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John Dyegh: An Epitome of Legislative Representation – By Solomon Semaka



“Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life’’. Arnold Schwarzenegger

At a time when most representatives of the people see public office as a honey pot, Rt. Hon. John Dyegh is teaching the leadership class in Nigeria the true meaning of representation with his people-oriented style of rendering service.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, many people elected or appointed into political offices have deviated from rendering services to the people; instead, they have concentrated their energies into building personal empires. This situation has resulted in wrangling amongst the political class for whom to control the soul of the polity.
Today, it is not uncommon to see political office holders either bragging about their wealth or thugs they have in their kitty as assurance to winning elections. For these kinds of people, there is hardly a difference between occupying a public office and managing a personal business.

Rt. Hon. John Dyegh, has proven to been a different breed of politician from the time he was elected in 2011to represent the people of Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency of Benue State in the Federal House of Representatives. He did not toll the path of his contemporaries who got carried away with the spoils of the office and jettisoned his constituents nor engaged in fighting perceived political enemies. He has consistently remained in touch with his constituents and speaking to authorities on issues that affect his them as well as providing succour within his means to make life more meaningful.

The Gboko/Tarka representative fits properly in the saying of the English author, scriptwriter, essayist Douglas Adams, thus, ‘’to give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.’’

Hon. John Dyegh unlike his contemporaries who change camp once they ascend to authority, has remained committed to his constituents both in times of joy and grief. For instance, during the trying moments of people of Tarka Local Government Area; occasioned by the activities of the herdsmen, presented relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.

The lawmaker did not stop at providing relief material but rose to the occasion by speaking to the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to show commitment to protection of lives and property of the people which is the major objective of government.

Hon. Dyegh, did what many fair-weather legislators would consider as been political unwise when he accused the Federal Government of sending out helicopters to survey states where cows were being rustled, but they did not do so in Benue where humans were being killed.

“It clearly shows that we have a government that places more emphasis on animals more than humans. Government must tackle this issue with all seriousness before it gets out of hand,” Hon. Dyegh was quoted to have said in the media.

The people’s legislator through his Youth Empowerment and Scholarship Scheme has provided scholarship to students studying in tertiary institutions in his constituency and beyond. This he has consistently done from his first year at the National Assembly and continues till date. He has also provided vehicles, motorcycles and sewing and other empowerment items to the teaming youths of his constituency.

Besides providing items for empowerment, Hon Dyegh understands the efficacy of power. Knowing that without the right knowledge, one may not excel even if given all the items required for a good life, he built skill acquisition centres to bequeath the people with the right knowledge and skills.

It is noteworthy that the activities of Hon John Dyegh PhD within his short stay at the National Assembly as a politician cum walferist speaks volumes about him and resonate aura of popularity, respect, admiration and loyalty among the ranks and files of the masses. In addition, his effrontery and stamina within the National Assembly especially the Hallow Green Chamber as a consistent democrat, discreet philanthropist, veteran Welfarist, grassroots mobilizer and indefatigable campaigner of human rights are also basis he is endeared to the downtrodden masses especially those of Benue State.

On the floor of the National Assembly, he lead debate to condemn the undemocratic raid on the office of “The Nation” News paper by DSS, initiated a bill for establishment of an Electoral Offence Commission, Operation of the law establishing the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi by changing its name to J. S Tarka University of Agriculture Makurdi, a motion to compel Dangote Cement to live up to cooperate social responsibility to the host community (Mbayion). This is explained among other things, in his selfless service and stoic quality.

Hon Dyegh has through what is popularly referred to as constituency projects executed capital projects or caused execution of some capital projects in his constituency ranging from sinking of boreholes, construction of culverts and roads, build class room blocks, clinics and provided transformers and electricity to some communities.

In addition, he has facilitated the engagement of several youths from his constituency and Benue State in general into the Federal Civil Service. As we venture into yet another electioneering year, let us be guided by the right choices that have been tested and who have proven a reasonable level of consistency in service delivery. Let us be guide by reason and good judgement, let us be guided again by the choices that transcend all bitterness, pettiness and sentiments.

It is only then that true leadership will be institutionalized in this nation. John Dyegh represents this line of thought and should be encourage to offer himself more for service for the betterment of the society. We look forward to that day when because of people of his kind, we ll all rise together with pride and ask under development; were is thy sting?

Semaka writes from Abuja.

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