By Goodliffe Goodhead
Following the barricade of the East -West road, at Mbiama, by the angry protesting youth of Engenni in 2004, the then governor of Rivers State, Sir Dr. Peter Otunaya Odili invited Engenni people for a meeting.
Engenni people had complained of neglect and marginalization under the Odili ‘s government. There were also agitation by some Engenni elites that Engenni should be part of Bayelsa state.
Governor Odili, in that meeting, asked Engenni people what they needed the government to do for them. Engenni people, in their response, asked for the appointment of two of their sons as members of the State’s Executive Council, one as commissioner and the other, secretary to the State Government (SSG). Governor Odili obliged and Asita H Asita was appointed Commissioner for Youth Development and Empowerment while Chief Moses Aduma was appointed Secretary to the State Government.
Reminiscent on the decision and choice of Engenni people to have two of her sons appointed into the States Executive Council, as against demanding for infrastructural development projects such as roads, electricity, portable water, raises some questions.
What might have suggested that decision? Were they thinking that by having two of their sons as members of the State Executive Council, infrastructural development projects would be brought to Engenni? If that was their thinking, they were dead wrong, both Asita and Aduma served our their tenures without any single project brought to Engenni. Not even the renovation of his Alma mater, Government Secondary school, Okarki, his home town. No Engenni youth was empowered by his ministry or employed in the State’s Civil Service.
Hon. Asita H Asita, after serving as Commissioner, made possible by Engenni people, was elected member, Federal House of Representatives, representing the good people of Ahoada West local government Area and ONELGA constituent. He was at the National Assembly for eight years, yet he could not execute any constituency project in Engenni, again, not even his Alma mater, Government Secondary school, Okarki.
While at the National Assembly, Asita H Asita was the de facto chairman of Ahoada West local government Area, as the then chairman, hon .Awori does nothing without approval from him. The only project executed by hon.Awori Miller, the construction of the Council secretariat was undertaking by Asita H Anita.
When Hon. (Dr,) Dakuku Peterside was Commissioner, his personal assistant was Hon. Dawari George. When he desired to contest for his constituent seat at the National Assembly, he encouraged and assisted Dawari George to do same. They both won their elections and became members of the National Assembly.
I still remember all those who worked with Asita H Asita when he was commissioner and honorable mention of the National Assembly, but can’t find any of them in the present political space or doing well in any industry.
In the long run, Asita gained, Engenni lost.