Quite a contentious headline right? Well, let’s see if you can answer this question. Who moved the motion for the inclusion of Plateau state in the North East Development Commission bill?

(a.) a Plateau Senator (b.) a Plateau House of Representatives member

Well, the answer is none of the above. It was actually Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, the Senator representing Kano Central in the National Assembly.

So why will Kwankwaso move for the inclusion of Plateau, you might ask! Well, Kwankwaso was only doing his rightful legislative duty by moving for the inclusion of his home state, Kano – Plateau only got in by proxy, as an appendage. What a shame!

So where were our legislators when the bill was being sponsored? Do they not, like Kwankwaso, feel the need to adequately represent the interests of their constituents in the House? Why are they so timid when surrounded by their peers in the National Assembly, but so bold when they storm Jos in their big 4 X 4 jeeps to oppress the people. Are they representing us in Abuja or are they representing Abuja to us in Jos – this is a question we must all ponder. Their silence in the National Assembly is deafening. It almost appears as though they are constantly on “mute”. And so one can’t help but wonder where the “un-mutable” and ever vibrant Bitrus Kaze is. And how much of a loss it is that he is not in the House of Representatives anymore.

Pardon my opening tirade, but I am really unhappy and vexed at happenings in the assembly this week. In case you missed it, Plateau has now been delisted from the Initial appendage to the North East Development Commission. A commission, which like the Niger Delta Development Commission, aims to rebuild the North East region, following the devastation of Boko Haram.

As I write this article, not one of our representatives or rather mis-representatives has come out to express a tinge of regret about the de-listing. They continue to ride their 4 X 4s and collect their fat salaries/allowances in the National Assembly, while their constituents continue to die from severe trauma and the effects of the brutal attacks of the past few years.

Kano only had a few Bomb blasts in the metropolis, yet Kwankwaso saw fit to move for its inclusion – yet Plateau which suffered years of carnage, bombings, ethnic cleansing, wiping out of villages and communities is not on the list. How can this be? How can Plateau, which witnessed devastation only comparable to Borno state not be on the list for the rehabilitation largesse?

My position is that if there is ever the need for a North East Development Commission to rehabilitate the Boko Haram states, then surely there is the need for a North Central Development Commission to rehabilitate the Fulani-Attacks states of Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and Kaduna states. Just to put this into context, ViewPointNigeria in 2015 estimated that since 2010, up to 75 settlements in Plateau have ceased to exist or become extinct because of Fulani attacks. Several of these have become total waste-lands, completely devastated and deserted. Up to 110,000 children have become orphans, with the total casualty figure put at 70,000. And so I ask you my readers, is this not reason enough to rehabilitate such a state? I know the devastation in Maiduguri is probably higher, but for God’s sake – why Borno and not Plateau? Where is Bitrus Kaze?

Without waffling too much – if our legislators have decided to derelict their duties, we as youths must hold them accountable. We have gone past the era of being in the National Assembly simply to make the numbers in Abuja. Anyone we give our mandates to, must perform, they must return our trust with real dividends. So far, we have seen zero dividends.

In closing, we (i.e., yourself, myself and every like-minded individuals) must engage these legislators to make sure they sponsor a bill for the creation of the North Central Development Commission. I know a few youths already discussed with 5 of these legislators to get them into action, but they timidly renegaded their duties –citing flimsy reasons as to why it will not work etc. This sort of attitude is unacceptable and we must condemn it. We must hold them to account and get them to bring succour to people ravaged by the menace of the attacks of the past years.

Finally, a North Central Development Commission will not only serve to rehabilitate our people, it will create jobs for our un-employed youths, it will bring development into our rural communities and strengthen existing supply chains. Let’s cease the moment!

Dr. Chinan Mclean,

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Plateau and its mis-representatives at the National Assembly, Abuja

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