Spread­ing the Div­i­dends of Democ­racy

The mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing Ogoja/Yala Fed­eral Con­stituency, Mr. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, re­cently staged what has been gen­er­ally de­scribed as the mother of all em­pow­er­ment ini­tia­tives, Bassey Inyang writes

THISDAY - - CITYSTRINGS -

One com­mon trend as­so­ci­ated with seek­ers of elec­tive po­si­tions in the na­tion’s polity is their pen­chant to make all man­ner of prom­ises dur­ing their cam­paigns to the elec­torate in or­der to win their sym­pa­thy and get their votes dur­ing elec­tions. How­ever, it is a gen­eral be­lief that af­ter get­ting the man­date of the peo­ple most of the politi­cians never keep to the prom­ises they made to the elec­torate while cam­paign­ing.

Cases abound where con­stituents have com­plained that their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives have never vis­ited their con­stituen­cies since they were elected into the Na­tional Assem­bly.

So, for con­stituents who have had the ex­pe­ri­ence of their rep­re­sen­ta­tives not re­turn­ing home, even fre­quently as ex­pected, their con­clu­sion is that they have no rep­re­sen­ta­tion or rep­re­sen­ta­tive, in re­al­ity, ex­cept in name.

How­ever, some of the elected fed­eral law­mak­ers still main­tain close re­la­tion­ship with their con­stituents; ren­der to them the nec­es­sary ex­tra- leg­isla­tive ser­vices.

The rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Ogoja/Yala Fed­eral Con­stituency, Mr. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, seems to be­long to the lat­ter cat­e­gory of elected politi­cians.

Within his con­stituency, Jarigbe is re­puted to be one of the law­mak­ers from the state that makes out time, pe­ri­od­i­cally, to visit those he is rep­re­sent­ing at the grass­roots, to con­sult with them, and sup­ply them with some droplets of what is gen­er­ally re­ferred to as “eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment.”

On Wed­nes­day, April 18, 2018 in Ogoja, the head­quar­ters of the fed­eral con­stituency, Jarigbe was with his peo­ple, and there, he staged his lat­est round of eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme to im­prove on the eco­nomic well-be­ing of those he rep­re­sents at the Na­tional Assem­bly.

The em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme staged at the Ogoja Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Coun­cil ground was the sev­enth in the se­ries of such ac­tiv­i­ties pro­moted by Jarigbe.

The lat­est event brought the num­ber of ben­e­fi­cia­ries from his benev­o­lent rep­re­sen­ta­tion to over 700 since he be­came a fed­eral law­maker in 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to Jarigbe, the em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme was in ful­fill­ing the prom­ise he made to his peo­ple while cam­paign­ing, and seek­ing their sup­port, ahead of the elec­tion to the lower cham­ber of the Na­tional Assem­bly in 2015.

Al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter he was in­au­gu­rated with his col­leagues as a mem­ber

He in­tro­duced some spe­cial so­cio-eco­nomic en­hance­ment schemes to his con­stituents, among them; bur­sary for in­di­gent stu­dents in post-pri­mary and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, free com­puter train­ing pro­gramme, en­tre­pre­neur­ial train­ing for youths, and mi­cro­fi­nance fa­cil­i­ties for farm­ers and traders, vo­ca­tional train­ing for youths and wid­ows, free med­i­cal out­reach to aged and the less-priv­i­leged, and Christ­mas out­reach

of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Jarigbe gave in­di­ca­tion that he was se­ri­ous about giv­ing his peo­ple the much needed eco­nomic sup­port so, they can fend for them­selves, and in the process im­prove the gen­eral eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment of the con­stituency.

Con­se­quently, he in­tro­duced some spe­cial so­cio-eco­nomic en­hance­ment schemes to his con­stituents, among them; bur­sary for in­di­gent stu­dents in post-pri­mary and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, free com­puter train­ing pro­gramme, en­tre­pre­neur­ial train­ing for youths, and mi­cro- fi­nance fa­cil­i­ties for farm­ers and traders, vo­ca­tional train­ing for youths and wid­ows, free med­i­cal out­reach to aged and the less- priv­i­leged, and Christ­mas out­reach.

For in­stance no fewer than 50 youths, male and fe­male; have ben­e­fited from skills ac­qui­si­tion pro­grammes spon­sored by the law­maker. At the end of the train­ing, the young men and women would be pro­vided with fini­cal back­ups rang­ing from N2.5 mil­lion to N5 mil­lion from the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN) backed agri­cul­tural train­ing pro­gramme.

Added to the 50 youths are at least 200 youths and women, es­pe­cially wid­ows who have been pro­vided with sew­ing and grind­ing ma­chines, gen­er­a­tors and dri­ers by the law­maker, since they had al­ready ac­quired the nec­es­sary skills in var­i­ous ar­eas.

As a means of fa­cil­i­tat­ing the easy move­ment of peo­ple, goods and ser­vices from the ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties, Jarigbe has pro­vided over 70 mo­tor bikes, and seven cars to­ward of­fi­cers, youth lead­ers, and mem­bers of the Na­tional Union of Road Trans­port Work­ers (NURTW).

