By Vincent Ujumadu
FORMER national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party, LP, for the February 25 general elections for Anambra Central, Senator Victor Umeh has said that constituency projects, which had become fashionable among Nigerian lawmakers, is not a core function of a legislator.
Umeh, who spoke in an interview in Awka argued that the main function of a lawmaker is to be part of enacting laws that would ensure good governance in the country.
He said: “The problem is that many people have left the core functions of the national assembly and they are deceiving people with two bedroom bungalows they built for widows. Those are not part of the function of the National Assembly.
“The constitution assigned very clear roles to the national assembly. Number one is making laws for the good governance of the country, to make appropriation laws to help the executive to execute its job; then the oversight functions of looking into the activities of the government at the centre to ensure implementation of budget.
“What they call constituency project is an addendum to the work of the National Assembly. When the President submits his estimate for a year, there is nothing like constituency projects in them, but because of convenience, the National Assembly had bargained during the Obasanjo presidency to be allowed to have some projects they can do for the benefit of their constituents.
“There are core functions why people go to the National Assembly. Making laws for the good governance of Nigeria is a very important function. The head of government cannot act arbitrarily; he must be under checks to be able to function. So, a National Assembly that is alive to its duties, would use legislation to cage executive lawlessness, and that is what is important in choosing a senator.
“We are going to the Senate to fight for Nigerians. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this country, and we are going there to ask questions.
“Everybody in Nigeria today believes that the present arrangement of the country is not working, We need to restructure the country.”
He insisted that his main concern if elected in the February election is to add his voice, to ensure justice and equity for all in Nigeria.
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