I’m not happy with what’s hap­pen­ing in NASS, Nige­rian govt – Rep Chika

Abubakar Chika Adamu rep­re­sents Shi­roro/Rafi/Munya Fed­eral Con­stituency of Niger State in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. He re­cently cre­ated a buzz when he wrote a let­ter to the lead­er­ship of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) in Niger State in­form­ing the

Weekly Trust - - Interview - Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi Abubakar Chika Adamu: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika: Chika:

DT: What in­formed your de­ci­sion to write the let­ter in which you told the lead­er­ship of your party that you will not re-con­test in 2019? I have nu­mer­ous rea­sons. How­ever, there’s one that stands out, which is lack of pub­lic trust on mem­bers of the Na­tional Assem­bly.

DT: What do you mean by lack of pub­lic trust?

Ev­ery day mem­bers of the Na­tional Assem­bly are be­ing bashed. I have re­spect be­fore my chil­dren and my stu­dents. Th­ese are peo­ple that see me as a role model. How­ever, I may not de­fend com­plete in­no­cence of what’s hap­pen­ing in the Na­tional Assem­bly: that we’re all good to go. In a so­ci­ety where you have 360 or 469 peo­ple, in­clud­ing sen­a­tors, you may have some char­ac­ters that are not do­ing well, but the so­ci­ety has grouped us to­gether and con­demned us.

There are also things from the Ex­ec­u­tive that I’m not happy with. That’s why I have to quit. I don’t want to have heart at­tack.

DT: What are those things from the Ex­ec­u­tive?

This thing called cor­rup­tion still ex­ists. You hear in the House one in­ves­tiga­tive mo­tion or the other ev­ery day. How­ever, what baf­fles me and will worry Nige­ri­ans is the fact that when you put on an investigation, we trun­cate it along the way and the me­dia never ask ques­tions. Some­times it’s from the Ex­ec­u­tive. You hardly see me as a mem­ber of those com­mit­tees, but to any­one I be­long, a re­port must be submitted: it’s not that I’m a clean per­son.

DT: You also said in your let­ter that there is a dis­con­nect be­tween the Niger State Gov­ern­ment, mem­bers of the Na­tional Assem­bly from the state and the House of Assem­bly; have you made any at­tempt to cor­rect that?

Let me be very frank. The Gov­er­nor of Niger State is my friend and col­league. We were sworn in in 2019 as com­mis­sion­ers un­der Dr. Muazu Ba­bangida Aliyu. We had lived in Kaduna as friends. When I went to Niger, I stayed in an apart­ment given to me by his father.

Af­ter the gov­er­nor was sworn in, I took a tele­phone and gave him and said, “Your Ex­cel­lency, please take this tele­phone so that when we have is­sues to tell you we’ll be able to get in touch with you,” and he said he would also give us a line that we could com­mu­ni­cate. That has failed to work.

I can’t call my gov­er­nor di­rectly to­day if there’s an is­sue that has to do with my con­stituency: that’s a very big dis­con­nect.

DT: Is the state not mov­ing for­ward?

Niger State is not mov­ing for­ward. If I don’t say it, Al­lah will ask me on the day of judge­ment.

DT: Some peo­ple say it’s be­cause you have fear that the re­turn ticket will not be given to you, that was why you quickly wrote a let­ter as a face-sav­ing mea­sure: how true is that?

I think you need to do a back­ground check. I have not lost out in my con­stituency. Up to to­day, I’ve not heard any­body say the for­mer mem­ber is bet­ter than me. I don’t go on so­cial me­dia with what I do. If I don’t have cred­i­bil­ity, I wouldn’t have come here. I was picked and co­erced by APC to be here.

I was in my lo­cal gov­ern­ment area two weeks ago. An or­di­nary gen­eral hospi­tal is not given at­ten­tion by the state. I had to go and do the small­est thing you can think of: cover the mat­tresses.

The sec­ond is­sue is a very fraud­u­lent one. We have this school feed­ing pro­gramme. Niger State Gov­ern­ment de­ducted N69, 000 from the food ven­dors in the name of giv­ing out con­tracts out of the N84, 000 given by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment. They took the money and in­di­cated as if it was the cus­tomer who trans­ferred the money to the pool. When they came to sup­ply, a lady that was sup­posed to feed 100 chil­dren with N84, 000 in two weeks was given a crate of eggs, that’s 30 eggs, in­stead of 200.

DT: A lot of you, the first timers, came to the Na­tional Assem­bly with high fi­nan­cial ex­pec­ta­tions, but it seems you be­came dis­ap­pointed be­cause there is no largesse to share; is that the case with you?

In my let­ter, I wrote that the Prophet said any­body who is com­ing to seek for po­si­tion should be re­jected. I didn’t come with any ex­pec­ta­tion be­cause I didn’t spend any­thing. It baf­fles me when I see peo­ple sell­ing their houses and prop­erty to con­test elec­tions. I see them as crazy and not com­ing to serve. Some told me they spent up to N100m or N50m to be here.

