By Ali Edoh.
The member representing Ankpa-Olamaboro-Omala federal constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Abdullahi Ali (Halims), has assured his constituents of more developmental projects in this year 2022 in a magnitude that they have not witnessed before.
In an exclusive chat with this reporter on Thursday, Halims said: “Democracy is about giving back to the society. For the first two and half years into my tenure at the House of Representatives, I had to do the best within my capability to deliver dividends of democracy to my people and the facts are there.”
“I have introduced various programmes that are meant to uplift or take away poverty by way of the provision of various empowerment materials and trainings in various trades.
“We have trained well over 3,000 persons – youths and women. We have given them grants to enable them take off on their own. We trained them on various farming techniques, we trained them on tailoring and on various skill acquisition trades. Not only that, we made grants available to them to enable them take-off their businesses by themselves.
“We also provided them with sewing machines, grinding engines, motorcycles, Keke NAPEP, etc in order to help them alleviate poverty.
“And also, today, to the best of my ability in this first two and a half years into my tenure, we have done so many road projects, and provided 29 borehole water to almost 22 wards out of the 34 wards that constitute the 3 Local Government Areas in my Federal Constituency.
“In the area of electricity, we provided solar electric light to Abejukolo town, the headquarters of Omala Local Government Area. We also provided Olamaboro Local Government Area, especially Imane district, with solar electric light, as well as in Ankpa. These lights are primarily intended to do two things namely, to provide illumination and to curb crimes.
“We equally built schools in Omala, Olamaboro and Ankpa.
“In this 2022 budget, a lot of projects have been captured for my constituency. For instance, Abejukolo township road will be rehabilitated, Olamaboro township roads, especially at Imane, will be rehabilitated as well. The two portions of roads that are bad in Ankpa will be rehabilitated.
“In this year 2022,we are also going to electrify all our Ward headquarters by providing them with street solar light”.
“In few days from now, there are some science kits worth over 80 million Naira that we are going to distribute to schools in Olamaboro, Omala and Ankpa. These kits are intended to help our children who are science oriented”.
“And there is one particular bridge in Olamaboro district called Uko bridge which was started for over 20 years without completion. This Uko bridge is already captured in the 2022 Federal budget and by the grace of God, work will soon start there.
“All these and so many other things have been inserted in the budget for the benefit of our people. And as you know, the budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria are implemented 100%. President Buhari have already signed it and execution is going to be 100%.Iam very confident of that. And whatever is in the budget for my people this year, will definitely be executed by the grace of God.”
Speaking on the agitation from Omala people to take their turn in 2023 having produced only 1 House of Rep member since inception, against Ankpa that have produced 7, and Olamaboro 5, Hon Halims said: “I appreciate their concern. However, they should also take into consideration and remember that they produced a Governor who ruled Kogi state for 9 years and Ankpa people cooperated all along”.
“Ankpa is the father of the Federal Constituency. We gave birth to Olamaboro and Omala Local Government Areas. And the same Omala people who are agitating that they are being shortchanged today, yet in the past produced a Deputy Governor, the highest political office holder from Igala land when we were in Benue state and during that time also, we from Ankpa also cooperated with them all along and gave them support.
“And here in Kogi state, they produced a Governor for 9 years with Ankpa’s support and while the Governor was still seated, his son became House of Rep member for the same constituency. We from Ankpa still gave them support.
“So, what are we saying? That Ankpa supported Omala people to produce a Deputy Governor when we were in Benue state for a mandate of 4years tenure, renewable for another 4 years for a total of 8 years. Then in Kogi state, Omala produced a Governor for 9 years and a House of Rep member for 4 years and yet, Ankpa gave them every necessary support.
“So, I don’t think that leaving myself who is presently the House of Rep member, or leaving the House of Rep position in Ankpa for another term of 4 years after the current tenure will be two much a thing to do given these background.
“So, whosoever is agitating, they just want to go to the National Assembly for going sake, forgetting that provision of dividends of democracy is the reason why we are there.
“As for me, my works and landmark achievements are there all over the federal constituency for anybody to see. Since these dividends of democracy are being delivered to our people during my tenure, whosoever that is agitating from the constituency to go to the National Assembly in 2023,should exercise patience for now.”
Though the lawmaker is a first timer in the House of Representatives, he overcame the intrigues and became House Committee Chairman on Steel Development, a position that has been very rare for first timers to occupy.