The Stewardship of Hon. (Chief) Evance Ochuko Ivwurie, Member Representing Ethiope East State Constituency, Delta State House of Assembly Accomplishments: June 2015 – June 2016– 6th Assembly (2015-2019)
As I stand today to render account of my stewardship for my first year as your representative, I am really not the happiest person because SEVERE oppression, poverty, hardship, pain, suffering, austerity, misery, wretchedness and financial distress is tearing down my wonderful people of Ethiope East and Nigerians in general.
There is no gainsaying that our Nation has been experiencing difficulties and challenges ranging from harsh economic recession, paucity of resources, insecurity etc. But my confidence is that If God has not promised anything, we will not know that he is faithful. God’s promises are in His word –Deliverance, Healing, Redemption, Blessing and Prosperity. He is a faithful God and He will remain faithful to Ethiope East, our dear State – Delta and Nation – Nigeria.
I thank and very strongly commend the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, for his love for Ethiope East and support for me. I have continued to enjoy cordial working relationship with the Governor which has been in the overall and best interest of my Constituency.
Now, please permit me to use this medium to mention some of our modest accomplishments during the year under review.
THANK YOU VISITS
I fulfilled one of my major campaign promises this January 3rd through 11th paying thank you visits to each of Ethiope East 11 electoral wards. It was such wonderful and hilarious moments shared with my love flowing to my people who love me so much.
REGULAR VISITS TO THE CONSTITUENCY
I have also fulfilled another campaign promise of mine to always remain a grassroots Representative and not an Honourable in diaspora and inaccessible by my people, I am always here in Ethiope East either at my Eku or Abraka residences with you and my gates are wide open to receive and listen to Ethiope East people.
RESTORATION OF RELIABLE ELECTRICITY POWER SUPPLY
Many communities have been in outright and perennial blackout or epileptic electricity power supply across Ethiope East LGA for several years to my chagrin. Upon my assumption of office, I considered this situation extremely irritating, uncivilised, underdevelopment and unacceptable for my entire Constituency to be in darkness in this 21st century and decided to take the bull by the horn. Although a few community are still either in blackout or having epileptic electricity power supply. My several trips to meet with the Delta State Government, Sapele Electricity Sub-Station and the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) at their Head Office on Akpakpava Road, Benin City, Edo State to address the outright perennial blackout in some communities and epileptic electricity supply in other communities across Ethiope East LGA for several years is eventually bearing fruit, as in accordance with my insistence, Abraka and adjoining communities of Eku, Igun, Okpara Water-Side have been connected directly to the Sapele Sub-Station. The mentioned areas were connected and commissioned in December 2015. Many Ethiope East Communities by this connection now enjoy stable and reliable electricity power supply.
I give credit for this accomplishment to two distinguished Ethiope Easterners; His Royal Majesty, Avwaeke 1, Air Vice Marshal Lucky Ararile, Ovie of Umiaghwa – Abraka and Dr. Bright Okogu who conceived and supported me in every action taken to restore steady electricity power supply to our people.
REHABILITATION OF EKREJETA ROAD
I am happy to inform that the once impassable Ekrejeta Road where there are plethora of commercial banks has been completely rehabilitated with drainage constructed by the Delta State Government through the Direct Labour Agency (DLA). This project gives me so much joy because it was the first request I ever made to the listening Governor of Delta State His Excellency, Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa which he acceded to and gave immediate approval for DLA to rehabilitate the road.
PROTECTION OF ETHIOPE EAST INTEREST
I have brought many activities, deliberations and resolutions of the House and my Constituency to spotlight. I also made robust contributions and protected the interests of Ethiope East in the ten (10) bills that we have passed into law in the House and the thirty-three (33) motions we received and approved as well as the sixteen (16) reports we received and adopted in the House.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FOR EMPLOYMENT
As of today, my Office has provided several Letters of Recommendation and References to Ethiope East citizens seeking employment and Career advancement within and outside Delta State. With adequate follow up on these letters, I am happy to state that we have received few testimonies including those of Mr. James Agbogun, Edah Sylvester and others. Many more are awaiting results of their interviews while others have been scheduled for interviews. While we continue to pray for more testimonies, my Office remains wide open for our Constituents seeking for recommendation letters, reference and other non-finance related services. Conscious of the harsh economic reality of inadequate funds at this time, we will continue to oblige every of our constituents who are in need of any legitimate services that we can provide.
OVRE R’ EKU AND OVRE R’ IGUN INJUSTICE
Mention must be made of the role I played during the futile attempts to annex Ovre r’ Eku and Ovre r’ Igun communities by the Edo State Government through Presco Plc. This attempt is currently mired following my unrelenting approach against this ugly development. Having learnt of the devious plot, I swiftly swung into action by moving a motion on the floor of the House of Assembly calling on Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Chief of Army Staff and his Army to order. I also travelled and met with the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, the Surveyor General of the Federation and other relevant authorities to wade into this matter and they have so done. We thank God that the liberation of our land and people will soon be fully restored and all illegal occupation of our land by the Edo State Government and other vested interests will end soon.
