By Emeka Ozumba
It is no longer news that the Senate seat of the Anambra Central Senatorial District which has been stymied since 2015 is arguably the most sought after in Nigeria. Many had aspired to fill the vacuum but the 13th January 5, 2018 Re-run Election date appears to be the best opportunity for the people to have a representative that fits their aspirations and yearnings. Chief Sir Victor Umeh, Ohamadike, is undoubtedly the man with proven credentials to join the revered group of legislators in the upper legislative chambers of the National Assembly.
Often times, we hear legislators promise to provide quality representation, but the volume and complexity of legislative duties which cut across activities in standing committees, special or select committees, and joint committees with further division into subcommittees require a high level of intelligence, diligence and commitment. Above all, the preparation and presentation of Motions and Bills which are the yardstick for measuring the output of an effective legislator calls for erudition, doggedness and consistency which Chief Umeh packs in a pouch.
Without prejudice to some others who seek after the seat, Ohamadike will bring his intelligence to bear at the committees which are essential part of the legislative process. There is no doubt that as the Senate committees oversight on-going governmental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action to the Senate, well-thought-out inputs grounded in the knowledge of the needs of the people and critical areas of intervention are required. Again Chief Umeh is well-equipped to make invaluable contributions at this level. I dare add that he will bring a spark of legislative eloquence and panache that will once more liven up the red chambers to the admiration of distinguished colleagues and observers from the gallery.
Incidentally, Chief Umeh’s robust size has been latched onto by some traducers who would rather cast him as domineering and brutish. But the real ‘Victorious Victor’ is kindhearted, comely and gifted. A professional Estate Surveyor and Valuer whose mastery of the legal process, owing to his long involvement in many political legal tangos has led many to mistake him for a Lawyer. Fortunately, those who have been involved with this Nigerian political encyclopedia and APGA juggernaut confess to his friendly demeanor and abilities to convince friends and foe with reasoned submissions and argument; yet another requisite positive trait of an aspiring legislator.
John Lockwood Huie’s observation that “our lives are defined not by the challenges we encounter but how we respond to those challenges,” speaks volumes about Chief Sir Umeh’s dogged spirit. He has fought and won many political battles in the quest for the truth and pursuit of principles. As National Chairman of APGA for over a decade, Umeh towered above his peers by holding the reigns with uncommon tenacity in the face of daunting challenges, and as a Senator, his profile and impact will be no less exemplary.
Though Constituency projects have eluded Anambra Central for over two years due to lack of representation, it is instructive that Chief Umeh’s late arrival on the scene may yet make-up for lost time. There is ample evidence from his equally late arrival at the 2015 National Constitutional Conference, but that did not deter him from making instant impact and excellent contributions to the final document. One is therefore tempted to conclude that his Senatorial foray would be equally stellar.
Thus with the imminence of Ohamadike’s quest to represent Anambra Central Senatorial District, the long denied constituents may yet get a sense of fulfillment on the fact that they may finally get a representative worthy of the office and with the requisite clout to attract the much needed dividends of democracy. As the constituents file out to the polls on 13th January 2018, those of voting age must go with the conviction that though a lot may have been lost, the triumph of Chief Sir Victor Umeh and his eventual swearing in as Senator representing the district would definitely assuage their thirst for a worthy ambassador in the Senate.
Ozumba, a Public Affairs analyst writes from Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra Central Senatorial District.
By Emeka Ozumba