The Parliament Diary





How has the task of representing the good people of your constituency been?

I represent not just the good people of my constituency; we don’t have the bad or the ugly; if anything, I am an emissary, a servant of the people. I represent one and all in my constituency.

As a public servant who suddenly took a plunge into politics and found myself in this position, it has not been an easy ride so to speak. But I can boldly say that we in the APC, and the party itself, are doing the best we can to change the direction of leadership and governance; we are but gradually propelling the much desired people-oriented leadership and governance, not just in my state but all around the country where such structures exist. There are several challenges though; despite the many challenges which we all must agree are universal in nature, we still are trying to meaningfully impact the lives of our constituents.

Yes, people should be satisfied with the way a government is working. I can tell you that in my constituency I encourage citizen participation in governance. I tell my constituents that participating in government is in their own self- interest.

I remind them that a good citizen has a responsibility to work to improve his or her society; that a good citizen, be he or she a politician or not, ought to be concerned with improving the lives of those less fortunate. Of course, a good number of politicians are doing their best to ensure that the grassroots also enjoy the dividends of democracy.


What can you say are your major achievements since you assumed office?

We have made some modest achievements. Basically as a legislator, one’s first priority is to make laws or review laws for the country. That apart, I’ve been able to introduce a number of bills. I think we’re not doing badly in terms of making laws or reviewing laws. Some of the bills have scaled first reading, second reading and even public hearing. That apart, we’re delivering efficiently on our mandate of representing the people. You will agree with me that the 9th Assembly is gradually but delivering effective legislative governance to our country and our people. We have been making useful contributions as much as we can in the legislative chamber. We’ve moved a number of motions and introduced a number of motions. We make sure that our communities benefit equitably from the federal government projects and programmes.

I also try as much as possible to liaise with various organizations where I have been securing employments for our youths, and I think we’ve achieve a lot in that direction. I visit my constituency from time to time to deliver empowerment to my people and help in sensitizing the people on government policies.

For example, with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant devastating effect on the economy of the people and the country, we engaged in sensitizing the people particularly on how they can leverage on some of the benefits the current government provided to cushion the economic effect of the disease. And, I can state with all confidence that we so far have not fared badly. There is room for improvement in every human endeavor. We have learnt and we are still learning from our past mistakes and errors.


Generally, how have your constituents fared in the politics of your state and by extension Nigeria?

I think my senatorial district has not been left out in the scheme of things. I mentioned it earlier that we are representing the people as best we can; we ensure that government programs and projects get to the senatorial districts. I think we’re not doing badly; and we would continue to do our best for the people. They voted us to power. They gave us the mandate; we in turn must keep the trust; we must serve the people as best as possible.

Moreover, today, the informed and well-meaning Nigerian is aware that things have taken a dive for the worst globally and the ripple effect is no less affecting the current administration, but government is unrelenting towards correcting the issues affecting the people; the most disturbing issues, especially issues concerning peoples’ security. Government is not relenting.

But I know they can do better, and am quite optimistic that in the long run things will get better.


What is the current state of security of lives and property in your constituency?

I said earlier that we have serious challenges bordering on insecurity—not only in my district or in the state alone—this dreadful development is widespread across the country, and not just in this country but world over so to say.

Everywhere nowadays banditry, kidnapping, etc appears to be the order of the day. It is indeed a big challenge.

The government is trying to save the situation. Frankly, we do hope that the government will stave off these marauders in order to avoid a repeat of the Kagara incident. Kidnapping, banditry and sundry outrages are a threat to peace, our lives and property and this must stop.


What are you doing to remedy the poor state of roads in Niger state?

Yes, all around my state the roads are in a terribly bad shape and am worried. It is incontrovertible that Niger state land mass is one of the generously proportioned in the country; the state boasts of the longest Truck- A road of about 2,300km and a land mass of about 76,000km square. These roads, certainly, are a very big burden on both the Federal and State Government. Yes, there is urgent need to fix up the broken roads; but I must state that government is not laidback; at present, there is ongoing rehabilitation of the Suleja-Minna road, there is ongoing rehabilitation of Mokwa-Miakira-Tegina road. There is also the ongoing Minna-Bida road rehabilitation by the state government.

However, my fear is that the level of work being done on the roads are not fast enough. Again, the roads should be built strong with durability in mind. The point here is that people are really angry at the sorry condition of the roads in Niger State. We don’t want 2023 to come with these roads undone.

The construction of Baro Port is another area of concern to the people. Nigerlites are worried about how government has diverted its attention away from Baro Port. It seems government has forgotten about Baro Port. I do hope that in 2022 Government will focus on Baro Port and get it fully functional before 2023.


Sir, what is the most daunting challenge in your political career?

