From: LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, has cautioned Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State against casting aspersions on the legislature.
Hon. Mohammed represents Baruten /Kaiama constituency of Kwara State in the National Assembly.
According to him,” the governor should not because of ‘individual inclination’ and his grouse with some lawmakers continue to demonize the legislature describing his recent outburst over the national Assembly budget as ‘‘Hypocritical’’.
Mohammed, who is among the 14 gubernatorial hopeful whose names were being mentioned for the 2019 general elections in Kwara state , also declared that he shall abide by the final verdict of state’s political leader, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in determining which direction power will swing to in 2019.
The federal lawmaker spoke with journalists in his home town in Gure, Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State on the sideline of the 15th Gure /Day celebration held in his home town.
He regretted that the long incursion of military into Nigerian’ politics had not allow Nigerians to change their perception about the legislature as ‘‘yes or rubber stamp House,’’ saying the two chambers of the National Assembly should rather be seen as maintaining checks to excesses of the Executive.
‘‘I think Mallam el-Rufai is very hypocritical and I am saying this without any fear of contradiction, the legislature has been a punching bag on this issue over a period of time .Hypocritical in the sense that what comes to the governor as security votes, maintenance fees.., we are very close to the people, I have been here in the last three days in the midst of our people, legislatures are like that, we don’t need security to ward off people.
‘‘ The legislature in this part of the country is seen as an all usurper, Mallam el-Rufai has grouse with the senate over his appointment several years back and he has not got over it, because of individual inclination he cannot force us to begin to think like him. As far as we are concerned, the legislature is an institution, if he wants to come in he should go and contest election and stop demonising the legislature.
“For me, I believe he is a state governor and he should concern himself with that, he has more than enough in his plate and he should face that squarely rather than beginning to cast aspersions on us, if he has issue with individuals I think he should find a way of resolving that I think Mr. Speaker should not bother himself about him’’.
Answering another question on a newspaper report which mentioned him as one of the gubernatorial hopeful of his state ahead of 2019 general election, Mohammed said though his supporters adjudged him as one of those who parades the credentials to vie for the position, he, however said he would subject himself to the tradition of the political family of which he is also a member.
‘‘For me ,I think as human being we always like to talk about tomorrow only God knows who will be alive tomorrow. But I want to say we have a leadership in Kwara, we have a pattern, we have a tradition, a practice through which leaders or through those who governed us emerge .So as a member of that political family,I believe that when the time comes, the appropriate measure would be applied and at the end the day the verdict of the leader will defiantly be what we will abide by ’’, he said
As a way of giving back to his constituency, Mohammed whose large followership had earned him the title of maijamaa (the man with large followers), from his people said he had sunk 90 boreholes out of which 30 were motorised spread across community under his constituency in the last 3 years ,adding that fertilizers were also distributed to farmers in the 2012 and 2013 planting seasons .
Speaking further, the federal lawmaker, said he had facilitated the establishment Unity Junior Girls College by the federal government sited in Okuta which according to him was at 85 per cent completion.