By Dennis Udoma
The popular maxim, “one good turn deserves another,” is an apt description befitting the politics of effective representation; and reward for good governance in the first instance.
And in this regard, the representation offered by former spokesman of the House of Representatives between 2007 and 2011, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, who represented Eket federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, quickly comes to mind.
His representation then remains a perfect fit, given the opportunity offered to him to showcase his skills and competencies.
In 2005, when he presided over the Ethical and Attitudinal Re-orientation Commission, EARCOM, under Arc.(Obong) Victor Attah’s administration as Chairman, Hon. Eyiboh turned things around, using the mandate to change the perception of Akwa Ibom people towards governance in the state.
That campaign paid off as it encouraged the people to belief and show faith in the government of the day.
Beyond the EARCOM, Hon. Eyiboh came again as a lawmaker in the Natıonal Assembly, where he represented the people of Eket, Onna, Esit Eket and Ibeno local government areas, popularly known as Eket federal constituency, making laws to improve the well-being of his people and Nigerians in general.
During the period, he was appointed Chairman, House Committee on Information, which provided him the nexus to interface with the National Assembly (House of Representatives) and Nigerians on the enactments and developments in the parliament.
Besides law making, Hon. Eyiboh performed oversight functions that led to the rejuvination of the abandoned Federal Government-owned Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, Eket.
Though, his tenure was short lived, there is the hope that Hon. Eyiboh had a social contract with his people to initiate life touching development projects and human capacity buılding of the people.
Some of the programmes he initiated ranged from infrastructure, integrated agriculture, to provision of social amenities and scholarships/empowerment of constituents with skills acquisition amongst others.
For instance, the lawmaker privately funded 100 percent the constituency water projects – boreholes, overhead water tanks with generating sets – across communities his federal constituency.
These includey: Onna LGA – Ikot Akpan Mkpe, Ndon Eyo, Ukpana and Ikot Akpatek; Eket LGA – Effoi, Atabong Bridgehead, Ikot Udoma, and Ikot Ossoh; Esit Eket LGA – Ekpene Obo, and Odoro Nkit
He also initiated the ‘Train the Trainers’ scheme by bringing educational volunteers from Canada, US, Botswana and South Africa, through ‘Teachers Without Borders International,’ and part of his contributions towards man-power development of teachers from the federal constituency at the NYSC permanent camp in Keffi, Nassarawa State.
The programme was also 100 percent funded by Hon. Eyiboh to compliment the state government’s free and compulsory educatıon in the state and 20 of the benefiting teachers were drawn from the four local government areas that constituted the federal constituency.
Other laudable programmes that stoic out Hon Eyiboh during his four-year stint at the House of Representatives include:
Scholarship for Tertiary Institutions Students:
In order to make life meaningful for students with excellent performances, the lawmaker instituted financial grants in support of selected students in various disciplines from the Federla constituency in the Nigerian Law School, Uniuyo, and
University of Stratelyde, UK.
Integrated Agriculture Programme:
Hon. Eyiboh trained 21 youths drawn from the four local government areas of the federal constituency under the programme at Songhai Farms, Amakpe, in Sapele, Delta State.
They were trained in different aspects of the programme which included; piggery management, fisheries and poultry farming.
Hon. Eyiboh trained and graduated some youths in the federal constituency as professional football coaches at the Nigerian Institute of Sports, Lagos, with 100 percent sponsorship including: boarding, tuition, books, equipments. Three persons were selected from each of the four local government areas of the federal constituency as professional coaches.
His then party, the PDP, was not left out in his benevolence, as the lawmaker also donated equıpment to the party, which was 100 per cent privately funded.
Some of the donations include: 860 pieces of plastic chairs, at 20 pieces per ward to the 43 PDP ward offices in the federal constituency; payment of annual rent for each PDP ward office in the 43 wards for one year; 43 pieces of writing tables for 43 PDP wards; one brand new electricity generators each for the four PDP chapter offices of Esit Eket, Onna, Ibeno and Eket local government areas.
Other benevolence acts and provision of dividends of democracy to his constituents include: three 500kva 33/11 electricity transformers and three 500kva boxes of feeder pillars each to Atabong community in Eket , Iwochang community in Ibeno and Akpautong community in Esit Eket; one computer, printer and electricity generator each to Afigh Iwaad Ekid and Mbono Uforo Mbaba Ekid, amongst others.
Hon. Eyiboh during his first tenure also facilitated more projects in Eket federal constituency through the natıonal budget from 2007 to 2011.
The Water Scheme:
He provided solar powered motorized borehole, with reticulation at the following communities: Ikot Obong Ishiet, Awa Onna W. Uquo, and Akpautong – Esit Eket LGA; Ikot Obio Anana, Okon, Ikot Afaha, and Odio – Eket LGA and Ikot Udo, and Oniong West – Onna LGA. He also facilitated the rehabilitation and reticulation of existing water works at Ikot Obong Ishiet, Awa- Onna, and provided one borehole with hand pump each at Esit Urua in Eket and Ntan Ide in Onna local government areas respectively.
Eyiboh facilitated the reactivation and construction of Oniong Nung Ndem irrigation/drainage project; field reservoir; canals; drains; roads/ building; the construction of poultry farm project with solar infrastructure at Nduo Eduo in Eket Local Government Area; the construction of piggery farm project with solar infrastructure at Ekpene Obo, Esit Eket Local Government Area; the construction of fishery farm project with solar infrastructure at Iwochang village in Ibeno Local Government Area; the construction of poultry farm project with solar infrastructure at Ikot Annang, Onna Local Government Area.
He ensured the completion process of the NTA, Eket; the construction of ICT Skill Centres, with computers, printers and accessories at Akpautong, and Afaha Atai in Esit Eket and Eket local government areas respectively.
Hon Eyiboh facilitated the construction of the Primary Health Centres at Iko Efak; Uquo; Edor; Etebi; Okay; Ikot Ntan Ide; Afaha Atai; and Ikot Nkan.
In education, the spokesman of the 6th House of Representatives facilitated the construction of a modern and furnished library at Upenekang, Ibeno Local Government Area; the construction of six-classroom block with two offices at Esit Urua, Eket Local Government Area; provision of books/office furniture for schools in Odio, Esit Urua and Akpautong communities; the construction of a skill acquisition centre at Edor, in Esit Eket Local Government Area.
He equally ensured the construction of a bridge linking Ntan Ide Ikot Udo communities; provision of solar street lights at Atabong bridge, Ntan Ide bridge and Uquo Secretariat Road and many more.
Given the fact that, Hon. Eyiboh had performed in his first term, he has enough capacity to bring development to his federal constituency once again.
All of the above and his capacity to deliver and rise to the occasion when it matters most are why he is the preffered candidate to represent Eket federal constituency at the green chamber of the National Assembly come 2023.