The hallmark of a representative democracy is accountability. Give-back to the electorate is the oil on which democracy strives.
In Nigeria, where representative democracy have steadily taken root in the last two decades without interruption, the culture of accountability is gradually finding expression.
One of the three Reps from Kogi East is Hon David Idris Zacharias, the member who represents Idah federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Abuja.
A critical appraisal of his undertakings as a legislator representing his constituency reveals that he possesses in no small quantum, the attributes of a quintessential leader going by the antecedent to his credit within the last one year.
Hon David Idris Zacharias took full responsibility of his statutory obligation to use his office as the people’s representative, at the Green chamber, towards alleviating the plights of his constituents.
The style with which he uses to communicate his visions for his constituency, clearly, creatively and consistently remains unparalleled and has continued to set the pace for other lawmakers from Kogi East in the 9th Assembly.
His problem solving mentality, especially that which has to do with the downtrodden, vulnerable and less privileged leaves lessons to be learnt by up coming leaders. No wonder he is a man people always wants to follow.
Hon Zacharias can be rightly described as charitable to a fault. If you ask him why, be sure of this response from him “My destiny is to care for others and doing as the spirit directs”. This philosophy has kept him going and has been a major positive catalyst towards his successes in the last one year.
When he successfully won his election in 2019, Honorable Zacharias in a very casual manner, said he was going to surprise his constituents, to create an unprecedented records that have never been made in the history of legislative representation in Idah federal constituency.
Honourable David Idris Zacharias officially commenced his legislative activities with the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly on 11th June 2019 as member of the Federal House of Representatives with excitement and great enthusiasm to deliver.
Even before his official resumption on the floor of the chambers, he had already commenced underground work, looking for the un-accessed constituency projects of the 8th Assembly, which is supposed to be for his constituency.
As a lawmaker who was already prepared because of his zeal shown in previous election years, David Zacharias came with high spirit amidst high expectations from the people. Proposing laws and lobbying for the goods of the overall wellbeing of the people was the main thrust of his campaign.
For some, one year is too early to show the people that you have done something substantial, but for David Zacharias, it was an enterprising one-year, to fulfil his social contract with his people, a contract he met with joyful hope and great enthusiasm.
In his inaugural address on the day he was sworn in on 11th June, 2020 at a reception held in his honour, David Idris Zacharias said he was going to do among other things, go into empowerment focusing in education, health, women and every employment for unemployed constituents.
A reasonable attempt has been made in these areas within the last one year.
Hon. David Idris Zacharias is a member of the House Committees on:
Information and National Orientation;
Internally Disposed Persons, IDP;
Internal security and
Vice Chairman 2020 Appropriation subcommittee on Agriculture, Water Resources, Colleges and Service institutions.
Public petition and Treaties, protocol and agreements.
Through these committees, Hon David Idris Zacharias has attended meetings, oversight functions, trainings, capacity building and policy formulation programmes in the last one year with which he has been able to strengthen the institution of the national assembly, contribute his quota to national discuss and law-making in Nigeria. In this regards, he has:
1. Seconded and spoken eloquently on a bill in respect of the boundary demarcation brought before the Green Chambers by another lawmaker as it affect the people of Ezeagwu community in Aguleri, Anambra state and Odeke-Ibaji, Ibaji local government area of Kogi State.
2. Co-sponsored a bill to amend the Nigerian Oil/Gas industry content development Act. CAP 2010 and other matters
3. A Bill for an act for the establishment of Federal Collage of Education Technical to be domiciled in Alloma, Ofu local government has passed first reading awaiting the second reading
4. A Bill for an act to establish the Federal Eye Center at Ogbonicha for the prevention, treatment and cure of eye defects and disease and to establish academic board that would take charge of the center’s academic affair.
5. There are two motions on notice awaiting presentation. The urgent need to construct a road from Ibaji in Kogi state to Anambra State to facilitate interstate travels and transportation of agricultural produce between the two states. The second is a motion for the urgent need to rehabilitate the Ejule Otukpa road for ease movement and prevent incessant insecurity issues on the route.
Hon. David Zacharias, before venturing into politics, has taken education as one of his personal pet projects and has invested greatly in it. As a lawmaker, he has continued with the gesture in a more organized, robust and committed dimension through various educational programmes.
Within the last one-year attainment in office, over two thousand (1,000) students have received educational interventions in form of scholarships at all levels, and free payment of registration fees for seventy-one (71) students preparing to seat for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council, (NECO).
