By Ebubechukwu Brown
Nnewi since the return of democracy in 1999 has experienced chequered representation in Anambra State House of Assembly because of lack of intellectual depth and stage presence of most of the past representatives.
The selection of anointed candidates greatly reduced the possibility of Nnewi producing quality materials to represent them politically.
The intellectual impairment of majority of past representatives reduced them to perpetual bench warmers, who laughed away as representatives of other state constituencies articulate and present their problems and challenges to the attention of the state government.
Past and present representatives were only keen at savouring benefits associated with the offices, but were incapable of rising up to the challenges and of the expectations of such high positions.
Anyone, who is satisfied with where Nnewi is today politically and in terms of infrastructure, does not have the interests of the town at heart.
How could one be satisfied when Nnewi receives approximately 120 million Naira monthly as local government allocation from the federation account, several millions of Naira as constituency allocation and several millions as Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, yet, the town is still having deplorable state of roads and infrastructure, and successive representatives of the area were not worried.
While it is important to make it very clear that it is not the role of the legislator to build roads, hospitals or schools, a responsible and knowledgeable legislator makes laws that will make for quick and efficient delivery of those services.
However, considering numerous challenges and problems of Nnewi community, there is dire need for a paradigm shift in the election or selection of representatives for Nnewi North State Constituency. Such election or selection should not be based on political platform but more about the credibility of such candidate.
Smart Nonso Okafor, as the flag bearer of All Progressives Grand Alliance, represents the fulfilment of this urgent call for a paradigm shift in the representation of Nnewi North State Constituency.
He signals the beginning of the renewed hope among Ndi Nnewi that their presence in the Anambra State House of Assembly which have not translated into any positive gain will become a forgotten history.
Smart Nonso Okafor has strong sense of purpose and desire to make positive impact in the constituency. He is attuned and in tune with the challenges of the Ndi Nnewi. He speaks their language and maintains affinity with the people.
He has gained knowledge and experiences with proven testimonies of exploits as the President of Oko Polytechnic Student Union Government (SUG) and chairman of Anambra State Youth Council.
Okafor is not going to the Anambra State House of Assembly to distribute exercise books to students in Nnewi or to do similar petty jobs; but desires to implement a legislative agenda tightly focused on the needs of Ndi Nnewi and for the generality of Ndi Anambra.
He will use his legislative position in every possible way with the support of his colleagues, to address the issue of multiple taxation in Nnewi, dilapidated road infrastructure, water supply, lack of health centers, erosion issues, waste management in Nnewi, clashes between motorcycle rides and the police in Nnewi, SME issues, empowerment for youths and the rest.
He will open an efficient constituency office that will receive complaints of his constituents and that will enlighten his people about government policies and communicate progress of programmes.
In 2019, the great challenge before Ndi Nnewi is to elect a representative, who embodies the finesse and psychic disposition required of people desirous to be representatives of the people, that is the Smart Okafor option.