Six unsung years of balanced and consistent legislation in Ebonyi State

Today, Thursday, June 10, 2021, marks six (6) years anniversary of Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, as the Chief Lawmaker of Ebonyi State; and his two (2) years anniversary of being the Honourable Speaker of the 6th Ebonyi State House of Assembly. 

I will love to bring you up-close to these significant years of his continual service, that has birthed human interest laws in the State, sustained harmony between other arms of Government, new model legislation, effective representation of his constituency, wholesome Speakership for Ebonyi people, and his humane approach to life in general. 


Sections 4(6) & (7), 90, 91, 100, 101, 128, 129 and 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, gave wide powers to the legislature to perform various range of functions, which includes: Lawmaking, oversight, investigation, screening, approval, deliberation, and so on. 

Inadvertently, these wide powers are usually drowned under one function - Lawmaking, which basically offers a simple definition of Legislation. Interestingly, many of those who covertly get glued to the legislative arm of Government in Ebonyi State for clear biased censure, fail to underscore the basic functions of a lawmaker. So their usual pelting of stones are not just hit-and-miss as always, but a fundamental error in judgement. 

On a more personal note, what gives me a delectable appetite about Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, is that he spreads wide his gaze and extends hands of quality leadership, even beyond his constitutional givings. Such is a feature of an excellent leader - one who understands that his responsibilities aren't bound by white paper instructions. Little wonder the Vice President of UAE, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum rightly supported, that a leader isn’t bound by paper rules, working hours and he or she has no weekends or holidays. 

I’ll endeavour to come to some of those qualities of Mr Speaker, should you not get bored of reading; but for the moment, how well has he done in legislation? 


The Honourable Speaker is only but first among equals in the House of Assembly. As such, every other Honourable Member is a potential Speaker. Drawing from basics, they were all elected as representatives of their various constituencies. If there be a chance for anyone to become the Chief Lawmaker, it is a power conducted in pure humility and respect for other distinguished colleagues. 

The last sentence defines the reason why Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru made history as the only 2-time Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly. Even across party lines, he has held the legislative abode of Ebonyi State steadily, in the selfless understanding that they are primarily in the hallowed chamber, for the interest of the masses and like he will always allude - “those whom I bear their cross and crown”. 

Together, they have, as Honourable Members recorded tremendous successes in legislation since 2015, but permit me to highlight few Laws of human interest made in the previous two (2) years, in the 6th House of Assembly. 

- Ebonyi State Administration of Criminal Justice Law No. 013 of 2019, which promotes speedy dispensation of Justice, encourages Restorative Justice and modernises Criminal Justice tools.
- Ebonyi State Local Government Councils and Development Centre Law (Amendment) No 015 of 2019 – reducing unemployment in the State by empowering the Governor to appoint two (2) Liaison Officers for each of the 171 Wards in the State.

- Ebonyi State Corona Virus and Other Dangerous Infectious Diseases Law No 005 of 2020, adding legal spice to the regulations and precautionary measures of Government in combating the pandemic.

- Ebonyi State Public Procurement Law No 009 of 2020, which tightened loopholes for embezzlement of public funds and ensures transparency and accountability of financial transactions.
- Ebonyi State Fiscal Responsibility Commission Law No 013 of 2020 – Ensuring that fiscal policy helps the optimal rate of economic growth in the State.

- Ebonyi State Vocational College Law No 014 of 2020 – Law to establish Ebonyi State Vocational College, empowering the State to train our people adequately in various skilled trade to make them self reliant and financially stable.

- Ebonyi State Judiciary Fund Management Law No 020 of 2020 - to enable the Judiciary operate their financial activities and focus independently of proper dispensation of justice.

- Ebonyi State Maternal and Perinatal Surveillance Scheme Law No 021 of 2020 - For proper care of pregnant and nursing mothers in the State. 
- Ebonyi State Ebebeagu Security Agency Law No 005 of 2021 - Giving legal backing to the security outfit to keep the State safe in times of brewing tension.
- Ebonyi State University Abakaliki Law No 007 of 2021 -  for better administration of the State’s University. 

There are many more, but I’ll limit the selection to these, while I invite you to for a complete compendium of the Laws he has overseen from 2015 till date. 

So, Speaker Nwifuru has been able to make these Laws through the cooperating instrumentality of all his dear colleagues, who on their own rights engage in other range of functions, especially performing their oversight roles to ensure that Government projects and policies are done according to the right standards. 


