In this exclusive interview, Hon. Bala Fwangje, the member representing Mangu South in the Plateau House of Assembly spoke to ViewPointNigeria on the salient aspects of his representation of Mangu South Constituency in the past 1 year. Hon. Fwangje spoke about several key topics including the unfortunate attacks in Kerang, Kulben etc, his electoral battles in court, his key infrastructural achievements and the plans for the future.
1. ViewPointNigeria: Could you introduce yourself for the benefit of our readers?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: I am by name Hon. Bala Fwangje, member representing the good people of Mangu South Constituency, in the Plateau State House of Assembly. I am from Kerang District in Mangu Local Government Area.
I started my Primary school in 1987 – 1993 from there i proceeded to Mwansat college and obtained my SSCE in the year 1997, there-after I went to the Plateau State Polytechnic, Mangu satelite campus for a diploma in Peace and Conflict management.
I was then elected Counsellor representing Kerang ward in 2014 before we were dissolved in 2015 after 1 year 3 months by Gov. Simon Lalong, subsequently in 2019 I was elected member Plateau State House of Assembly.
2. ViewPointNigeria: What would you assess as your achievements, having been in office for 1 year?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: As you are aware, the primary responsibilities of a legislator are law making, oversight functions and representation.
Well I have been able to move motions that are beneficial to my people and the people of Plateau State. Especially the motion for the distribution of fertilizer to farmers at an affordable price and at the right time.
In addition, I can point to the construction of three classroom block in Chisu, and also the ongoing project in Anguwan Dan Hausa. Furthermore, the distribution of palliatives to some vulnerable persons during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Others include: the assistance to 10 youths during their police training, which they were able to complete successfully. I was also able to give one person employment in the House of Assembly as a staff. I also empowered some youths in my Constituency and re-roofed the District Head’s office in Kerang.
3. ViewPointNigeria: How do you feel representing your constituency?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: I feel very happy because my people are with me and I am with them. After my election, I stayed for 6month in Mangu before coming to Jos, because atimes there are some legislative assignment that we do carryout early in the morning or late at night, that is why I come to stay in Jos but every weekend I do go to Mangu to be with my people, interact with them, listen to their challenges and take their concerns to the government.
4. ViewPointNigeria: What are some of the challenges you face as the representative of your people?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: Well first of all after the elections I was taken to court by my opponent, challenging my victory at the polls. This lasted for 3 months, but thank God I emerged victorious.
However, the most challenging for me was the attack suffered by the innocent people of my constituency in Kulben, Marish, Kerang and in Mangu town. That was particularly disturbing and unfortunate, however, I ensured that I stood by my people at the time of these attacks and my people stood by me.
5. ViewPointNigeria: What are the expectations of the people for the next three years?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: People have a lots of expectations, once you’re elected they want to see what you can bring and by the special grace of God if we are still among the living ones we will do our best to give them the best representation that we can. I assure you that we will work tirelessly hard to ensure that our people enjoy and feel the dividends of democracy.
We may not be able to meet all the expectations of our people, but we will ensure that what is for their benefit we provide it to them through robust and effective legislation. I can assure that with God on our side we will not betray the confidence and mandate of our people.
6. ViewPointNigeria: Often, the House of Assembly is seen as rubber stamp assembly, however with the presidential order number 10 which has been signed by Mr President, should we expect a different Assembly?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: I want to sincerely appreciate Mr president. Giving autonomy to the House of Assembly and the Judiciary is like coming down to the grassroot to deal with the problem of our people.
People can term the past Assembly and the present 9th Assembly as rubber stamp because they have no power of their own in terms of resources, they have to lobby through the executive before getting something but today if the autonomy is given which we know is be ing signed by Mr. President, definitely our people will enjoy it. Because the Assembly will have its own resources to carry out its own legislative functions. I can assure you that once the order 10 is gazetted, you should expect a different and rebust Assembly.
7. ViewPointNigeria: What Magic did you do to emerged the only PDP member from the central Zone?
Hon. Bala Fwangje: There is no magic anywhere, but simply the grace of God. At certain times I didn’t know I will emerge but as i said it is the will of God.
8. ViewPointNigeria: It is only 1 year in the office now, but can we ask the question –will you contest for a second term?
It is too early to talk about contesting for second term. It is your work that will speak for you and would determine whether you contest for the second term or not. My only focus is representing my people to the best of my ability with the help of God.
I know politicians always think about the next election but once you have the concern and the good of your people at heart, your focus will not be on the next election but on giving your people the dividends of democracy through effective leadership.
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