By Bassey Ita.
Three Arms Zone, where situates the National Assembly, the Presidential Villa, and the Supreme Court Complex, is an edifice in Abuja, and by every standard a grandiose project, and so is the vision and mission of the occupants.
From the imposing structure of the Senate Chamber which is a greater part of the National Assembly, a group of Political Leaders, who are there by the popular mandate of their constituents sit to deliberate and take decisions on issues of national importance, and particularly of Nation building in line with the social contract with the people they are there to represent.
They also carry out oversight functions to ensure the dividends of democracy and the process of good governance trickle down as assigned responsibilities of relevant agencies of Government.
Interestingly, a new entrant into the National Assembly, an Avant-garde (but not a green horn in leadership) Sen.Prince Asuquo Ekpenyong is already carving a niche for himself even as he looks poised to religiously deliver on the social contract with the people of the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State whom he represents.
Sen. Prince Bassey Edet Otu, the incumbent Governor of the state had set a record that has remained unbroken in terms of the social contract with constituents any where else in the state. His outreach programmes and projects have been topical amongst Political Pundits as there have remained unprecedented yet.
But in what appears a healthy competition, Sen. Ekpenyong, a Prince of Eniong Abatim, Efik Eburutu Kingdom, in Odukpani Local Government Area, has so far showed signs of beating that record as Senator for Cross River South.
A healthy competition according to Scholars, has the potential and value of pushing for a better, greater exploits and not accept complacency. It makes room for innovation and creativity in view of the perculiarities of the times. It is equally important because it is a positive kind of competition, and an epitome of team spirit which is greatly contributory to overall success of the society.
For Sen. Ekpenyong, “The Standard” has been set, and he is to take advantage of the potentials of being a young, vibrant Turk, a successful Business Man, a responsible Husband, Father with a humble upbringing to add value to the projections of the state under the current leadership by making sure all the functions and responsibilities of the Senate finds deep expression in the developmental processes, towards the betterment of his constituents.
The people of Cross River South have in recent times made true testament to the the Young Senator’s effort at reaching out.
So far, he has ensured that over 200 Youths gain knowledge of the ICT world with a recent training programme which also ended with an empowerment initiative.
There are also ongoing road construction and reconstruction works in parts of the Senatorial District he has facilitated to cushion the effect of the deplorable conditions. This is as the Senator has taken up the menacing and deplorable conditions of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene and Oban-Ekang Roads with the Central Government and the roads are soon to receive the desired attention.
On the human angle perspective, we cannot today as victims of accidents or gunshots; on emergency die of delayed response of medical personnel in hospitals as a result of the flimsy excuse of getting a police report before such treatment. Sen. Ekpenyong had single-handedly moved to address the anomaly during a Senate plenary.
The provision of electricity in every dark corner, according to Sen. Otu, during the campaigns and at assumption of office, was a very potent approach to fighting crime and criminality in view of the fact that criminal gangs find safe haven in such dark corners.
However,to corroborate this thought provoking averment of His Excellency in practical terms, Senator Ekpenyong has already commenced the provision and fixing of solar panels in some rural communities within the Senatorial District.
Sen. Ekpenyong is actually in the threshold of making greater history as a Senator of the Federal Republic, and considering their enviable strides, he has recorded so far as Chairman and Member of some very serious Committees of the Senate, couple with the burning desire in him to raise the bar of development and progress of his constituents, and the inestimable honour he has so far brought to the state, he may become another “Sweetest Prince.”
It must be recalled that the development and progress mindset of His Excellency had been the yardstick for measuring Sen. Prince Otu’s exploits in the House of Representatives and the Senate, thus giving the Constituents and by extension the entire Cross River people the thought of nicknaming him “The Sweetest Prince.”