As Senator Ned Munir Nwoko completes his inaugural year as the distinguished representative of the Delta North senatorial district in the Nigerian 10th Senate, one cannot help but anticipate the emergence of a vital inquiry from the constituents. This question, seemingly innocuous yet inherently significant, should ideally serve as a catalyst for candid feedback and constructive criticism. However, it’s lamentable that this query has been hijacked by unscrupulous propagandists, who wield it as a weapon to besmirch their target’s reputation and diminish their achievements, regardless of their evident merit. This nefarious tactic has become all too familiar, a recurring pattern employed by those with ulterior motives.

The purveyors of deceit have once again lived up to their reputation. As the Senator marks his first year in office, the predictable barrage of deceit and agenda-driven rhetoric from these hoax heralds has commenced, exploiting the innocuous question at hand. Their responses, devoid of substance and laden with subversion, conspiracy, and falsehoods, serve as a testament to their pernicious intent. This time, however, the joke is on them, as even the most discerning observer can attest to Senator Ned Nwoko’s commendable performance within the hallowed halls of the Senate.

To suggest that Senator Nwoko lacks the acumen befitting his office or that his legislative endeavors are anything short of profound is to betray a woeful ignorance of the fundamental duties of a legislator. The trifecta of lawmaking, representation, and oversight forms the cornerstone of legislative duties — a concept even a secondary school student comprehends. Senator Ned Nwoko has not only embraced but exemplified these roles with unwavering dedication and vigor.

In the domain of Lawmaking, the astute Senator has championed transformative and equitable bills that, if enacted, promise to revolutionize the lives of his constituents and resonate across the entire nation. Among his sponsored and proposed bills are:

•A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Defence Academy Establishment Act for the Establishment of an Additional Nigerian Defence Academy in Delta State and Other Related Matters. This Bill seeks to amend the Nigeria Defence Academy Act, Cap. 101, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to make provision for the establishment of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kwale, Delta State, to beef up the number and competence of our military in securing our country using modern technology in applying both kinetic and non- kinetic approach in the exercise of their duties line with global best practices.

•A Bill For An Act To Establish The National Talent, Rehabilitation and Integration Agency, And For Related Matters. This bill seeks to address the challenge of ineffective management of specialized skills among our citizens and the problem of skilled individuals engaging in illegal activities, particularly in manufacturing weaponry and other technology-related offenses due to a lack of structured opportunities and support systems, by providing a structured framework for their development, rehabilitation, and integration into lawful employment and entrepreneurship. This particular bill stands out as exceptionally unique because of the circumstances that necessitated it. For further context, I recommend researching the issue of illegal arm manufacturing in Onicha-Olona, Delta State.

•A Bill for an Act to establish the National Centre for Substance Abuse Management (NCSAM) in Ndemili, Delta State, Nigeria; aimed at addressing the increasing challenges associated with substance abuse within Nigeria.

•A Bill for an Act to Establish the Nigerian Youth Entrepreneurship Grant Program with an Agency for Oversight.

And the roster goes on. To dismiss any of these Bills as “ridiculous” would betray a gross misunderstanding of their potential impact and a stark misalignment with the universally recognized definition of the term.

In the realm of Representation, the unconventional Senator has diligently advocated for the interests and concerns of his constituents through thoughtful motions and presentations of petitions, ensuring that the voices and needs of the people he represents are heard and considered. He does so without any iota of fear, regardless of who is involved or affected. Notably, these constructive and pragmatic motions include:

•Need for Redress, Healing and Reconciliation for the Grievous 1967 Asaba Massacre. In the proposed motion, Senator Ned Nwoko solemnly recalls the dark chapter in Nigerian history on October 7th, 1967, when the Asaba Massacre unfolded under the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon during the Nigeria/Biafra war.

•Need to Investigate the Incessant and Nefarious Acts of Crude Oil Thefts in the Niger Delta and the Actors. This he did in a resolute move towards safeguarding Nigeria’s economic lifeline, as well as secure what is rightfully due to her people.

•Urgent Need to Stop Gas Flaring and Enforce Anti-Gas Flaring Regulations in Ndokwa/Ika Land and the Niger Delta Region. He expressed concern over inconsistent policies, weak implementation, and the lack of political will to enforce regulations effectively. It is also in line with this that the Senator toured the IOCs in Delta North to ascertain the measures implemented to reduce gas flaring, among others.

•Compelling Need for a National Dialogue with Separatist and Marginalized Groups in Nigeria to Genuinely and Amicably Resolve all Issues.

•Need to Upgrade All Federal Medical Centers in Nigeria to International Standards and for All Public Servants to Seek Medical Treatment Exclusively Within Nigerian Healthcare Facilities.

•Need To Address the Unexplained Delay in Electricity Step-down of Okpai Independent Power Plant. The Senate’s urgent resolution on this includes directing the Federal Ministry of Power and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to immediately take action to improve the distribution of electricity from the Okpai Independent Power Plant, ensuring it benefits the Delta North Senatorial District. Take necessary steps to ensure the completion of the contract awarded by TCN for the construction of a 132KV Double Circuit Transmission Line, aimed at resolving electricity supply challenges in Ndokwa nation and the Delta North Senatorial District.

And the roll call of imperative actions marches onward.

In the realm of Oversight—monitoring the activities of the executive arm of government, which entails scrutinizing the policies, programs, and expenditure of ministries and agencies to ensure accountability and transparency—Senator Ned Nwoko has been proactive in engaging with ministries and agencies during budget defense and screening, particularly those under the purview of the senate committees to which he belongs.

The number of infrastructure projects he facilitated for inclusion in the 2024 budget appropriation is readily accessible to all. The federal government’s yearly appropriation is not classified; it is available in both digital and hard copies for public scrutiny.

For a senator who makes bi-monthly visits to his constituency and takes the time to tour his senatorial district, it is an understatement to suggest that he is not deeply connected with his constituents and aware of their concerns. Thus, false notions propagated by some reality benders that the senator’s presence is not felt in the grassroots become laughable misinformation campaigns.

It’s perplexing that these slander spinners seem more preoccupied with Senator Nwoko’s potential reelection success than the senator himself. Their warnings, such as “if you continue this way, you’ll end up being a one-term senator,” sound like broken records. Sadly, many lawmakers fall into this trap and end up using public funds to curry favor with political bigwigs, hoping for support in securing their next victory. When immunity no longer shields these easily swayed political office holders, their legal troubles multiply faster than rabbits in mating season and in many cases end up in prison.

Fortunately, Senator Ned Nwoko remains steadfast in his principles and indomitable in his resolve. In the 2027 race, if measured by the standards of quality representation and integrity, Senator (Dr) Prince Ned Munir Nwoko is poised for a landslide victory should he choose to enter the fray.

Returning to the question at hand: Has Delta North Felt the Impacts of Senator Ned Nwoko in His First Year as the Senator Representing Delta North Senatorial District? The unequivocal answer is YES. In the words of our revered late Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof) Chike Edozien, “From my observations of Senate proceedings, Ned stands out as a senator whose words carry weight, despite being in the minority”.

In January 2024, Senator Ned Nwoko was recognized as Senator of the Week by INSIDE THE SENATE – Nass Media. More recently, the distinguished senator was also nominated as the Legislative Personality of the Year 2024 by the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY NEWS, in recognition of his exemplary service and outstanding contributions to the legislative landscape in the 10th Assembly.

Senator Ned Nwoko’s impact in the 10th Senate reverberates not only within Delta North but across the entirety of Nigeria. Draw your statistics; the evidence is undeniable.

_By Juliet Ugah

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