By Richardson Ogwezzy
The manner in which political office holders are addressed in various newspapers in recent times is quite appalling. Many newspapers headlines bear: Governors, Senators, member of House of Representatives, members of House of Assemblies, Chairmen of LGA, Commissioners etc attending one ceremony or another. This ranges from birthday parties, burials, naming ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, festivals to chieftaincy titles. etc
It is a common thing that every worker or staff in any organisation must be accosted with questions regarding his job with specific reference to its relevance to the populace. Take for instance, I am a teacher by God’s grace. As a teacher parents and guardians do ask me how their children are progressing in academics, the best text books for students’ use, behaviour of ones’ child etc. They ask questions like when will the term end, how much is WAECSSCE, NECOSSCE registration fees and so on.
In the case of our political office holders, the citizens are duty-bound to ask them the proceedings at the legislative houses especially the bill proposed, the benefits of such bills when passed into law, the plans and programmes of the government for the people and how will their people key in to government plans and programmes. But, the reverse is the case.
Political office holders at all levels are expected to represent the particular political zones, areas,, districts, wards etc from where they are appointed or elected. Representation in the sense that, they are expected to bring political dividends to the people they represent and have cordial relationship with their people. Political office holders of the old, whenever they visit their constituencies, the people they represent will feel glad because they will be fed with the current political activities(feedback) in the law making chambers. The government plans and programmes for the people and how the people will benefit from government expected plans and programmes
Presently many of our current political office holders have shied away from these responsibilities. What is commonly published about our political office holders are social activities with less emphasis to their primary functions. What an aberration!
Media practitioners should focus on the statutory functions of the politicians, that is, the aspect that relate to their political mandate given by the electorates. For instance, Distinguished Senator DSP Ovie Omo-Agege using legislative instrument to restore the suppressed Abraka State Constituency, His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade of Cross River State made a pronouncement of employing 20, 000 youths in his State. His Excellency Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, made a parallel pronouncement of engaging 5,000 youths. The public commended their effort. Again, the people of Warri Federal Constituency, have showered encomium on their House of Representative member, Chief(Hon) Thomas Ereyitomi (JP) for enrolling over 200 students for SSCE NECO. These are worthy of publication.
In all frankness, experts in the media industry, ought to examine critically the content and value of what to publish, especially now that every write up goes viral in our contemporary global village setting.
We praise performing politicians and encourage non performing ones to brace up the challenges of effective and purposeful representation.
The other day I was in my village I met a young graduate with a camera and a laptop. I asked how he came by a camera. He said he applied for Skill Training and Entrepreneurial Programme(STEP) of Delta State Government, an Entrepreneurial programme designed by former Political Leaders of Delta State, but was reinvigorated by His
Excellency Sen.(Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa for empowering thousands of Delta State youths almost on annual basis. Youths now benefit from the laudable programme even without political affiliation and godfatherism. The beneficiary of the empowerment is today self employed and gainfully making a living without depending on anybody. Many others received different training and empowerment depending on their area of skill acquisition. In a twinkle of an eye, two other women standing by said they also benefited from the programme. Such applaudable programme ought to be published by the media, rather than focusing on frivolities and endless celebrations and partying.
Recently, I was in Iselegu community in Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State and was astounded to see the magnificent church edifice constructed by a vibrant and focus driving Commissioner Hon. Chika Ossai and upon further inquiry, I was made to understand that, he has equally built a hospital for Obikwele community in Ndokwa East LGA, that his good gestures in project development to his people dotted the political coverage he represents. His developmental achievements are imponderable. These are events to be given wide publicity to check poor performance of political office holders in the country.
Political representation is not an opportunity for aggrandisement and endless frolicking, but a call to service by the people and for the people
Richardson Ogwezzy writes from Emu Kingdom in Delta State