HENRY ARCHIBONG: THE MOULD OF A PERFECT LEGISLATOR
By George Akpan
In a democratic setting such as ours, a legislator’s duty (ies)revolves around three cardinal points. Legislative representation, which has to do with the making of laws that guarantee peace, order and good governance for the overall good of the people, oversight responsibility, which borders around providing checks and balances for the smoth running of government and lastly constituency reach-out, which primarily borders around attracting dividends acruable from the center down to the grassroot through various means. The member representing Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency in the green chamber of the National Assembly, Hon. Dr. Henry Archibong is undoubtedly a simple and clear definition of a perfect legislator. His resourcefulness and intellectual erudition has distinguished him outstandingly as a pro-people legislator.
In terms of legislative representation, the lawmaker has not been found wanting. Even as a first term member of the House of Representatives, his voice is heard everytime on the floor as he positively contribute to debates raised therein. He has sponsored many motions, bills, matters of urgent public importance and has also presented petitions on his constituents behalf, some of them have yielded positive fruits while some are still undergoing legislative considerations.
Dr. Archibong played a primary role in the award of contract by Federal Government for construction and dualization of the Calabar-Itu- Ikot Ekpene-Aba Highway last year through his motion tittled “Urgent Need For The Federal Government To Rehabilitate and Construct Calabar- Itu Highway Particularly Enen Atai-Mbak-Oku Iboku Section To Avoid it Being Cut Off From The Rest Of Nigeria”. Other motions of national interest sponsored by the quintessential lawmaker includes
– Urgent Need to Mandate the Federal Ministry of Aviation to carry out Screening on the Operational Reliability of all Domestic Airplanes Operating within the Airspace of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
– Urgent Need for the Federal Government to take over the Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC)now Oku Iboku Pulp and Paper (OIPP)Ltd in Oku Iboku, AkwaIbom State over seven years after Privatization;
– Need to urge manufacturers of Cell Phones, Elactronics and Electrical Appliances to set up their palants and factories in Nigeria to assist the nation in technology transfer, job creation and reduction of capital flights.
Dr. Archibong’s recent motion on the functionality of the state house clinic almost shook off the foundations of the Presidential Villa as it brought to the fore the depth of corruption in that institution. The motion, which received nationwide commendation and acceptability across party lines was tittled “Urgent Need to investigate the deplorable condition of the State House Medical Center and the alleged unauthorized deductions in the salaries and allowances of medical staff despite huge budgetary allocations between 2015-2017”.
So far, Dr. Archibong has four bills to his credit including the famous “Bill for An Act to establish the Maritime University, Oron to make comprehensive provisions for due management, administration and for related matters”.
In terms of constituency reach out, the National Assembly man has done well within his capacity to bring succor and add value to the lives of his people. His empowerment strategy is a subject of discussion in many political and social gatherings. In 2016 and 2017, he empowered his people with various items including tricyles, motocycles, hair dryers, sewing machines and accessories, generators and cars. He also trained and empowered four hundred and twenty constituents in marketable skills. He gave cash to fifty rural market women to boost their businesses.
Friday, January 12, 2018 will remain another day in history as this development-oriented politician rolled out yet another phase of his constituency empowerment programme. No time could have been considered better enough to put smiles on his people’s faces than the beginning of the new year 2018. On that day, two hundred and sixty people drawn from across the twenty one wards of Itu and Ibiono Ibom Local Government Areas benefited from the legislator’s largesse, which was divided into four sessions:
1. Grants to one hundred students studying in tertiary institutions across the country through his Educational Support Scheme. Pundits have said that this is the first of its kind in the history of constituency representation at that level;
2. Training and empowerment of another one hundred people in marketable skills and poverty eradication. This was strictly for some selected members of Ward EXCOs of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Again, this has been highly commendable by the people of his constituency;
3. Fifty women also benefited from another training aimed at sensitizing and creating awareness campaigns on HIV and AIDS, Rollback Malaria and Cancer related issues among women. This, according to one of the beneficiaries, “is the best form of empowerment by Dr. Archibong. It is not about the money but what we have learnt especially because it touches on human health and principles of healthy living”, and
4. Empowerment of ten physically challenged persons with distribution of sewing machines, motorcycles and cash to boost their petty trading businesses.
Already, Dr. Archibong in partnership with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE)has facilitated the training of fifty six of his constituents in various skills including cosmetology, video and photography, fashion and designs, hair dressing and computer appreciation. The training is ongoing in different training centers in Uyo and will last for two weeks.
According to the lawmaker, another batch of two hundred and fifty constituents will benefit from another round of his empowerment programme scheduled for February this year. By this statement, a simple arithmetic reveals that over five hundred people is set to benefit from his strategic human resource development and empowerment programme within two months. UNPRECEDENTED!
A careful assessment of the representation style of Dr. Archibong reveals a young, cerebral and pregnant super brand who has a good grasp of parliamentary procedures and advocacy. Going by his humble disposition and five star performance, it will certainly reveal that by the time Dr. Archibong winds up his four years of legislative service delivery in the green chamber of the 8th National Assembly, the ever appreciative people of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency who places value on effective and purpose-driven leadership, shall earnestly ask for more of his representation.