· Absent from duty post since December
Tongues are presently wagging about the inexplicable absence of Hon Tochi Okereke, representing Ngor Okpalla State Constituency in the Imo state house of Assembly, who it was reliably gathered has been absent from the Assembly chambers since December 2021 at the expense of his legislative duties and responsibility to his constituents who have lacked representation since then.
A lawmaker who pleaded anonymity told this reporter that “since the inauguration of the nineth Assembly in June 2019, the Ngor Okpalla lawmaker has only attended four sittings out of a total of about thirty five (35) sittings. Yet, he collects his salaries and allowances. The few occasions he was present at the Assembly were during their inauguration and during the ex-governor Emeka Ihedioha’s administration.”
An indigene of Ngor Okpalla who does not want his name in print said, “Hon Tochi Okereke is a Lagos based business man who for the lure and appendages of the office contested election to represent Ngor Okpalla state constituency in the state legislature without being prepared to devote his time and energy towards rendering effective representation despite all the promises he made to the people during electioneering campaign. Aside denying his constituents their constitutional rights to effective representation his impact has not been felt anywhere by any person.
Even during the End SARS issue, the Covid-19 pandemic and the prevailing security challenges, the Ngor Okpalla lawmaker remained evasive, aloof and insensitive to the plight of the people whose interests he swore to protect.
We expected the political party on whose platform he was elected to question and call him to order but that has remained a pipe dream, as the constituents who are denied representation and by implication, a voice in the scheme of things have been abandoned to their fate. This is quite ridiculous and worrisome.”
A stalwart of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who pleaded anonymity stated that, “if the legislator who seems to have abandoned his duty and responsibility to his people continues this way, we will have no option than to initiate the process for his recall. The worst part of it is that he is completely inaccessible. He neither picks his calls nor responds to text messages and has not got in touch with any of the stakeholders to explain or give reasons for his absence”.
The leadership of his party has also failed in their responsibility to ensure discipline, adherence to rules, constitutional provisions and quality service delivery to the electorate who deserve the best.”
Efforts to reach the legislator for comment proved abortive as he outrightly shunned all calls and text messages sent to him.