By Awka Times
An Awka socio-political group, the True Awka People (TAP), held a town hall meeting on January 4, 2022, with Hon. Engr. Sam Chinedu Onwuasor, the House of Representatives member representing Awka North and South constituency, as Guest of Honor.
It was a pioneering effort at grassroots democratic engagement, designed to enable ordinary Awka constituents meet with their House representative in an uncontrived political forum.
The event lived up to its billing as a forum for robust democratic interaction. TAP leadership introduced the guest of honor, Hon. Onwuasor, and then after a brief opening statement by the guest quickly opened the floor for direct audience questions and comments.
And what a robust session it was. During the six-hour event, the audience threw a vast array of questions at the representative, ranging from a sustained interrogation of his legislative record to impassioned questions about the paucity of government projects in Awka, including federal and state projects. There were questions too about the lingering community leadership crisis in Awka which has greatly undermined the political relevance of the capital city. The audience seemed most exercised by the collapse of public infrastructure in Awka, especially the dilapidated roads in the city. Attendees flung fiery questions at the House representative, demanding to know what he had been doing to alleviate the situation which greatly undermines the economy of Awka and environ.
Hon. Onwuasor took the questioning in his stride, acknowledging the relevance of the issues, providing answers where he could whilst stressing the limits of his legislative remit where he felt necessary.
In the end, guest, host and audience indicated that the event was worthwhile. Constituents hoped for a future town hall meeting to check in again with Hon. Onwuasor. The rep himself indicated his willingness to participate in future forums, but he also challenged the constituents to engage his office in an ongoing democratic dialogue.
TAP leadership informed Awka Times that they are hoping to set up a town hall franchise through which they hope to engage various leaders, in the government and community, in an ongoing democratic dialogue.
Below, we provide videos and photos from the Jan 4 event.
The True Awka People (TAP) was formed in 2017 with a goal to mobilize Awka people at home and abroad towards Awka development. It was borne out the festering political crisis in Awka which has seen ruptures in town union governance and the monarchy institution, and it hopes to facilitate political reconciliation and promote rapid development in Awka capital city.