-By Unwana Assam
10th June, 2021, made it exactly two years since the current members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly took the oath of office to serve their constituents in their various constituencies.
From time immemorial, celebrating an anniversary has been a norm, depending on what one celebrates. Etymologically, anniversary celebration is dated to the Roman Empire when men started celebrating their loved ones and presented gifts to them for the milestone achieved in the past year(s). In our clime, the norm is not in any way different. What seems to be a bit different is the fact that people celebrate anniversaries mainly on the reason for the anniversary celebration and to snap pictures and post without recording reasonable impact or achievement to their feathers.
Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly (AKHA), led by Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey has just clocked two years, just like their counterparts in other states. Occasioned by that, the Akwa Ibom State social media and offline community have stood still in celebration on the Members of Parliament. To say the least, most of their achievements are only seen on social media as published by their respective media aides and nothing seems to be felt in their respective constituencies. This leads to the question; does the 7th AKHA second anniversary worth the celebration, the encomium, and the mouth-watering goodwill messages?
At least celebrations should be accorded with laudable achievements.
A cursory look at their performance in their respective constituencies, one can easily pinpoint the fact that the 7th Assembly is not the Assembly Akwa Ibom people wished for in a time like this. This may sound relative, but the truth is that the current Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly seems to lack behind in terms of effective representations in their constituencies. Their reason is not far-fetched. They attribute it to lack of funds or their usual phrase “mkpo ibagha”, but findings have shown that what used to be during the former 5th-6th Assembly, the privileges allotted to the members of the state house of assembly by the executive every year as it was done to the former is still in practice.
A period like this in the former assembly, if not all, a good number of the MPs had already assembled items (empowerment) to brief their constituents. Though many people never regarded that as empowerment but be that as it may, it practically showed that those set of assembly members were not only there to accrue wealth for themselves and their family members but to serve the people who voted for them.
Unfortunately, some members of the state house lag in terms of grassroots empowerment, connection with their constituents, or relationship. They become insensitive to their environment. Some are even in competition of “who owns the most expensive cars in town”, “building white houses” in a “Government Reserved Area”.
The ones doing their second term are either on the prowl to accumulating more money to pay delegates in the 2023 House of Representatives/Senate election or displaying a nonchalant attitude of all sorts to their constituents.
They are oblivious of the fact that they were elected to represent the people, thereby accruing money and wealth for the next elections they are not sure of.
It is obvious that the 7th Assembly led by Hon. Aniekan Bassey has performed below expectations, hence this serves as a second call for the members to rise and serve their constituents effectively.
Comrade Unwana Assam is an activist, good governance advocate, and the publisher of newsline9ja.com