Some Children of physically challenged persons, specially gifted kits, those from the poorest of the poor and some selected vulnerable children have been captured in his 2020 scholarship scheme covering tuition fees and other school items.
Youths and Women Empowerment
For Zacharias, the youths are exceptional resources and valuable asset that should be harnessed and empowered optimally. In this regard, upon assumption he was quick to initiate programmes that would have direct impact on them and such that the multiplier effect of their engagements would be felt in the society. This brought about various empowerment schemes carried out in phases.
Youths and women were empowered on fish farming and processing of several agricultural produce through the efforts of the Nigerian Stored Products and Research Institute.
Till date, over one hundred and fifty farmers have been trained in the areas of fish farming, fish production and yam processing across the four local government with production start-up pack given to them.
Youths across the four local government in two separate empowerment programmes have so far received over 50 tricycles, 100 motorcycles, refrigerators, grinding machines, industrial sewing machines, sewing machines, sets of barbing saloon equipment, generating set and other kits for various vocational programmes sponsored.
On the part of women, in the last one-year, over five million naira has been disbursed to petty traders who have already existing informal business and over 100 other new businesses were given free loans to start various forms of businesses. This cut across markets in Ochadamu, Ejule, Itobe Egah-Idah, Ajaka and Ibaji local governments.
There is no gainsaying that the core responsibilities of a lawmaker are representation, law making and over sighting, just as physical infrastructural projects are believed to be the exclusives of the executives, Hon David Zacharias has within one year facilitated the following infrastructural projects in specific locations in the federal constituency.
1. Installation of solar powered streetlight at Ajaka center in Igalamela/Odolu local government
2. Installation of solar powered streetlight at Achadu road and Palace at Idah local government area
3. Installation of solar powered streetlight at Oko-Okenyi, Ojuwo Ojamachi, Ala and Ejule all in Ofu local government area.
Boreholes to ameliorate the water scarcity and challenges faced in some communities were dogged in parts of Ejule, Igalamela and Ibaji local governments.
No doubt, a wealthy society is manifest by its health status. In last one year, two cottage hospitals have received interventions from Hon. David Zacharias. There is the renovation of the Aloma cottage hospital and the Ejule cottage Hospital.
Also, there are supplies of drugs, payment of the salaries of some auxiliary nurses monthly as well as some stipend for the two hospitals.
Through constant collaboration with agencies of government, Hon. David Zacharias has been able to facilitate the delivery of relief materials to constituents in parts of Ibaji and Igalamela local governments who were ravaged by floods in 2019.
Through lobby and his relationship with other agencies of government, sons and daughters of the federal constituency who have requisite credentials for vacancies that exists were assisted to secure government employment in some agencies and the Nigerian Police.
Honourable David Idris Zacharias has collaborated with the Kogi state government to provide security for the federal constituency through the efforts of the various security agencies.
This is done through provision of logistics support, stipend for local vigilante who collaborates with conventional security agencies to provide intelligence the police.
Because of his disposition to ensure that Idah federal constituency is crime free, periodic security meeting have been held at his instance.
Also, with is intervention and lobby, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi donated a patrol Hilux van to the FRSC Unit in Ejule to ease patrol of personnel of the unit, especially on the Ejule-Otukpa road that has recorded high number of crashes over the years.
Considering the role of media in politics and the broad day abuse of the social media in the country, a one day sensitization media engagement and training was organized for selected social media influencers from his federal constituency to Abuja who received training on current social media realities and how they can remain socially relevant with seasoned media personalities from reputable organizations on ground to train them.
As promised during the electioneering campaigns and every other fora he had the opportunity of addressing, that periodically, report of his activities would be given, this is the fulfilment of that promise and in the next seven days ahead, pictorial evidence and locations of some of these projects according to local government would be displayed on the social media and other media platforms to be concluded in the days after with a documentary and radio interaction between Honourable Zacharias and the audience of Radio Kogi Ochaja.
Already, various projects have been mobilized and commenced in other parts of the constituency, especially Idah local government with high expectation of more projects in the 2020 appropriations.
Against all odds, the social contract is kept and more are still to come in the days ahead. Indeed, leadership is easy when a man with focus, dexterity, empathy and courage is saddled with such high responsibility.
– Ocheme Jerry
For: Zacharias Media Center