Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Essien Ayi and our collective commonwealth: The Covid-19 Experience

Rt. Hon. Essien Ayi 

Rt. Hon. Apostle Essien Ekpenyong Ayi, aka Isantim represents Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar South (ABC) in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly. A position he has occupied for close to 20 years which has earned him the name Mugabe. Someone jokenly said "Isantim is the Chairman House committee on longest serving Lawmakers in Nigeria." 

Essien is one of the most favoured and blessed politicians in Cross River state and Nigeria as a whole. Aside other privileged positions handled in the past, he has been a Local Government chairman of Calabar South. In the era where Local Government Chairmen were people to reckon with. He controlled millions of Naira and had the liberty and opportunity to transform Calabar South to a safe haven then. 

But No! That wouldn't be the case, rather he would prefer to feed his ego and satisfy fleshly lust. I dare to say that Isantim would not be excused as one of the major promoters of cultism and gansterism in the southern region of Calabar. As these are the people he depends on for his dirty political jobs during elections. 

I remember one of those days in the later days of Essien Ayi as Calabar South Chairman, I sat in my mother's sitting room watching a National Network program on NTA, I saw my chairman on a national program where all local government chairmen across Nigeria  were giving account of stewardship. When it got to Calabar South. I was shocked to hear Essien Ayi said his adminstration had tarred 70% of all the roads in Calabar South and there was no street in Calabar south without a street light. 

And here was I living along Palm street one of the longest streets in Calabar South that was recently (as at then) tarred by Donald Duke. Palm street had no single street light and still Doesn't have any till date.

When Essien Ayi finished his tenure as local government chairman, he smuggled his way into the National Assembly where he served as a lawmaker representing ABC on the floor of the Green Chambers. Upon arrival at the NASS, Ayi found a new hubby which he engaged himself with till of late when he was challenged by one of his protégés, Joseph Bassey (Papa). That was when our "I concur house member" woke up from his slumber. As he was identified as one of those members fond of sleeping during plenary.

Instead of sleeping during plenaries, Essien's new strategy is now to absent himself from sittings. It could be verified that since this 9th Assembly came into being, your wonderful representative haven't attended 30% of the sittings. I was informed by an insider that he would have held more juicy  positions maybe a principal officer or headed a juicy committee other than Niger Delta he has headed for too  long, but they are afraid of committing serious responsibilities to his hands because he has over the years portrayed himself as a lackadaisical lawmaker. 

My focused today is not about the number of bills Rt. Hon. Pastor Essien Ayi has sponsored, or his legislative activities but I want to pokenose into his Constituency projects vis-á-vis his representative acts. 
Now, let me explain, generally, lawmakers have three main duties which are legislative, (this has to do with the sponsoring of bills, moving of motions, contributing during deliberation on bills and motions etc), secondly a lawmaker is also concerned with ensuring projects that will help reduce the sufferings of his constituents are executed in his constituency. These are called constituency projects. Finally but not the least, the lawmaker represents his people (here it may mean different things to different people. Some take this to mean, ensuring the needs and problems of your people are met. That is problem solving, interpersonal relationship with your constituents.) It is believed that having a good interpersonal relationship with your constituents will give you access to truly know their needs and you will in turn know what kind of bills or motions to legislate or what constituency projects to initiate as the case may be.

Now the question is, has Essien Ayi been a good lawmaker to his people and the Federal Republic of Nigeria? 

The Answer is a CAPITAL NO! Its not a hidden fact that for the past 20 years aside from the bill to resettle the displace people of Bakassi through the establishment of a Bakassi Development commission, which has not seen the light of the day, Essien can not boast of any legislative material or Brian child that is currently in use in this country or state. This is after 20 years of legislating.

If one may ask how many constituency projects have Essien Ayi facilitated for the past 20 years. Let it be on the know that Essien Ayi is allowed to access at least N200m every year for constituency projects. With this, if he decides to facilitate 4 projects yearly at the cost of  N50m each this would have given 4 projects yearly. Multipled by 20 years. So his constituency would have witnessed not less than 80 projects by now. Even if he decides to facilitate 2 project at N20m each year, ABC would have had nothing less than 40 projects across the various communities. 

The big question is where does all these money go into? Who is syphoning our commonwealth? 

Covid-19 insurgency and Ayi's response to the Pandemic 

On the average, Essien Ayi takes home between N9m to N13m monthly aside other deals and allowances accrude to him, yet he finds it difficult to send palliatives across to his constituents this period where many have lost their livelihood due to the ravaging effect of Covid19.

Within this lockdown period, the lawmaker has ammased closed to N20million if not more from the people's commonwealth, still he has been silent over the people's suffering even as the lockdown continues to exert excruciating pains on the people whose means of survival has been grounded by this unexpected global pandemic. 

Instead of extending a hand of love and care on his constituents, he was rather seen on Television and social media donating a paltry 3 bags of rice and few bottles of water and carbonated drinks to pelican stars. An act which some political pundits have quickly interpreted to be targeted at spiting the governor. How true that is, is what I can't say, but In as much as I believe Ayade is a big disappointment, especially in his support for sporting activities in the state, I will state that if Isantim's wish was to spite Ayade he failed worefully because rather he got the greatest embarrassment of his life. 

Essien Ayi is the Chairman of Football Association in Cross River, an office he has held for decades. So his provision of amenities to those girls shouldn't have warranted public display rather be should have been ashamed that those girls had to come to the public to beg before he came to offer his barely satisfactory donations in public view just to score political point, rather he lost some credibility. 

After 20 years of ineffective representation, Essien Ayi is yet to have a constituency office where constituents can come around. During the just concluded elections, the lawmaker rented a property along Calabar road, where he used as his campaign office. He told constituents that even after the elections the property will be converted to a constituency office to attend to needs of constituents, but few months after the elections the office was shut down due to unpaid rents. 

Constituents are now forced to go to his house where you will be faced by security personnel that will harass and intimidate you, especially if your face is not a familiar one. Many constituents have had stories of disappointment and embarrassment when they attempt visiting his home. Some say they have always been told the lie, "Obong owo anana" meaning the boss is sleeping. Doesn't he get tired of sleeping? 

Since the lockdown on Covid-19 started how many sanitizers, nose mask and other PPE and palliative materials has Pastor  Essien Ayi through his Church mind given out to constituents? Truth is, this money is our collective commonwealth being syphoned. 

I want to use this medium to call on our pastor Essien Ayi to use his church mind as a pastor that he is and do the needful, the people are suffering. They are starving. Please go to Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Calabar South and see things for yourself. 

Please help them with something to eat. Better still there are different grants, loans etc from Federal Government, Essien Ayi can help constituents access these funds. Example The CBN N50bn Targeted Credit Facility - a stimulus package to support households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All that is needed to access this fund is a viable business plan and 2 guarantors. Why many will not take advantage of this is because they cant write a business plan and to get someone to write something good for you cost between10 - 25k.  Essien can gather smart guys from his constituents pay them to write 1000 business plans and get 1000 of his constituents register for this loan. At least if one thousand of his constituents get between N500,000 to N3 million, it will help spring up 1000 new businesses. And employment will also increase and several persons will now have food on their tables again. 

#IamÓRACLE Voice of the Common Man