Raymond Ozoji in Awka ran into a former lawmaker at the Anambra House of Assembly premises during the inauguration of the 6th Assembly and reports on her recollections the impact her litigious tenure had on her capacity to deliver on her campaign promises to her constituents.
Determined to set the people of Awka- North Local Government Area free from the grip of economic hardship, poor governmental representation and social stagnation, Hon.Mrs.Rebecca Uzoamaka Udoji( Paragon ) presented herself in 2011 as champion of infrastructural development and social engineering in Awka- North council area of Anambra State . The paragon of beauty had in 2011 rallied round her people, telling them of the dire need to give women, like her the chance to bring the desired change and transformation in Awka-North .
To further drive home her message of change, she offered herself as sacrificial lamb so that her people could have a breathe of fresh air as well as have an opportunity to reap dividends of democratic representation. Having warmed her way into her people, Hon.Udoji declared interest to contest in the 2011 general elections to represent Awka-North State Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly .
Without mincing words, the people gave their full and unalloyed support when she declared to contest the 2011 election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ). As fate would have it Hon.Mrs.Rebecca Uzoamaka Udoji won the 2011State House of Assembly Elections to represent Awka-North State Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly. But her victory was short-lived. What she won at the poll had to be contested at the tribunal for a better part of her carreer.
Hon. Udoji became enmeshed in a protracted legal battle with another candidate of a faction of PDP who jostled for the same Awka-North seat in the 2011 State House of Assembly Elections . This legal battle precluded her from being sworn-in as her co-legislators. She was apparently not deterred by the travails of court litigation, which later proved to be a work over for her, though with . She was vindicated and declared winner of the 2011 State House of Assembly Elections in Awka-North Constituency . Having re-gained her lost mandate and then inaugurated formally into the State House of Assembly , the lawmaker swung into action with full vigour to fulfill her electoral promises.
Fortunately, she was made the House Committee Chairman on Women Affairs and Social Development. This portfolio afforded her the choice platform to work with the executive arm of government in the execution of empowerment programmes for women and children in Anambra State . As a lawmaker she made do all her electoral promises to the people of Awka-North local government area. In this regard, the ten communities in Awka-North State Constituency had a fair share of the dividends of democracy while she represented and protected their interest at the state house of assembly .
Hon.Udoji as lawmaker deployed constituency funds to the betterment of her constituents. To this end therefore, she commissioned medical and health missions whereby indigenes of Awka-North got free medical services in quantum . Also her education projects for schools in Awka-North speaks volume of her commitment to revamp teaching and learning in the area . The likes of Central School Achala and many others got new class room blocks , teaching and learning materials , chairs and tables to mention just a few.
Other aspects of her constituency projects also include construction of market stalls, dolling out micro-credits for rural market women as well as a host of other constituency cum community projects not mentioned here-in but all have endeared her to the people of Awka-North , being the first woman to represent her constituency in the state house of assembly . Despite these sterling qualities and laudable achievements of hers in the last four years, the paragon of beauty could not make it to the 6th Anambra State House of Assembly that was constituted recently .
Although she said that she has no regrets whatsoever not being re-elected for a second tenure, she said her political career will certainly not end with her first sojourn to the hallowed chambers . To this end ,Hon.Udoji while speaking with journalists at the assembly complex Awka shortly after the valedictory legislative session marking the end of the 5th Anambra State House of Assembly , expressed profound gratitude to God to have served her people in that capacity despite what she described as the rigors of politics which she said did not change her one bit .
The ex-lawmaker stated that her political party ; the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) is the best and biggest political party in West Africa and that inspite of her none re-election , she would still remain in the PDP through out her political career in life . Hon. Udoji recalled that the most trying period for her career as a lawmaker in the out-gone 5th Assembly, was the pain and anguish she was subjected to carrying her INEC certificate of return and deprived of being swornin into the hallowed chambers on 13th June 2011, noting that the experience was so traumatic .
According to her , ‘ I know I won that election ; I had no challenges over my winning the election and I was deprived of being sworn-in because of one Kangaroo court order that is unconstitutional but I have put everything in the past now ‘ . The ex-lawmaker further disclosed that that the final judgment for the lawsuit preventing her from being sworn-in was delivered on the eve of the 2015 presidential election by the supreme court, stressing that her four years in the state house of assembly was laddened with court challenges but she gave all the glory to God that irrespective of the litigations because she stood her ground and triumphed in the end .
She explained that the type of political and ginstitutional representation she gave the people of Awka-North can never be equaled as she clearly stated that ‘ I doubt who will stand as a house of assembly member to have the zeal to do that which I have done in Awka-North ‘ emphasizing that giving and touching lives is a virtue everybody does not have !