Ndoma-Egba : Not the years but the achievements

Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba

By Inyali Peter

Since Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba was pulled out of retirement from elective position politics by concerned Nigerians to join the 2019 race for the Cross River State Central Senatorial seat, a lot have been said and done. While many people who truly understand the business of legislature appreciate what he has achieved in his 12 years stint in the red chambers, others have deliberately paid less attention to his achievements to rather talk about the years.

It's very surprising that at this stage in our politics we don't seem to appreciate credibility, performance and commitment like we do with the number of years one has occupied public office.

Nigeria democracy is modeled around America democracy and they're good examples of cases where the Americans have rewarded some of their Congressmen with unwavering support to be in the Senate for close to 40 years.

U.S Hero, Late Sen. John Sidney McCain after retiring from the US Navy in 1981, was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1982. Because of his sterling performances in the lower chambers, he was overwhelmingly supported in 1986 to go the Senate.

McCain who died few months ago at 81 remained in the Senate for 32 years. He died as a highly respected serving Senator.

For 32 years, after spending four years in the lower chambers, because of his tracks records, he was supported and encouraged by people who truly want America to grow to remain in the Senate. His constituents never judged him by the number of years he was in the Senate but performance. Many commentators have opined that if he had not died, he would have still been voted in the next election.

In Nigeria, we claim to copy American-style democracy but are not ready to pay the sacrifices they do. Within McCain's 32 years, many people would have sacrificed their personal ambitions to support him. They know leadership is not just about them but the people.

When McCain died, many Nigerians mourned him on social media even more than they mourned many of our Senators here who died. Nobody remembered that he stayed so long. All the commentaries were about his enormous contribution to making America what it is today.

The difference between Sen. Ndoma-Egba and Sen. McCain's years in the Senate is 20 years yet people feel the finest Nigeria lawmaker has overstayed and should not return. Those who hold this opinion have never said anything about his credibility and what he has achieved in terms of motion moved, bills and projects he has attracted to the state and his constituency.

For the benefit of doubt, it's pertinent to remind people that in terms of lawmaking, Ndoma-Egba stand taller than any former or serving lawmaker in the history of this country. In just twelve years, he set the record with thirty eight (38) Bills to his credit. Some people have stayed in the business more than him but he still tops the league.

Before he left the Senate in 2015, he attracted not fewer than 76 quality projects valued at over N7 billion to his senatorial district.

For example, the Federal Specialist Hospital in Ikom, the Trans-African Highway through Etung axis, several erosion control projects from Abi to Boki Local Government Areas, affordable transport scheme and many others.

In the area of job creation, the Senator influenced over 191 employment opportunities for his people, at both state and federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) while in the Senate.

In partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, he set up the CBN/Ndoma-Egba Entrepreneurial Training Program. Over 150 people have been trained in different vocations and empowered to start up their businesses.

In 2003, immediately after his inauguration as Senator, he initiated a  free compute training scheme with over 13, 000 people now as beneficiaries.

He has influenced and in some cases granted direct scholarship to about 7,00 people from undergraduate to PhD level.

Unlike typical Nigerian politicians that shutdown all empowerment scheme once they're no longer in the offices they occupied when establishing, Ndoma-Egba case has been different. He has maintained all the good initiatives even when he was no longer representing the central senatorial district.

As Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), among other things, Ndoma-Egba has single handedly built an ultra modern 1000 seating capacity church for his Akparabong country home. The project which he said was a fulfilment of a promise he made to God when he was just 11years started over 20yrs ago and was completed  and dedicated on 29th May, 2018.

On road construction as NDDC Chairman, Ndoma-Egba has ensured most of the impassable streets and major roads in the state are put in better condition.

He has completed the construction of the Asuquo Nyong Street in Calabar South Local government area as well as the 1.6 kilometer Edem Effiong street.

Some sections of the Calabar/Ikom/Ogoja highway, like the once inmotorable 2 kilometre covering
Akpet central in Biase local government area to Ugep in Yakur, the impassable section of the Ikom-Calabar road along Ekuri/London Junction in Obubra and Yakur local government area which used to be a hotspot for armed robbery operations have been thoroughly rehabilitated.

The terrible Ochong/Iyam-Oyo stretch also along Ikom-Calabar highway which used to be dead trap that has claimed a lot of lives has been fixed.

In Ikom local government area, the 1.90 kilometer road around B/Ekien road, in four corners which was chaotic and poses a huge threat to traffic flow has been rehabilitated.

More so, the Ekpogrinyan/Okundi road that leads to the popular Okundi market has been reconstructed. The road was constructed in 1978 without any maintenance until Ndoma-Egba fixed it.

There are other ongoing NDDC projects like the construction of a 10 kilometer Akparabong/Bendeghede Afi. This road is very significant because it links almost all the Ikom communities to each other.

It's surprising that a man who has done all these and many more is not judged by the uncommon achievements but by the years he's stayed in the Senate. Wouldn't it be better to reward a highly respected proven legislator like him than having an amateur who may be more concerned in impressing his pockets than his constituents?

With what Ndoma-Egba has achieved, Cross River Central will do themselves, Cross River and the Nigeria State unquantifiable disservice if he's not voted overwhelmingly in 2019. He has nothing to loose if he doesn't return to the Senate but the zone, state and country have a lot to loose.

It's said that the reward for hardwork is more work, Ndoma-Egba should be given more work for his sterling representation, visible achievements and the credibility of his character in 2019.
Sen Victor Ndoma-Egba 804714263720431225

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