By Eric Alionye
Unlike numerous cases where admirers hold brief for political office occupants that their lack of impact on the people was due to learning the strings as a first-timer, it is a different ball game altogether with Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri. Despite being a first-timer in Delta State legislative Chambers, he has demonstrated through outstanding legislative input that he is well-prepared for the task.
The fact that the legislator represents the incumbent Governor’s constituency in the House of Assembly, with all eyes on him to be the voice of the Governor in the Chambers, makes him appear to be on a hot seat in carrying out his responsibilities. He is faced with the challenge of presenting himself loyal to the power brokers or else any action could be interpreted to mean a slight or disloyalty to stakeholders.
Fortunately, the political culture of the Governor demonstrated by his all-inclusive approach to issues leaves the Honourable with an open-hand to showcase his sagacity and consequently attract legislative dividends to his people and to the admiration of all sincere political followers.
Notwithstanding the high expectations of the electorates from the legislator which usually ranges from personal effects and developmental initiatives within the communities he represents, he could be said to have achieved remarkable feats that are worthy of celebration; as such, he has reasonably demystified the mirage associated with ‘first time’ representation.
It is on record that he has sponsored/co-sponsored some popular bills that are of direct effect to the masses. To his credit, among bills sponsored by the Honourable include; the bill on Administration of Criminal Justice which is awaiting the Governor’s accent and that of Environmental Management which has passed second reading and is before the House Committee on Environment. He also co-sponsored Delta State Sickle Centre bill and Delta State Bureau for Statistics bill among others.
He had attracted the grading of 27 earth roads in his constituency and as a champion for education; he had given financial assistance to numerous students in higher institutions through his Students Financial Assistants Scheme.
The donation of desks and chairs for teachers and students to some schools in his constituency has to a great extent aided in entrenching comfortable learning environment to these schools. It is still an ongoing programme whenever such needs are identified.
His welfare scheme for orphans, widows and physically challenge had been of great benefit to so many in his constituency. The record has more than a 100 names that have benefitted from his kind gesture.
In line with the incumbent administration’s SMART Agenda aimed at raising skilled manpower in various sectors of the economy, he, through the Elekeokwuri Oversea Training Programme, had sponsored not less than 10 youths to India for diverse training, with a greater number of participants awaiting final documentations to follow suit.
The Honourable’s calm personality and political maturity does not allow him brag or make so much noise about his achievements but his feat stand tall and visible to political followers within his constituency.
No wonder not a few have arisen to campaign for a second tenure in office. While his competitors and opposition would interpret his reticent nature as cowardice, it is trite to inform all such that rascality and obduracy have never been listed as necessary virtues for political participation.
He is dogged in his belief and has a focus to attract everything within his legislative ambit to his constituency; this remains a goal that he had not in any way shied away from. As a politician, he understands the virtue of Loyalty; a virtue in my opinion, that is obviously infectious to anyone who interacts with this rare gentleman for the first time. If there are politicians who have imbibed patience as a necessary political virtue, in terms of listening to the high and low, with the mind to proffer solutions as the case may be, Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri stands out.
Hon. Tony Elekokwuri’s quest to represent Ika North-East Constituency for a second tenure in the State Assembly is a good one because he scores above board on all fronts in the legislative business thus far. His legislative profile speaks volume of one, who while learning the legislative strings as a first-timer, is immediately attracting the dividends of his office to his people. Indeed, he has done well and should go back for a second term.