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Press Release Houston Texax : Phantom Projects: Ekweremadu Resorts To Deceit And Slander

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The Honorable Senator, you are keenly aware that such dishonorable acts by you and army of fifth columnists cannot be any farther from the truth. The truth is that we are no longer in the military era—no community or constituency visited you or will visit you to condemn a law abiding citizen committed to the greater good of the society, especially one pointing out projects that were said to exist but found to be nonexistent.
Monday, January 6, 2014

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, CFR
Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Complex
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Dear Senator,
My attention has been drawn to your onslaught against my person on the news media (including the TV, the newspapers, radios, and the internet) for asking simple questions to my representative in the Legislature. Some of your tales even bear an infantile imagination that my community and Enugu West Senatorial Constituency have denounced me for our clement campaign for transparency and accountability in government (see: https://citifmonline.net/news/ekweremadus-projects-community-constituents-denounce-skc-ogbonnia-over-false-claims  or  This Day Newspaper December 28, 2013: https://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/enugu-battle-i-cant-be-distracted-says-ekweremadu/167440/).
The Honorable Senator, you are keenly aware that such dishonorable acts by you and army of fifth columnists cannot be any farther from the truth. The truth is that we are no longer in the military era—no community or constituency visited you or will visit you to condemn a law abiding citizen committed to the greater good of the society, especially one pointing out projects that were said to exist but found to be nonexistent. Now, did the Ugbo town that you have continued to cite in your different presentations tell you that they have a library as claimed in your pamphlet? Of course, not! So your whole scheme (including fictitious names and positions) is nothing but a convenient lie adopted to deceive and distract.
This dimension of your politics is very troubling and explains why our true constituents as well as fellow Nigerians around the world are dismayed that rather than provide simple answers to serious charges, you have once again resorted to what has become a pattern of impersonation, intimidation, blackmail, deceit, and slander. As an unbiased Enugu-West scholar wrote in many fora, “The name-calling was unnecessary; it is no longer about SKC… assuming it ever was about him…the DSP should discourage the so-called “community” condemnation of his constituents who simply ask uncomfortable questions of their reps.”
For the umpteenth time, this matter is far from a personality contest between SKC Ogbonnia and Ike Ekweremadu. It is a matter of accountability and checks and balances critical to the survival of Nigeria’s nascent democracy. Besides, this movement is not only beginning to take root in our Enugu-West constituency, it is also taking off state-wide and nation-wide and should therefore not be discouraged nor distracted at a village level. (See: https://www.transparencyng.com/index.php/news-categories/106-opinionsinterviews/8574-the-problem-with-enugu-state-an-open-letter-to-ohaneze-ndigbo).
So, the main question remains: Given that it is now crystal that some of the projects listed in your pamphlet of accomplishment are abandoned or do not exist and have never existed; what is next?  It is written that you have gone to assert that a legislator “does not handle money for projects”, which is ordinarily true (see Daily Post, December 24, 2013; https://dailypost.com.ng/2013/12/24/protect-projects-attracted-communities-ekweremadu-tells-constituents/); however, you can also agree that such peripheral statement does not and cannot address the real question.
Finally, I must not fail to recognize your efforts in adopting some of our initiatives by forming a project monitoring committee of your own. However, the purpose of your committee (as reported in the Daily Post) is merely to ensure that projects are not vandalized. It does not serve the important purpose of bringing to justice those responsible for looting the funds budgeted for the various projects listed in your pamphlet but so far found to be nonexistent. Granted that you are neither the executive nor the contractor, but in view of the fact that you have already taken credit for attracting the abandoned or missing projects; please truly serve the constituency by using your good offices to acknowledge such projects, the names of the contractors, the amounts budgeted for the specific projects and amounts thus far disbursed, dates the projects were supposed to have started and completed—so we, the constituents, can then employ every civil means to hold them very accountable.
(NB: For those just tuning in to this heartbreaking development, please see the original questions below).
Sincerely,
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia
Houston, Texas
Mobile:  281-802-3449
ORIGINAL QUESTIONS
