Speaking during a reception in his constituency to celebrate his 50th birthday, he said the people of Bogoro, Dass and Tafewa Balewa gave him the opportunity to become Speaker by re-electing him against all odds and that placed him in a position where he could influence projects of impact to his constituency, Bauchi State and north east region in general.
He also thanked God for making it possible for him to achieve as much as he has, saying he is more propelled by opportunities to be of service to the people, than to occupy positions.
“I’m not interested in position, I’m interested in service. Position is useless to me, I just want to serve the people.
Whenever my work as a member is finished, God will move me to a position where I can serve my people more and more.
“If it were not for God, it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve these things and that is why we are here, to thank God for using you to make this happen. Not because of my birthday, but to thank God.
“If it wasn’t for your investment, there is no way you will drive from here to Bauchi without any pothole; 82km of solid asphalt road, I wasn’t even a speaker then. That job is beyond the job of a member and it is God that made it possible.
“Because of the trust you reposed in me, today we have produced a Speaker, it is a thing of pride to us. Because of your investment, we have been able to produce someone close to where the late Tafewa Balewa occupied. I am happy that God has rewarded the sacrifices you made.
“On account of your investment, today, we have the North East Development Commission. If I had not been Speaker, that wouldn’t have been possible.
“Anytime you see the NEDC, know it is the sacrifice of the people of this constituency, the people of Bauchi, that brought it.
“Because of your investment, we have raised over N300m to address the plight of IDPs in the North East and other regions of Nigeria. Nobody is going to touch one naira from that money.”
The Speaker also said that the level of devastation caused by the years violence will take more than 20 years to address.
In another development, 526 women and men from 20 local government areas of Bauchi State concluded an empowerment programme sponsored by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, who also presented each of them with cheques of a hundred thousand Naira to start businesses from the skills they acquired.
The presentation of certificates for the participants, who were drawn from across the state, took place at the National Open University of Nigeria hall in Bogoro local government area.
The cheques were attached to the certificates of each participant. They are to present the cheques with the certificates at the specified bank to cash them.
The empowerment programme was on building entrepreneurial skills and the participants were taught how to add value to food crops such as beans and rice and how to package them properly for sale to earn income.
Some of the participants demonstrated the skills they learnt to the Speaker and all present at the event.
In a vote of thanks delivered on behalf of all the beneficiaries of the programme, Hajiya Uwaliya Inuwa from Dass local government promised to apply the skills they acquired to make judicious use of the opportunity granted them by the Speaker to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Speaking at the event, the Speaker said the programme is part of his efforts to reduce poverty from the grassroots, saying no democracy can succeed when poverty thrives.
He also disclosed that so far, through the support of his friends, N300m has been raised from donations at a birthday charity football match and book launch for onward presentation to internally displaced persons in Nigeria.
“In that event, just for you to know we are not just blessings to you but from this constituency we are raising resources to address poverty and internal displacement in Nigeria.
“That event has generated about N300 million and I believe it will be more because people are still pledging more.
“The credit belongs to all of us because if you had not supported me this wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.
Thanking them for supporting him to be able to make these happen by re-electing him, he assured them that he will provide support for all, including those who didn’t vote for him because he does not discriminate along any line.
Hon Dogara, noted that his goal is to raise people from the ashes of poverty to a glorious destiny. He appealed to them to make good use of the money presented to them to do businesses that will provide income for them and their families.
He said, “What we are doing here today is not politics. We are here to attend to those needs that have dire consequences on our nation. I have said it several times that poverty is a threat to our democracy and the only way we can address it is from the roots.
“Democracy should go with prosperity, we are not here to do any campaign. We are not here only for the training but to put resources in your hands and hope you won’t allow these resources to dry up.”