2023: The End Of Dull/Colourless Senate

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?” – Joe Namath, Hall of Fame football quarterback (1965-1977)

“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back … play for her.” – Mia Hamm, award-winning professional soccer player (1987-2004):

All the political parties in Nigeria have rounded up their primary election and have nominated candidates for all the available political offices which will be contested for in the coming election circle in the first quarter of the year 2022.

If Nigerians were not satisfied with what the big parties did in the nomination of their Presidential candidates due to the high monetisation of the primary election process, Nigerians will be consoled by the calibre of persons that have emerged to run for election to the National Assembly and especially those who have won their tickets for the upper legislative chamber.

The fact is that the next session of the National Assembly is sure to be the one that won’t have any dull moments going by the texture, colouration, characterisation and nature of the Candidates who may win seats to the National Assembly. It won’t be this colourless and ‘jobs- for- the boys’ Ahmed Lawan led Senate that is a perpetual lackey of President Muhammadu Buhari.

A very intriguing aspect is the fact that Nigerians will definitely no longer complain about a dead horse of a Senate that is constantly asleep as it is in the current dispensation, but the quality of those who will win seats to the Senate are persons who have achieved fame, fortune and with high reputation in the diverse fields of human endeavours including of course entertainment not just Social but intellectual entertainment.

We may also be witnessing a lively association of Wives of national assembly legislators going by the Wives of the Candidates for Senate of the Federal Republic that have emerged with a lot of them who have made their marks in the fields of philanthropy, sports, and above all entertainment of the Nollywood genre.

The Governor of Enugu State Rt. Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is coming with his wife who has made a great name as someone who loves primary school education and Public hygiene. Erstwhile governor of Anambra State’s wife Mrs. Obiano who is known to have promoted skill empowerment for the females is also a candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance from Anambra State who might win because the current Senator Stella Odua has an unsettled issue about her National Youths Service Scheme (NYSC). NYSC headquarters said she did not complete her NYSC but she is claiming to have lost her NYSC certificate. This lacuna will be to the advantage of All Progressives Grand Alliance. So if Mrs Obiano makes it to the Senate, we may see the Dino Melaye’s kind of fisticuffs in the Legislature because Mrs. Obiano it was who fought on the day her husband was handing over to the new and current governor of Anambra State Charles Soludo. Her fight which she reportedly instigated with Wife of Ikemba Chukwuemeka Ojukwu became the talking point of the inauguration of Professor Chukwuma Soludo.

Not forgetting that the current Chief Whip of the Senate Senator Orji Uzor Kalu a political entertainer will be re-elected to the Senate. He is also the leading football lover in Africa.

But above all, the expected arrival at the Red chamber of the National Assembly of the former Member of the Federal House of Representatives between 1999-2003 Prince Ned Nwoko who will come with his wives including the Nollywood star Regina Daniels may make the next session of the National Assembly very high in Great intellectual and social, political entertainment.

Already, Regina Daniels has shown the great stuffs she is made up of.

Actress Regina Daniels’ husband, Ned Nwoko had reportedly doled out N10 million to his staff for winning the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial primary election to represent the party for Delta North in 2023 general election.

Regina, in her Instagram Story said her husband was very grateful and happy for winning the primary election and had given 100 of his staff N100,000 each.

“Hubby is so grateful and happy. He just gave more than 100 of his staff 100k each,” she said.

In her Instagram page, Regina said she could not explain the joy she was feeling right now as her billionaire husband had been declared winner of the primary election.

She wrote: “I can’t explain the joy I feel right now! The race to senate starts with the PDP primary election and it is with so much joy that I announce our victory !

“You have never been a lover of politics and I’m glad to have been one of those that convinced you to do this because I know what you stand for, your love and your dreams for your country.

“Anioma will feel your impact. Delta state will feel your impact. Nigeria will feel your impact. My dear senator.”

As is already well reported, Ned Nwoko was declared winner of Delta North Senatorial PDP primary election. He defeated his opponent, Paul Osaji, a business mogul, in the Senate Primary held in Asaba with 242 votes as against 67 votes polled by his opponent.

The other aspect is that Regina Daniels has a large followership on social media platforms and therefore her activities as the wife of a high profile Senator will make a lot of impacts on the social media.

Who is Ned Nwoko? you may be asking. Ibrahim Abubakar a commentator attempted an answer to this poser in his piece with same title as the question aforementioned.

Ibrahim Abubakar wrote thus: “Ned Nwoko, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist today means different things to different people as a result of his selfless service to humanity. He has been the voice of the voiceless, a guardian angel, a great support system to his community, a giant wall over a city about to be ravaged by charlatans, a friend to the poor, the tyrant’s nightmare, the light of African advancement, the father of several fatherless”.

