Sunday, 2 September 2018

Abi state House; Who's Next

The peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State House of Assembly primaries has been slated for the 15th of September. The primaries would produce flag bearers of the 18 local government areas who will compete with other party's flag bearers during the general state house elections.              

  If the PDP zoning or rotational structure is anything to go by, then the seat of Abi constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly will definitely go to the Bahumono extraction of Abi Local Government Area.

If that should be the case, the question on the lips of everyone is who will take over from the present House member, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo who is currently enjoying his second term with the glory of speakership?

According to information available to me there are over 10 people who have indicated interest to replace Gaul come 2019 and prominent among them are the likes of Hon. Sunny Udeh, Hon. Wilfred Ina, Mrs. Davidna David Okwa etc.

As the PDP family in Abi state constituency prepares for the task of producing a flag bearer that would represent it. A lot of criteria and carefulness should guide this decisions. A leader with intellectual know-how,  requisite experience and capacity that would be an effective and efficient representative should emanate.

In choosing who to represent them in the state house, there are some set of qualities I would want the good people of Abi to look out for in their would-be representative. Aside the usual leadership qualities, I think anyone who should represent Abi should in addition possess some unique qualities/qualification that will enable him/her address the peculiar needs of the Abi people.

Abi as a local government is blessed with outstanding leaders who have attracted developments to the area, these leaders are but not limited to the likes of the Late Dr. Sam. Imoke, His Excellency Sen. Liyel Imoke who in turn has mentored other Abi distinguished individuals such as Rt.Hon. John Gaul Lebo, Barr. Mrs. Rosemary Obanya, Hon. Eko Atu, Mr. Ejah Done, Hon. Francis Ettah, Hon. Ajah Francis, Pastor Mrs Eno Oqua, Dr Betta Edu,  and Mrs. Rose Bassey,  amongst others.

With a population of about 114,802 going by the last census held in 2006 and 10 unique council wards each with its own peculiar needs, challenges and opportunities, the incoming constituency representative, whoever it maybe, must have both the courage, tenacity, experience and capacity to not only bring development and turn the challenges of these various wards to opportunities that will yeid greater results but be ready to also collaborate with and also build on the previous and current efforts of both present and current leaders of the constituency to bring soccur and relief to the people.

In writing this objective piece I have taken out time with information at my disposal to personally analyse the various aspirants for the state House of Assembly and I believe the best person for the job is no other person but Mrs Davina David Okwa.

Going by her intimidating profile and manifesto and also looking at the peculiar needs, challenges and resource of the Abi people I strongly believe that  Mrs. Davina has the pedigree to give the Abi people effective and efficient representation that would contribute positively through developments to Abi.
Davina David Okwa believes that limits, like fear is often an illusion( Arthur Clark) and that the limitation one sees are the ones allowed by the individual. She is emotionally and socially intelligent which enables her work with people from different backgrounds and temperaments. She is very focused on goals and vision while also sensitive to the emotions and egos of others.

Her goal is to use the modest skills, competences and experiences she has gained over the years in journalism, development work and academics to synergize with relevant people and organizations and facilitate the development of Abi local government area and Cross River State as a whole through value addition ideas and representation.

As a journalist, Academic and strategic communication expert, she possess the skills to to be a worthy ambassador and lawmaker that will represent Abi effectively. Her vast training has equipped her with the capacity to initiate bills, draft laws and lobby for support from fellow lawmakers for approval and finally get accent by the executive. This I believe she can easily do because she has already identified bills and motions that will address the peculiar challenges of Abi and  Cross River state as a whole. In addition, the synergies she has formed with development partners provides a platform for her to attract interventions in the areas   of health,  agriculture and infrastructures to the Abi.

The job of a lawmaker is basically in threefold, and these are;
1. Legislation.
2. Oversight functions and
3. Representation.
With a longtime  desire to represent  Abi someday,  Davina David had over the years been preparing herself for this noble office by building capacity and equipping herself for this office.
Legislating is all about identifying societal needs and raising motions and bills and get government to attend to such needs through marshalling out of arguments and points as to why a particular issue should be accepted or rejected by other colleagues.

As a trained journalist, academic and development expert, Davina has been trained and equiped with the skills of identifying core needs of a people and how to present and defend such information till it sees the light of day to ensure the peoples' needs are met.
With her journalistic training and mindset, she can effectively carry out her oversight functions bringing to bare all gray areas that have in time past constituted leakages to government revenues and hindrances to effective governance.

You can't take away a journalist from the people, as the saying goes, they are the mirrow and wath dog  of the society, this therefore partly implies that Davina  be a worthy representative in the CRSHA,  attracting dividend to the people of Abi and CRS as a whole.. Her experiences from working in communities in development work makes her  feels the pains of her people and understanding their needs .
Let me at this juncture furnish you with the rich profile of the humble Mrs. Davina David Okwa.

Educational life

Davina is currently working on her Thesis and rounding up a  PhD in Media and communication studies in the University of Calabar. She also possess a Masters of Art and a BA in Theatre Arts as well as an OND in Mass communication.

Working Life

After graduation, she worked with the Cross River Broadcasting Corporation as an Newscaster, presenter and announcer. Years later, she discovered another passion; academics. Consequently in 2007 driven with the desire to transfer hands-on knowledge as well as use interaction with the youths through the platform of  academics in contribute to shaping and reshaping their impressionable mind, she joined the department of Mass communication, Cross River University of technology( CRUTECH) as a lecturer.

As a result of her love for service particularly for the grassroots and continuous search for personal development, Davina was the strategic communication person for the  World Bank project;  Commercial Agric. Dev Project, consequently she used it as a platform to empower people from Abi and Cross riverians, by facilitating their inclusion and benefits from financial grants and agricultural inputs.

Other consultancies she has done include Messages and Media material development  for  FHI/DFID,VSO in 2007. Presentation on the broadcast response on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria at the international conference on AIDS & STDs, Abuja in 2005, funded by the UNDP (This presentation increased international funding on HIV/AIDS by 20%).

She was also a member of the CRS-SACA technical working committee for the  development of media material against HIV/AIDS in 2007. The production and use of the materials contributed in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Cross River State.

Trainings Attended

Basic Presentation Techniques, NTA College, Jos.--------------------2000
Transformational Leadership Development and HIV/AIDS------2004            

UNDP/NACA Leadership Development Programme.
Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) by UNDP, Abuja--------------2005
Messages/Media Material Development. Organised by SNR/Fhi/Actionaid/VSO/DFID, Abuja.--------------------------------------2007                            
Facilitators Training Workshop, Organised by the World Bank/National Coordinating Office, Commercial Agriculture Development Project, Ibadan.-2009 

Strategic Communication Workshop, Organised by the World Bank/NCO-CADP, Kaduna.-------2011
Communicating Project Results by The World Bank----------------------2013.

Abi local government   has made steady  progress through the selfless services of our visionary past and present leaders. These progresses have brought succor to many families and households; alleviating many from abject poverty as seen in improvement of the socio-economic lives of the people.

To sustain the achievements and improve on same, the time has come for proactive and deliberate efforts in preparing for the future  through grooming, mentorship and encouragement of willing youths  into leadership positions and governance.

Davina is one of these many youths with the requisite capacity, love for motherland and willing to serve. It is in the light of the above and based on my convictions that I present Davina David Okwa to the entire Abi nation and CRS as a whole and hope that she is found worthy for this service ahead.

Ukorebi Esien blogs for TDN where he tells the Nigerian Story, one article at time