arguably pass as the community with the worst access road in the state.
Eze Onwuka Onwuka described Ohuabunwa as the political messiah of his subjects, saying the gesture would ever be appreciated by posterity.
Ohuabunwa had acknowledged that when he decided to site the project in the remote community he came under intense pressure by some influential figures in the Council who wanted him to relocate it to their area but he insisted that it must be built in Achara to help save lives of the locals.
Both monarchs thanked Ohuabunwa for fulfilling his campaign promises “even when he is temporarily out of office “, saying that such quality is rare among politicians.
It was the same story at Umuobiala Obilohia in Isuikwuato LGA where the senator had also gone to commission a water project.
The locals who thronged out in their numbers were full of thanks to the senator for living up to his campaign promises and solving their water needs.
Ohuabunwa also commissioned a renovated primary health care centre at Ovim where he donated a generating set to ensure steady power supply at the centre.
Isuikwuato Council boss, Hon. Chima Agbaeze who spoke at both events lauded the senator for spreading democracy dividends to rural communities.
Responding, Ohuabunwa said the projects executed by the Primary Health Care Development Agency were borne out of his passion to improve the health of his constituents especially rural dwellers.
He explained that the first phase of the project which was building of the structure had been completed, assuring that the second phase which is equipping the centres will soon commence.
The former Senate Committee Chairman on Primary Health Care promised to ensure the timely delivery of the second phase.
Ohuabunwa while commissioning another water borehole project at Ihechiowa executed by the Anambra -Imo River Basin Authority , said it was in fulfilment of his campaign promises to provide potable water for rural communities in the zone.
He said that five of such projects were ready for commissioning in different communities besides numerous water projects already commissioned in several communities.
The former Senate Committee Chairman on Primary Health identified beneficiaries of the current phase as : Ihechiowa, Akanu Ohafia, Ututu, Amangwu Okon Ohafia, and Abriba.
In his remarks at the event, the Ezeogo (traditional chief) of Umuchiakuma village, Ezeogo Henry Otta, thanked the senator for ending the age-long water challenge of the agrarian village.
Similarly, his Amanmini counterpart, Ezeogo David Diogu said the villages would be eternally grateful to the Ohuabunwa for coming to their rescue.
It was curiously observed that in most of the communities visited there was an expression of regret by the people for losing one of the most vocal voices the zone had ever produced at the red chamber, also majority believe “his absence at the senate is temporary”.
They base their optimism on a favourable outcome of the tribunal where Ohuabunwa is battling to recover what many describe as “his stolen mandate “.
Irrespective of the outcome of the legal tussle, whoever that emerges as the authentic holder of the people’s mandate should take into account the pleas of most of the communities that benefited from the primary health care centre .
They had passionately appealed for the equipment of the centres which is the second phase of the project.
Therefore, the onus will be on Ohuabunwa if he returns, or Orji if his victory is affirmed by the court, to vigorously pursue and ensure the realisation of the second phase of the project as empty health centre without equipment is no better than a car without engine.