Hon Salisu Ado Daura represents Katsina/Daura/Maiduwa/Sadamu federal constituency in the House of Representatives. In this interview with CHIBUZO UKAIBE, the lawmaker says the executive arm should be blamed for poor budget implementation even as he disclosed that the current administration is incapable of handling the Boko Haram insurgency.
Looking at party politics and directives, as a member of the APC, recently, the leadership of APC gave an order concerning the budget. As it is, do you subscribe to such directives considering the fact that it concerns national interest, including your constituency?
Unfortunately, when people talk about that instruction from our party, they bring sentiments into it. But you can agree that many things were happening particularly at that time when APC gave that instruction, especially in Rivers state.
So I think it wasn’t the intention of the party to just say delay the budget unnecessarily, there were reasons that precipitated the delay at that time, because there were requirements that should be fulfilled when the budget is brought to the House. And those requirements were not fulfilled, and specifically when it has to do with budget, some requirements from parastatals like EFCC, CBN and those that needed to accompany the budget were not submitted.
So that reason was used to delay the budget. And as I said the happenings in Rivers State made APC to believe that things are not working well in the country. Some actions need to be taken at least to show the displeasure of the country. Definitely and as we can all attest now, things took a turn for better afterwards.
Talking about budget implementation in the country, where will you put the blame of poor implementation, is it the poor oversight of the National Assembly or the executives?
I think it is the failure of the executive. The National Assembly passes budget, and when that is done, the responsibility is now on the executives to execute the budget. So honestly, it is the failure of the executives to implement the budgets.
The security challenge in the northeast has been so worrying, how do you think it could be tackled?
I am more than worried about the situation in that part of the country. And I think everybody should be more than worried. This is a government that keeps on saying it is on top of the situation, they are doing all they can, but they are not doing anything.
Honestly they are not, as far as I am concerned, the government of the day is not capable. That is the truth. As for the solution, since the government is not capable, the only solution is to have government that can because that security challenge is very serious, in developed nations, this will not happen. Every day, people are just being killed in spite of the state of emergency in the states. has it worked?
Do you align with the position of the Yobe governor who claimed the insurgents are more motivated than the military?
He is more than right. To me he is more than right, because these things are happening under his nose, under his watch. What have we achieved so far? School children have been slaughtered severally, and taken hostage. So i think the government is not capable. When the governor said Nigeria is at war, of course that is truth.
Katsina is a border town like the others, how is it that the state has been relatively peaceful compared to others?
I don’t know. Sometimes it beats my imagination; but it is amazing when you look at the scenario; Borno state is APC, Yobe state is APC, Adamawa state is APC. Katsina is PDP may be that is why. See Nassarawa State, an APC state, and what happened with the Ombatse crisis. See Rivers State also an APC.
So when you put two and two together, if don’t get four, you’ll get very close to four. Honestly, it is very painful. What is happening in Borno is clear indication that the government has failed.
Given the manner you came to the House which was occasioned by legal tussle, how would you describe your stay in the House of Representatives so far?
I will say so far so good; we joined the House of Representatives after the Supreme Court’s judgment in December, on January 12, 2012 to be precise. We are barely two years and a month in office. I think one can say it has been very eventful so far.
We have acclimatized with the National Assembly and have been participating actively in the activities of the House. The only snag was that some things took place while we were not there. For instance, things like the orientation of the members which we didn’t have the opportunity of participating in.
There was also the issue of distribution of committees, even though when we came, we were told that we would occupy the committee positions of those who left. Besides that, I don’t think it has affected our stay or our contributions in the National Assembly so far.
What can you say are your major highlights of your contribution in the House and have you so far achieved for your constituency?
As you know debates take place in the House; especially on motions, bills and on a number of other issues. Don’t forget we are 360 in number, so of course it is not always one finds opportunity to talk, but when you get that opportunity, you make your position known.
Then of course, there are also committee activities. Most times, we engage ministries in marathon meetings for days if not weeks. So that gives you opportunity to participate in debates. On the issue of what we have done for our constituency, by the grace of God, I can say I am a bit lucky, because most of my projects have been executed.
A PDP member from Katsina recently said with the upheavals in APC in Katsina state, PDP was set to win in 2015. Again considering the crisis that hit CPC in 2011 which led to its losing the governorship election in Katsina, do you think the current crisis could be resolved before 2015 election?
It is very unfortunate that CPC lost Katsina state in 2011 because we believe CPC then had captured Katsina State and even the presidency. But of course, there were events that took place in Katsina, where some disgruntled members made the party to lose in the state.
But you know the adage “once beaten, twice shy.” So we won’t allow it happen again, I am sure. I am very hopeful that this time around Katsina belongs to APC by the grace of Allah.
How is your relationship with the people of your constituency? This question arises because we learnt that during APC registration, some youths attempted to stop you. How would you reconcile that with what you are saying now that APC is strong in Katsina State?
I have a sound relationship with my constituents. In fact, if you go and take a poll now you will realize what I am telling you. After that incident at the party registration exercise, people expressed their displeasure about what happened.
People who want my seat have not been able to find any way of making people believe that they can do better. So they tried to exploit that process. In fact, those people said to have done that were kids, and of course, after that they became very remorseful and we resolved the issue. But they could not achieve their aim anyway.
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