In this interview with OBUTE JAMES, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen (Phd) representing Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State spoke on why he wants the name of Zaria Federal Constituency change to Zaria South and Sabon Gari Federal Constituency change to Zaria North. He spoke on the remote causes of the frictions between the Legislature and the Executive Arm in the outgoing 8th National Assembly and pitfall to avoid in the 9th National Assembly. Dr. Tajudeen won the parliamentary election conducted on February 23 under the platform of All Progressive Congress. He is returning to the House of Representatives for the third time.
Q. The Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections have come and gone, though supplementary elections will come up in few states soon, where do we go from here?
Ans. Yes, we thank God for making these elections to be conducted in atmosphere of peace particularly in the constituency which I represent. As you are aware, my people re-elected me to represent them in the House of Representatives and I want to assure them that I will consolidate on what I have already done in the 8th National Assembly. Apart from constituency projects and oversight functions, I was able to sponsor 40 bills in the 8th National Assembly. I hope to do more when the 9th National Assembly is constituted. I believe we have all learnt from our mistakes and as the new administration is ushered in, where there is need for adjustment I think it will be done.
Q. Constant frictions between the executive and legislative arms was one of the major challenges of this outgoing administration. Do you think such a thing will not play out in the 9th National Assembly?
Ans. What brought about the frictions between the legislature and executive arms was essentially due to the way the leadership of the two chambers were formed. The presidency then did not show much concern about those who would form the leadership of the National Assembly. At the end of the day, those who emerged as leaders did not see things in the same way with the executive and that brought a lot of challenges to the legislature and also to the executive arm.
I don’t think when the 9th National Assembly will be constituted in June, such kind of problem will be allowed to continue. I expect that those who will emerge as the leaders in the two chambers will have the consent of the party and the president. At the end of the day, we will have people who will speak with one voice. The issue of national interest will be treated as expected. The executive arm will give the legislative arm a level play ground to enable them do their work and the legislature will assist the executive arm by promptly deliberating on the bills.
Q. Recently, you brought out the issue of changing the name of your constituency, Zaria Federal Constituency to Zaria South and current Sabon Gari Federal Constituency to Zaria North Federal Constituency. What informed your decision to do so?
Ans. In most cosmopolitan cities across the country like Kaduna town, we have Kaduna North Local Government Area and Kaduna South Local Government Area. In this case, the originality of the name is kept. It is not diluted. Our city of Zaria which is more than 500 years old is not given the same treatment of retaining its original name. Sabon Gari, Zaria is a new settlement of Zaria. It has always been part and parcel of Zaria. When Sabon Gari LG was created, instead of bearing the name of Zaria, it was given a distinct and different name so that somebody who is not conversant and have proper knowledge of Kaduna will think that Sabon Gari is another geographical area not within the enclave of Zaria.
You can only hear of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Civil Aviation College, Zaria. Yow will not hear Ahmadu Bello University, Sabon Gari; Civil Aviation College, Sabon Gari. This is one of the reasons we felt that this issue must be addressed.
Q. Do you have the support of your constituents in respect of this matter?
Ans. Yes we have the support of majority of my people. You need to know that this can only be done through constitutional amendment. When the committee to review the constitution is constituted in the 9th National Assembly, this issue of change of name of these local government areas will be brought up and addressed.