My Representation Is To Make People, Not Money ~ Ahman Pategi
Saturday, 24th February, 2018 shall witness another giant stride to be recorded by one of the National Assembly members from Kwara State that is walking the talk, Hon. Aliyu Bahago Ahman-Pategi, representing Pategi/Edu/Moro federal constituency in the House of Representatives as his foundation, the Ahman Pategi Foundation presents a ground breaking ceremony of Faculty of Science at Ahman Pategi University, Educational Endowment Fund and Empowerment Scheme at Etsu Pategi Palace, Pategi LGA of Kwara State.
The Lawmaker who is the Chairman House Committee on Water Resources gave this brief during an interview session with the media crew of Kwara Legacy Frontiers (KwaraLefro), where he talked about his successes and political future.
Below is an excerpt of the interview he obliged the crew:
Kwaralefro: Good sir!
Bahago: How are you gentlemen?
Kwaralefro: We are fine, sir. Congratulations on your giant strides.
Bahago: Thank you so much, it is the Allah’s doing.
Kwaralefro: Sir, we believe you have a good vision, what is the motivation behind these initiatives.
Bahago: The motivation behind these initiatives of mine are not farfetched. I value education, I appreciate human capital development and I believe in developing people than to just make them grow. You can only help people permanently if you have secured a place for them in the future. The eagle age has come, when and where everyone of us should think out of the box, think above board and see how to improve the standard of living of our people beyond the stomach.
KwaraLefro: Your programme which holds on Saturday, 24th of February is a 3-in-1 programme, don’t you think that is massive?
Bahago: Smiles….” One thing is certain, God has destined all of these to happen, I am only privileged to be the facilitator. To this, I return all glory and adoration to Allah, my creator. I equally thank my political leader and benefactor, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki for the opportunity he has provided me to serve my people.
KwaraLefro: What actually lured you into building a university?
Bahago: Basically, it is my passion for education that led to this. I am sure you all know the value of education – without which you can’t be here fielding questions with me. This to me is key, because an educated society is a liberated society. We are in the 21st century, the backwardness of any society lies with the way they prepare their younger generation for the future. I want to see a situation whereby you can become a Ph. D holder even if you have not traveled outside of Pategi. Smiles..!!!
KwaraLefro: Sir, your empowerment and what have you, are coming at a very sensitive political period, isn’t it too strategic? Are you looking into 2019?
Bahago: First of all, let me correct your impression on that. I have been empowering my constituents right before I was elected to represent them at the Federal House of Representatives. Empowering people is just part of me and I see no reason why we should always politicize anything that is coming from politicians. This empowerment may be massive but it is never targeted at 2019 politicking. Study my life cum my antecedents, you will agree with me that I don’t seek for position of power. Two things are involved: My own philosophy is based on the fact that, only God chooses who leads at a given time. And of course, we have the rule of game in Saraki political camp. The 2019 general elections are too far to be the focus of discussion. 2018 has just begun with lots of activities to be carried out and dividends of democracy to give out to the people.
Let me reiterate to you gentlemen, what is important to me as a representative is to use my position to benefit the people of my constituency and Kwara at large. I am a modest man with soft heart for humanity. I am representing my people not for personal benefit but to serve and make good name.
KwaraLefro: Are you seeking for a re-election into the House of Representatives or you are aspiring for a higher office?
Bahago: Laugh…!!! Be it re-election or higher office, I repeat, I am not desperate to have power, God has been faithful to me, so far. The people will chose their leader when the time comes. My priority is to deliver positively on the current leadership task. No excuse for failure when it comes to public office and 2019 to me is like a bridge, when we get there we’ll cross it, insha Allahu.
KwaraLefro: You sounds much confident, is there a formula that you believe cannot go wrong during an election in your camp, tell us about it?
