A writing Material
Through what is best described as intellectual engagement, Hon. Fort Ifeanyi Dike, House of Representatives member from Ihiala Federal Constituency area of Anambra State, relaxes by writing books. Anayo Okolie writes
Practically every Nigerian politician harps on the engaging nature of the nation’s peculiar way of politicking that completely immerses those that are not circumspect. Finding time to attend to other commitments increasingly becomes impossible. But the discerning still steals time to unwind, either by attending to family or other attention-seeking engagements.
Hon. Fort Ifeanyi Dike seems to also understand the tricks. Having understood the kind of politics that is required in the lower chambers of the National Assembly, the lawmaker is not oblivious of the essence of taking adequate rest with a view to enhancing his performance at the legislature.
However, of all things, Dike has adopted as pastime, the art of writing books. This, he claims, enables him to express himself and capture the feelings of the people “I have just finished writing three books which I did their public presentation on October18,” he added.
Why book-writing? Dike said: “What motivated me to write the books was my strong argument in the chambers of the House of the Representatives where I have consistently said that the annual budget is essentially about the recurrent expenditure rather than capital items, which means that the use of Nigerian resources are just to service government rather than providing for the welfare and needs of the people.
“Recurrent expenditure deals with government services, personnel cost and overhead while capital is devoted to provide the amenities and it is very clear in the constitution of Nigeria, that the primary purpose of government is the security and welfare of the people of Nigeria.
“So, I have felt very strongly about that and I have been making strong advocacy in the chamber of the National Assembly to create a balance between the recurrent and capital expenditure. For example, in the 2012 Budget, the recurrent expenditure is 72 per cent, leaving capital expenditure with 28 per cent. This is unacceptable and I felt bad about it and that is why I have written this book to highlight this inadequacy and create a balance between the two.”
Speaking on his second book, which centred on women affirmative action entitled: “Nigeria, Enhancing Women Participation in Politics and Governance, Matters Arising,” he said: “There is no advocacy in Nigeria about affirmation action and there is increasing threat about not appointing women in positions because the positions are limited. But giving them opportunity in elected position will influence government policies positively since women constitute 61 per cent of the population of most countries in the world.
“This is why there have been agitations all over the world to increase women participation. So, my book has looked at all these issues and all the solutions. But I am of the opinion that in as much as affirmative action is concerned, if we do it by force, it is against the principle of democracy itself because the democracy is supposed to give constituents free choice to elect who they want,” he said.
Giving hint of his book’s synopsis which focuses on the political parties system in Nigeria, Dike who is Chairman, Inter/ Intra-Party Relations in the House, posited that he has noticed several effects in the existing political parties system in Nigeria and that the problem is lack of internal democracy as parties don’t allow members free and fair choice of candidates.
Also when not playing politics, Dike stays back at home with his family “because one cannot use anything, even politics, as an excuse for not seeing his or her family. So, when I am not playing politics I stay with my family, chat with them and sometimes, we go out together. Those are the major things I do when I am not playing politics.”