Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu: The Making of Another Female Federal Lawmaker in Urhobo

By Moses Darah

On February 15, 2019, I praised the Urhobo people of Delta Central Senatorial District for accepting the place of the girl child in today’s world, which is on par with their male counterparts. In that article titled “Evelyn Oboro: The Making of the First Urhobo Female Senator”, I rated the Urhobo men higher than some of their counterparts in other ethnic groups when it comes to treating the girl child right.

An Urhobo man will not consider his wife as merely belonging “to the sitting room, the kitchen, and the other room,” which means that the woman is not important in the scheme of things, whereas women all over the world are doing well for themselves. They make up a large proportion of the civil service, arts & design, music, law, business, education & research, healthcare, food management, communication, accounting, engineering, and other fields of human endeavour.

I pointed out that some of the women that are believed to have had the biggest impact on world history include the Polish-born French scientist, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who founded the new science of radioactivity and effective cures for cancer. She was the second person to win a Nobel Prize. The first elected female head of state in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, is a good example of the fact that the girl-child can excel in the world of politics in Africa.

I also noted that the world stood still for Hillary Clinton when she contested the 2016 United States presidential election and narrowly lost out—not on the number of voters but on a screwed Electoral College system.

In Nigeria, Dora Nkem Akunyili set an exceptional record as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). As minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, the Ogwashi-Uku-born World Bank Deputy President, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, piloted Nigeria to become the biggest economy in Africa before the APC administration destroyed it.

In Urhobo, the likes of Chief Grace Akpoguma (former minister of Science and Technology and Delta State Head of Service), Dr. (Mrs.) Veronica Ogbuagu (former Commissioner of Education, Delta State), Chief Judith Enamuotor (former Commissioner of Information, Delta State), and Chief Mary Iyasere (former Commissioner, Commerce and Industry, Delta State), to mention but a few, have all demonstrated that the girl child is of substance, even in politics.

The first female parliamentarian, Hon. Barr. Evelyn Omavowan Oboro, who represented the Okpe-Sapele-Uvwie Federal Constituency from 2011–2019, is in the class of women who had the biggest impact on world history. She is one of the Urhobo women who have brought fame to the Urhobo nation. Unfortunately, she narrowly missed the chance to be elected as the first Urhobo female senator to represent the Delta Central senatorial district.

Here comes another golden opportunity for the Urhobo people to double their chances of sending another female representative, an opportunity that will redirect the misconception about male chauvinism among the Urhobo people. The daughter of the former Governor of Delta State and political legend, Olorogun James Onanefe Ibori, in the Ethiope Federal Constituency comes to mind. She is Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu. As the saying goes in Urhobo, eba vwie erhoon (a shark cannot birth a catfish) and omo re obo je wa vwe obo (a native doctor’s child is also a native doctor).

Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu is not a JJC in the lawmaking business. She is a two-term member (2015–2023) representing Ethiope West Constituency at the Delta State House of Assembly with a track record of excellent performance. She is in the league of lawmakers that have provided stability and peaceful coexistence between Gov. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa’s Executive and Rt. Hon. Sheriff Francis Orohwedor Oborevwori’s Legislature in Delta State.

Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu is not loud in the press but has carved a niche for herself through people-oriented projects.

The following are Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu’s verifiable projects, distributed across the Ethiope West Constituency with the support of the Delta State Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa Okowa:

1) Construction of Hon Benson Echie Road to link Otumara Road, Ogharefe

2) Rehabilitation of the Primary Health Care Centre, Mosogar

3) Rehabilitation of failed Section of link Road from Oghara to Koko/Ugbenu Highways.

4) Construction of Scot Road, Oghara

5) Construction of Pamol/No Tension Road, Oghara

6) Renovation of 6 Classroom Blocks with Stores and Toilets in Ibori Primary School, Oghara

7) Renovation of a Block of 6 Toilets Including Sinking of a Borehole with an Overhead Tank in Ibori Primary School, Oghara

8) Construction of Ugbenu Secondary School, Ugbenu-Oghara

9) Second Phase of Ugbevwe Road Oghara Junction to link the Expressway

10) Renovation of 6 Classroom Blocks in Amori Secondary School, Mosogar

11) Renovation of 6 Classroom Blocks in Ugbenu Primary School, Ugbenu-Oghara

12) Donation of Hilux Van to Vigilante Outfit, Oghara

13) Free Medicare in the Health Centre at Ugbenu and Jessewith the one at Oghara running for the past 8 years

14) Women Empowerment for Petty Traders

15) Empowerment of Constituents through Oil Palm Farmer Support Programmes

16) Training and Empowerment of Constituents in Tailoring and Hair Dressing with Starter Packs in Oghara, Mosogar, and Jesse.

17) The Yearly Free Jamb Programmes Scholarship For Constituents

18) Construction of Ibori Library at Uherevie Primary School, Oghara

19) Employment Placement for Constituents in Delta State Civil Service and Most Recently in NSITF

20) The Rehabilitation of the Teaching Hospital

21) Payment of Backlogs of Teaching Hospital Staff to the Tune of 5 Million Naira to Avert Industrial Actions in 2016

22) Legislation for the expansion and rehabilitation of the teaching hospital.

23) Provision of classroom furniture for public schools in Jesse, Mosogar, and Oghara.

24) Provision of 3 transformers in Ovade, Otefe, and Oghareki.

As the PDP’s gospel song of 5-over-5 sweeps across the country, it is believed that eligible voters in the three kingdoms in Ethiope East LGA (Agbon, Oruarivie-Abraka and Umiaghwa-Abraka) and the other three in Ethiope West LGA (Idjerhe, Mosogar and Oghara) will come out en masse at the February 25 and March 11, 2023 general elections to vote Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu and the PDP from top to bottom.

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