Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately constitute the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to facilitate speedy development of region and reintegrate the people.
Dogara, who made the call Monday at a constituency empowerment programme organised by the Deputy Minority Whip, Hon Binta Bello in Kaltungo, Gombe State, also urged the electorate to vote for candidates that will work conscientiously towards their development and well-being.
He enjoined the people to consider who will best serve their interest, noting that religious and tribal sentiments could becloud one’s ability to choose performing representatives if used as yardstick for voting.
According to him, the secret to having performing representatives is to choose someone who can work for the growth and progress of his or her people irrespective of tribe or religion, saying that his constituents reelected him thrice thereby positioning him for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He noted that as a result of that, not only has Bauchi State benefitted from his being Speaker, but even the entire North-east has witnessed it too, with the most notable achievement being the creation of the NEDC which he personally sponsored.
“In my own constituency, there was a time that it was said that no member will ever be elected twice. It’s a constituency consisting of more than 10 tribes in three local governments areas and comprising of adherents of both faith; Christian and Muslim faiths, almost in equal number.
“So, it is always very difficult in times of election, to escape all the traps. If you escape the trap of tribalism, you will face the trap of religious sentiments but I tell you, because I have done fairly well in my representation, the entire people, whether Christian or Muslim, have accepted the fact that what they know in the government of Nigeria is that seat of House of Representatives and so, when it comes to my election, they put religion aside, they put tribalism aside, they returned me three times and that is why today, I am the Speaker of the House of Representatives and by that singular position, it is not only Bauchi State or my constituency that has benefitted, even the entirety of the North-east has benefitted from that position because I can tell you here that if we had not put our feet on the ground, there is no way we would have come up the North East Development Commission and it is on account of the commission that God answered our prayer, even though the commission has been constituted by Mr. President, we are again, today, calling in very strong voice that he should immediately constitute that commission so that we really develop and integrate our people in the North-east.”
He therefore urged the people of Gombe South senatorial district to vote for Hon Binta Bello, who he said has the yearnings of her people at heart and has been doing well in the National Assembly to the extent that she emerged as the deputy minority whip of the House of Representatives.