In the first instance, the problem of not taking phone calls as mentioned by Eneh John is never an issue as it is a personal right of any human being who owns a GSM phone to decide how and when to use his/her gadget, and it does not call for any query or insinuation.
After-all, how many times has Eneh John called his State Governor, Members of the National Assembly or the President of Nigeria who are also his representatives in government, and how many times have they responded to his calls. I think Eneh John has nothing to accuse the Eket Lawmaker in this wise but has only attempted to over-flog the issue of phone calls which is absolutely unnecessary.
It is not true that Rt. Hon. David Lawrence has made himself “unreachable” to his people as claimed by Eneh John when well-meaning Eket people can attest to the fact that the House Member is usually regular in attendance at all community, party, church and social events and programmes, etc. organised in Eket land such as the recent Inauguration Ceremony of AfighIwaadEkid new Executives and condolence visits, etc.
More-over, it is on record that the Eket Lawmaker usually briefs the audience extensively at every occasion attended by him at home especially about his representation in the State House of Assembly, his achievements, State Government’s programmes and actions concerning Eket people, etc. One therefore wonders what type of Constituency briefing Eneh John and his likes expect from the Eket Lawmaker.
On the issue of the appointment as Deputy Chief Whip of the State House of Assembly, let it be made clear to all and sundry that Rt. Hon. David Lawrence never hustled, lobbied or negotiated for the position but was unanimously and carefully selected on merit by not fewer that the majority of the House Members, probably among other nominees, who have concrete trust and absolute confidence in him.
Afterall, it is a common knowledge that appointment of such nature and magnitude is not done like in the Civil Service but as a result of high integrity, undoubtful loyalty, undisputed representation, active participation in the affairs of the House of Assembly, and absolute confidence and trust reposed by fellow House Members, among other factors. Indeed, such appointment is not meant for villains but for gallant, intelligent and uncompromising people like the Eket Lawmaker.
Therefore, rather than jealous the appointment, the Eket Lawmaker deserves congratulations from all quarters for creating a record of becoming the first Principal Officer of Eket origin in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in the history of Eket State Constituency.
On the issue of ineffectiveness and non-representation as mentioned in his message, Eneh John should form the habit of witnessing regularly the proceedings of the State House of Assembly during plenary sittings to see and hear things for himself, in order to be guided in his proper assessment of the performance of the Eket Lawmaker and his active representation of Eket people.
He should also take pains to find out the process of sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills in the State House of Assembly, in order to know how the Eket Lawmaker became a Co-sponsor in the disputed Property Charge Bill.
It is quite doubtful whether the name “Eneh John” exist anywhere in Eket L.G.A. and if it does, whether he actually resides in any part of the area, else, he should have been a witness to the on-going construction of a befitting Constituency Project with an embodiment of ICT Skill Acquisition Training Centre for Eket youth in particular and shopping facilities, etc located openly within the premises of the Primary School at Idua-Eket.
Perhaps Eneh John is not aware that Eket Lawmaker is also instrumental to the ongoing or proposed construction of the following projects in Eket LGA:
1. Construction and beautification of Eket Township Roads and remodeling of sensitive Round-abouts in the area by Akwa Ibom State Government;
2. Construction of Urua Nka Ultra-Modern Market;
3. Proposed Construction of Ibom Super Highway from Esit Urua in Eket LGA through Mbo LGA to Uya-Oron in Oron LGA by Akwa Ibom State Government;
4. Construction of Government Residential Area (GRA) Estate in Ikot Uso Ekong by Akwa Ibom State Government;
5. Construction of proposed Resettlement Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) also in Ikot Uso Ekong by the World Bank;
6. Construction of Five Star MARRIOT Hotel at the present site of the abandoned Qua River Hotel in Eket Urban by Akwa Ibom State Government, among others.
7. In a nutshell, has Eneh John and Eket residents not seen the ongoing rehabilitation of roads and major streets in Eket Urban orchestrated by the Eket Lawmaker? These projects are very cardinal for the development of Eket LGA and who does Eneh John think is the architect of them?
As an investigative journalist whichEneh John claims to be, he should have investigated to find out why the Urua Nka Ultra-Modern Market and the GRA Estate projects were unfortunately delayed by their initial Investors.
From the records available in Eket Constituency Office of the Lawmaker, many Eket students in higher institutions of learning are benefiting from scholarship awards and payment of bursary allowances unannounced but sponsored by Rt. Hon. David Lawrence, as well as floating of non-refundable soft loan facilities to some market women mostly of Eket origin. In addition, some Eket indigenes are presently undergoing apprenticeship training to become Fitters and Tradesmen at different workshops in Eket LGA sponsored by the Eket Lawmaker.
Indeed, these are continuous empowerment programmes by the Lawmaker aimed at improving the lots of his constituents. Perhaps, Eneh John and his likes need to be told that the Eket Lawmaker does not believe in giving media publicity for his humanitarian services to the people in line with his strong belief in the scriptures concerning the act of “giving”.
Meanwhile, the general empowerment programme to be conducted by the Lawmaker is being contemplated.
However, the fact that the Eket Lawmaker strongly believes in freedom of the press and free comments, his tolerance and respect for the Constitution on Nigeria should not call for indirect abuses and deliberate insults on him by anyone in the pretext of exercising the right to freedom of speech. Eneh John ought to know that politics is a free game and people like him should equally show interest in subsequent elections to enable his constituents and indeed members of the public also assess his performance.
Elder Monday Ekpenyong