Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Deputy Majority Whip, House of Representatives, Mr Pally Iriase, has described as a good development the move by the Federal Government to probe lawmakers on the issue of constituency projects, and begged that it should not be swept under the carpet.
He advised, however, that the probe should commence from 2014.
Iriase, who was reacting to the declaration by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN), that it would commence probe of lawmakers on the issue, said the declaration must not be swept under the carpet, but must be implemented.
He added that it would afford lawmakers the opportunity to clear their names on the issue of constituency projects which, according to him, had helped to open up some abandoned communities.
His words: “I read what the Minister said as regards probing lawmakers and it is a very welcomed decision. It should not be a kite flying matter, it should go beyond flying the kite, it should go deep and even taking beyond the 2014 they are talking about because the truth is that if the probe is seriously conducted, it will unravel for ones the truth behind constituency projects.
“Because there is no need to vilify legislators, all that legislators do under the constituency project regime is to initiate projects which they believe are helpful to their constituents and thereafter the Ministries, Departments and Agencies are left to carry out the contracts. These contracts are awarded to contractors, no money cross hands to the legislators, the costing and award of the projects are done by the MDAs. We suffered so much in silence and yet we don’t have the fair opportunities to display what is done.
“It is true that legislators are given opportunity to nominate some projects but there is no exchange of funds involved at all. I want them to construct this probe very diligently because I am one person who loves my integrity more than any other thing, because these wild aspersions that are cast on all of us makes me very sick. People look at you as a common thief. This probe will help to clean up the bad image being created. If you come to look at it, from 2013, 2014, 2015, all projects that were nominated by me under the constituency project regime, we covered roads, water.
“ I come from a rural constituency where pipe borne water is non-existent, solar borehole, no Federal Minister would have remembered those things. The roads we constructed are there for anyone to see. Some other legislators brought health care closer to their people. But when you talk about this it looks as if money is shared under the guise of constituency projects. So I want them to probe and if they found any body guilty let them deal with the person, I will urge them not to sweep this matter under the carpet,” he stated.