Dennis Amadi: A Sneaky Rep Gets His Reward (1)


SHEDDY OZOENE

One of the parables that many easily recall from the Good Book, is the touching story of the prodigal son as recorded in the gospel of Luke. In the book, Jesus tells of a son who asks his father for his inheritance. He goes ahead to squander it recklessly on a life of indulgence, becomes destitute, works as hired hand in a pig farm before he realizes his foolishness and returns home.

There are similarities between the story and the events of the past three years as they involve the Member representing Udi/Ezeagu federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dennis Oguerinwa Amadi. It all came to a climax with his better-forgotten outing penultimate Saturday, in Udi.

For upwards of three years, according to some members, Amadi has shunned the monthly stakeholders meeting of the Peoples Democracy Party or such gathering organised by the party leadership either in his ward or Local Government Area. Ditto for much of the functions organised by the state government.

When his memory came round, it was not his inappropriate conduct that bothered him, it was the next election that he was focussed on. Since he indicated interest to vie for the Enugu West Senate seat, he suddenly realized he needed the backing of stakeholders of the PDP in Udi. Like the prodigal who becomes destitute when his fortunes were depleted and was forced to work as a hired hand for a pig farmer, Amadi so depleted his goodwill in the past few years that he now struggles for political relevance by hanging on the apron strings of Ike Ekweremadu, a fellow federal legislator.

So off to Udi he went in search of partymen and women he so disparaged in the recent past and with whom he has picked many needless quarrels.

But while the prodigal in the Bible, on realizing his folly returns to his father with a broken heart, was warmly received and reinstated, it was a different case with Amadi who was publicly disgraced by his own kinsmen.

He may not have squandered the inheritance from his father, but he sure abused the mandate entrusted in him and wasted the enormous goodwill of his constituents. All he needed was to return ‘home’ with a broken heart, by way of political rapprochement which some of his aides suggested to him. He chose instead, to barnstorm into the stakeholders meeting he had shunned for years.

The effrontery backfired with a bang.

Only a few of his aides bothered to accompany him to the event where he was greeted with boos from the party men and women who did not as much as acknowledge his entry. They did not even bother to sing for him the songs that are used to receive even ward Councillors.

The House of Reps member simply found himself a solitary seat by the corner and watched proceedings. It was a pitiable sight as he sat quietly like an unwanted dog in a strange gathering, keeping busy, sometimes, by browsing through his phone. After several odd minutes, he stood up and signalled to address the gathering but he was denied the microphone. Then he made a bold attempt by trying to speak without the microphone, but his voice was drowned by chants of No! No!! No!!!.

Minutes later, the aspiring Senator gathered his belongings and left the gathering. He was practically chased out of the meeting, literally, with his tail between his legs. It was yet the most disgraceful outing in recent memory for a federal legislator in his own constituency.

Many of his Udi kinsmen describe the incident as a pay back to a sneaky, arrogant politician. Not only has the legislator turned in one of the most disappointing performances as federal Rep for the people of Udi and Ezeagu, he has, since becoming a National Assembly member, consistently snubbed party leaders and treated his constituents with disdain and contempt.

If the disappointed party members were out for a pound of flesh, they took it in the full glare of Senatorial aspirants Amadi would be squaring up against next month. Available to watch the drama were Dr. Oscar Egwuonwu, Chief Osita Ngwu, Barrister OAU Onyema, Dr. Nnamdi Ene, Chief Chinedu Ani and Chief Maurice Akueme.

Dennis Amadi

Oguerinwa Amadi’s problems started during the build-up to the 2019 elections when constituents openly complained about his first term performance record at the National Assembly. Apart from his dismal performance, they said he was not relating well with his constituents, especially the many who made sacrifices for his election.

The majority of PDP leaders and delegates were insistent that he would not be returned to Abuja. The obvious choice for the 2019 federal election was Chief Osita Ngwu, popularly called RG. It would take the pleas and intervention of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the table to turn again in favour of Amadi.

His explanation was that the court case instituted against his 2015 election by Chief Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi had been a major distraction. He swore to change but after begging his way to reelection, Amadi continued in that snubbish attitude. He went a step further and sacked key Udi indigenes among his staff and totally neglected the party on whose platform he was elected to the House of Representatives.

Chibuzor Aniekwe, his kinsman from Affa who played a pivotal role in his election and who followed up on the court cases, was the first to go. Many who know about Amadi’s humble beginnings say it was Aniekwe, former branch manager of First Bank, UNN branch in Nsukka, that brought Amadi into politics and introduced him to key and strategic persons who made his election possible. The man who possesses a Masters degree in Finance had the superfluous official title of Senior Legislative Aide even though in Abuja he also acted as Amadi’s house boy, cook and laundryman. He was blamed for not covering up on the many lies of his principal and laid off without being paid some of his entitlements till date.

Obidiaso Iloeje (Legislative Aide 1) and Kennedy Ozoagu (Legislative Aide 2) were also sacked. Both are relatives of Chinedu Iloeje and Emeka Ozoagu who, as Chairmen of Udi and Ezeagu Local Government Areas, respectively, in 2015 contributed immensely to Amadi’s election. The same fate befell Ugochukwu Eneh, his Personal Assistant and son of one of his predecessors, Chief Gary Eneh.

Even some of his close friends were ‘sacked’ as arrogance took better hold of the Rep. In Abuja he parted ways with a close friend simply because he advised the legislator to take it easy with the black bottle and not always attend House sittings feeling giddy.

It was a time Amadi felt he had developed political muscles and increasingly picked quarrels with political associates at home too. One after another, he abandoned many of his close associates and those who spearheaded his election or reelection, like Teacher Collins Amalu, Ikomi Ohagwu, Evans Okwor, Joy Chukwuemeka, etc.

For Emeka Aneke, the phony award of a contract for a constituency project in Ebonyi State led to a bitter quarrel and a court case. Amadi, whose office facilitated the deal, issued a guarantee to pay back the amount Emeka paid without getting any contract. In his usual duplicity, he later backed out of his promise and the quarrel lingered for several months before the matter was reported to Senator Ike Ekweremadu who resolved the dispute against Amadi and ordered him to pay.

Considering the groundswell of opposition to his Senatorial aspiration in his Udi/Ezeagu constituency and elsewhere on account of his poor performance and character flaws, Amadi may indeed be on his last lap as a member of the National Assembly. Incidentally it was at the same meeting where he was humiliated that Dr. Festus Uzor, Gov. Ugwuanyi’s chief of staff, was endorsed for the House seat he currently holds.

…to be continued.

Ozoene is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.


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