Bahago: I am a politician but to be honest, we politicians are not even up to 5 percent of voters, meaning there are about 95 percent electorates that you have to win over. My advice is that we must look at the grassroots – those that are voting. We have the formal and informal sectors, who are the highest number of people that are voting. We have civil servants, businessmen and women, artisans, students and others. These are the people that would vote. They also form the majority of electorates that come out to vote in this country, so you have to carry them along. Isolating these set of people is dangerous to any politician because you are denying yourself of their massive votes. These are people we have never neglected, these are people who we represent and can never desert. That is the way we have been thought in Saraki’s camp not to disconnect with the people. That is the winning formula that doesn’t go wrong.
KwaraLefro: Do you see your party, the APC delivering victoriously in the coming general elections?
Bahago: Well, as a loyal party man and taking Kwara as a case study, I will say yes. However, my yes is based on the fact that, there is a name which is synonymous with electoral victory in Kwara and beyond, the name that attracts positivity and possibility, the name under which party supremacy hides in Kwara. I am not afraid to say that, Saraki is not just a name but an entity. With this name, I can tell you that electoral victory is guaranteed in 2019. Some people may have objection to this, they have right to their opinion and this is my personal conviction too.
KwaraLefro: Some Nigerians will say this 8th National Assembly and especially the House of Representatives where you are has not impacted their lives and worked for the betterment of the country in the last two and half years. How would you react to this?
Bahago: You may be right. Many Nigerians will not say so but unfortunately a lot of Nigerians do not understand the work of the legislature. When you talk about impact at the legislative arm of government, it is like even saying what impact the judiciary has on Nigerians. When you talk about impact, direct impact, the work of the legislature is not about capital projects. It is different from a president or somebody in the executive who can easily point to this and say this is my impact and this is what I have done.
The impact of the work of the legislature is to make meaningful laws that will better the lots and yearnings of the people we represent.
As far as the House is concerned, there has been tremendous progress. The House has received bills more than the previous assemblies and we will continue to give qualitative representations. Motions have been raised practically on every face of national life. So, I will say the House has made a lot of impact but not things that you can touch but feel.
KwaraLefro: But you have constituency projects which you execute?
Bahago: I have never executed constituency projects. I have never been given money to do constituency projects. You work to see what is put in your constituency. As a legislator, you can only facilitate a project to your constituency based on peculiar need but money can’t be released to you for execution. It is not part of our oversight functions.
That is where experience counts. In any legislature, experience counts.
So, the issue of constituency projects, the ministries have their contractors who registered with them. All that is required from you as a representative is to identify the area in your constituency where the project is required, the projects you want, they put it in the budget and the ministry gets it executed. So, since my first to this third term I am representing my people at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly, I have never executed any project directly by myself.
KwaraLefro: Are you satisfied with the number of projects being done so far in your constituency, courtesy of your facilitation?
Bahago: By nature, human beings are insatiable. We’ll always want some more.. So, I can’t be satisfied but I’m fulfilled. Satisfaction I mean is because I always feel like having every good things in the country for my people. And in all honesty, I have facilitated projects ranging from roads, classrooms, hospitals, human resources centres, Biometric centres, water works and many others in their thousands for my constituents. I am fulfilled because I have been able to deliver on my promises. In fact, in Patigi today, I can boast that I have provided water for almost every household. Apart from being a politician, I’d always wish to live and be remembered for kind gestures.
KwaraLefro: How would you evaluate your personal performance as a Representative and Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources?
Bahago: Will it be right for me to be the judge in my own case? I think I’ll leave the answer to you and the general public. As far as I’m concerned, perfection belongs to God Almighty. I have tried my best for my people, let posterity judge me.
KwaraLefro: How do you feel about your 3-in-1 programme?
Bahago: I feel fulfilled, I feel great. My heart is filled with gratitude to Allah. It is one thing to have a dream, it is another thing to be realistic. I only wish to record milestones of achievement and be an agent of positive impacts to my constituents by making life more meaningful to them. The 3-in-1 programme – the educational endowment fund, the mass empowerment scheme and ground breaking of a faculty at the yet-to-be commissioned Ahman Pategi University are just part of numbers of my achievements to the glory of God.
KwaraLefro: We appreciate your time, sir.
Bahago: I remain your humble servant.