Asadu’s fourth term ambition faces hurdle in citizen power

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Hon Pat Asadu representing Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency….Chairman, House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways

 

THREE term legislator representing Nsukka/Igboeze South federal constituency, Hon. Pat Asadu is facing the fight of his life as he seeks a fourth term; his 11 years in the House of Representatives has come under intense scrutiny, as his constituents have moved to recall him.

As a coalition of citizens in his constituency, under the auspices of Nsukka/Igboeze Rescue Movement, asked him to account for his 11 years in the House of Representatives, ahead of the 2019 polls, Asadu, Chairman, House Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways, declared that no one “can stop me from my ambition.”

According to the constituents, “Asadu’s performance speaks for him, he has not done enough to justify a return to the House. He has to be recalled.”

At a press conference in Enugu, Monday, Igboke Onyebuchi, the spokesman of the coalition said: “Our expectation from Asadu is simple. He should give us an account of his stewardship. He should tell us how many bills he has sponsored; how many motions he has moved; how many constituency projects he has attracted to the area he represents; how many town hall meetings and citizen engagements he has conducted. Then, why does he want a fourth term.”

According to Onyebuchi, “Asadu failed to respond to the request of the people. He has rather said that no one can stop him from returning to the House. We believe that he has not justified the 11 years he has spent in the House of Representatives. Our people agree that it is obvious that he has done his best and he can’t do better than he has done. He should be recalled.”

He added further: “We are undeterred by the cumbersome process of recalling a legislator. Most attempts at recalling a legislator are politically motivated. Ours is citizen driven and we have sincere intentions. We have gone far with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the people are queuing to append their signatures. The electoral commission has told us that it will give us the list of registered voters in Igboeze North for us to generate the signatures to support our petition.

“Asadu has been representing himself in the last 11 years. We don’t have anything personal against him, he is our brother. But we need to know that he is serving us well. So far he has refused to subject himself to our demands of accountability. He has failed to convince us as to why he wants to return to the House for a fourth term.

“We need someone who understands the needs of the people and who can get things done for the people. It is unimaginable that no asphalted road can be attributed to Asadu in the last 11 years even in his town, and good roads are part of what we need.

“We recognize his right to aspire for a fourth term and he has to recognise our right to demand for an account of his performance. His performance is the only justification for his continued stay in the House. We have compared his performance with that of some federal legislators in Enugu State and discovered that his performance pales significantly and the constituency has been shortchanged. Our only alternative is to sensitize our people in this knowledge based engagement and act.

“If the recall option fails, he must still present himself to the people and give an account of his stewardship at any time.

“He is dwelling on his ranking and flouting the chance it offers him to the Speakership and the window to attract projects in his fourth term. It is unlikely he will perform as a Speaker when he has not represented his people as a lawmaker.”

In the meantime Onyebuchi said that Asadu “should do the right thing and stop chasing shadows. The right thing to do is to convene a town hall meeting and sit down with the people to justify his ambition with a catalogue of his verifiable achievements in the House. He should stop boasting that no one can stop him from going back to the House.”

On the allegations that the timing of the recall bid was specifically to hurt the legislative ambition of Asadu, Onyebuchi explained that, “in the first place Asadu knows that even his third term in the House was unmerited. He didn’t campaign and he didn’t win any election. We still don’t know how he returned to the House. He didn’t stand for election. It was the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that won the election and it was Engineer Iyk Ugwuegede who campaigned and was voted for by the people. Asadu went to the court and got judgement against Ugwuegede and collected our mandate. Maybe today he feels that he does not owe the people anything since they didn’t vote for him. We want to vote for someone who will work for the interest of the people. Our only option is to recall him.”

The Nsukka Igboeze Rescue Movement claimed that Asadu has remained inaccessible, preferring to speak through his aides and refusing to honour invitations to meetings with the constituents. Onyebuchi noted that “his aides in defending his performance revealed that in 11 years Asadu has sponsored four bills and raised five motions.

“The four proposed bills sponsored by Asadu include: The Bill for An Act to Amend the River Basin Development Authority Act; The Bill to Repeal the Nigerian Port Authority Act; The Bill to Establish a Forensic DNA Database in Nigeria; The University of Nigeria Amendment Bill; The Bill to Create the Federal University of Technology of the present Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu. None of the proposed bills was passed into law.”

Onyebuchi summed up Asadu’s verified performance in the 11 years thus: “repainting of 4 block class rooms at Opi High School for National Open University, renovation of 4 class room blocks at Ovoko boys Secondary School, proposed roofing of existing Obu Nsukka, and renovation of other class room blocks in Nsukka (not specified).”

Meanwhile, Onyebuchi claimed that “a recent survey conducted by a coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Enugu shows that about 75 per cent of the constituents do not know him. There is a wide gap between him and the people he is representing.”

 

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