Of all the 10 federal constituencies in Imo state, the only lawmaker who will have a seamless or easiest re-election for a second term is Rt. Hon Ugonna Ozurigbo, popularly known as OZB. The main reason that will guarantee an easy re-election for him is predicated on his performance as a lawmaker right from his stint as a state lawmaker between 2011 and 2019 and now as a federal lawmaker since 2019.
Hon Ozurigbo is a member of the House of Representatives, representing Nwangele, Nkwerre, Isu and Njaba federal constituency (NNIN). The former deputy speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly is a young man who rose from grass to grace through a dint of hard work and the grace of God. His life trajectory from grass to grace is the reason he’s humane, humble with deep compassion for the downtrodden.
The mobile telecommunication revolution in Nigeria, particularly in this millennium, marked a paradigm shift in OZB’s business venture. Here is a young man who grew his business from a small table under a canopy as a call attendant to a conglomerate. It’s unarguable that OZB is the most performing lawmaker in the present dispensation from Imo state. His human empowerment programme is second to none.
Since 2019 when he was elected into the House of Representatives, he has empowered hundreds of thousands of his constituents. OZB is one of the few lawmakers who utilise their constituency project funds judiciously and prudently. He’s not a chairman of a House standing committee, yet he has attracted democratic dividends far more than most of his colleagues even as a first timer in the green chambers. He’s seeking re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
What actually would his opponents from other political parties say against him that would warrant the electorate to reject him? Would they tell the electorate of NNIN that Ozurigbo has been the worst performer among his 360 colleagues in the green chamber, particularly among his colleagues from Imo state? Would they say OZB is lagging in delivering democratic dividends to them?
Ozurigbo, if re-elected, stands a chance of emerging the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives if the PDP forms the federal government in 2023. His opponents are greenhorns who would be consigned to the back seats in the unlikely event that they win the election.
The people of Nwangele, Nkwerre, Isu and Njaba need a ranking member to get a greater share of the national cake from the National Assembly come 2023. If OZB could be doing the wonders that he has been doing even as a first-timer, imagine what he would do when returned as a ranking or senior member of the House of Representatives.
A man like OZB’s re-election shouldn’t have been challenged, considering his performance. However, democracy permits competition and contestation. OZB is a lawmaker who can be proud to showcase his imprimatur in the form of empowerment or democratic dividends that he has attracted in each ward in his constituency. He has facilitated the employment of hundreds of youths from his constituency into federal jobs.
There’s no better empowerment a lawmaker can give to his constituency than securing gainful employment for his people including the thousands of artisans and skilled manpower that he has equipped with working tools in form of cash to lubricate their trade.
Ozurigbo hails from Nwangele LGA. His predecessor, Rt Hon Jones Onyereri, is from Nkwerre. His predecessor was in the green chambers for two consecutive terms of eight years. What would be the justification to limit a performing lawmaker like OZB to one term of four years? It is equitable, justifiable and fair to allow OZB to also have at least another term before the seat goes to either Isu or Njaba LGA. By the time OZB completes his tenure at the House of Representatives and perhaps moves to the senate, someone from either of these two remaining LGAs of Isu or Njaba will replace him.
The art of lawmaking goes beyond sponsoring bills and moving motions. OZB has combined both sponsoring of bills and empowerment since 2019. Nigerians from the other part of the country may literally spit on Imo People, especially on the voters from NNIN if they fail to re-elect OZB into the green chambers come 2023.
It bears repeating that he has performed beyond average and stands a good chance of clinching a position of a presiding or principal officer of the House when returned to the hallowed chambers. People of NNIN must not miss this opportunity.
Owerri, Imo state