Nigeria’s 1999 constitution recognises the role of the third tier of government. It prescribes its functions to include having the duty to participate in economic planning and development of the areas as outlined in the fourth schedule of the document. That the local governments maintain a joint account with state governments has not quite stemmed the culture of financial malfeasance of the councils, hence the current hues and cries that have permeated the nation’s polity.
This happened to be one of the issues brainstormed upon between the constituents of Gombi/Hong federal constituency of Adamawa and their representative in the National Assembly at the people’s public session on the review of the constitution. This gave birth to the ongoing amendment of the Nigerian constitution which seems to have polarised legislators of the red and green chambers of the National Assembly (NASS). To us in the aforementioned council areas, issues such as the one in reference and other people-oriented matters as rotational presidency, devolution of powers etc, unanimously agreed upon by way of voting at the forum, were all presented by our representative without being selfish as witnessed among other representatives.
As part of a covenant with the people, the lawmaker, Haske Hananiya, in the last quarter of 2012 and early part of 2013, embarked on sinking motorised and hand pump boreholes across 22 electoral wards of the local governments, residents of whom, before now had been devastated by the outbreak of waterborne diseases such as malaria and typhoid. Topmost on the agenda of Haske Hananiya are empowerment of the poor and the aged, restoration of abandoned health care delivery scheme in both councils, and above all, empowering the youth through the introduction of scholarship awards to further their studies. Although the job of lawmaking is quite a different kettle of fish from direct empowerment of the people, the legislator resolved to ensure he bequeaths a legacy that posterity will kindly judge him with.
This informed last year’s distribution of farming implements and inputs worth millions of naira to constituents in the two local governments. One can never get bored of talking, writing and reading about Hon Hananiya. He is simply a thriller and a dazzler. Contrary to the opinion of one Muhammed Zayyad who wrote under the caption “Assessing Adamawa MPs in the National Assembly” which appeared in Weekly Trust of July 27, 2013, where he lampooned him for alleged non-performance, the lawmaker has been up and doing in championing the cause of his people.
Our representative has modestly donated some hospital equipment, beefed up structural facilities of the only cottage hospital in Hong, while clinics in Gombi and environs will take their turn before the end of this year. The constituents’ poor economic base has been a matter of great concern to the lawmaker, hence his recent visit to the areas in an attempt to give them succour and commence the process of removing his people out of the misery of health challenges, joblessness and bad road network and also boost youth educational standard.
In partnership with a non-governmental organization (PRO-HEALTH), a free health programme covering general health screening and preventive counseling, maternal health and family planning, HIV/AIDS screening and counseling and voluntary behavioural counseling were also brought to the doorstep of the two council areas. Diabetes screening and preventive counseling, ophthalmic procedure; for example, free eye surgeries, free glasses, dental screening and surgeries and laboratory services, were equally rendered at no cost to over 5, 000 patients in the areas.
Suleiman Alhamdu Gombi LGA Adamawa State