MY REACTION ON THE PURPORTED PLAN OF RECALL – SENATOR HEZEKIAH AYUBA DIMKA
The Senate is one of the Chambers in Nigeria’s bicameral legislature, the National Assembly whose power to make laws is summarized in chapter one, section 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. The Constitution has vested in the National Assembly the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the Federation. The Assembly also has broad oversight functions and is therefore empowered to establish committees of its members to scrutinize bills and the conduct of government institutions and officials.
The legislative role is fundamental because the will of the people is expressed through the laws and how effective they are implemented through governmental agencies, ministries and departments. This implies that the quality of the life of the people is bound to be affected reasonably by the nature and quality of the laws made and passed by the legislature.
Since commencement of legislative activities by the 9th Assembly one and a half years ago and in line with my Constitutional mandates, I have worked to push forth some initiatives/bills that appeal to the people of my constituency and Nigeria as a whole. My actions are refined in response to public sentiments aimed at improving the people’s values and specific welfare sectors manifesting my achievements which reflect my earlier stated legislative interests to include; education, security, agriculture, women and youth development.
As a silent achiever, I have been identified as one of the few Senators the 9th Assembly relies upon to push its agenda and I am considered to be among the most active members of the Red Chamber. Against the background of my constitutional mandate, some of the bills I sponsored and presented on the floor of the Red chambers are as follows:
Bill for the establishment of Federal University of Technology Kabwir (awaiting second reading)
Bill for the establishment of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Kanam (a degree awarding institution)
Bill for the upgrade of NDLEA Training Institute, Jos
Aside the constitutional mandates of law making, other projects I proposed, which I believe would benefit the people and have a direct impact on the communities are listed bellow;
Construction of motorised solar boreholes
Construction of four numbers of three block class rooms
Skills development and capacity training for youth and women
Supply of tri-cycles (keke napep) and motors cycles for youth, provisions of grinding, water pumping and knap spraying machines
Provision of rural electrification/construction of solar street lights
Advocacy and sensitization on narcotic drugs and rehabilitation programmes
I have remained committed to making sure that the aforementioned programmes are delivered to the people of my constituency and soon it shall be manifested as it has begun in phases.
Pursuant to the resolve in my quest for a continued all-round improvement in the lives of the people of the Senatorial District, I ensured that other federal government projects that were initiated and are on-going in the zone enjoy continuous funding and supervision to facilitate their timely completion for the benefit of the people. There is no doubt that these projects when completed, will link various communities (inter & intra state) for the enhancement of socio-economic activities. More important, for an agrarian based economy and society, transportation, commerce and agriculture will enjoy a boost. Some of the identified on-going federal government projects of priority, concerned and central to my heart are as follows;
Construction of Pankshin-Tapshin-Gambar-Sara-Kal-Gindiri Road networks
Construction of Panyam-Bokkos-Wamba-Wamse Road Networks
General maintenance of Pankshin-Ballang-Nyelleng-Sara-Lere-Gindiri Road Networks
Rehabilitation of Babban Lamba-Sharam Road Network
Provision/installation of 500KVA transformer
As a show of commitment, I have commenced work in order to deliver on the constituency projects I earlier proposed for the benefit of the people of Plateau Central District. Work has advanced on the installation of solar street lights across Pankshin, Kanke and Kanam LGAs within the Central Senatorial District. In Pankshin LGA, casting work for the installation of the solar street light in the following communities was successful;
In a few days from now, these communities will begin to enjoy electricity.
Similarly, the following communities in Kanam LGA were considered for same project and casting has already been concluded few days ago amidst a lot of cheers in the communities. These communities are;
In Mangu LGA, transformers will soon be supplied for the extension of electricity in Mangu and Gindiri towns respectively. Same thing is to be done in Bokkos LGA. Next in line for such supplies is Dengi town as well as the extension of electricity to Kyamshegi and Jarmai towns.
Also, as the Distinguished Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial District and Committee Chairman on Drugs and Narcotics in my quest to empower the constituents has scheduled an empowerment programme for 150 youth and women. The first phase of the empowerment is training and provision of grants for youth and women in livestock, potatoes and rice production in the central senatorial district. 30 constituents from each of the five LGAs (Kanam, Pankshin, Kanke, Mangu and Bokkos) would benefit from the training. The programme is slated to last for two days. Training will hold on Tuesday 17th to Wednesday 18th November, 2020 at Vel Sunset Resort in Pankshin. I have outlined series of constituency projects that would be executed in the days ahead.
The release of the budget is what has facilitated the above; it is hopeful that more shall follow soon.