If I’m com­ing back to pub­lic of­fice, un­less the peo­ple do­nate to me; I can’t. If you think I’ll take my money to con­test, then it’s a lie be­cause I’m not com­ing to re­coup any­thing but to serve.

DT: What was the re­ac­tion from your fam­ily when they got to know about your de­ci­sion?

I didn’t ex­pect less than what I re­ceived from my wife. But what I re­ceived from my daugh­ter also gave me en­cour­age­ment. She’s just 17, and she just fin­ished sec­ondary school. When I for­warded the let­ter to her, she said, “May Al­lah make it the best de­ci­sion you have taken.” That re­ally en­cour­aged me. I told a friend that this was what I got from my daugh­ter and he said: “It’s be­cause you’ve not put them in the po­si­tion of a mem­ber of the Na­tional Assem­bly.” Up to to­day, I go to sec­ond hand mar­ket to buy things. I swear to God, even last week, my wife was in Ka­suwan Barci sec­ond hand mar­ket to buy clothes for my chil­dren. That’s why this place doesn’t im­press me even if they share bil­lions.

DT: Would you want to go back to the class­room?

Cer­tainly, I want to die a teacher. I have a pro­vi­sion shop that I man­age. Peo­ple who know me know that I go there. If you see me there, you won’t even know I’m a mem­ber. I also have a place where I do wheel-bal­anc­ing and wash cars.

The next thing I want to do af­ter leav­ing this place is that I want to build a nurs­ery and a pri­mary school on a small place that I have. In the morn­ing if I wake up, I want to go there. I want to build chil­dren with char­ac­ter. I’m not opening that school for the pur­pose of mak­ing money: if it feeds me, Al­ham­dulil­lah.

DT: Are you say­ing that on your own, you won’t con­test for any of­fice again in your life?

I’m not say­ing that. I’m a Mus­lim. I know one con­di­tion may make me find my­self in pub­lic of­fice, but it has to prove it­self. Prophet Muham­mad (SAW) said there’s no way that peo­ple should have trust in you to hold pub­lic of­fice and you re­ject it. So, the only way I can come to pub­lic of­fice is by the peo­ple do­ing it them­selves, not me.

But be­yond that, I’m not happy with what’s hap­pen­ing in the Na­tional Assem­bly or the Nige­rian Gov­ern­ment. As a mem­ber of the Na­tional Assem­bly at this age that Nige­ria is, you sur­prise me by pro­vid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles, tri­cy­cles, sewing ma­chines, build­ing class­rooms, sink­ing bore­holes and the rest. You want me to re­main like this, bring­ing pal­lia­tive mea­sures to the peo­ple? That’s not the work of the leg­is­la­ture.

DT: Does the cor­rup­tion you talk about in­clude the Na­tional Assem­bly?

Cer­tainly: who do you think is clean? All the sys­tem, when the head is rot­ten, the body could be rot­ten too. There’s no sys­tem in Nige­ria that you’ll say is per­fect. If you talk about cor­rup­tion, it’s ev­ery­where; it’s a norm.

DT: What ef­forts have you made to cur­tail some of th­ese things; es­pe­cially in the Na­tional Assem­bly?

Some­times the Na­tional Assem­bly holds pub­lic hear­ing where peo­ple come to make sub­mis­sions. But that isn’t enough.

Peo­ple are fo­cus­ing on the Na­tional Assem­bly as the most cor­rupt, but I don’t see it like that.

Only re­cently, EFCC went to ar­rest a for­mer DG SSS, but they were blocked. He doesn’t have im­mu­nity. EFCC can even ar­rest the serv­ing DG SSS with a court or­der. But a shame­ful thing hap­pened. Is that not cor­rup­tion?

I don’t think any mem­ber of the Na­tional Assem­bly is above the law. Saraki was go­ing to the Code of Con­duct Tri­bunal. There’s no in­stance where a mem­ber of the Na­tional Assem­bly was in­vited by a court that he didn’t go. So, the fo­cus on the Na­tional Assem­bly shouldn’t be.

What I see among civil ser­vants I don’t see it in the Na­tional Assem­bly. Five bore­holes were sunk in my con­stituency, but a week later, only one worked, and one among them never worked. They were sunk at N10m by the state Min­istry of Hous­ing. Each of the bore­holes cost about N1.6m. In fact, the first bill they brought was about N2.4m for each, some­thing that I do with my money at N450, 000. So, who’s the thief?

Who do you think is clean? All the sys­tem, when the head is rot­ten, the body could be rot­ten too. There’s no sys­tem in Nige­ria that you’ll say is per­fect. If you talk about cor­rup­tion, it’s ev­ery­where; it’s a norm

Rep Abubakar Chika Adamu

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