Re: Constituency Questions Part II: Phantom Projects
Press Release
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Senator Ike Ekweremadu, CFR
Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Complex
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Dear Distinguished Deputy President of the Senate,
Re: Constituency Questions Part II: Phantom Projects
Compliments of the season, and I hope this mail reaches you well…
You demonstrated a good sense of leadership by putting together a pamphlet titled “Accomplishments & Constituency Projects Attracted By His Excellency Senator Ike Ekweremadu, CFR”, which chronicles your stewardship since being in the Nigerian Senate for over a decade. The vision and achievements therein are very impressive, to say the least. This singular example is worthy of emulation.
At the same time, there are daunting contradictions. An emerging consensus is that a good number of the projects listed in your pamphlet are phantom—do not exist and have never existed. Even in some cases where the projects exist, they are uncompleted, poorly executed or totally abandoned. (Recall the question by Austin Oboh of Daily Independent, April 1, 2009: https://allafrica.com/stories/200904010263.html).
Accordingly, two months ago, October 21th, to be exact, my team began an independent but extensive constituency-wide field investigation of these projects. The reports are trickling in but very troubling.  Not to bore you with a long list so far identified in different parts of Enugu West Senatorial District, comprising Aninri, Awgu, Ezeagu, Oji-River, and Udi Local Governments; but let me begin by citing a few:
In the first page of the very pamphlet alone, under Awgu LGA, the very first project listed (S/N. 1) is a library purportedly located in my native town of Ugbo (“MDGs Library at Ugbo Community”), implemented under “MDGs Quickwin” in the year 2009 (See page 25). My senator, it is painful to report that, as at today, there is no such library and such library has never existed.  Let’s quickly move over to the neighboring town of Amoli. The same page 25 (S/N. 11) reads, “Amoli Junction to Eyimba-Achi Road construction Site”; which was supposedly implemented in 2011 under “Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority.” Unfortunately, any link between Amoli in Awgu and Achi in Oji-River has not experienced the said development and remains a hunting route. The Ihe-Agbudu Road on same page 25; S/N 16 listed as completed in 2012, is abandoned or incomplete. Check out my neighboring LGA of Oji-River; S/N 17 and 18: Nkwo-Inyi-Inyi Girls-Obune Road Construction Project, and Obuagu-Umuola-Achi Road construction, respectively, listed for 2012 are yet see the desired construction. More painfully, the MDGs Library Center Project at Community Secondary School Oji-River (S/N #3, p. 29) does not exist and has never existed. (In short, there is nothing like such school at Oji at all; to avoid confusion, when my team visited an existing school, the Urban Secondary School at Oji-River, there is no library there either). The MDGS library structures said to be executed in 2009 at Agbogugu and Inyi are hardly completed or equipped (See pp. 25 and 28, respectively). For a dutiful attention, it is better to defer listing more of such projects to the Part III of these questions.
Senator, given that these non-existent projects are carefully plated in your profile, one can believe they were budgeted and paid for but might have been abandoned by the contractors. It is also very possible that given your overwhelming responsibilities as the Deputy Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, you might not have visited these projects one-by-one for proper appraisal. To that end, I appeal that you dedicate your good offices one more time to critically review the pamphlet page-by-page and then find time within this Christmas holiday to visit the different constituency projects so as to see things yourself.
One more thing: Your pamphlet did not reflect any constituency project from 2003 to 2008, a period of five years. Given that you were elected to the senate in 2003, if you wouldn’t mind, also document and inform the constituency budget/projects attracted and completed within those years.
Finally, in line with Nigeria’s Freedom of Information Act of 2011(https://www.nigeria-law.org/Legislation/LFN/2011/Freedom%20Of%20Information%20Act.pdf); please communicate back your findings to me—including but no limited to the name of the contractors, amount of the contract, amount so far disbursed and the dates—so I can employ every civil means to hold those responsible for the phantom projects very accountable.
(NB: Citizens of Enugu West Senatorial Constituency or members of the Press, who may like a copy of the pamphlet, please do not hesitate to contact me so I can email it to you. My business email is listed below).
Sincerely,
Dr. SKC Ogbonnia
Houston, Texas
281-802-3449

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  • Published: 5 years ago on January 6, 2014
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  • Last Modified: February 20, 2018 @ 8:15 pm
  • Filed Under: Press Releases

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