Through his rec­om­men­da­tion, Jarigbe has also fa­cil­i­tated the em­ploy­ment of hun­dreds of peo­ple from the fed­eral con­stituency into Po­lice, Fed­eral Road Safety, Army, Civil Defence Corps, and the Fed­eral Civil Ser­vice.

So far, over 700 peo­ple have ben­e­fited from the Jarigbe’s em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme val­ued at N100 mil­lion since 2015.

How­ever, the lat­est em­pow­er­ment prog­a­r­mme held on the ma­te­rial Wed­nes­day has been de­scribed as “mother of all em­pow­er­ment” be­cause of the num­ber of cars, cash and other life-en­hanc­ing items he gen­er­ously gave to mem­bers of the busi­ness com­mu­nity, farm­ers, mar­ket women, traders, youths , and some politi­cians in the con­stituency.

In all, four cars, 31 brand new mo­tor­cy­cles, 36 sew­ing ma­chines, 25 grind­ing ma­chines, and 10 elec­tric­ity gen­er­at­ing sets were dis­trib­uted free to the ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

At the event which also dou­bled as town hall meet­ing, thou­sands of peo­ple from the con­stituency con­ferred and wit­nessed how Jarigbe also splashed N10 mil­lion cash on some of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of his em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme.

Pre­sent­ing his wel­come ad­dress at the oc­ca­sion, Jarigbe, said: “I humbly pre­sented my­self for elec­tion be­fore my peo­ple, and they voted mas­sively for me. There­fore, I came here to give back what they gave me in 2015 be­cause I am only hold­ing the power on their be­half. What I have done here to­day can­not be com­pared to what they have done for me, but this is just the be­gin­ning, the best of me is yet to come.

“I am mas­sively grate­ful to my peo­ple, and God will­ing, the next ex­er­cise will be bet­ter than this one. I thank them all for the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent them and pray that God will meet them all at their re­spec­tive points of needs.”

Jarigbe en­joined the ben­e­fi­cia­ries from his em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme to make ju­di­cious use of what they have got­ten ju­di­cially, and in­vest wisely so they can grow and teach oth­ers how to also fish.

Some dig­ni­taries, among them top gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials also graced the event and spoke glow­ingly about Jarigbe’s em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme, and de­scribed him as “The Man of the Peo­ple.”

Gov­er­nor Ben Ayade’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Martins Orim, who spoke at the event, said the law­maker has set stan­dards as to what em­pow­er­ment should con­sti­tute.

“Jarigbe’s em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme has raised the bar, es­pe­cially for a first- timer in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. I can tell you that the gov­er­nor is happy, and im­pressed that the peo­ple who voted him into the par­lia­ment are ac­tu­ally the di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

“From what is hap­pen­ing, any elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive that does not per­form well will be voted out. This of­fice is held in trust for the peo­ple and our elected of­fi­cials need to re­port to the peo­ple as the of­fice is not a per­sonal thing,” Orim said.

The state deputy chair­man of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP), Mr. Patrick Ebam, said from what he saw, Jarigbe has demon­strated se­ri­ous love for his peo­ple.

“The law­maker has at­tracted 89 projects and em­pow­ered hun­dreds of peo­ple, he has given qual­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tion by com­ing back to iden­tify with the vot­ers, and en­joined oth­ers to bor­row a leaf from him.

“This is a to­tal dis­play of sin­cer­ity and ac­count­abil­ity to his peo­ple. He has shown that he not only rep­re­sents his peo­ple, but that he is also close to them, and this peo­ple as you can see, be­lieve in him,” Ebam said.

Some of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries com­mented on the em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme, and thanked Jarigbe for be­ing a source of joy to them and putting smiles on their faces.

One of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries who gave his name as, Mr. Otem Stephen from Iji­raya ward in Yala Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area, said: “I least ex­pected this from our rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Be­sides, no­body has given this type of qual­ity mo­tor­cy­cle as an em­pow­er­ment, and thank God I got one.”

A lady, 45 years old, Mrs. Corde­lier Amana, a ben­e­fi­ciary from Amana-Ur­ban ward in Ogoja Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area, said: “I thank God for what our hon­ourable mem­ber has done for me, and my fam­ily. He has given me sew­ing ma­chine, and I will give it to my daugh­ter who just fin­ished learn­ing sew­ing work.”

Jarigbe has promised that more of such em­pow­er­ment was still in the offing as more peo­ple will ben­e­fit in fu­ture, say­ing “what you have seen is just the be­gin­ning. Ex­pect more.”

I humbly pre­sented my­self for elec­tion be­fore my peo­ple, and they voted mas­sively for me. There­fore, I came here to give back what they gave me in 2015 be­cause I am only hold­ing the power on their be­half. What I have done here to­day can­not be com­pared to what they have done for me, but this is just the be­gin­ning, the best of me is yet to come

Em­pow­er­ment items do­nated by Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe

Jarigbe

Peo­ple wait­ing to col­lect their em­pow­er­ment items

A woman with her sew­ing ma­chine

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.