The Forum of Former Members of Enugu State House of Assembly has vowed to use their wealth of experiences to strengthen the Nigerian democracy, advance internal egalitarianism and secure the welfare of its members spread in the 17 local government areas of the state.
This is as a former state Lawmaker who represented Enugu North State Constituency in 2003, Dr. Josef Onoh has been elected as the pioneer chairman of the association, while a former leader of the House of Assembly, Dr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu emerged as Secretary and another former leader of the House, Hon Johnny Obidinma as a Trustee of the group.
Speaking shortly after picking their documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in Abuja, the group lamented that most of their members go into oblivion immediately they leave the House of Assembly, with their years of service forgotten while some resort to political endorsements which they noted sometimes bring them to disrepute.
“Our business is to unify these individuals, help ourselves to advance to benefit, the state and the country. We’re apolitical, we’re only there as a body to give advice, we don’t endorse candidates or political parties, but we follow track records. Ours is to foster peace, give advice, strengthen and encourage internal democracy and liaise with the state and federal government for the peace, security and welfare of the citizens of Enugu state.”
Chairman of the association and former spokesperson of President Bola Tinubu’s campaign in the South East, Onoh, said that the CAC registered association is to attend to the welfare of all the former members of Enugu state House of Assembly and be good ambassadors while supporting in nation building, while it plays an advisory role in encouraging statesmanship, entrenching peace and harmony.
He said it was unfortunate that in the time past, former members of the state House of Assembly were used for “careless endorsements” in different quarters through unorganized and unregistered phantom groups.
“But now we have taken the bull by the horn and we have shown the difference. We’re calling on all former members of the Enugu state House of Assembly to meet with the secretary and enroll because we should begin to have like ideas, show support and come together to show support to all former members of the Enugu state House of Assembly irrespective of the year in service, so long as one served the state as a lawmaker of the House,” Onoh said.
He advised the state and federal governments on the urgent need to entrench democracy, emphasizing that the group is focused on supporting the nation because they consider themselves as Ambassadors towards nation building and not political tools.
“This association will not be involved in endorsing any political party or aspirants for any office but we shall continue to act as statesmen. We shall be working hand in hand with the security agencies to ensure that security of lives and properties are maintained in various constituencies and convey the positions of our constituents to the appropriate authorities whenever we’re called upon.
“Our members are usually forgotten, even the state government do not support our families when any of our members fall ill, hence the need for this association came to be. It’s a rallying point to look out for one another. We understand that there is hardship in the country at the moment, though the hardship may not be ascribed to the current government but it’s the responsibility of the present government to ensure that the hardship does not continue and I’m sure the present government is doing it’s best.
“Let me however use this opportunity to tell the government that Nigerians are suffering but I know that the government is doing it’s best to checkmate the hardship,” Onoh said.
The Chairman, Onoh, was a member of the state House of Assembly between 2003 and 2007. the secretary, Ezeugwu, was a member of the House between 2011 and 2023; while the publicity Secretary of the group, Chief Johnny Obidinma was a member of the state House of Assembly from 2003 and 2011. Evidently the forum has the largest grassroot political Base in Enugu State as the former lawmakers have direct contact with their various constituents cut across the entire 17 LGA of Enugu State.