On the 11th of June 2015, when the 6th Abia State House of Assembly was inaugurated, Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe. Ph.D (ManofGod) realized well enough that his election was the outcome of the generous intent of the people of Bende North. Thus, he was saddled with a great moral burden to offer purposeful representation to his people. Chuck Palahniuk in his Lullaby was talking to Cosmos when he said, “in a world where vows are worthless, where making a pledge means nothing, where promises are made to be broken, it would be nice to see words come back into power.”These words resonated in Cosmos’s consciousness as he reflected on his contract with the people, his promises not to let them down.
When his colleagues found him worthy to be elected the Deputy Speaker of the House, Chairman House Committee on Information, Media and Publicity; Chairman House Committee on Security and Boundary Matters, he felt a more burning desire not to either recant or renege on any of his promises to the people while the fanfare of elections lasted.
In a hurry to ensure his people’s welfare is non – negotiable and precisely on the 15th of July 2015, he adverted the attention of the House to the menace of Fulani herdsmen in his constituency which culminated in the attack of Egwuonwu Dick from Ndieke Igbere. Apart from moving the House to take urgent steps to forestall further breakdown of law and order, the Deputy Speaker personally visited the victim at Royal Cross Hospital Ugwueke. The visit was to give Egwuonwu and others in similar circumstances sense of belonging. At the hospital, the member representing Bende North paid Egwuonwu’s medical expenses in full as well as the bills of other constituents who were at various stages of recovery in the maternity and general wards. Cosmos ensured that this gesture did not serve as a one shot event. He has since continued to pay the hospital bills of most of his constituents across health centres in his constituency. It is also on record that the salvo he fired that 15th of July encouraged the house to support an ANTI GRAZING BILL now at its second reading.
Bearing in mind the need to have peaceful cohabitation between his people and their neighboring communities, on the 6th of December, 2015; he raised a strong voice which result was a unanimous resolution by the House to deploy the instrument of law in tackling the lingering boundary dispute between Akanu – Item in Bende Local Government and the people of Ubeagu Akaeze in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. He did not do this alone. In his characteristic manner of embracing participatory democracy, he consulted and sought the wise counsel of traditional rulers and larger opinion leaders of Akanu Item.
ManofGod being an unapologetic believer in enterprenuership and promotion of business opportunities, convinced that his Bende North constituents have amazing business sense and can do better if given the enabling environment, raised strong arguments that gave birth to the Abia State Public Private Partnership and Investments Promotion Bill which has since been signed into law.
Determined to offer the best, worried by diverse inhibitions suffered by women and disabled persons, Cosmos solely sponsored the Abia State Equal Opportunities Bill 2016. This bill which has passed second reading is designed to checkmate all practices that promote gender inequality and discrimination against persons living with disabilities.
This Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communication, the voice of the voiceless, the people’s Ombudsman felt deeply concerned by the hardship brought on his people by the operators of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC). He convinced his colleagues to take the first major step against this company. In response to his motion for matter of urgent importance, the 6th House served EEDC notice to improve or be ejected from Abia especially Bende North.
The applause the EEDC motion generated only spurred Cosmos to do more. On foot, transversing the length and breadth of Ezeukwu, Ugwueke, Alayi, Item and Igberre, he has continued to interact with his people on ways and means of developing the Constituency. Periodically, he holds meetings with diverse groups while encouraging them to look inwards to identify their specific needs. ManofGod has constantly encouraged his people to remain steadfast in their support for the Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu /PDP administration which holds promise for a massively developed Bende North, nay Abia State.
Cosmos has continued to march words with action two years on. In 2015, through his Cosmos Ndukwe Foundation, examination fees were paid for 212 candidates who registered for Senior Certificate Examinations in mostly public schools across Bende North. In 2016, the number was increased to 221. It is on record that before his election as a legislator in 2015, he had commenced and sustained the registration of this examination for 200 candidates since 2011. From about 100 undergraduate scholarships, Cosmos now has about 115 of these undergraduates whose fees and other bills he has being paying since 2015. His decision to increase the number is also in line with his promise to improve rather than renege. Cosmos Ndukwe Foudation also built, furnished and donated a bungalow to an indigent widow at Ugwueke. The house at Ugwueke brings to seven, the number of houses he has donated to widows across Abia North.
At home, he continues to lead the way for socio – economic development. Only recently, the Deputy Speaker commissioned a borehole with a giant electricity generator in keeping to a promise he made to the people of Amankalu Igberre during the campaigns. He had also built and donated public toilet to the people of Igberre. In order to ease assessment to the farms in the rural communities, ManofGod has engaged in grading of rural roads like Amaokwe/Akanu Item Road, Elugwu Akanu Item ring road, Akanu/Amaekpu Item Road, Apuanu/ item Road, Amankalu Alayi ring Road and the Amake Alayi Road, Ezeukwu/Ugwueke Road just to mention but a few. This is in addition to the construction of the strategic Amaekpu culvert and supporting the people of Amaokwe Item to construct a solid drainages system at Amaokwe Item Road.
Not done, Cosmos has made good his promise to the people of Okagwe Item by building a health centre for them. Interestingly too, he has made provision for state of the art medical facilities which would be used to equip the Centre in the coming weeks. Worthy of commendation too is ManofGod’s plans to deploy and fund the employment of qualified medical personnel at the Centre.
Rt. Hon Cosmos Ndukwe seems to be aware of the need to restore the confidence the people have in elected public officers. Beyond this, he knows that real power is retained by the people, hence his decision to do more to contribute to the overall development of the people. In the coming months, the people of Bende North will experience a more purposeful representation, vintage Cosmos, as he moves to rehabilitate public schools, build markets, provide portable water and address more specific needs of the people of Bende North State Constituency.
While we congratulate Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe for crossing the mark of excellence these two years, we urge him to continue to court dividends of democracy as the months ahead would provide opportunity for him to do more exploits as a legislator.
Adviser (Deputy Speaker)
Media & Publicity