It was indeed a day of jubilation and profound joy as Bende constituents witnessed another groundbreaking edition of the Annual Town Hall Meeting/Empowerment program and report presentation by the member representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rep. Benjamin Kalu.
The event which is the 19th edition of the annual empowerment program by the representative has been held on the 29th of December consecutively for the past 19 years, also marked the 3rd year for the town hall meeting and report presentation since his emergence as the member representing the people of Bende Federal Constituency, a remarkable day in his life that affords him the opportunity to celebrate with the people of Bende. The ceremony took place at the Agbamuzu Hall, Bende in Bende LGA, Abia State.
The program kicked with a tour by the traditional rulers, stakeholders, all constituents present, and the member representing Bende Federal Constituency who led them around the projects displayed in the gallery, explaining the current stage of each project.
Rep. Benjamin Kalu in his speech at the event, acknowledged the presence of the traditional rulers present at the event, also recognizing specially, the Senate President, Distinguished Sen. Ahmed Lawan, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Senate Chief Whip, the Senator representing Abia North Senatorial Zone, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, appreciating them for their leadership and support through these years.
He expressed his gratitude to the constituents present at the 19th edition of the Annual town hall meeting, stating that this is a fulfillment of his promise to Bende people, to stay accountable to the task of quality representation which he was sent him to deliver. He said;
‘It is with a sense of gratitude that I thank you all for honoring yet another invitation to this annual town hall meeting. This is one of the promises I made to Bende, to constantly be accountable, available, and maintain close communication with my constituents regarding my activities at the House of Representatives.
‘It has been an arduous but fulfilling journey representing you, the good people of Bende Federal Constituency, in the last two years. Regardless of the many challenges that have come with it, we have strived to rewrite the history of Bende while delivering the dividends of democracy and good governance. We have raised the bar for quality representation and have put Bende on the national map.’
The Representative stated that the day is a remarkable day for him as it represents very special events in his life, most especially, his wedding anniversary and the remembrance of his late mother who was a great humanitarian and philanthropist, adding that this is the reason he maintained this day as the day to celebrate with Bende constituents as well as present his scorecard of representation since emerged as the member representing the constituency at the National Assembly.
Major highlights of the event include the presentation of the report for his achievements and legislative activities within the last two years since his resumption into office with over 22 motions, 51 bills sponsored, various oversight activities as well as federal government Interventions championed by the lawmaker for the good of Bende and Nigeria at large.
Rep. Kalu further listed in detail the projects he has attracted to the constituency, some of which have been completed while the rest are still ongoing in various sectors of community development. Download report here
Also speaking at the event, The Chairman of Traditional Rulers in Bende, Eze Uwakwe Ukaegbu expressed his joy in all that is happening in Bende Federal Constituency, He emphasized that they have never seen it happen like this before since the inception of democracy, adding that people who have gone to the House of Representatives in the past and received these funds but they pocketed it instead of distributing it to the people. He prayed that God will continue to guide and strengthen the member as he continues to go higher in his journey.
The constituents were also given time to make remarks, ask questions and also gain clarity on certain issues concerning projects and his representation at the National Assembly, this was duly answered by the representative. While expressing their surprise at the number of achievements by the member in just 24 months, the visibly pleased attendees didn’t hold back their joy as they interacted with their representative.
The event featured the distribution of various empowerment items to Bende constituents ranging from motorcycles, sewing machines, washing machines, grinding machines, mechanical/welding tools as well as cash donations. The lawmaker distributed wrappers to all women who were present at the event while every other constituent present left with at least a bag of 5kg rice.
In an interview with one of the constituents, Mrs. Ngozi Ezeogo who spoke to a Drum Africa correspondent, she said;
‘What is happening today in Bende is to show that Bende people got it right this time, this is because we have never experienced such a time in this constituency, we have had representatives but none have been as productive as Rep. Benjamin Kalu. Bende is grateful to him, May God continue to bless him more’
The constituents were filled with gratitude as they continued their songs of praise to God for the blessing of Rep. Benjamin Kalu who assured them to do more.
The event was attended by Eze. Jerry Akpala, Eze. Uwakwe Ukaegbu, Eze Innocent Mba, Eze. Sunday Ogbonna, Eze. Sunday Chile Ogoh, Hon. Amobi Ogah, Elder. Chief Ogba Nwokoro President General Item Development Association, Dr. Emeka Nwachukwu, Prof. Victor Ukaogo, Chief Daniel Akwari, amongst other dignitaries.