Visionless and lackluster representation could best be described as the reason Jerry Uzosike, the man who represents the People of Umuahia South in the Abia State House of Assembly would descend so low i.e. to the level of idiocy to mudsling and issue some unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations against persons whose good intentions are aimed at freeing the people from impending danger.
That is why in his vague response to his conspicuous poor representation, he went to the gutters, throwing debris and slag on those that raise vital issues on his obvious quietness over the control of Umunwanwa gully erosion. A properly investigated piece on his lackluster approach towards waging war against the Umunwanwa ecological disaster and the way forward shockingly attracted smear campaign and silly trouncing. Ironically, instead of accepting the suggestions from this writer and other observant as one of the roadmaps to the solutions, Jerry Uzosike chose to the chagrin of many to play to the gallery and thus exposing his naivety and incapability to serve as a representative of the people.
The point is that the lives of the people of Umunwanwa and other communities in Umuahia South are in danger; one more rain may see them losing their Mbara, the Community’s centre and the pride of the community. However, rather than addressing this, Jerry went to his normal soul travelling of how I, Uche Nwosu, came to him for sponsorship of my NUJ Chairmanship contest and that failure to do so led to the scripting of the write-up. Isn’t that arrant nonsense and smacks of poor understanding of the duties of a legislator vis-à-vis the role of journalist as a watchdog of the society?
As a journalist of many decades, my duty is to raise some concerns particularly where it concerns lives of the people. I did it during the regime of maximum ruler, Gen Sani Abacha and other governments after him. Jerry was nobody then. Gullies of Umunwanwa have gotten to the level of state and national attention which any reasonable legislator, using pictorial and documentary evidence, and presenting same to office of the national headquarters of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) in Abuja could initiate action that could control them.
Given the fact that he cannot do it alone, the report suggested that he should liaise with Senator representing Abia Central, Senator TA Orji and Hon Sam Onuigbo representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency to make the request for national involvement, after they, in the National Assembly, are in a better position to expedite action on it. The two are representing Umuahia South at their various levels of legislations. The piece believes that a charismatic and sociable politician should galvanise the two politicians and others who offer help irrespective of party affiliation to assist the people of Umunwanwa and indeed Umuahia South get out of this impending danger.
Nobody asked him to “drag” any of them to the erosion site which he claimed he did in the case of Senator Orji. If the jamboree Jerry Uzosike embarked upon were carefully planned and executed with the two national legislators, including the Minister from Abia State as well as other eminent Abia citizens who know the pathway to offices that open doors in Abuja, perhaps his claim that the Umunwanwa erosion project was not captured by the Ecological Office wouldn’t have been so.
But would his pomposity, arrogance, apathy allow this extremely exalted Jerry Uzosike to meander his way to getting the necessary help for the people of his constituency? Never! What people like him who exist within the confine of their states i.e. local champions, usually get are pledges and assurances that hold no meaning, while their people continue to suffer. No doubt, he will continue to fiddle while Mbara Umunwanwa and other gully sites in the community and other parts of Umuahia South State Constituency are submerged via the rampaging natural disaster.
Is this character called Jerry Uzosike really serious? Let me quote him, “he (Jerry Uzosike) visited Ecological Office in Abuja, met with the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Office as well as Procurement Officer to make case for Umunwanwa erosion. Regrettably, Umunwanwa was not captured by the Ecological Office…on return, he engaged the service of Rhino Maritime Services and Construction Ltd in 21st September 1999, based in Port Harcourt who designed the Umunwanwa erosion project and handed it over to him”.
This is incredible and atrocious to say the least. A man full of lies cannot be trusted. How could he have attracted a company to make the paper works for the control of the Umunwanwa erosion in September 1999 when actually the gullies are on the prowl few years ago? Lies, lies, lies!
The claim that I asked for support for a union election which I ran sometime this year; the point is that I went to him as my representative in the Abia House of Assembly and told him of my ambition to run for a union’s office and needed his support. This is because in 2015, Jerry Uzosike came to me and sought for my support. He needed badly my support to win the Community. I obliged him and worked strenuously. It is on record that he won in my Community and failed woefully in other areas of Umuahia South.
In 2019, this same character resurfaced, came to me again seeking for my support a second term. I again caved in even though I knew he had some seemingly irresolvable issues with the Olokoro Clan. Of course, I fought for him with my resources in my community and he won. This time around, he had his way to the House of Assembly. Therefore, when I made up my mind to run for the union’s office, I thought a reciprocal support from him will not be misplaced. And that is the blackmail he is using to disparage and demonise me? What has that got to do with the control of gullies that people are demanding he confront headlong?
I would’ve approached him to inform him of the need to adopt the constructive engagement strategy whereby all concerned, including bigwigs in Abia and Abuja would be involved in realisin the project, but his resentful posture as encapsulated in the allegation that I did the report based his refused to bankrolled my union’s ambition put me off. Of course, as a journalist, I don’t care whose ox is gored.
Funny enough, he claimed that I worked against the interest of the party in my community during the election, but he won twice there. Are the records not there? It has become the pastime of failed politicians to make spurious housewife’s tales every time they fail in their duties. Anyway, I’m used that gibberish. One Uche Mark also expressed the same sentiment and asked him to take a better approach to the erosion menace and he called him Alex Otti’s chap.
One wonders why Jerry Uzosike wants to cover his appalling representation at the State Assembly with false labeling, and he think it will work. Please, it’s dead on arrival.
For those who staged a kangaroo adoption of Jerry Uzosike to continue in office after May 2023, they should understand that they have by so doing violated the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and some relevant Sections of the Electoral Acts. This is worrisome because the institution that did the adoption is an institution created by the law; a lawmaking body for that matter. They should have known better.
They should quietly and swiftly rescind that adoption before it becomes scandalous and turns out a crime against them. They are unwittingly saying that the good people of Umuahia South have in 2021 conducted election into Abia State House of Assembly; an election billed for 2023 and declared Jerry Uzosike as winner. Or are they saying that there would be no election for that seat in 2023? Paradoxically, he has accepted and even commended this folly.
***Next, How His Neighbours Perceive Him***
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Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.