Posted by News Exrpess | 5 September 2020 | 1,456 times
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages” – William Shakespeare.
It was the Senate president, Dr Ahmad Lawan, who dubbed Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah the Prince of the Senate. This is a fitting decoration for a man whose zest and determination to better the fortunes of Nigerians through legislative interventions is helping to define and situate the 9th Senate. With over a dozen motions and half a dozen bills at various stages of passage in his kitty within the first one year, Ubah has been repeatedly polled among the 10 most active legislators in the 9th National Assembly.
The number of bills and motions he got into the front burner within one year is one thing; the type is quite another. They are not mere populist bills and motions but such that realistically and concretely address the present-day challenges of his state (Anambra) and his constituents in particular and Nigeria in general. Every bill or motion ought to address at least one problem in the people's lives. His motions and bills are aptly targeted at addressing the citizens’ poor social conditions and the nation's embarrassing underdevelopment.
An example is his Bill on Erosion Prevention and Control Commission, to address erosion menace and its environmental degradation seen all over the country. His state – Anambra – alone, has over 1000 active erosion sites, sacking and cutting off so many communities. In Anambra particularly, erosion threatens the entire state and digging bottomless chasms all over the place. A case in point is Nanka erosion site, which is now immeasurable in depths.
On Tuesday June 9, 2020, the senator led the debate on the general principles of the Erosion Control and Prevention Commission 2020, which he sponsored and it scaled the second reading and now awaiting the third and final reading, passage and assent by the President. The Nanka example is not isolated or rare. It is replete in Anambra, South-east and many parts of the country. Such are his bills and motions, making him an ace legislator.
He once said: “Great nations are built by leaders who inspire followership and followers who are committed to patriotic ideals and common good. Nigeria’s greatness as a nation can only manifest when Nigerians resolve to put the right people in the right position at every material time.” This mirrors his philosophical and fundamental principles in public service and shapes his indomitable spirit.
When Senator Ifeanyi Ubah sought to go to the Senate, he made promises, which opposition figures derided and scorned as unrealistic. Dr Ubah said while offering himself for the Senate: “Our hope as a country indeed lies in the quality of the laws and fully and conscientious implementation of laws made by the legislatures. This is obvious because the legislature is the focal point of our democratic system and it is the sacred responsibility of the legislative arm to enact good laws and pass resolutions that would bring about the total transformation of our dear country.”
His high premium for the importance of the legislature is not misplaced since that arm of government is the single delineator of democracy. Ubah also noted: “While we may not have much control over Nigeria’s present political set-up, we can, to a large extent, control our regional economy and create a vortex of self-sustainable development policies through effective legislative agendas.”
His thoughts about how the legislature can redeem the nation’s democracy run deep and concrete, and not esoteric. He has thus far been proved right.
Those sceptical of his capacity to deliver are mindful of the very nature of politicians, especially in our clime, promising to even build bridges where there are no rivers. One is sure that by now that ace lawmaker has made his traducers eat the humble pie by delivering beyond his promise and expectations and pushing further the frontiers of legislative business: representation, lawmaking and oversight activities. The fourth is now constituency projects, which has been so vilified. Ubah has ensured that his Constituency and his State get their fair share of projects.
The only senator or elected member of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) was recently inducted as the Party leader, being their highest political office-holder. He has devoted considerable time and resources to building the YPP into a truly national political party and a unique brand, proving to be God-sent, saving the party deregistration as happened to tens of others who had to go to court to fight for their life and continued existence. All these the YPP got on a platter while truly getting repositioned as a national brand.
The senator remains on top of the many spheres that brought him to national limelight and prominence, especially philanthropy and sports, particularly football. The proprietor of FC Ifeanyi Ubah and proud owner of the only FIFA-graded private Stadium in Nigeria (Ifeanyi Ubah international Stadium), he was one of the few Anambrarians who gave COVID-19 a run out of town. Apart from providing palliatives to most households in Anambra State, he led a group of Anambra Progressives to raise funds and construct and equip an ultramodern reference hospital in Anambra State which, as a matter of fact, will be ready for commissioning in a matter of days.
As the enigmatic senator turns 49 this year, one wishes him greater vision and sound health of mind and body. His type is rare and should be put to maximal use while still around.
Ubah is, indeed, a gift of Anambra nay Ndigbo to Nigeria and mankind. May his active and fruitful years be long, indeed! As the kegites would say, the gods are wise. They do not make mistakes. Once he was asked why he spells his surname – Ubah – with ‘h’, he said it represents honour. May the good Lord bless your dreams and efforts, and make Anambra, South-east and, indeed, Nigeria the better for it… Amen.
•Dr. Law Mefor, a Social Psychologist, writes from Abuja; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; tweet: @LawMefor1
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