Ndoma-Egba earns vital endorsements for his return bid to Senate
By Nsa Gill
The bid by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN, to be re-elected into the Senate of Nigeria’s National Assembly where he was last the Senate Leader between 2011 to 2015 has received vital support across communities and groups as well as individuals.
According to one of the renowned political figure in the state Elder Chief Bolaji Anani who gave his endorsement for Ndoma-Egba’s return bid, “we made a mistake in 2015 when we halted his good representation and service in 2015. With this opportunity in 2019, from Abi local government area, I am assuring you on behalf of my people that we will correct our mistake by returning you back by voting for you and your party.”
Elder Anani, who is a former National Financial Secretary of the PDP was one of the prominent personalities that throng venue of the town hall meetings which Ndoma-Egba held across the six local government areas that makes up the Cross River State Central Senatorial district.
Anani’s endorsement was vital being that he is a political ally to the former governor of the State, Senator Liyel Imoke who was known to be the mastermind that halted Ndoma-Egba in 2015.
Another vital endorsement came from the people of Akparabong community where Ndoma-Egba hails from. Community leaders, youth leaders, and women leaders unanimously endorsed his candidature with a plan to join mass movement rally scheduled for Saturday 12th January in Ikom town, to be organized by the Coalition of Support Groups for Senator Ndoma-Egba (COSUGS).
The Deputy Director General of the group Engr. Jerome Egbe disclosed that the plan one million man rally has already been made known to the candidate during a recent courtesy call on him.
Egbe recalled one of the advice given to the people during his just concluded town hall meanings, saying he urged the people “to neglect sentiments and support candidates who can easily negotiate opportunities for them”.
He disclosed that people of the central senatorial district of Cross River State have, at various engagement sessions, restated their preference to have Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba return to represent them in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Firstly, all through the just concluded festive Christmas season, countless prominent individuals and groups trooped, almost ceaselessly, to his country home in Ikom town where he spent the Christmas and New Year receiving them and dispensing gifts and food items.
Prompted by this overwhelming show of support and solidarity, Senator Ndoma-Egba was spurred to embark on visitations to the six local government areas of Abi, Yakurr, Obubra, Ikom, Etung and Boki that make up the senatorial districts.
These visits took the form of Town Hall meetings where the traditional rulers, community leaders, political stakeholders across partisan divides, women and youths were all in attendance in massive numbers across all the local government areas visited from January 2nd to 4th, 2019.
The interactions afforded the people an opportunity to appreciate the past record of performance of Senator Ndoma-Egba during his initial three-term stint in the Senate between 2003-2015 where he rose to the enviable position of Senate Leader while also reminding him about some critical projects that were immediately abandoned by the Government as a result of his not being there to continue his development-oriented legislation and advocacy.
The record of performance under reference here included successfully sponsoring over 37 bills into Acts of the National Assembly including enactments with far-reaching public impacts like the Pensions Amendment Act, Freedom of Information Act, etc.
Also referenced were the over 358 employments into the Federal Service; the over 700 scholarship awards to Cross River State students in tertiary institutions; the over 16,000 beneficiaries of the free computer training program and berthing the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Ikom Centre.
The people also appreciated the fact that his position and personality had reintegrated Cross River State into the mainstream of national politics.
Furthermore, the many completed/on-going projects littered across the six local government areas including water supply schemes (e.g in Usumutong, Idomi, Mkpani, Iyamoyong, Akparabong, Opu, Bendeghe-Ekiem, Wula); roads (Ikom-Ajassor-Mfum Highway, Ikom-Agbokim), schools (e.g in Ediba, Ugep, Ogada, Abankang, Ikom, Nsofang, Etomi, Wula); health facilities (in Ofumbongha-Yala, Akparabong, Ogep-Osokom); electricity (in Adjijinkpor, Akparabong); erosion and flood control works (Ediba, Ugep, Apiapum, Akam, Akparabong, Ajassor, Irruan, Kakwagom); security (renovation of Ikom Police Barracks, commencement of work on Itigidi Police Station/Barracks); ICT Resource Centres, etc were identified.
The Senator has also assisted people with over 500 car gifts and helped over 3000 start-ups with items like cassava processing machines, hair-dressing equipment, grass mowers, etc.
The people also pointed to the Edor Surface Water Scheme, Ikom-Etomi-Agbokim, Ikom Specialist Hospital, Irruan Irrigation Dam, Bahumono Ring Road in Abi LGA, Faculty of Law, University of Calabar etc, as projects that need to be completed urgently because of their potential to catalyze the socioeconomic development of the area.
For Senator Ndoma-Egba, it was ample time to intimate the people of his desire to contest the forthcoming senatorial elections on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He thanked the various audiences for the show of love and goodwill to him and his family. He assured them he will run his campaign based on facts and issues, beginning with his past record of service in the Senate and the NDDC where he is the Board Chairman.
He noted that such record is already in the public domain and has been copiously and positively referenced. He pointed to the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari, who despite the low voter support he had in Cross River State in 2015, has demonstrated such love and affection for the State by ensuring the ongoing rehabilitation of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja Highway, award of the reconstruction of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Highway, the many strategic appointments of Cross Riverians including the Head of Service of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation, Chief of Naval Staff, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chairman of NDDC Board, DG of the Women Development Centre, etc, as a major inspiration. He enjoined all to reciprocate this love by overwhelmingly voting back President Buhari and all the candidates of the APC in the coming elections.
He observed that it is only in so doing that Central Senatorial District and indeed Cross River State can be reintegrated into the mainstream of Nigerian politics with attendant humongous benefits. Across the board, there was an immense outpouring of passionate commitments to support the reelection of President Buhari, Senator Ndoma-Egba and all the APC candidates.
For the Senator, the common refrain was “ VICTOR IS THE ONE WE KNOW” and to many, his re-election is taken as a community project but what Ndoma-Egba wants from the electorates is the support that sweeps across and extends to all the candidates of the APC in the 2019 elections.