Honourable Shehu Garba (Sarkin Noma) represents Jemaa /Sanga federal constituency in the House of Representatives, in this interview with Ruth Tene, he discusses how the fuel subsidy probe report must not be set aside because of the bribery allegation involving the adhoc committee chairman.
What is your take on the Farouk Lawan debacle?
Well, I agree with you that this is not the best of times for the members of the House of Representatives and indeed, the National Assembly as a result of the wild allegations that are going on; however, quite a number of us members believe that this is an issue that relates to a member of the house and not the leadership or entire house of representatives and we believe that should be clearly understood by people and at no point has it been said that the House or indeed the committee he chaired was involved in this matter and so, we want to seize this opportunity to say that this matter should never be seen as an excuse to water down or serve as a distraction of the expected implementation of the recommendations of the Committee which Farouk Lawan had chaired and which everybody believed did a very good job, clearly identifying areas of infractions that we expect the government to address.
So far, most major probes have ended with allegations of bribery scandals; do you expect Nigerians to believe in the subsidy report?
I think there is a misconception here because the alleged bribe was said to have been offered or demanded after the report had been laid before the House and therefore, we believe that the report itself was not compromised in anyway because the issue of the bribe came after and that is why we insist that people should look at the entire subsidy probe process and the recommendations contained in the report and not to in anyway allow the issue of the bribe allegation becloud the outcome of the exercise because the allegation was made after the report had been laid to the House.
So, we believe that report is still very credible and we expect that its recommendations be looked at very closely.
Before now, your part of the constituency was said to be marginalised. What will you do to change that?
I am a law maker and not serving in the executive making process and our jobs are to be involved in the law making process as well as other oversight the actions of the executive but nonetheless, it is an opportunity being in the National Assembly to be able to draw attention to the needs of my constituents and also the areas that probably have been marginalised and hopefully, use my position to attract developments and other issues that we believe deserve attention and also improve on whatever disadvantaged position the constituency has been in.
There have also been calls for a Gurara State. What would you do to help bring the dream to a reality?
We have right now at the National Assembly demands from various groups for the creation of states and Gurara is one of such demands and as such as someone from that part of the state, when these matter comes for deliberation on the floor of the house, we will rally support from the people for good will to support that course which we believe is big enough and has what it takes to form a state of its own communities.
What do you see as the greatest challenge of Kaduna State right now?
Our greatest challenge is that of ensuring that we have peace. There have been security challenges right from the elections up to this period and which has been a great distraction for the current governor because any government that does not have peace or stability cannot face the task of development very squarely.
So, we believe the greatest challenge of Kaduna state is to ensure peaceful co-existence among all communities because it is only in an atmosphere of peace that we can pursue other objectives of course the objectives of ensuring rapid economic development of the state.
How would you rate the performance of the present governor?
I would say this question is apt and would like to cease this opportunity to comment on the recent publication by the ThisDay Newspaper which carried out a so-called assessment on the performance of governors, we believe that that newspaper had no Locus standing and never carried out any thorough exercise to have rated the governor as non-performing, the best people to rate Governor Ibrahim Yakowa are the people of Kaduna state and to the best of our knowledge, he has been commended for the good job he has been doing, he is just barely six month in power and from my insight information, I know the kind of programme that he has laid down for the rapid development of the state, which we believe by the time he would have spent his four years first term, a lot of progress would have been made.
We believe he is a great representative of the State and we have no doubt that by the time he is done, the people of Kaduna and Nigeria at large will agree that he has done a great job; we are already seeing signs of that.
What would you like posterity to remember you for?
Well, every lawmaker would like to be remembered as an effective voice for his people, any other thing is secondary because as a lawmaker you are suppose to be the voice of your people, you represent them very well and project and protect their interest and I would love to be remembered for that at the end of my service and representation at the National Assembly.