An old adage would probably be the best way to kick off a piece like this but to say it would be clichéd would be saying Jesus is lord. However, it has to be said that the elders were right when they stated that with great power comes great responsibility.
The Nigerian political scene of today has seen the evolution of the knowledge of the masses and the creation of a strengthened bond between leaders and their constituents, a phenomenon that in the long run, would serve as the basis for better governance. One person who it seems, is intent on the making sure his impact on the society is felt in the utmost way has to be Senator Gbenga Ashafa. The lawmaker, yoked with the task of representing the people of Lagos East at the National Assembly recently organized a second town-hall meet with his constituents at Peace Hall Magodo to review his performance. The event, also doubled as a sensitization platform for the awareness of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Speaking at the event, Senator Ashafa addressed a controversy that had rocked the Ministry of Transportation, led by Senator Rotimi Amaechi. Senator Amaechi had been accused of padding the 2016 budget by declaring that the National Assembly had removed a planned railway project from Lagos to Calabar. Ashafa, in his defence, explained that the Assembly had indeed omitted the project from its budget, allocating the money to something else but had rectified it after a supplementary proposal had been received.
Furthermore, Ashafa gave a brief rundown of his works at the National Assembly. According to him;
- He’d as the Chairman Senate Committee on Land Transport, been involved in the assessment of the performance level of the Ministry of Transportation, Railway Corporation and National Institute of Transport Technology.
- Influenced the commencement of the Lagos-Kano Standard Guage Line and the Lagos-Calabar Standard Guage Line (Both railway projects).
- Been involved in the birthing of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act Repeal and Reenactment Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Bill 2016, NDLEA Amendment Bill 2016, Nigerians Involvment In Illicit Global Drugs Trade and Increase In Domestic Drug Abuse By Nigerian Youth (A motion).
- He’d assessed the incidents of the kidnapped schoolgirls from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary and tribal clash in Mile 12 market, Ketu.
- Provided tricycles to serve as security patrols for Babington Seminary.
With his speech done, the sensitization program kicked off immediately. Constituents were urged to keep an eye out for cases of domestic and sexual abuse in the society and urged to report cases to relevant authorities in a bid to reduce the rising rate of such crimes. Examples which included cases in which a spouse had ended up in the morgue were stated as the speaker sought to drive home the fact that a home filled with love and respect also translates to a better society free from vice.
To round off the event, Senator Ashafa kept to his promise of encouraging small scale enterprises as he doled out a few tools to serve as startups for beneficiaries. A total of 258 people benefited from vocational training and were rewarded with tools for the kickoff of their trades. Gas cookers for small scale food vendors, Dryers for hairdressers and generating sets accompanied with clippers were made available for barbers are a few items doled out at the event. It must also be recalled that 90 sewing machines, 12 grinding machines, 5 block making machines, 36 tricycles and cash donations had earlier been given out to constituents.