Honourable Haliru Jika, is a member representing Ganjuwa federal constituency of Bauchi State at the House of Representatives and was one time Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly. He spoke to our Correspondent RUTH DAVID in Bauchi recently. In this interview, Jika, among other issues, commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, for moving a motion to rebuild North East geo-political zone of the country which has been devastated by Boko Haram insurgency. Excerpts:
What has been your experience in the House so far?
As you know, the House of Representatives is different or independent, unlike the State House of Assembly. Whereas in the State Assembly, you have interference from the Executive arm, the House of Representatives is entirely different or entirely independent of the Executive.
Some people see the initial crisis witnessed in the House as a kind of setback for your party. Do you believe it has been amicably resolved by the leadership of Hon. Yakubu Dogara or do you think more still needs to be done?
Actually, what transpired on the floor of the Honourable House was purely the business of legislators, because part of our responsibilities as Legislators is to ensure that square pegs are placed in square holes. That is why we were elected. We were given the mandate by our electorates to represent them. It is a House of Nigerian people and not a House of political parties. So what transpired on the floor of the House was not the affairs of the PDP, APGA, APC, LP or any of the political parties. We took the oath of office as Members of the 8th National Assembly on June 9, we are members of the National Assembly not just Members of APC.
Let’s look at your constituency, what do you have in stocked for them? What are your people expecting from you? What are your priorities for them?
I say this where ever I go, what inspired me to join politics is the passion I have for youths and women because they are the back bone of every politically and democratically elected government around the world, but they are usually the first victims of that politics. So we want to change that notion. We want to change that normal business, we want to see how we can impact their lives positively. So this is one of the major reasons why I joined politics.
Recently, Members of the National of Assembly from the North-East zone made a case for a North-East Commission. Why did you people make such a move?
You saw what transpired on the floor of the House. You saw that the mover of that motion is the Speaker himself. He stepped down as the Speaker and moved the motion as a Member, as Yakubu Dogara, because of its importance. When you look at the North-Eastern part of this country, it is the most devastated zone in Nigeria. 80 per cent of the insurgency occurs there. The North- Eastern part of the country is the most affected area so we feel it should be the priority for us as the Legislators and Representatives of the people of the North-East. We should move to create a sister ministry or agency like the Niger Delta Development Commission in order to rebuild or reconstruct and redevelop the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. Members of the House of Representatives moved the motion on the floor of the House and the same thing will be done on the floor of the Senate soonest.
Would the zone have something to contribute the Commission or you would depend entirely on the Federal Government to inject money for the projects?
What the Speaker did was to try to get the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to organize an international donor conference for the North East. I believe the World Bank has already pledged two billion dollars to be spent on the North East and I believe that very soon President Muhammadu Buhari will organize it so that we can kick off.