Lawmaking is meant to be for those who are supposed to have a good grasp of whatever profession or vocation they belong. This is to enable them argue positively on matters pertaining to their areas of specialization. But all this is no longer the case as some honorable members do not merit the exalted name Honorable.
It is good for one to prepare himself well before a task; by going to school and trying to excel in more than a discipline. As for the Honorable Member representing EHIME/IHITTE UBOMA/OBONO (Federal Constituency), Imo state, Hon. Prof. Chudi Patrick Uwazurike, the adjective to qualify his suitability in the House is Excellent.
A sociologist by training and a writer by vocation, Hon. Prof. Uwazurike ventured into politics at the right time, after getting to the highest pinnacle of his career- a Professor. He is an academia par excellence. He attended wonderful schools that prepared him for greatness: a brave Lion from Nigeria – alumnus of UNN. The schools he attended and qualifications are; Ph.D (Harvard University, USA) M.Sc (Lagos University, Lagos State) B.Sc (University of Nigeria) W.A.S.C (Madonna High School).
Before venturing into politics, Hon. Prof. had already tested the political waters as student unionists and in some other professional politics during his growing up days as follows; Faculty Senate Executive Committee Secretary & Sgt at Arms; CUNY-CC Chairman, South East Renaissance Forum, New York;
Member, University of Nigeria Student Parliament; President, Student Union, University of Nigeria, Nsukka .
It will interest you to note that Hon. Prof. Uwazurike is a sociologist, yet has made an indelible mark in the literary world as a novelist and playwright. One of his works, “The Fire and the Goddess” was staged way back in 1974 and it featured Nigeria’s bests in the industry including Pete Edochie. These are some his works: Yesterday Was Silent, novel; Nwuzo Nwanna and the Journey of a Thousand Steps, novel; To Tangle With Tarzan – Six Stories and an Epic; The Fire and the Goddess (play); The Flycatcher’s Identity: Eyere’s Trumpet (play); Prisoner of the Kalakiri (play); House of Little Regrets (play); Playing Off Off Broadway: Selected Writings 1974-2004; With Whom the Gods Dance (play); Another Nigeria Is Possible; and Instrumental Pan-Africanism.
People like Hon. Prof. Uwazurike who knows what they want and started off well in time to prepare for them are rare in every country and generation. He articulated his priority beforehand that it take him time to set target for himself as an honorable member thus: Comprehensive social security system; effective infrastructure delivery for creature comforts – roads, electricity, water, healthcare, schools, security; proactive poverty alleviation; coordinated national policy implementation strategies; the coming of the African Union Common Market; robust pan-Africanist foreign policy; deepening consociational, all-inclusive democracy for Nigeria as a federal state.
He also has some objectives to fulfill for the people of his constituency in form of target achievements in the following words: Lower Unemployment, Skills Acquisition, states right (Imo), Women and Youth Empowerment; Appropriation Act Budget implementations; skills acquisition programs for my Constituency; Effective social security system tackling Unemployment and Job Creation; culture as instrument of national unity.
Fitness for purpose is what the election of Hon. Prof. Uwazurike by the people of his constituency has been. He is a round peg in a round hole. He is among House members that opened and maintain offices in their constituencies to always get the feelings and needs of their people concerning development. He has gone beyond that by finding time to treat constituency matters from his people in Abuja. A first time member in the house but has delivered so much dividends of democracy that his people are now asking him to carry even before electioneering campaign begins.
One might be tempted to inquire if the man in question has done enough to merit what he is getting. Well, a list of some of the achievements across his discipline, vocation and occupation can be reviewed thus: Member National Think Tank (2007) African Union Peer Review Commission Panel of Experts Mission to Kenya; Mrs. Nelson Mandela, Leader Co-Chairman , International Conference On the Azikiwe and Pan-Africanist Liberation; Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, USA United Nations Institute for Training and Research Visiting Professor; Conference Chairman, Ford Foundation-Sponsored Conference On The Nigerian Constitution at the Colin Powell Center, City University of New York. So far his relevance in the House got him the following positions: Chairman, Appropriation Subcommittee on Petroleum Resources, Gas & local Content, NDDC & Niger Delta; Member House Committee on FCT, Communication, Public service Matters, Science and technology, Ethics and Privileges. He is also a member Governing Council, National Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS Working Group among others.
All these achievement have been appreciated by groups and individuals in form of awards from all over the world. They are too numerous to mention, here are some: Founder, African profiles USA & Globe, 1991;Conveyor, Ford Foundation Conference on Nigeria 4th Republic, 2001; Member, African Union Peer Review Commission Mission To Kenya, 2005; Snr Fellow, Institute for Research on The African Union, 2000-2008. Here also is a list of few of his life time honors: 1975: US Embassy John F. Kennedy essay contest Scholarship for Nsukka 1977 landslide victory (98%) in student union Presidency election;
1978: Led UNN on successful but bloodless Ali-must-go protests; 1978: 1st prize, Nigerian independence anniversary essay competition, Nbc ikoyi; 1980: Among best youth corper prize winners, Minna, Niger State; 1991: Play, the flycatcher’s identity makes it to off Broadway, Times Square, USA ; 1994 Co-Chairman, Lincoln University Conference on ZIK & Panafricanism; 2000: hosted ford foundation-sponsored conference on Nigerian Constitution; 2005 snr Fellow, Iradac-Cuny- Member; 2009: “Another Nigeria is Possible” Launched at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja; 2010: Honoured with Chieftaincy title, ‘Mbazuigwe 1 of Omunakanu-Owerre, etc., etc.