By Eric Alionye
A State legislator is elected to represent a constituency, which is usually a Local Government Area, in the State House of Assembly. This is to ensure that every LGA is represented in the Chamber where laws are made. As such, it is expected that every constituency should endeavour to bestow such great responsibility on a candidate with the necessary political, social and academic exposure, in order to attract democratic dividends to his/her constituents.
Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri is the legislator representing Ika North East constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly; he assumed office after the 2015 General Elections. His sojourn in the legislative chambers could be interpreted to be a huge success so far, based on the various projects and donations that had been attracted to his constituents.
His impact on his constituents transcends sectorial divides; more importantly is the fact that he had assisted in cascading the SMART Agenda of the incumbent administration to his people. In his quest for a better livelihood for constituents, he had rendered assistants to youths in their educational pursuits, some have been sent outside the shores of the country for specialization in their chosen career, assisted women in wealth generation through various initiatives, provided solar source of power to boost small businesses among others.
He has succeeded in making himself a household name among his constituents due to a sense of commonality adopted in addressing the private concerns of all and sundry. He is a recipient of several awards from different organizations that have acquainted themselves with the unassuming approach of this quintessential gentleman. His very receptive personality is never lost on his constituents or any first timer who approaches him for help or to share ideas.
As the Honourable member representing the incumbent Governor’s constituency, he is expected to be a ‘home boy’ politically, an expectation that he had lived up to over these years. He is truly acquainted with political leadership and the ladder of ascendancy in this chosen career. He is known to have a good rapport with the political leaders in his Local Government Area; this is not a surprise because he daily conveys an aura that could best be described as “Loyalty is the key to political heights”.
It is difficult to hear such absurd comments about this rare representative. In terms of integrity, discipline, focus and living above the board of Questionable Representation, Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri scores high among his contemporaries. He has not been known to be a hunted representative in any guise; in fact, it has been three years of effective representation without any iota of doubt/dispute.
In all of these, I am of the opinion that the worldwide held belief that you don’t change a winning team should come to play in the case of Ika North-East representative at the State House of Assembly in 2019. The previously held belief that Honourable members are unreachable and very deceptive even when you finally get across to them has been demystified by Hon. Tony.
His readiness to give a listening ear to issues that are of relevance and frank approach in his dealings with others, presents him as a worthy leader who should be allowed to go for a second term as our representative. While learning the legislative rope, his contribution to debates and the several bills, both sponsored and co-sponsored, are a source of pride to all politically informed persons of Ika North-East extraction.
Being aware that leaders are either born or made, the antecedence of Hon. Elekeokwuri suggests to me that both approaches to raising leaders are infused in this man. With his demonstrated leadership qualities, I am of the opinion that he should be supported by all party faithful to acquire more leadership and legislative skills, while attracting the attendant legislative benefits to his constituents.
Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri should be endorsed by all and sundry for a second term in office, while not questioning the rights of others to so aspire.