CRACKING DOWN KILLER FULANI HERDSMEN
I am extremely delighted that my mothers, sisters, fathers and brothers across the Constituency now without fear of being attacked, raped and murdered go freely to their farmlands across the LGA. The menace posed by criminal elements amongst the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle became an issue of National concern with the horrific killings in Benue and Enugu States as well as Ubulu-Uku and Abraka of Delta State. Over here in Ethiope East and Delta State in general, the fear of an attack by criminals masquerading as herdsmen was palpable and the herdsmen created terrorist-like fear and panic in the heart and psyche of our people. Nigerians, Deltans and my Constituents became so scared to go to their own farms for fear of being attacked or killed. Our women were afraid of being raped. Indeed everyone was afraid of the unknown.
Motivated by the need to ensure the safety of lives and properties of our people, I provided the leadership that led a team made up of security operative, Vigilante Team and members of my political team that combed the entire forests, bushes and farmlands in Ethiope East particularly the Eku – Abraka axis. Through this proactive step, the criminal herdsmen terrorizing our people were chased out and our people are happy to go back to their farmlands without fear of rape, attack or murder. Let me state here that as the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, I am working on an amendment bill on the Delta State Agriculture and Rural Development Authority Law, 2006 (Amendment) to properly regulate the activities of herdsmen in Delta State in order that the entire state will be secured from the threat of herdsmen terrorism. This may well be the first of its kind in Nigeria.
CRACK DOWN ON KIDNAPPERS AND SUNDRY CRIMINALS
Prior to this time, kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminal elements had taken over the entire stretch of Ethiope East, made the Constituency a safe haven for their criminality thereby giving our people an unworthy reputation. The infamous case of Kelvin Oniarah gave the army jack-boot an excuse to lay siege on several peaceful communities in Ethiope East Local Government and this was highly inimical to our people. Upon my assumption of office, I vowed to make our Constituency uncomfortable for kidnapers and other criminal elements to operate. In this wise, I recently set up the Rid Ethiope East of Kidnappers (REEK) squad.
In one instance when these kidnapers tested our resolve by kidnapping the President of the Youth Wing of the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) Comrade Igho Ovie, I mobilized the REEK squad which was able to gather and provide the much needed intelligence to the security agencies which led to the rescue of Comrade Igho Ovie alive and arrests of many kidnappers in the Constituency. Indeed kidnappers and criminals generally now know that Ethiope East is not a conducive environment for their nefarious acts. We have put all it takes together to go after all criminal elements and to smoke them out of their dens, hide outs and caves.
PETITIONS AGAINST INJUSTICE
My Office has also received series of petitions from many oppressed people from Ethiope East bothering on outright injustice against them, lack of fairness, wrongful dismissals, downgrading, seizure/ stoppage of salary etc. While all cases have received my attention and are being reviewed expeditiously, I have continued to follow up with their evaluation purely on merit.
FUNDING ETHIOPE EAST INFRASTRUCTURE
I will like to offer my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency, the Governor of Delta State Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa. Through the magnanimity of the Governor, I have secured funding in the final 2016 appropriation spending (Budget) for several network of roads in Abraka, Eku, Okpara, Isiokolo, schools, electrification and many more fundamental projects and programmes across Ethiope East despite the paucity of funds and harsh economic reality across the country.
I have continued to keep faith with my duties of Law making, Representation and Oversight functions of the Executive arm of government, insist on probity, accountability and efficiency in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 2016 Budget.
While I have dedicated my first year to solving the plethora of issues and challenges facing our people as mentioned above, please be rest assured that I have the capacity and I am on top of some qualitative pro-people and development bills and motions.
Above is our modest accomplishment during the period under review. Although we could have done more, I have been severely hampered by the paucity of funds and the harsh economic recession. In most situations, seeing the chronic deprivation, suffering and pains of our people, I have had to mobilize assistance to our people by giving my lean resources to be able to meet the demands and needs of our Constituents facing some unavoidable emergencies. The overall objective has been my desire to deploy massively, the dividend of democracy to my Constituency using the opportunity of my representation to impact the lives of our people in exceptional ways.
These achievements have been as a result of our collective effort and unity. I wish to register my sincerest gratitude to His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, our Royal fathers Ogurimerime, Ukori 1, Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, Uku Odje vwo ro, Ovie of Oruarivie – Abraka and Avwaeke 1, Ovie of Umiaghwa – Abraka Kingdom whose prayers and words of admonition has thus far led me through the past one year. To our religious leaders, the security agencies, the farmers, the market women and men, the okada riders, the students, civil servants, fishermen and our children, I say thank you all.
For the years ahead of us, I Hon. (Chief) Evance Ochuko Ivwurie, rededicate myself to the service of the wonderful people of Ethiope East Local Government Area. I want to assure you that your safety and overall welfare is my ultimate concern. I will never negotiate your welfare for political expediency or any consideration whatsoever.
In this wise, I crave for your support and understanding in our collective task to enhance the lives of the good people of Ethiope East. I am one of you, and I share your concerns. I have no doubt in my mind that we are a great people, and we will keep doing great things.
Despite all that we have achieved together, we are not yet where we want to be; better is not good enough, the best is yet to come.
I thank you all for your solidarity.
I win, You win.
Hon. (Chief) Evance Ochuko Ivwurie
Member Representing Ethiope East State Constituency,
Delta State House of Assembly,