By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja
Members of the National Assembly insist on zonal intervention or constituency projects because it is the only way to attract federal presence to their people, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said.
The speaker maintained that if not for constituency projects, majority of federal constituencies would not have a single federal project, due to lopsided nature of project allocation in the budget.
He spoke on Saturday in Billiri town, Gombe State at the empowerment programme organised by Hon. Ali Isa J.C, member representing Balanga/Billiri Federal Constituency.
Dogara argued that although it is not the responsibility of lawmakers to provide some of the things people request from them, it is in the realisation of the fact that conditions are hard for the people, and because service to humanity is at the center of the “representation that we do, most legislators have taken it upon themselves to provide and to promote and to deliver the training that he is giving to his constituency today.”
He revealed that were it not for the instrumentality of the zonal intervention that lawmakers have in the federal budget, it would have been absolutely difficult; if not impossible, for the Honourable members to provide the things they do and even train some of their constituents.
“The only way through which we can maintain fairness in governance, fairness across the length and breadth of this country is by patronising federal constituencies, when you patronise federal constituencies you have touched every nook and corner of Nigeria and that is why we will continue as leaders to ensure that we have programmes in governance that touches directly on constituencies of this country,” he said.
The speaker also admonished Nigerians to go back to work because the freedom given by democracy should be invested in making democracy to work.
“When we provide roads; we are not providing them for people to travel on them for parties or to attend functions, no. They are supposed to be for the movement of goods and services, and who produces these goods? The citizens of a democracy and all of us must go back to work.”
He also reiterated that despite the current hardship occasioned by rising cost of living in the country, Nigerians have every reason to celebrate democracy even for the freedom that it gives because the atmosphere is devoid of intimidation.
* Photo shows Speaker Dogara.