He wrotevtoo that Ned Nwoko has transformed from being a noun to a verb, always changing to suit the occasion for everybody to easily relate with.

When one leaves the comfort of their private life, their luxuries, their peace and tranquillity to pick up people’s burdens and problems and make them theirs and in a moment or a blink of an eye, change lifestyle abruptly to one of sleepless nights, starvation, advocacy, peril and precariousness, no amount of money, of appreciation or gratitude can ever be enough to express sincere acknowledgment, Abubakar wrote.

This, Ned has done all his life in a bid to make the world a better place.”

For me as someone who knows Prince Ned Nwoko, there is only one word to describe him-CHARISMA. Ned Nwoko is charismatic and he is truthful to a fault but very wise with his money as he is not so much a very big spender in things he does not attach utilitarian value.

Paschal Adigwe A former Member of the Federal House of Representatives has explained why Ned Nwoko will be a useful member of the next session of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Delta state and former Member, of the House of Representatives, Hon. Pascal Adigwe says PDP Stalwart, Prince Ned Nwoko has the best credentials for Delta North senate seat 2023.

Hon. Adigwe who is the Director-General of Prince Ned Nwoko’s senatorial campaign said in a statement in Asaba that the Anioma people and Deltans regard Prince Nwoko as an illustrious son with a track record of integrity and excellence.

He noted that Prince Nwoko, had sterling standing as a foremost philanthropist, accomplished business magnate, a respected politician, Antarctica Explorer as well as progenitor of Africa Malaria eradication project and London- Paris Club loans refund which helped to end Nigeria’s recession.

Adigwe also stated that Nwoko has made outstanding contributions to education in Nigeria with the recent federal government approval of a Sports University at his Idumuje Ugboko homeland, acknowledged as the first sports university in the country and sub-Saharan Africa.

Above all, what I think Ned Nwoko will bring to the Senate is his passion for evolving Sports to one of Nigeria’s sources of foreign exchange unlike the undignified position that it is now as we will see shortly.

Ned Nwoko has already started by setting up a SPORTS AND SCIENCE UNIVERSITY IN IDUMUJE UGBOKO IN DELTA STATE and the National University Commission has issued it with operational licence. This is the first time an academic environment is being set up to have a blend of Sports and science as fields of academic and intellectual studies.

The centre for the Studies of the economies of Africa rightly posited that a well-organized sport development structure and a high level of funding can propel a country to the top of the medal table.

Population it says is likewise salient, and with 1.4 billion people, China was well represented at the 2020 Olympic medal table, with a total of 88 medals won, trailing only the United States of America which had 113 medals won, a country with more than 300 million people.

The think-tank aforementioned said that the three strongest markers of sports development in any economy are the degree of investment, the extent of population participation, and the level of political stability that exists. High investment correlates positively with buoyant economy, which has a knock-on effect on the amount of leisure time utilized.

With more leisure hours, it says, a larger proportion of the population can indulge in sports. Developed economies make significant investments in sport facilities, coaching skills, and sports science support programs, all of which are essential for sport sustainability. Sport investment can be an effective stimulus for developing the quality and quantity of sporting activities especially at the international level.

In a media report recently, the former Statistician-general of the federation, Yemi Kale, had rated sports’ contribution to Nigeria’s economic low, saying the sector accounts for 0.005 percent of the country’s GDP.

Speaking at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit pre-summit webinar themed “Re-categorization of Sports as a Business Sector of the Economy’ held recently, he said Sports is valued at $500 billion globally, however, the sector accounts for 0.005 percent of Nigeria’s GDP which is not good enough.

He described sports as a small business in the country, but insisted that the sector has a capacity to stimulate economic growth and urged nation’s sports managers to agree on sporting activities that would constitute and focus on data integrity.

“Sports remains a small business in Nigeria but has the potential to be much bigger. We need to agree on what sporting activities should constitute and focus on data integrity, collaboration with relevant agencies and most importantly ensuring the steady funding for data computing as related to the sports industry,” Kale stated.

The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, while speaking at the event, said the sports industry which is a labor-intensive growth industry is being re-categorized as a business venture beyond recreation based on its capacity to spur economic growth.

“This move prioritizes the industry and fosters its eligibility for incentives, development of metrics for impact measurement, consideration for special funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria, creation of jobs and tax rebate, the sports industry can deliver N2 trillion revenue in the next 5 to 10 years for Nigeria and this can help to drive the largest real estate and infrastructure development in the country however it will require $500 million annual investment in sports infrastructure,” Dare said

There is no doubt that a Senate with the likes of Ned Nwoko and Orji Uzor Kalu the Pillar of Sports combined, Sports will be transformed into an industry and a huge business model.

EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA and was NATIONAL COMMISSIONER of the NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF NIGERIA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow by Email
LinkedIn
Share
Instagram
Telegram
WhatsApp