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Sen LA, touching lives, transforming society: A first anniversary scorecard


Sen LA, touching lives, transforming society: A first anniversary scorecard

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Segun Olatunji

On June 13, 2024 when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu issued a proclamation announcing the commencement of the legislative activities of the 10th Senate, Senator Lawal Adamu Usman, fondly called Mr. LA by his supporters and admirers, officially assumed office as the Senator representing the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District of Kaduna State. But long before that day, Adamu now popularly referred to as Senator LA, had hit the ground running. The moment his victory was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following his shocking defeat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Muhammad Abdullahi, by a landslide, Senator LA began moves to consolidate his earlier groundwork on the needs of his constituents in the Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Since taking charge as the lawmaker representing the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator LA has indeed been up and doing with the ultimate aim and objective of positively touching the lives of his constituents. Of course, according to analysts and watchers of Kaduna politics, with the failure of the “flawed strategies” of his predecessors, and the meteoric successes Senator LA has recorded within his first year in the National Assembly, it’s easier to concur that he’s been delivering regarding his responsibilities to his constituents in Kaduna Central Senatorial District.

This man of amazing Grace has continued to triumph over the vicissitudes of his political life, trials, tribulations, and torments from his political foes even before he won the coveted seat to represent the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. After trouncing his opponents in the 2023 National Assembly election, he was made to pass through the furnace of fire, as his adversaries amassed false allegations targeted at truncating his electoral victory. He was tarred with various brushes that were at variance with his real personality and labelled with different names. His political enemies and detractors made incessant desperate efforts to forcibly wear on him the cloak of a villain with their series of spurious allegations, especially concerning the authenticity of his educational attainments.
He was dragged before the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal by his rival and All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammed Abdullahi (popularly known as Dattijo), who filed a petition to challenge his election on four grounds. But surprisingly by sheer providence, he survived it all. The Justice Kereng-led three-man panel dismissed the APC candidate’s petition as lacking in merit while upholding the election of Usman as the duly elected Senator of Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
This all-encompassing decision coupled with the pre-election suit challenging his eligibility at the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Kolawale Omotosho, sealed any ambition of further legal contestations.

Next, his already worsted political enemies resorted to the use of other devious means and subterfuge as well as the use of minions and hack writers to surreptitiously continue their attacks on him on social and mainstream media.
Surprisingly, Senator LA has been sacrificial and forgiving while at the same time exhibiting values of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, humility, gentleness, and meekness. He has forgiven his enemies and traducers seventy times seventy times and has moved on. He’s a man who doesn’t bear malice against anyone. He has continued to trudge on with his eyes on the ball, shunning unnecessary distractions, despite the various shenanigans by his political opponents and enemies within even the PDP in his constituency and Kaduna State as a whole. He has continued to place service to the people before his personal considerations and self.
Therefore, for a leader like Senator LA, it’s pretty hard to become distracted by the antics of his political foes and not worry about what becomes of his constituents and other Nigerians.

While many of his colleagues in the Senate had yet to find their feet, Senator LA, shortly after the inauguration of the current National Assembly, moved the motion on the “urgent need to expeditiously complete the ongoing reconstruction of the 160km Kaduna-Abuja highway and to increase the presence of security surveillance through the deployment of more personnel and use of unmanned aerial vehicles such as drones, radars, and scanners on and around the highway.”
Moving the motion, Senator LA said, “The road needs urgent attention, being one of the most important trunk B roads leading to the North-West, North Central, and North-East parts. The road connects Nigeria from the North to the South and the Eastern parts. It’s the extremely important business road for the supply of goods and services from the South to the North and vice versa. Due to the state of the road, travellers experience the trauma of driving through bandit-infested areas and it also causes damage to their vehicles as a result of accidents occasioned by hitting deep potholes. The previous administration had contracted the services of Julius Berger Plc during the first term of the last administration and N275bn was released to the company for the reconstruction, delay in the completion of the job is worrisome to road users, which has hindered socio-economic activities between the South and the FCT and various parts of the country.”

As a lawmaker concerned with accountability, he, therefore, urged the Senate to mandate its Committee on Works to engage the Federal Ministry of Works, the Federal Ministry of Finance, and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) “to investigate all funds released for this important project from the award date to the present day to find out the reason for the delay in completing the project.”

