Written by Divine Nwankwo, a
Public Affairs Analyst.
History will be made on Wednesday,12th May, 2021 as Bende Youth Forum in conjunction with Abia Democratic Initiative holds a grand civic reception in honour of their own and former member that represented Bende Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, Ada Bende. The grand civic reception which takes place at Bende Local Government Stadium, Bende LGA, is put together to honour Ada Bende over her political outstanding performances and for demonstrating to be a true daughter of Bende Local Government Area in tick and in tin; through her impaccable and humane personality. It could be recalled that after completing her secondary school in 1985 at the Federal Government Girls’ College Owerri, Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje proceeded to the University of Benin where she bagged Bachelors of Arts degree in English in 1991. She equally earned a post-graduate diploma in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos.
In addition, she has a PTSS Certificate (Program on Terrorism and Security Studies) from George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies, Germany. In 2019, she was conferred with the Honorary Doctorate degree; Honoris Causa by the American University of Nigeria AUN Yola. A distinguished Nigerian, Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje speaks fluent English and can communicate effectively in Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa.
Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje later left her career in the hospitality industry to run for elective office, where she won a seat into the House of Representatives in 2007. Her aim for the position was to fill the gap and ensure more women speak up and contribute to laws making that is capable of affecting positively, the women and the public generally, in addition to giving beautiful representation to the entire Bende Federal Constituency. She was re-elected in 2011 and 2015.
In the National Assembly, she proved her mettle as an eloquent speaker, blessed with excellent communication and analytical skills. A distinguished lawmaker, Hon. Elendu-Ukeje is a major advocate for good governance and upholding democratic ideals. Also as a very strong advocate for affirmative action and gender parity, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje’s 12 years in the parliament made her instrumental to the passage of many landmark bills including: Public officers Protection Act, Minimum wage Act, Anti-trust legislation in broadcasting, Anti money laundering and terrorism act, Asset forfeiture in criminal matter Act, Foreign Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, Non discrimination against people living with disability. She authored a bill to establish the National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons NATCOM Bill, Public Officers Protection amendment Act, Anti-trust legislation in broadcasting.
She cosponsored the Military Trust Fund Establishment Bill, Education Reform Bill, Education Loan bill, Non-stigmatization against victims of HIV/AIDS Bill, Trafficking in Persons Bill, Affirmative Action Bill and a bill on Health Reform with emphasis on improved funding for cancer research and treatment as well as reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates.
This law maker of note was fanatical about her NATCOM bill on the establishment of a National Commission to tackle the proliferation of small arms and light weapons; a bill she championed for 8 years, which unfortunately, was never signed into law having passed through all legislative processes. It is obvious that non signing of this her Bill into Law may have contributed to the current mindless spate of insecurity in the land as there is no Executive backing of the Bill.
A consummate and vibrant law maker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje was the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (2011 - 2019) , Chairman, House Committee on Donor Agencies, Development Partners and Civil Societies (2009 - 2011) . She sat as member of other distinguished standing Committees of the House including: House Committee on Defence, House Committee on Science and Technology, House Committee on Parliamentary relations, Women in Parliament,
Telecommunication, Information Communication Technology
Equally, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje is a recipient of many awards from various unions and groups including, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Thisday Newspapers, Authority Newspapers, National Council For Women Societies, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria among others.
Apart from these score cards of Ada Bende, the duo of Bende Youth Forum and Abia Democratic Initiative have followed her political trajectory and movements very carefully and found out that Ada Bende has been steadfast in supporting her Party the PDP in spite of all efforts by other political parties to lure and woe her into their fold. Her belief in the PDP and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has remained unwavering and this attitude is rare among politicians from this clime, most of whom are bent on leaving a political party because they lose elections or felt cheated in the course of party politics. It is therefore necessary that an amazon of Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje's standing, should be recognized, celebrated and appreciated. So, it is on this premise and based on the fact that honour should be given to whom it is due, that these groups of individuals under the Organizing Committee Chairmanship of the Deputy Executive Chairman of Bende Local Government Area, Hon. Promise Uzoma Okoro decided to hold this grand civic reception in her honour. The event which is slated to hold by 10am has the amiable Governor of Abia State , Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu as a special guest of honour, the Deputy Governor Rt.Hon. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, the Speaker Abia State House of Assembly Rt Hon.Enyinnaya Orji as Guests of Honour.
Others expected to grace the event include, Senator T. A Orji (Papa ukwu), the PDP State Chairman, Rt. Hon. Asiforo Okere, Members of the Abia State House of Assembly , the Executive Chairman of Bende LGA, Chief Emmanuel Onwuchekwa, Present and past Commissioners, key political office holders from Bende, Women Leaders in Bende, elder statesmen in Bende , youths, women group and the public.
As the good people of Bende Local Government Area roll their drums tomorrow in honour of this illustrous amazon of theirs, the organizers most invite people of goodwill in Bende Federal Constituency to come enmasse as the event would once again provide an opportunity to galvanize them in continuous support of our caterpillar revolutionist Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. To the quentisential and pragmatic Ada Bende, the Bende Youth Forum and Abia Democratic Initiative say, bravo!
Let the celebration continue!!