From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa has expressed worry over the absence of a representative for Abia North senatorial district currently at the senate.
The former Speaker ECOWAS Parliament who made the remarks at a media chat in Umuahia lamented that the zone had now been sidelined following the incarceration of its senator.
Recall that the incumbent Senator Orji Uzor Kalu of the All Progressive Congress, APC is currently serving a 12-year jail term following his conviction on a N7.2 billion fraud case which he allegedly stole while serving as governor from 1999 – 2007.
Senator Ohuabunwa (PDP) who lost his legal battle against Kalu at the Court of Appeal regretted that Abia North hitherto known for vocal representatives “is now voiceless” at the senate.
The former Speaker ECOWAS Parliament further regretted that most of the projects he attracted while in the red chamber had been abandoned despite being captured in the 2019 budget due to the absence of a representative to facilitate them.
He said Abia North people had lost so much for no fault of theirs following the current political situation in the zone .
Ohuabunwa who said his intention was to use his aborted second term to facilitate the equipment of primary health care centres he “littered in communities across the zone ” , regretted that the projects had been somewhat stalemated.
His words : ” I am worried and bothered about Abia North because the projects I attracted which have not been completed have all been abandoned because nobody is there again to follow them up.
“Abia North is really suffering. You know when I was there, there was this argument of who attracted which project but now that I’m no longer there where are those laying claims to the projects?
“It’s not about the seat but who is on the seat. I brought to bear my contacts , network and influence to lobby for and facilitate most of the projects but now nobody is following up on them.”
Ohuabunwa particularly lamented the slow pace of work on the Bende /Ohafia /Arochukwu federal road which he said he used every arsenal at his disposal to ensure its inclusion in the budget.
“I used my influence and contacts to push for the execution of that road but now it’s almost abandoned because we have nobody in the senate to lobby for it.
Asked his view on the way forward in the political quagmire in the zone, Ohuabunwa said it was up to Abia North people to go for what they want.
“If Abia North stands up and says we want our voice heard the senate won’t say no. In fact the senate can’t deny any constituency the opportunity of being represented “.
On the clamour for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023, Ohuabunwa advised Ndigbo to unite and purge themselves of sabotuers if the project would be actualised.
He regretted that Ndigbo lost a bright chance of producing the President in 1999 when some ‘black legs’ and selfish commercial politicians undermined the interest of late Alex Ekwueme at the Jos convention.