REJOINDER TO OSEMWENGIE F. ON “THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE THIRD TERM AMBITION OF EDO NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS.”…….. BY BARR. FELIX OTA-OKOJIE.

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REJOINDER TO OSEMWENGIE F. ON “THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE THIRD TERM AMBITION OF EDO NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MEMBERS.”…….. BY BARR. FELIX OTA-OKOJIE.

My brother, thank you for your article that seems to subtly endorse third term while missing the fundamental point on which Ebakota is anchored.

Firstly, you made the erroneous impression that the second term limit applies to all legislators from Edo State. I guess you know this is misleading. Ebakota only applies to Edo Central and by extension Esan Legislators. Whatever the other Senatorial Districts choose to do is their business and got nothing to do with Esan Land.

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Secondly, there is nothing emotional about the insistence that people who benefited from an Agreement whether written or unwritten should not seek to subvert or jettison the Agreement after they have benefited therefrom.

Thirdly, you failed to state what the key issues and motives are. While according to you, you clearly understood the arguments of some of the purveyors of Ebakota, you however disagreed with the entire motives and rationale for the campaign by majority of the agitators because they have advanced any logical or significant reason to convince you on why they are insisting on Ebakota. To you, if there is a legislator who has done well for his people in his two terms, there is nothing wrong if such legislator decides to seek third term. With respect, your arguments fall short of addressing the issues in contention.

For the purpose of clarity, the issues in contention are that firstly, those who are seeking to undermine Ebakota today knew in 2015 that there was Ebakota when they sought elective office and they knew that their tenure would end in 2023 based on the already well established Agreement of TWO TERMS ONLY for elective offices.

Therefore, to turn around, subvert and undermine the very Agreement upon which they rode to office is not only a betrayal, dishonest, dishonourable, greedy but far below the minimum standard of behaviour you expect from people who have occupied the high office of legislature and leadership.

You alluded to performance as a basis for seeking third term. The arguments is that those before them were not denied third term as a result of non performance rather they were denied in furtherance of and respect for Ebakota.

Further more, there is even no performance on the part of the current political office holders to say the least. We have insisted that the construction of three classrooms block, grading of earth roads, drainage and town halls are too mundane to be called achievements for a Federal Legislature. We have given undue credence to these very elementary things and elevated non performance to performances. We have challenged them to show us the investment they attracted to Esan Land that generated employment for the teaming unemployed graduates who are now riding OKADA in Ekpoma and other places. We cannot continue to reward gross ineptitude.

We have also argued that even these mundane projects they claim to have facilitated, seventy percent (70%) of them are domiciled in the immediate community of the representative. For instance, 70% of the so-called projects ascribed to Senator Ordia today are sited in Esan Central Local Government. Same with others in the past. The question therefore is, when will development get to Communities who have not had the opportunity of having their children voted into office to also attract development to them?
This is another JUSTIFICATION FOR TURN BY TURN.

You made reference to Britain and other civilized climes but you failed to admit that ours is not a civilized clime. There is no basis for comparing Nigeria with Britain and other civilized climes. For instance, a legislator in Britain will not be struggling to attract three classrooms block, primary health centre and town hall to his constituency and singing to high heaven for it. These are too elementary and taken for granted. A legislator in Britain is more concerned with how Britain can become a more Super Power than America, China, Russia etc rather than bothering himself with mundane projects like the ones we are celebrating here.

According to you, every man has the right to aspire but you fail to acknowledge that the individual right cannot override the public interest. While they have the right to aspire, we reserve the right to say that aspiration is not in our collective interest and that’s what Ebakota represents.

We have not seen any performing legislator yet and that’s why we will continue to insist on Ebakota as that’s what guarantees our collective future at least for the now.

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