In every human endeavour there are always lists of challenges. One of the major challenges constantly confronting me and my political career is that an average Nigerian believes that all politicians are liars!

Many Nigerians view all politicians as a class of people who make their wealth at the expense of the poor; that politicians are at liberty to do whatever they wish and get away with it. But, since I got here I’ve seen it differently. First, the money is not there as people outside usually conclude. Secondly, personally, lying and dishonesty is not my stock in trade. I hate lying. I would rather say it as it is. I hate to prevaricate. I speak my heart. I will work the talk! So, I do the best I can.

But most Nigerians, no matter whichever political actor says or do, are inclined to condemn and class him or her as a liar or usurper or grabber of our common wealth. They tend to equate the politician today with that of yesterday. This stereotyping is so discouraging and must stop.

You are here when somebody came and made a request that I offer him money. I don’t know him. He’s not even from my state. He is from Borno State. Every now and then you see different faces come in to make demands. If someone has a lot of money and everyday they’re dolling it out to people without replacement, they certainly will exhaust the source; the money will certainly finish. Honestly I see this as a very big challenge.

I do hope that money will be deemphasized in politics in Nigeria, those who see politicians as my spinners and come only to make demands for money ought to know that the new crop of politicians are not as rich as the old ones, the new crop of politicians are not what they think the old ones were. This attitude must change.

We should go into politics with the aim to serve the people, making laws that will improve their lives should be the focus. This is indeed a very big challenge but I hope that we someday will get over it.


As a Federal Law maker, do you think the government has done enough to help the youth harness their potentials for economic advancement of the nation?

Yes, I think government’s determination in that direction is not in doubt. It is a work in progress. At no time had any government done it all – not in any country. So, I think government is trying and must continue to put in more efforts.

The National Assembly will continue to support the government to achieve better results empowering our women, empowering our youths, in engaging everybody, in creating an enabling environment for investments, for economic activities to thrive for the wellbeing of the masses. Government is unrelenting but they can always do better.


There are speculations that most bills sponsored on the floor of the chambers, instead of improve or better the lives of the average Nigerian citizen, are usually targeted at worsening their living conditions. What’s your comment?

That claim is spurious and it gives me a shock. First, let us agree that social security is a challenge world over. Personally as a politician, my focus is altruistic; it is to improve the welfare and wellbeing of my constituents and their communities. I yearn to achieve nothing other than to ensure first that the lives and properties of my people are protected. The focus of the average politician and of government is to improve the wellbeing of the citizens in a society; and I think that is what we’re doing. So it is a very wrong notion to say that most bills sponsored by members are targeted at worsening the living conditions of citizens. I think with time Nigerians will realize that government means well.


What is the difference between the executive and the legislature?

We are partners. The Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive are symbiotic sort of. We must work cooperatively. It is only with this sort of relationship that Nigerians will enjoy democratic governance. If we are hostile to one another then the grass, the public that is, will suffer, and that is why the 9th National Assembly ensures that a partnership that is beneficial to all other arms of government succeeds and I believe Nigerians are benefiting from it.

But for the Covid-19 pandemic which interrupted, by now, Nigerians would have realized the phenomenal measure of successes so far achieved by this 9th National Assembly since its inauguration.


How do you rate the performance of your state Governor, His Excellency Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello?

I know my governor quite closely. He is a very compassionate man with his subjects at heart. He is anxious to improve the comfort and security of our people. He sleeps and wakes up with these concerns on his mind daily. I think that is what he’s doing. I wish him well.


As a Senator, what’s your advice to members of your constituency?

I am calling on the good people of my senatorial district, all Nigerlites and every one and all citizens of this country to maintain a patient attitude towards the current government. We must not be seen to have jettisoned supporting our prayers with positive actions. Our positive attitude to national issues will help the present government win the battles. We must not allow especially the peace to elude us. Where there is no peace and unity, development and growth will bypass us. As a nation and as a people, we must be seen to be rather strengthened even in these dare circumstances than cave in; the countries around us are not insulated against the current problems that are challenging us the government and people of Nigeria. Therefore, as a nation and as citizens, Nigeria and Nigerians and all must not relent; we must set for ourselves positive goals and attainable aspirations, and pursue the goals and aspirations with zest. We must not give way to the wrangling and agitations ongoing in different sections of this country, which are as a result of especially the insecurity pressures that we all are contending with, to distract or derail us from the pathway to attaining a stronger nationhood that will conquer retrogression. Therefore, we all must endeavor to carry on patiently as we continue to pray for those in leadership to be further strengthened to triumph over the odds militating against the peace, unity and progress of our great country Nigeria.

Thank you for your time sir

Thank you for this interview

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