Tasks before northern legislators

Politics

Members of the National Assembly from the North are diametrically different from their counterparts from the South. This is in both Senate and House of Representatives. Legislators from the South are always keen, eager to serve the electorate. They try to make their people feel their effect and efficiency. They execute development projects in their various states, e.g. schools, clinics, roads. They find jobs for their people. They award scholarships; they attend religious rituals and other rites. They draw their people nearer to them. They visit their constituencies and their villages frequently. They do not hide themselves from their people when they visit their areas as northerners do. According to my observation, our National Assembly members do nothing for their people, as do their counterparts from the south. In my state, one cannot see any development project erected by some of them. They do not visit their constituencies until after four years when they go canvassing and soliciting for votes from the masses. They only use the paupers as their ladder. Their aim and objective is to rise to eminence and accumulate wealth. They are only perfect in building mammoth mansions and parking elegant cars and jeeps. Many of them have three or more houses or hideouts where the destitute cannot locate them.

This does not necessarily mean that all of them are of this behaviour. Definitely, we have very few of them who are patriotic, sympathetic and compassionate. What we need in the North is not sharing of money during electioneering campaigns. We don’t need persuasion by flattery or empty promises. What we desire from the northern legislators are: They should work earnestly to eradicate poverty, objection and privation. We have people who cannot afford to secure three meals a day. Illiteracy is one of the problems they should address. Beggary and street begging are some of the things tarnishing the image of the North. It is not incongruent or out of place to mention that Islam does not encourage begging. Pertinacious and importunate solicitation of alms or charity from people is repugnant and odious to Islam. It is a religion of dignity, decency and prestige. Muslims are not allowed to put themselves in humiliation and debasement. The Almajiri system is not the handwork of Islam nor is it an instruction of the religion. Unemployment and idleness are also some of our problems. Taking hard drugs by both male and female youth is a great threat to our future. It is on increase daily. Something ought be done urgently to curtail this.

Out of school children are more than those in schools. This is why the rate of illiteracy in the region is very high. The members should contrive ways to address this as such more schools should be built. Educational projects should be encouraged. Farming should be boosted and expanded. Advanced methods and forms of farming and irrigation should be stepped up. We all know most of our people are farmers, therefore such action will increase their livelihood and raise their morale. At the same time, the problem of poverty and unemployment will be addressed squarely and begging may be eliminated. Grazing and pasturing areas must be available for our herdsmen too. The way electioneering campaigns are being conducted is very humiliating and debasing. How can someone who has human respect in his heart distribute vegetables, tomatoes, Maggi cubes, slippers and other mean things to be elected. It is my personal strong feeling that all political parties should make all their elections to be direct ones. The system of delegation or consensus by party stalwarts or strongmen deprives the masses of their free choice. Governors, legislators and other rich people always maneuver and manipulate the elections, especially the primaries. If we are operating a real democracy we must stop these two systems, otherwise we are deceiving ourselves. This is the reason why we have a lot of problems, petitions, and complaints against the recent primary elections. Governors put in place their surrogates and proxies who will cover their awful and disgusting deeds. Delegates are being bought by rich politicians and consensus is usurped by the strong ones. One can see this time around many National Assembly members failed to retain their positions, as they lost the primaries. One of the main reasons is that they are no more attached to Buhari, so they can be carried along with him. This time Buhari’s whirlwind will carry only those who are germane, apt and patriotic, or on the other hand the masses rejected. Please let our elections at all levels be free and fair. We should carry all along with us.

As I mentioned above that, the problem of hard drugs must be addressed, most politicians in the North have special thugs, following them wherever they go during elections or campaigns. By and large these kinds of politicians are part of our misfortune and debacle in the North. Our legislators, please, use your positions to lobby the government to bring projects to the North, and use your constituency funds to develop your states, instead of for just your personal use.

Prof. Nguru is the Chief Executive of Nigeria Arabic Village

New minimum wage, new prices?

If Nigerian workers eventually secure a new minimum wage which is long overdue, I want to quickly alert us to the possibility of fighting another battle-the battle of increase in commodity prices. As common in Nigeria, prices never go down, rather, they continue rising under the slightest excuse. Now that a new minimum wage is on the verge, heads are beginning to wag on how to push up prices, and I implore government and labour to strive to nip this in the bud. No increase in food prices, transport cost or rent, otherwise, any new wage is a nullity.

Beauty Okoye, Uwani, Enugu

Now that POS is an ATM

I am pleased with the recent announcement by the NIBSS in collaboration with SANEF that all POS terminals in Nigeria can now be configured to carry out cash withdrawals and deposit transactions, funds transfer and bills payment in addition to the usual purchase transactions. The usual long queues at ATM points and frequent inability to dispense cash will hopefully be taken care of as debit card holders need not go to ATMs to withdraw cash, as they can simply request for cash from POS merchants. This is a welcome innovation and I urge financial service regulatory authorities to ensure that they put measures in place to check possible loopholes that could lead to fraudulent activities.

Godfrey Adikwu, Kubwa, Abuja

Whose camps, locations is NAF destroying?

I always read media reports of the Nigeria Air Force saying its fighter jets destroyed Boko Haram camps and neutralized several terrorists in different locations in the North East during counter-insurgency operations. Such reports usually say the operations were carried out based on intelligence gathered indicating settlements of and locations of Boko Haram elements. From the foregoing, I always wonder why, in spite of these efforts, Boko Haram continues to thrive and even attack military locations. So, which targets are actually being continually eliminated by the Air Force, or could it mean that the Boko Haram ranks have so swelled up that they can’t be completely taken out? I need serious enlightenment on this.

Remi Ashiru, Odo-Ona, Ibadan

Stop the savagery of killing on highways

The savage habit of blocking highways and brutally killing innocent travellers is becoming a very disturbing trend in Nigerian conflicts. Many innocent people have been hacked to death without even the chance of getting good burial as a result of the actions of blood-thirsty callous people who transfer their aggression and frustration on travellers during conflicts. This is even as such travellers are completely ignorant and innocent of the conflicts, and only merely run into savage killer gangs on the roads. It is apparent that people no longer regard human life as anything but I wish to remind such people that though government may be handling such atrocities with incompetence, God will not be incompetent on judgment day.

Mustapha Umar, Jos

Daily trust

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