The member representing Uvwie/Okpe/Sapele constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Evelyn Oboro, has said that the bill establishing the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Delta state and which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently, was her brain child.
Hon Oboro, who played host to a delegation of various academic unions from FUPRE, weekend, who paid her a thank you visit for her efforts in ensuring that the FUPRE bill was signed into law, said she moved to tell the world the truth about the FUPRE bill because, according to her, “some political dramatists” want to claim her glory.
According to the lawmaker: “This bill we are talking about today is my brain child and a product of my endeavor. It is my intellectual property because I actually engaged the services of consultants to look into it and they drafted this bill which I presented in 2014 and the bill was sent to the Senate for concurrence.”
She said she was surprised when one of her “senior brothers” from the senate was trying to make people believe that the FUPRE bill emanated from him whereas she was the initiator of the bill.
While saying that she does not want to join issues with anybody, Hon Oboro, however, said that she has already written a letter to the leader of the Senate House intimating him that someone wants to inherit her intellectual property, adding that when the time comes she will present the issue properly.
She stated: “I do not want to join issues, but it is very important for me to let you know that there are a lot of political dramatists in the state. I am not a political dramatist, I am a realist and what I cannot do, I will not tell you that I will do it. I have never been known to crafting and assuming ownership of what belongs to someone else.
“Ordinarily when a bill is passed, there will be no need for a public hearing and visitation because the bill has already been passed. When a bill has been passed, the next thing is for it to be sent to the president for assent.
“So when you see a drama about a bill that has been passed by the House of Representatives, sent to the Senate for concurrence and somebody came up with the same bill and introduced it as a fresh bill that he is sponsoring, it sounds funny. And then in an attempt to suppress me, because I am a woman, and to kill my voice and steal the glory that God has given to me, you move traditional rulers, for no reason, from Delta State to Abuja and stage-manage a public hearing which was not necessary in the first place,” Hon Oboro said.
Explaining how the bill came into being, Hon Oboro said: “I started the FUPRE bill in the Federal House of Representative in 2014 and the bill was passed then, but it was not signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan for obvious political reasons.”
“There were a lot of bills that were not passed that year. Like all of you know, towards the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015, there were so many political issues in PDP, APC and even in the National Assembly. The speaker of the House of Representatives then, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, had issues and there was political migration everywhere.
“So, it was not as if the then President Goodluck Jonathan intentionally refused to sign the FUPRE bill. There were circumstances beyond his control and there were a lot of bills on ground for him to sign then.
“But as God will have it and by his grace, I was re-elected by my constituents to go back to the House of Representatives to continue my good work. I was already preparing to re-introduce the bill when the university authority paid me a visit in my office. And I told them that they needed not come to me because they have chosen me to represent them and I must do my job,” the federal lawmaker added.
Continuing she said: “Some persons will want to belabour an agency or institution to come and sponsor bill for them. I never did that and I will never do it. I stand here boldly and say that I did all that I needed to do because that was the reason why I was voted for. But I want to give God all the glory. I am not giving myself the glory because it is by the grace of God that the FUPRE bill was signed into law.”
She commended the delegation for taking out time to come and appreciate what she has been doing for the university, stressing that though she was doing her duty, she is happy to see that there are people who really appreciate her work.
Earlier, Dean Students Affairs, FUPRE, Goodwill Ofualagba, who spoke on behalf of the various academic unions, rained encomiums on Hon Oboro for the fighting spirit she put in ensuring that the FUPRE bill was passed into law by the president, adding that since the passage of the bill, the morale of the staff of the university has risen.
Ofualagba also appealed to the federal lawmaker to do all within her power and ensure that the FUPRE law was implemented, adding that they were waiting for the day that the law will be implemented.