I have gone on to lobby for permanent and pensionable appointments to some youths with Federal government agencies, ministries and parastatals including higher institutions with a promise and strong will to do more.
High consideration is equally given to other critical infrastructures like hospitals, schools, roads and portable water supply approved in the 2020 appropriation bill which is domiciled in the MDGs, ministries, agencies and parastatals. It is a promise that would be pursued and implemented via same governmental agencies with deserving seriousness.
These are manifest indicators of actions that have commenced. More important is that they are ongoing and will continue in phases. Consequently, I am increasingly known as a trusted and stabilising force within the Plateau Central Senatorial District. A man whose ideologies are people centred, I am unassuming and target driven.
My main focus is the wholistic development of the people and I remain committed to making sure that all the projects domiciled in the governmental agencies are delivered as promised and these should serve as a yardstick upon which I shall be assessed at the end of my four year stay at the Red Chambers. I believe that no reasonable opposition/in-house enemies would see an achievement driven man as I remain unshaken, perhaps that explains the current wave of so called “activist” restlessness.
PLOT TO RE-CALL ME AS DISTINGUISHED SENATOR
This was anchored on the provision of section 69 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria (as amended) which gives the people rights and powers to recall any validly elected Senator on grounds of poor performance and gross miss use of office. According to the group used to put to the fore the issues allegedly given to them by the initiators of the re-call agenda, refer to themselves as Plateau Central Youth Advocacy for Democracy and Good Governance (PLACEYADAGG).
For the record, this group is non-existent until recently when one of my legislative aides resigned which left a lot of questions begging for answers that are obvious. This unholy mission is indeed divinely incubated and directed towards an end.
It is not unusual for people to put on their lenses and look through the activities of government particularly regarding those representing them with the sole aim of identifying gaps and engaging the government on areas needing urgent attention. By implication, it means that criticism must be constructive because where there is negative or no criticism; democracy will be at a loss. One should not be saddened by criticism as it offers an opportunity to assess the truth, creates possibilities to avoid wandering off into the wrong direction, and prevents us from making mistakes. In other words, constructive criticism is democracy.
Unfortunately, when destructive criticisms begin to surface particularly from those who are dear to our hearts and have worked closely with as important aides, it becomes a revelation of the inner lack in morality and insensibility to the yearnings of the people of central Plateau.
Given my sensitivities to the needs of youths of central Plateau, it can be safe to refer the so called Plateau Central Youth Advocacy for Democracy and Good Governance (PLACEYADAGG), a partisan group which emerges with the intent to be used as a willing tool in the hands of opposition and in-house enemies.
This group noted that Plateau Central being the umbilical cord of Plateau politics has produced the likes of Senator Ibrahim Nasiru Mantu, Joshua Dariye and others. Well, I want to assume that Senator Satty Gogwim is the ‘others’ the group meant. Moving forward, I would like to assume that the members of this group are supposedly learned.
Following these, are important questions for the youth group and the initiators of the recall agenda; what is the yardstick of measurement and score card in bold of Senator Dimka’s predecessors of which reference is being made as an objective basis? One expects at this critical time a listing of facts presented for any objective on looker.
From 1999 to date Senators Nasiru Ibrahim Mantu (8years), Satty Gogwim (4years) and Joshua Chibi Dariye (circumcitially 8years) were there but reference only made of Nasiru Ibrahim Mantu and Joshua Chibi Dariye. How come no reference was made of Satty Gogwim? Was it by accident or by design of the sponsors? In any case, it speaks volumes of the intent of the sponsors. In just one and a half year in office, I have achieved so much and any objective observer should know that my predecessors who spent 8,4 and 8 years in such positions should have a different yardstick and basis upon which they should be assessed. In effect, I have more than two years to go within which more of my intentional projects shall benefit the people of Plateau Central Senatorial District.
The false and misleading impression presented to the public to the effect that I have been given constituency allowance funding for the aforementioned projects must be corrected. Categorically, it must be stated that these projects fall under various Ministries and MDAs and in the same manner their funding. As Senator I am following up to ensure that as soon as budgeted funds are released, such are appropriated accordingly.
Also, it is equally not true that I have been far from the people I represent, being a youth friendly and people-centred-Senator, I remain the only Senator who upon inauguration, quickly assembled a team of youths drawn from the five LGAs of Plateau Central Senatorial District to manage the office space I secured in Pankshin. This has been in use as the constituency office which serves as contact address for keeping in touch with the good people I represent, a place where the lawmaker can be contacted by his constituents to engage and relate with me, submit petitions for my attention and action, obtain feedback from me about my work in the legislature and draw my attention to community priorities which have been effective and functional too.