It has become a common school of thought in our climes, especially judging from previous experiences, that Government is clearly working only when its Arms are always OPENLY at ‘war’ with each other. It is a poor syndrome, which unfortunately scores more political points for the players than quality representation and governance. Whereas the former is clouded with personal gains and interest, the latter answers to the plights of the people. 

The style of Governance in Ebonyi State, from 2015 till date, which has seen  the Legislative arm in a rather amiable synergy with the Executive and Judiciary, is what I've preferred to call - The New Model Legislation. This model of course, has and should always expect tantrums thrown at it, because it is clearly unusual. But more importantly, it is focused and yielding super and proud results, one that shapes not only the present, but a greater part of the future of Ebonyi State. 

What exactly are the root causes of quarrels between arms of Government, if not political interests and quest for supremacy? A few close Government allies will sincerely open up to you, that it isn't always rosy between the arms of Government in Ebonyi State (as popularly believed). What rather happens, is that whenever there is a clash in understanding, the argument happens maturely, intelligently, internally and at the end, the superior argument takes the day - always for the good of the people; with no personal rancour.

That, is team work. That is what leadership should be. At the end of the day, it is a good and visible sign of leadership for a leader to entertain various opinions and advice of experts and well-informed people to assimilate their opinions and reach the right decisions. 

And so, it is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind, that Ebonyi State has made proud and tremendous achievements under the leadership of His Excellency, Engr. Chief David Nweze Umahi - the Governor. But as well, those are products of the good leadership understanding exercised between the Executive arm, the Legislature and Judiciary. Long may it continue. 


Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru represents the finest people of Izzi West Constituency, at Ebonyi State House of Assembly. In simple terms, he was sent by his people to bring their interests to Government with the hope of realising positive results. 

Such prayers have been answered in and around Izzi West Constituency though the many personal, constituency and attracted projects done by Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru. His years as a lawmaker have positively touched the education sector, infrastructure development, power, human capital development, water resources, dispute resolution, women and youth empowerment and Agriculture in his constituency. 

It is on record, that he wasn't the first and only representative of the good people of Izzi West Constituency, neither is he the first and only Speaker to have graced the top seat of the legislative arm of the salt of the nation. But he has in his stint, displayed untold leadership and impacted lives so positively that he is not just the darling of the Izzi West, but the pride of those outside his constituency and respected among his colleagues. 


Here, against my will, I am going to employ one instance among many, and move on so that you won’t get bored by his good deeds (Should that happen at all).

Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru is a leader who does not discriminate. Regardless of your constituency and Local Government, he is always eager to put smiles on any face he meets. He is always responsive to the cries of the people and makes himself available each time for service. 

Since 2015 till date, he has been consistently paying the school fees of more than 100 indigent students, regardless of their constituencies and Local Government Areas. He fashioned it in such a way that the scholarship scheme is handled by a not-for-profit organization - Onwa Oferekpe Foundation. This organization does the screening and vetting and presents the students to Mr Speaker, only on the day of disbursement, and so, he doesn't even get to know who will be a recipient of the scheme. 

I do refer to him as a fine breed of human because of his cumulative disposition to see those around him excel and develop. His journey in life growing up, recorded many dire challenges, but he saw those stumbling blocks as opportunities for success. Such reflections spur him to selflessness in his dealings with people. 


Mr. Speaker has this penchant of lifting the downtrodden and setting them on deserved platforms for onward successes. He relishes with every sense of humility, his role as first among equals at Ebonyi State House of Assembly and hence, promotes good legislation and peace, in and around the environs. Such blessings have flown constantly for the past six (6) years of his administration in office, as the Chief Lawmaker of the State. 

He is one leader who has demonstrated deftness, unwavering balance and consistency in his legislative role and beyond. His mettle has as well earned Ebonyi State House of Assembly, the title of being the most peaceful and productive House of Assembly in the country. Little wonder he was elected sometime in 2020, by his colleagues as the National Vice-Chairman South East, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria. His stellar roles as well in the recent Legislative Autonomy is Nigeria, is a topic for another day. 

It is therefore, a rare privilege for us to have such a personality like Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru as a leader. Our earnest prayers for him, are ones of good health of mind and body and Divine discerning spirit in all his decisions, in the years ahead. 

Once more, many congratulations Mr. Speaker on your six (6) years anniversary as the Chief Lawmaker of Ebonyi State and your two (2) years celebration as the Honourable Speaker of the 6th Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

To God be the Glory!

Leo Ekene Oketa, the Chief Press Secretary to the Honourable Speaker wrote from Abakalki, Ebonyi State

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