Why we change phone numbers after election victories

Members House of Representatives

Some members of House of Representatives have pinpointed economic meltdown as a reason for obvious gaps between lawmakers and their people, adding that solving personal issues of constituents is not part of the reason why they were elected.

They argued that town hall meetings cant be held successfully without the people’s request for stomach infrastructure, adding that the people from their constituency equate money sharing during such meetings to performance.

According to a member representing Yalmatu Deba Federal Constituency Yunusa Abubakar, the attitude of the people to make requests outside of the focus of lawmakers has made some legislators remain in Abuja.

Abubakar made this disclosure on Saturday in Gombe, during North East Open Square organised by Daria Media, with support from Mac Arthur Foundation.

He said, “The psychology and the perception of the people have changed. I don’t know maybe because of the economic meltdown in Nigeria and the world over people are having a lack of stomach infrastructure and everybody is looking for money because the legislators are the most accessible.

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“When such meetings are held people are not coming to deepen it or better the society, rather what will better their lot. Before you can organise such meetings you must come with Ghana must go bag full of money to distribute.”

He explained that when people claim lawmakers were not coming home, “it means he has not been sending them money, even when he comes and didn’t give them money, they will say he didn’t come.

“The further danger is that any legislator who wants to come closer must be corrupt because he will either steal with the pen or do armed robbery to get money to come to his constituency if he doesn’t want to steal, it is better for him to stay off,” The Gombe Lawmaker added.

Also speaking, Kwamoti Laori, a member representing Numan/Demsa/Lamurde Federal Constituency of Adamawa State, called for political enlightenment of the people on the responsibilities of lawmakers.

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“Hardly will you see people bring constituency problem but rather personal problems. Out of 10 persons, 9 of them came with personal problems and we are not elected to solve personal problems.

“I wish people will be more educated so that they can confront us with; what have you done, what was your decision on this, why didn’t you come back to get input from us. I appreciate this because it is an opportunity to let the people know what we do, and what should be done,” he said.

Commenting further, Laori noted that the disturbances faced by members were reasons many changed their number, adding that he wouldn’t change his contact.

Laori added, “With political education, this can be corrected, many now believe that when politicians share money then they are performing but it is not. An engagement as this will help to correct this.”

On her part, Kadaria Ahmed said the essence of open Square is to help bridge the gap between lawmakers and the people, stressing that in doing that the people should be educated about the roles of legislators.

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“When we focus on politics we intend to focus on the executive arm of for our democracy to be complete the people sent to the centre by Nigerians also need to be held accountable but you can’t hold them accountable if you don’t understand what their roles are,” Ahmed said.

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