By Promise Egwu
Dear Dame Patience,
I thank God for your full recovery. Your Thanksgiving and Burnt Offering to God were awesome. I will continue to pray for you and your lovely Husband, our President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for God’s protection and guidance in all your undertakings and services to the Nigeria.
I write you this letter with a heavy heart and with tears in my eyes. I have not stopped crying after reading an article that went viral on the internet on the 18 February, 2013 with the caption IS MALE CHAUVINISM A STANDING ORDER IN EBONYI HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY? written by one Sam Asoluka. My heart is burdened because I am a citizen, student, and an indigene of Ivo Constituency. I am in tears because I am woman, a fiancée to a gentleman who is not from Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
The said article got me thinking especially as my fiancée is not from my state, Ebonyi. I am now worried because it seems marrying outside my state downgrades my Nigerian citizenship or makes me a second class citizen in my husband’s state. I am more worried because as a woman who intends to marry outside my state, I may face the same problem Honourable Mrs Lillian Igwe is facing in my home state’s House of Assembly.
The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to the plight of Honourable Lady, Lillian Igwe, and PDP Member Representing Ivo Constituency in Ebonyi House of Assembly. And to help put an end to this ‘Marriage–crime’ that has taken a strong root in Ebonyi State House of Assembly from spreading to other states in Nigeria.
Marriage is not a crime. It is an ordained relationship by God and our politicians should not be allowed to ruin or destroy this revered family setting because of selfishness. And as an aspiring politician, I don’t want to be victimised when I marry my heartthrob and move to live with him in his state which automatically becomes my home and state.
Your Excellency, the plight of Honourable Mrs Lillian Igwe is mind boggling. She was suspended from Ebonyi House of Assembly last year on the lame charges of drunkenness and for coming to the House of Assembly in a Keke Napep. But the truth is that Honourable Igwe’s sin is that she is not from Ebonyi State. She is from Okirika in Rivers State and married to an Ebonyi man. But she won the Ivo Constituency for PDP in a democratically conducted election in 2011.
Since her victory in the election, she has not known peace in the House of Assembly. The male dominated Assembly has done everything in their power to rubbish her because she is an outsider and a woman. These so called honourable members of the Assembly have ceaselessly bullied and emotionally tortured Mrs Igwe because she refused to do their biddings. Hence they came up with the obnoxious claim that she drank herself to stupor and comes to the House in Keke Napep.
Honourable Mrs Igwe does not drink alcohol. And, I wonder when it has become a crime in Nigeria to ride in a tricycle to work. This is just a matter of giving dog a bad name to hang it and how low Ebonyi House of Assembly has degenerated.
Your Excellency, I am calling your attention to this Ebonyi House of Assembly imbroglio because you have worked hard in empowering women in Nigeria and what is happening in my State Ebonyi, tantamount to putting spanners to the good work you and other notable Nigerian women have done for most of us who are aspiring to serve our fatherland in various capacities.
As I write you this letter, Honourable Mrs Igwe is still on suspension for no real reason, her Ivo Constituency as a whole which I am a member has no representative in the House of Assembly. We have been cut off from Ebonyi House of Assembly because the men who overpopulate the House hate Mrs Igwe. This is unjust and unacceptable to us. We have protested but they did not give a damn. Is the House of Assembly now victimising us because we the people of Ivo Constituency elected one of wives, a respectable woman to represent us?
Honourable Mrs Igwe is a hardworking woman and a mother of young children. She is an astutely politician and has robustly represented us in the Assembly. She is no more an outsider in Ebonyi State. She is now an indigene of Ivo by marriage and some of us are hoping to be indigenes of other states by marriage soon.
Your Excellency, I urge you to please use your good offices to look into what is currently going on in Ebonyi House of Assembly. Mrs Igwe is unjustly being victimised because she is from Okirika in River state. Your urgent intervention in this matter will stop further emasculation of helpless people of Ivo and their Assembly Member Honourable Mrs Lillian Igwe by these ruthless men in Ebonyi House of Assembly.
Thank you. And happy Mothers Day in advance