Michael West: Between Politics and Service to Humanity Walter Duru
A certain local parlance has it that because every lizard is facing the ground,
it is difficult to identify that which is suffering from some form of stomach
disorder. In like manner, because of the dishonest orientation and attitude of
lots of Nigerian Politicians, it is difficult to identify the few individuals
genuinely dedicated to service to humanity, which is the primary demand and
purpose of leadership -call to service.
Even at that, the Nigerian mass media will be doing a great disservice to the
Nigerian populace and indeed, to both God and spirits if we refuse to identify
and celebrate the few true representatives of the people. It would simply be a
mark of ingratitude to God for providing such persons.
Therefore, the emergence of great representatives and leaders like Hon. Ibinabo
Michael West to public service in our country is not by any means a mistake, as
it is one of God's special ways of remembering his people;- when the righteous
are in power, the people rejoice.
He represents the constituency 11 of the Asari Toru Local government Area of
Rivers state in the state House of Assembly and indeed, there are smiles on the
faces of the people.
Just recently, I was discussing with a media colleague from the area who said:
“Oh!, God must surely bless Michael West for us. He is the kind of law maker we
need. He is the kind of governor we need in Rivers state and indeed, the kind
of President we need in Nigeria. You will not believe it, the kind of things
that man has done for our people as a House of Assembly member is unimaginable.
He opened our eyes to the kind of money available for constituency projects in
the state and he is using his to actually do developmental projects in the area.
Now, come to think of it, even after opening our eyes, apart from him and a few
others, how many law makers are using their constituency funds for the purpose
which they are meant for? He is simply a blessing to us. I do not play partisan
politics. I am not a member of the PDP, but mine is to stand on the path of
truth. I commend and encourage those that are doing well and criticize and
reprimand those that are deceiving the masses....”.
Honestly, I did not believe him. I did not actually understand where he was
coming from. I thought he was simply singing praises, just like many other
Nigerians who strive in sycophancy; until we decided to embark on a secret fact
finding tour of the area.
Niger Delta Standard investigations revealed that virtually all constituency
projects and developments in Asari Toru Local government area of the state
actually started with his administration as the people's representative in the
state Assembly. Little wonder, a certain political leader in the area described
him as ''an eye opener' of constituency projects in the area. The tour of the
area made some very shocking revelations, hence, this report.
In the area of Infrastructure, West has embarked on the building of the
Omekwe/Horsefall compound Memorial/meeting hall, as well as the interlocking of
the compound; building of the Charles-Wokoma compound Memorial/meeting hall as
well as the interlocking of the compound; building of the main West Compound
Memorial/meeting hall as well as interlocking of the compound, building of the
Atiegoba compound memorial meeting hall, as well as its interlocking of the
compound; interlocking of the Jackreech compound, Johnny-West compound and
Egede-West compound respectively; and sunk a Bore hole which provides portable
drinking water for Lily-West compound, Buguma.
Others include that he provided, installed and electrified Omekwe Ama community
with a 76KVA generator, supplying electricity to the community, provided,
installed and electrified Sama community with a 76KVA generator, supplying
electricity to the community. He has built for the main West compound in Buguma,
Krakrama, Tema and other constituency communities, solid pier latrines.
Again, through his efforts, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,
provided and installed for the Emekwe Tari Ama community, a 100 KVA generator,
supplying electricity to the community.
In the area of education, he has completed the renovation of the Angulama
Community Primary School, as well as the office of the Principal of the Angulama
Community Secondary school.
Again, he has provided and maintains a Scholarship scheme for indigent Kalabari
students of Asari Tolu local government area in both secondary and tertiary
institutions across the country. Presently, there are about fifty
beneficiaries of the scheme at both the secondary and tertiary levels.
In the area of youth empowerment, Hon. West has empowered and supports very many
youths, aged men and women alike, and also the widows. Presently, he has over
one hundred and fifty youths of the area that are placed on monthly salary
that runs into millions of naira monthly; among lots of many other empowerment
programmes. Many others have also been sent overseas for some form of training.
In fact, reports have it that he is the highest employer of labour in the area,
outside the government.
More so, he has designed and is about to commence the building of the Ido Town
In the area of Information Technology, Hon. West has designed and about to build
a well equipped Information and Communication Technology[ICT]/skills acquisition
center in Abalama for the human capacity training and development and
connecting same to the United Nations[UN] for continued assistance. This will
serve the 'Cernosia' group of Communities[the outside communities] in Asalga.
Also, he has designed and is arranging for the provision of Bore hole, for
portable drinking water for Oporoama, Sangama, Illelema and Angulama
communities. He is also arranging for the building of a concrete public
convenience for Ifoko and Minama communities, among many other people oriented
Commenting on his personality, a leader in the area and coordinator of the
Asalga project Initiative, [a non governmental organization based in the area],
Barrister Ibieme Cotton Amachree decribed Hon. West as a true representative
who has labored to bring succor to people of the area.
According to him: “Yes, the Asalga project is a project for the Asalga people.
Our dream and interest is that there should be true democracy and effective
representation of the people of the area. There should be good governance in
Asari Tolu local government area.
“We need good governance and Michael West is one of the persons that have
showcased that. This is a man who was elected to the Assembly in 2003. He has
been there for eight years and within this period, he has done marvelously well.
It is only the blind that can claim not to see the things he has done; but even
the blind can feel it that this man has done very well. First, our people have a
strong voice at the state Assembly. Look at the areas of human capital
development, infrastructural development, among many other areas. We are
impressed and for that reason, we are saying that if anybody should go to the
House of Assembly on a return ticket, it should be Michael West, because, he
has done very well. He is supporting people in all ramifications. His
magnanimity goes even beyond his constituency. Even some indigent students
outside his constituency are benefiting from his Scholarship and empowerment
programmes. We want such a person who loves the progress of his people to
Speaking on his popularity, Amachree says: “We are in a democratic setting and
people should be allowed to go to the ballot boxes to test their popularity. Let
all those who are qualified come out and the masses will make their choice. I
can assure you that the devil we know is better than the angel we do not know. I
can assure you that he will have a landslide victory at the polls. In the PDP,
people should be allowed to go and test their popularity. We shall resist any
attempt to impose an unpopular candidate on us. Those who have done well should
be returned. West has done well and should be returned. We want him to continue
to lead us”, he stressed.
Anchored on the fore going, it is obvious that people of the area shall have no
reason to complain if every political office holder should perform like Michael
West. The voice of man is that of God. With what is on ground, even spirits are
attesting of his good works.
Be that as it may, there is need for a level playing ground for all aspirants
and imposition of candidates should not be considered as an option at all in the
interest of our nascent democracy.
Democracy is tyranny of the majority and as such, the wish of the people must
Meanwhile, our present day leaders should endeavour to invest more in human
capital development, as building a child entails building a nation.
Furthermore, we shall be doing great disservice to man, the nation and even God,
if we deny the masses of their choice leader under whatever guise. This must be
Let true democracy and Justice prevail, as injustice anywhere is a threat to
All hands must be on deck to ensure that the right things are done. The time to
act is now!
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Chike Walter Duru and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana.