Rt. Hon. Essien Ayi, Member representing Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar South (ABC) Federal Constituency in the National Assembly has said he will always win even if he contests for the seat for the 100th time.
Ayi stated this during in 10-day Agricultural value chain training he organised for the people of Bakassi as a means of cushioning the protracted delay in their overdue resettlement and several failed promises by the Federal and State Governments respectively.
Addressing the participants, the five-time House of Reps Member thanked them for taking the programme seriously as reported by the training consultant.
He said: “I stand before you as a loyal servant because you gave me the opportunity to serve you. This is my fifth term and you have continued to vote for me because you believe in my abilities to deliver on my campaign promises. It is very clear that should I decide to contest again you will still vote for me and I will win. I want you to grow in the path you have all chosen for yourself as we continue to also help others to find their paths”.
Speaking on the Agric Value Chain, the Lawmaker said that due to the nature of the programme for this year which has witnessed an injection of people that have no relationship to the plight of his people, the tension was raging which prompted him to calm the troubled waters.
“When I noticed this, I drew the attention of the Ministry of Niger Delta to this anomaly, their explanation was that we should be our brother’s keeper. I reason in line with them along this path. But I want to tell you this, this programme is by me for my Constituency. As members representing our constituency, we all have the opportunity to bring something to our constituents, this is a programme to my people.
“I used to do water projects and all of that but I came to discover that those things only function at the moment but become abandoned once they go bad. Go to Akpabuyo and Bakassi, you will see so many abandoned constituency projects. I decided to look beyond doing those things and imparting directly to my people, hence I started this programme of training the people on various Agricultural Value Chains in Fishery, Poultry, Piggery etc., as my constituency projects.
“This way, the people are empowered and settled in that a business has been provided for them. Let me quickly say that we don’t train them only but we also give them take-off grants in their chosen value chains to start their business.
“It’s five years now since we started and we have taken more than 5000 off the streets and we will continue to do more. Teaching someone how to catch a fish is better than giving him a fish”.
“This way, people can begin to think about their future and also provide opportunities for others. We will not rest on our oars to bring succour to our people of the ABC constituency. That is why I am pushing seriously for the resettlement of people of Bakassi through the ‘Bakassi Resettlement Bill’ which has passed first reading”.
“With this, the various necessities will be gradually addressed through a long-term plan by assigning each programme for implementation through the various ministries. It’s sad that ever since the world court judgment at the Hague, the ‘Green Tree’ agreement, no part of that has seen the light of the day. All efforts by the legislative arms have always sold throw but truncated at the point of implementation by the executive arm”.
When questioned on the possibility of the implementation of the Bakassi Resettlement Bill, he said, “let us do our parts first in the legislature, it will not be in the best interest to abandon it because all others were not implemented”.
In response to the gesture of empowering individuals through value addition, training and grants to commence various businesses, the participants were full of kind words to their Representative and spoke freely about his passion, zeal and commitment to anything that touches on their welfare.
The high point of the event was the presentation of certificates to the participants and a group photo session with all the members of each of the value chains.