By: Frank Agbai and Samuel Ogijo,
It is no longer news that it has been reported that the Plateau State Council of Radio, Television, & Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) last week conferred on Hon. Haruna Maitala, member representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the National Assembly with the prestigious Excellence Representation Award.
What is news today is the non acceptability of this conferment by members of the same union.
Members of RATTAWU have continued to express their sad feelings on social media platforms concerning the award and claiming that it was a solo job, as the union members never participated in deciding that Hon. Haruna should be so awarded.
Many have called that action of RATTAWU leadership, as “a sellout and a shameful act.”
“We want to know how much the leadership was paid by Hon. Haruna Maitala to have earned him this undeserved award. We are in the same constituency with him, despite being a member of his constituency. I am surprised that he is been awarded by my Union for what we cannot see or feel”.
It is of note that, in the news reports that followed the award, Hon. Maitala was quoted to have dedicated the award to members of his Constituency for finding him worthy to serve.
“RATTAWU noted specifically that, the award presented to Hon. Maitala was based on his people oriented representation in the provision of dividends of democracy to the people.
“In his response, the Hon. Member thanked the Union for recognizing and appreciating his contribution to the growth of democracy and dedicated the award to his constituents for finding him worthy to represent them.
“Maitala added that the award would surely serve as tonic towards greater performance and further called on constituents to remain steadfast and committed to peace in anticipation for more dividends of democracy”. The reports have stated.
You would however recall that, REALITY had reported that, major Stakeholders in Hon. Maitala constituency (Jos-North/Bassa) have already started initiating a recall process on him and have continued in their nocturnal meetings aimed at getting documents to kick start his recall.
REALITY had also reported that Lawyers backing this recall process have already been constituted and may soon write the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on this intention.
“So, we are therefore surprised that a Media Association (not even the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)), woke up one morning and decided to give an award to a man, who has not moved a single Motion on the floor of the Green Chambers, a man, who is bed reddened as demonstrated by the award picture attached to the story, a man that does not know or act when his constituents are attacked and killed in the past one year and more, a man who was practically selective in distributing palliatives under the Covid-19 pandemic, a prestigious award of EXCELLENCE REPRESENTATION.” Maitala Constituents reacted on social media.
It must be recalled that, in the news reports concerning the awards, it was explained that, Hon. Maitala deserved the award for the reasons below:-
“Since the advent of this democratic dispensation in 1999, Hon. Haruna Maitala is the only member representing Jos North/Bassa federal constituency that holds the enviable record of avoiding politics and silently touching and making direct impact in the lives of his constituents, mostly, the masses and the rural populace in a significant, spectacular manner in just one year in office.
After the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, Maitala was neck-deep in its politics and played a significant role in the emergence of leadership of the National Assembly.
Thereafter, he secured membership of 11 committees despite being a first timer. While still making efforts to acquaint himself with the new environment, he went ahead to fulfill some of his campaign promises in the areas of human empowerment and development. Consequently, he paid for the registration of over 500 candidates for Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) and Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations in his constituency.
While in the process, the COVID-19 pandemic took center stage. The menace of the pandemic ravaged the world prompting a total lockdown of the country. In the light of this, the attitude, efforts and commitment turned to working out modalities of providing palliative to the populace to cushion the effect of the pandemic. It was in this regard that the member distributed food and other items worth millions of naira to his constituents in addition to making separate contributions to COVID-19 fund raising to the two local Government Areas that make up his constituency, the state and governments respectively.
No sooner had the lockdown been lifted had the Hon. member continued his empowerment programme when he distributed fertilizer to the executive committee (EXCO) members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his constituency comprising two local government areas with 30 electoral wards with each ward comprising of 27 EXCO members. The exercise saw each EXCO member taking home a bag of fertilizer.
Thereafter, Hon. Haruna Maitala turned attention to infrastructural development and put his lobbying power to play when he met with the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA). It didn’t take time when the positive result of his lobbying power started manifesting as seen in the ongoing road rehabilitation along Jengre-Saminaka road. The sudden commencement of the rehabilitation exercise prompted the Hon. Member to personally write a letter of appreciation to the Executive Director, East Operations of FERMA, Engr. Silas Buba. Again, construction of 3 kilometer rural roads would soon commence in some rural areas of his constituency.
Two weeks ago, Engrs Bulus and Nuhu from the rural development department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture were on ground for on-the-spot assessment and survey, preparatory for the commencement of the exercise.
It is in the light of the above that pundits commended RATTAWU for its initiative.
“Observers also applauded Maitala’s style of representation which is hinged on action rather than noise making”.