By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Following the erection of critical infrastructures and facilitation of human capacity advancement programmes in their communities,People of Bende Wards in Abia North Senatorial District have declared that they’re indebted to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu representing the zone at the National Assembly promising to repay him with their votes on election day , February 25th.
Alongside his staff and campaign officials, Kalu flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday stormed Ozuitem, Itumbazor Ward 1, Itumbazor Ward 2, Bende and Umuhuezechi wards to canvass for his re-election to the Senate Chambers.
While arriving at various wards Kalu the Senate Chief Whip received cheers and got endorsements from jubilant Residents and teeming supporters as declared by their district heads and stakeholders.
Various Developmental projects and empowerments instituted by Kalu were mentioned by the community stakeholders as all of them agreed that their Senator has done so much for them and it is their responsibility to repay him with their votes. Kalu urged the people to cast their votes in the ballot paper where the symbol of a broom for them to continue to enjoy peace and good governance in their district.
While at Ozuitem Ward Joy Chukwuma, attested to being a beneficiary of the Federal Government skill Acquisition training facilitated by Kalu. Joy, who spoke on behalf of other participants, disclosed that her selection to participate in the programme alongside over a thousand Abia-North constituents was unexpected as she had no affiliation with the Senator or his political group.
On her part Joy narrated that she was engaged in an all expenses paid training on catering services held in Enugu, adding that they were given catering equipment and start-up funds at its conclusion.
“We are grateful to Kalu for enabling us to participate in the training, most of us were unexpectedly informed via phone call because we are ordinary people with no connection. The programme really helped us to stand on our own. At the end we were given a gas cooker, cylinder and other baking equipment and cash. We know that when goes back to the Senate he will bring more of such, that’s why we are voting for him.
Chieftain of the community, Elder Ogbonna Eke showered Kalu with praises for constructing their road beside which the rally was being held. Eke beckoned Kalu to provide them with another kilometer saying that they had resolved to not only vote him but increase the percentage of votes he got from the community in 2019.
Another notable Youth Leader, Okechukwu Igwe, asserted that Kalu had changed the fortunes of their community since his assumption at the Senate saying that his party APC under his leadership has been more beneficial to the community.
He described Kalu’s Electoral victory as a done deal. He carpeted the State’s ruling People’s Democratic Party for neglecting their community after 16 years after Kalu completed his term as Governor of the state. He challenged the party to prove them wrong by mentioning a single project they had executed apart from the ones instituted by Kalu.
Need to return Kalu’s favour through the ballot was stressed at Itumbauzor ward, Ntalakwu where prominent stakeholder of the APC Nduoma Okoroafor itemised the Lawmaker’s good deeds in their constituency starting from when he was Governor. From the nomination of its Indigene to oversee the LGA as Chairman and the implementation of basic amenities in their ward.
“Orji Kalu has always shown love to us as Governor he appointed an indigene of this community to be Local Government Chairman of Bende.
“You have renovated our community school before then our children used to learn under trees. The Senate is for experienced people with capacity like our Senator, we are very happy with the borehole you have us at Okosi, including Solar lights in our communities.
Kalu attention was drawn to the terrible state of the “Ntalakwu” which he and team passed through before getting to the venue. Nduoma said that situation gets worse off during rainy season as farmers who move to other communities to sell their produce are forced to sell almost 10 times its normal price due to transportation costs.
The party stalwart however expressed that the three year achievements of Kalu in their communities demonstrates his commitment to resolve their problem hence their resolve to vote him again.
An example of how Kalu honoured his 2019 Electoral promise was cited at Itumbazor Ward A in 2019 as told by the Head of the community Chief Jacob Abel. According to Abel , during his 2019 campaign the Senator pledged to build a Secondary school which he later built with the construction of the Ntalakwu Comprehensive secondary school.
Abel said the community would repay Kalu with their votes;
“There’s no way we won’t vote for Orji Kalu with what he has done for us, after giving us the school, he has provided us with running water which is serving not just our community but neighbouring ones. He remains our sole candidate for the Senatorial election.
Kalu got more endorsements at Umuhu where the Leader of Umuhu Clan , Chief Onwukwe recalled how Orji Kalu gave premium appointments and employment to their indigenes pointing out renowned personalities like P.C. Mba.
Onwukwe noted that the existing infrastructures like roads and electricity in the community were those he built as Governor saying that none has been added by any other subsequent administration. He revealed that Kalu has pledged to build the road connecting the community to Ozuitem and Amaeke stating that they had agreed to vote Kalu again.
Orji Kalu empathised with the Ntalakwu on the state of their road , he told them the steps he would take with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to build the 19 Km estimated road.
“The 4km road I built as Governor 16 years ago has deteriorated because of lack of maintenance. This road deserves special attention and must be linked to Akwa – Ibom. The roads I built in this community are nothing compared to what I have in my next Agenda, we have the Bende to Arochukwu road. The only tarred road and electrification was done by my administration; its sad subsequent ones didn’t build on it.
The former Governor told the voters to remain focused and not to be swayed by inducements usually shared by desperate politicians during elections, according to him all electorates needed were simple basic amenities and infrastructures like; schools, water , health care and motorable roads to boost their economic activities.