The die is cast.In less than 24hrs the 2023 General Elections to usher in representative government at the centre and at the National Assembly will be conducted in the 36 States of the Federation, 109 Senatorial Districts and the 324 Federal Constituencies in the country .Candidates have offered to represent their people at various levels including the Legislature,to make laws for the good governance of the country.One of such candidates is Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan,the senatorial candidate of Central Senatorial District of Kogi State.
The Presidential rally by PDP held mid-January offers a good opportunity for candidates to display their strength and capacity.The rally which goes down as the most successful of all rallies towards tomorrow’s election has come and gone with the galaxy of displays by various candidates to prove their preparedness to take over the mantle of leadership.However,one candidate that stood out of the pack at the campaign rally no doubt was Natasha.It was a prism of exposé of the content and character of an enfant terrible,irrepressible candidate that has taken the political firmament in Ebiraland by storm and who has worked relentlessly to position herself for the arduous task of representing her people at the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Natasha’s billboard was the most conspicuous at the entrance of the stadium.The billboard was strategically positioned to be infectiously captivating.The billboard announced the presence of a serious candidate who has eyes for details..
From her flamboyant entry into the venue of the event,to her speech delivery at the podium,Natasha showed she is an enigma who has prepared herself well enough for the challenge of a 21st Century Legislative Chamber.You could not but feel the aura of her presence at the stadium which was electrifying.It was a Gazelle stepping into the arena,and holding everyone spell bound.
The ovation that greeted her entry into the stadium can be likened to the biblical Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem.The warmth of her reception cut across barriers.It was simply tumultuous.
It is noteworthy that when she was invited to make a speech as a Senatorial Candidate she rebuffed the invitation on the ground that her speech will not make the impact intended without the presence of the main figure of the day,the Presidential Candidate of the PDP,Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and other notable figures who were not seated at the time of her invitation.
The eventual impact of her speech on the Presidential Candidate and other protagonists of the campaign event underscores the importance of the decision of Natasha not to be railroaded into making her speech earlier in the absence of Atiku Abubakar.The tailor-made speech was loaded,pungent and was effectively delivered with fluidity and grace.
By the well crafted speech,Natasha again demonstrated that she cannot be goaded into taking action that will not be in her interest or that of her constituents.
Her nomination to speak for the other two senatorial candidates also shows that as a woman she is capable of holding her own, and effectively mobilising her male counterparts for constructive action while not allowing her voice to be drowned by male chauvinists.
In her all-important speech, Natasha talked to the needs of her constituents which included women inclusivity in politics;need for the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company to create the much needed job for the teeming youths;need for women and youth empowerment, and the development of Inland Port in Lokoja to boost the economy of the state.The speech was not lost on the target audience as the Presidential Candidate,Atiku Abubakar and other notable speakers which included the DG of PCC,Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal,Governor of Sokoto State and the Presidential Running Mate,Dr Ifeanyi Okowa spoke in support and in favour of the ebullient and unstoppable Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan.
By the token of the speech of the Presidential Candidate who spoke in favour of Natasha’s demands,and those of Dr.Okowa,the running mate and Rt.Hon.Aminu Tambuwal,Natasha was able to show that she can pull the chestnut out of fire and that she is courageous enough to stand for her constituents where it matters most and that she will always watch out for the right audience to see her desires through.That no doubt,speaks volume of her resilience and determination to get what she wants for her people.That is the mark of a good representative.
Everything about Natasha on the day showed a candidate who is well prepared for the Arduous task ahead,and who has build bridges of relationship with the high and mighty to get her attention in the greater interest of her constituents.Need we look further for who to represent the Central Senatorial District at the Red Chamber?We have one in Natasha.She is courageous, irrepressible and unstoppable.She is a candidate of all seasons who will open up Ebiraland and bring Kogi Central Senatorial District to National limelight.
Not again shall we vote bench warmers who will take the back seat at the parliament.Go vote for the voice that cannot be drowned by the cacophony of voices at the highest law making body.Legislating is not just about empowerment.It entails that the candidate knows his or her onion and is able to speak up to defend her position on legislative matters for the good governance of the country.There are candidates and there are candidates.Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has demonstrated that she is that candidate to take us to the promised land.
Austyn Ochu writes from Lokoja