Rita Orji: An Outspoken Politician with Passion for Grassroots Development in Nigeria

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“Great women do great things in secret”-Godday Odidi

For the past two years, I started reporting Hon. Rita Orji’s constituency programmes in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, as an opinion writer cum publisher, I have been able to study her political representation under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

For those who are not close to Hon. Rita Orji will quickly rush to the social media space to criticize her representation at the National Assembly without doing proper journalistic investigation to know who Hon. Rita Orji is.

Many a time, I have read so many destructive criticisms on her leadership style on the social media space from the ruling party to her own opposition party members who felt that her style of political leadership and representation do not suit their styles.

One of the interviews granted to Hon. Rita Orji during the Oto-Wharf road flag-off in 2017 by the Nigerian media, she told the media that she been playing grassroots politics since 1998 and contested for a plum political office in Ajeromi-Ifelodun under the PDP but was stylishly removed as a result of tribal and ethnic politics within the rank and file of her party then.

The history of Ajeromi-Ifelodun politics since 2015 elections cannot be completed without mentioning Hon. Rita Orji’s victory that swept the ruling party to the cleaners and brought PDP to the limelight in Ajeromi-Ifelodun politics.

Even the ruling party is yet to recover from that political victory that is still creating fears and anxiety among its party leaders and faithful ahead of the 2019 elections.

Before the 2015 elections, I had been following Ajeromi-Ifelodun politics as a young writer who was so much interested in national matters than grassroots matters. I focused much on constructive criticisms through well-edited articles on the national dailies and TV shows in Nigeria then.

My late father, Pastor Friday Odidi was one of the South-South PDP leaders who believed so much in party principles even when the party failed many times to secure victory for its candidates then. PDP was always winning some political offices in Ajeromi-Ifelodun but the powers that be were always manipulating the electoral process to favour their candidates.

“If not hate politics that has come to stay in Africa, some PDP faithful need to thank God for using Hon. Rita Orji to secure victory for such high-ranking position which had never been won by PDP in Ajeromi-Ifelodun politics since 1999”.

In politics, nobody is perfect and Hon.Rita Orji has her own shortcomings that do not mean she is a total failure which has been described by some political woes who felt uncomfortable with her style of representation at the National Assembly.

Even when my biological father was playing active politics in Ajeromi-Ifelodun PDP then, no political leader of such status of Hon. Rita Orji has achieved such political magnanimous feat when it comes to grassroots empowerment programmes and youth development in Ajeromi-Ifelodun.

Hon. Rita Orji must be commended for taking PDP to the pinnacle of modern politics in Ajeromi-Ifelodun. Those jostling for House of Representatives under the platform of PDP must take a second look at Orji’s political antecedent that led to her victory in 2015 elections.

According to Hon. Rita Orji, everybody is free to contest in PDP against her but what will play out if her first tenure was a total failure in the constituency.

If not the sudden assassination of Engineer Funsho Williams of the PDP that collapsed the structure of the party few years ago, Lagos State would have been a PDP state. The like of Hon. Rita Orji would have been a special adviser or commissioner representing non-Lagosians in the state.

With the crops of aspirants vying for the House of Representatives come 2019 under the PDP, Hon.Orji stands the better chance of emerging as the alternative candidate to march the ruling party candidate in Ajeromi-Ifelodun.

Her philanthropic passion was never birthed today. She has been involving in philanthropic support at the Tasly World that brought her networking creativity to limelight in Africa. Her commitment to grassroots politics is second to none in Africa.

One thing you can’t take away from Hon. Rita Orji, her courageous display in grassroots politics and philanthropic commitment to positive representation over the past two years in Ajeromi-Ifelodun. 

Lastly, only God will decide the victory of this great woman whose leadership representation at the National Assembly not only affecting her constituency positively but also waking up sleeping politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties to work for the masses in future elections.







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