Senators yet to set up constituency offices: Five months after inauguration:

   
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Five months after their inauguration, many senators have yet to establish constituency offices, investigations by correspondent  have revealed.

It was gathered that a lot of them visited their constituencies only during festivals when they stayed in their heavily guarded mansions.

Few ones, who had established constituency offices, told The PUNCH the demands from their constituents included assistance for payment of hospital bills, school fees and social functions.

Some residents, who spoke to our correspondents, said gaining access to lawmakers, who came home during festivals, was tough.

Only one Katsina senator has constituency office

Out of the three senators representing Katsina State, only Ahmad Babba-Kaita (Katsina North) has a functional constituency office with 12 members of staff headed by Mallam Lawal Adamu. The office is located at the Kangiwa/Daura road in Daura.

Adamu, in an interview with The PUNCH, said residents sought the senator’s assistance on issues such as unemployment and empowerment.

He stated, “In most cases, I visit him in Abuja, especially when there are urgent issues. For instance, I take forms and the curriculum vitae of graduates looking for jobs to him in Abuja.”

Efforts to reach both senators Kabir Bankia (Katsina Central) and Bello Mandiya (Katsina South) were abortive. Investigations in Katsina and Funtua, the headquarters of the two senatorial districts, showed that the two senators did not have constituency offices.

When a media aide to Bankia, Kabir Jirgi, was contacted on the phone, he promised to call back on Thursday. He had yet to call back. Senator Mandiya’s known phone number kept on ringing without response. Mandiya had yet to reply a text message sent to him as of 7pm on Sunday.

Amosun, Odebiyi yet to have constituency offices

In Ogun State, out of the three senators representing the state, only Lekan Mustapha (Ogun East) has a constituency office , which is located at the old Lagos road, Ijebu Ode.

In a telephone interview with The PUNCH, Mustapha said he had eight members of staff in the office and visited there every weekend.

He said, “The reality is that on the average, 25 to 35 people come around whenever I am within their reach. Most of their requests border on school fees, hospital bills, business and trade supports. On the average, I spend between N3m and N4m monthly.”

Senator Ibikunle Amosun has yet to get a constituency office. Attempts to get his reaction failed as he did not reply to a message sent to his phone.

It was, however, gathered that Amosun met his loyalists in his mansion at the Government Reservation Area in Ibara, Abeokuta, whenever he is around

Some people, who claimed to be Amosun’s supporters, said they waited for their political leader at his residence every Friday.

A supporter of the ex-governor was seen at the senator’s residence on Friday. He confided in The PUNCH that he wanted to seek help for his daughter’s education.

I have not had access to Amosun – Supporter

Another supporter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she visited the house every week, but could not have access to Amosun. It was also gathered that some people observed their Jumat prayer at Amosun’s house on Fridays as part of efforts to meet him.

Attempts to get the comment of the senator representing Ogun West, Tolu Odebiyi, failed. He did not pick calls to his mobile telephone nor respond to a text message sent to the phone.

Some of the constituents, who spoke to one of our correspondents, lamented that they had not had access to him since he was inaugurated as senator representing Ogun West.

Gombe: Goje has constituency office

In Gombe State, only Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) has a constituency office. Investigations showed that Saidu Alkali (Gombe North) and Amos Bulus (Gombe South) had yet to establish constituency offices.

A member of staff of Goje’s office, Haruna Adamu, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said there were about five employees working in the office.

He noted that excluding staff’s salaries, the office received over N150,000 on a monthly basis as running costs and for other needs.

Adamu said, “Usually, we have a complaint book which is used to note the needs of the people. Sometimes, I take the book to Senator Goje in Abuja, depending on the urgency of the issues. Sometimes, we wait for him to come.”

Senators prefer to remain in Abuja – Gombe resident

A resident of the state, Auwal Samad, told one of our correspondents that constituency office in Gombe South was “alien.”

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According to him, most of the lawmakers use their various houses, especially when they come home for festivals. He asked, “Do they have constituency offices, aside Danjuma Goje? They prefer to just appoint special assistants.”

Security aides don’t allow us to see lawmakers – Resident

“They remain in Abuja. When they return, their mansions serve as their offices. If their security aides allow you to enter, you should thank God.”

Attempts by one of our correspondents to get the comments of the lawmakers, through phone calls, text messages and emails were unfruitful as the three senators failed to respond as of the time of filing this report.

Two Ebonyi senators have no constituency office

In Ebonyi State, only Senator Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) has a constituency office.

Investigations reveal that the Ebonyi South Senatorial District, represented by Senator Michael Nnachi, has no constituency office.

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