This process re-affirms my belief in the saying that politics is essentially local and people-centred. I have been engaging the people of Plateau Central Senatorial District via this means and many other community engagements initiatives. This serves to dispel the arm-chair speculation by the actively partisan youth group who claimed that I had no visible contact and association with my constituent.
Another show of ignorance by the partisan youth group is the claim that I have not sponsored any tangible bill or moved a motion of urgent pubic importance. Yet, the following bills were sponsored and presented by me in the Red Chamber.
Bill for the establishment of Federal University of Technology Kabwir (awaiting second reading)
Bill for the establishment of the Institute of Information and Communication Technology Kanam (a degree awarding institution)
Bill for the upgrade of NDLEA Training Institute, Jos
How could such an acclaimed puritanic “activist” fain this ignorance?
In any case, these are pointers to the fact that it is a sponsored agenda and a confirmation of the proverb that says “when you see a child dancing all alone by the roadside, note that such a child is not mad but dancing to a rhythm or beat of the drums he is hearing from elsewhere. Put together, these serves as pointers to the fact that all is not well, but rather an orchestrated plot well calculated with 2023 in mind.
Following these, let it be on record that we are very much aware of those behind the mobilisation of the so-called youth group. A meeting to that effect was held at Kanke and Pankshin with a plan to use FCE Pankshin students, it was allegedly masterminded by people whom in the past, held public office and I hope in due time, they shall present their score cards of performance since it is no longer news that among the two major masterminds, is a governorship and senatorial aspirants and therefore, the recall should serve as a score card template for all those aspiring to present themselves for examination and we are hoping this has set the stage for the future.
Also, of great concern is the future of the members of the youth group who have decided to make themselves available to be used for such negative advocacies and I am certain that they constitute a minority among the great and hardworking youth of Central Plateau.
Fortunately, I have been up to the task of legislation and a supporter of the good people I represent in the Red Chambers. This implies that I remain committed, un-moved and undistracted as I continue to face the daunting task of law making; community advocacy and my people centred initiatives for the benefit of the people of central Plateau.
A CLARION CALL
In a democracy, leaders are elected to lighten the burden of the people, give them freedom, choices and equity and ensure good governance and not to deceive them, burden them oppress them, render them hopeless, nothing should be done to undermine the tenets and values of democratic principles and practice. This is the call that I answered and in line with my legislative mandate, sponsored and presented some bills directed towards the end of empowerment for the people of my constituency, Plateau and Nigeria as a whole.
I am a man of immense talent, valour and tremendous courage. I play politics with commitment. Above all, I am a practical democrat. I believe that any leader that abandons the people he/she represents has abandoned the very essence of societal existence. I hold that people are the strength of the present and the youth are the blocks that build the future solidly and firmly too, without them the present is lost and the future compromised. Therefore, I pay a great deal of attention to the people and youth and see them as the critical drivers of Power, Politics, Enterprise and Security in Plateau Central Senatorial District.
Consequently, the assertion by certain divide of Plateau Central Senatorial District Youth under a partisan organisation referred to as Plateau Central Youth Advocacy for Democracy and Good Governance (PLACEYADAGG) that I am not performing beats the very essence of democratic morality. While we all know that their project is doomed, we are not unmindful of the fact that part of their aim is to discredit my person towards the future.
Chinua Achebe said, “One of the truest test of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised”
I am under no illusion that even the most hard-core of my supporters who have worked with me closely can be distracted on the basis of greed, primordial sentiments and insatiable quest for power resulting to them being used and miss-used leading to the negative perception of the person you have worked with/for as not doing what they want as a person.
Let everyone involved in this agenda know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and wholistic development of the people of Plateau Central Senatorial District.
Indeed, the measure of a man’s ability and intentions are therefore tested via his abilities to remain committed to the ideals which I swore to uphold. I understand the expectations of the people/institution which conferred me with the power and acts accordingly, and I have justified myself as worthy of that position. Hence, it is time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to one other in the interest of progress of the people whose mandates we carry upon our shoulders and swore to protect.
As we look forward in the future, we are full of optimism that the numerous projects that have been initiated and those that are ongoing would be pursued with vigour and utmost dedication in order to ensure that all necessary legislations and funds are appropriated and mobilised for the completion of these projects in the interest of the people of Central Plateau, the state and the country at large.
SENATOR HEZEKIAH AYUBA DIMKA, Senator Representing Plateau Central Zone, And Chairman Senate Committee On Drugs And Narcotics, Abuja