Senator LA also called on the Senate to mandate the contractor to quickly mobilize to the site to ensure the completion of the road within the shortest possible time frame.

The lawmaker further urged the Senate to call on security agencies to deploy personnel and equipment on the highway to check crimes and criminality along the expressway and its environment.

Seconding the motion, former Kebbi State governor and incumbent Senator representing Kebbi Central, Adamu Aliero, disclosed that the Kaduna-Abuja highway was initially awarded for limited rehabilitation by the immediate past administration at the cost of N155bn, but the government later decided to go for its complete reconstruction from Abuja to Kano at the total cost of N850bn.
He, however, regretted that the activities of bandits and other highway criminals had stopped the reconstruction of the road from Abuja to Kaduna, as the contractor had to abandon work.
Aliero further lamented that the road was still in bad shape, adding that only the presence of security personnel would make its reconstruction possible.

Also contributing to the debate on the motion, Senator Abba Moro, representing Benue South Senatorial District, commended Senator LA for moving the motion which he described as not only timely but also very expeditious.
Expectedly, Senator LA has also been at the forefront of the campaign against the delay in the reconstruction of the 21.48km Nnamdi Azikiwe Road, popularly known as the Western bypass in Kaduna, a strategic link between the North and Southern parts of the country. The lawmaker had during an inspection of the area, decried the state of the road, warning that it had become a death trap for motorists. Senator LA has since continued to mount persistent pressure on the Senate and FERMA to take concrete action about the Kaduna Western bypass road. This road has been in a deplorable state for so many years and has been a source of concern for both motorists and residents, who fear the crater-like potholes have become death traps.

The road, Senator LA further explained, was awarded to Dangote Industries about two years ago, but he and others had to now engage FERMA for temporary repairs.

The Western bypass road from Command Junction to Kawo was among the five roads awarded by the Federal Government to the Dangote Industries in 2021 under the Federal Government Roads Infrastructure Tax Credit Policy. It was awarded in the sum of N37.56bn.
Moreover, Senator LA, who doubles as the Chairman of, the Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary), and Vice Chairman of, the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions, has also, within his first year in the Senate, done so much in raising standards and improving services as well as integrity in these two very important sectors. He alongside his committee had established a robust relationship with the CBN working to stabilize as well as mobilize the fiscal and monetary policies of the apex bank.

Similarly, in the area of engaging and empowering the people, Senator LA can also raise his shoulders high amongst the lawmakers who have been meeting the expectations of their constituents in this regard.

In February this year alone, he doled out a whopping N150million to empower no fewer than 300 youths in his constituency, in fulfillment of his campaign promises to empower the youths and the vulnerable. The beneficiaries who got the sum of N500,000 each as start-up capital were selected from the seven local government areas constituting the Kaduna Central Senatorial District. While presenting the cheques to the 300 beneficiaries in Kaduna, Senator LA disclosed that the gesture was aimed at assisting the youths to start various small-scale businesses to become self-reliant and cater to themselves and by extension their family members. The Senator also donated other valuables including food items and hundreds of sewing and knitting machines to many widows to assist them in fending for themselves and tackling their financial problems.
A month earlier, in January 2024 precisely, Senator LA sponsored the first set of 20 people to perform the lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia to offer prayers for the peace, progress, and unity of Nigeria.
In continuation of his gesture of payment of tuition fees of indigent students across the state, Senator LA has also fulfilled his promise to give N5,000 bursary allowances to students across his Senatorial District, having announced the setting aside of additional N50 million for settling tuition fees for hundreds of students of tertiary institutions in his constituency. Of course, the scholarship given by Senator LA will go a long way in relieving many parents of the financial burden of funding their children’s education.
His exploits in seeing to the release of the Kuriga kidnapped victims and the efforts in interfacing with President Tinubu are well noted and regularly draw for him some thunderous applause whenever he surfaces in the public domain.
His efforts at mobilizing his colleagues to the Tudun Biri incident and his resilience to ensure that monies pledged by them are realized is a well-known and appreciated development. He collected and submitted to the Governor of Kaduna with whom they shared remarkable work affiliation.

Unfortunately, many of Senator LA’s actions as the lawmaker representing the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District have gone largely unnoticed because they are not intended to draw applause, but to make life better and worth living for the electorate in his constituency.

However, there has been an avalanche of praises for Senator LA on the various social and mainstream media platforms from his constituents in Kaduna Central Senatorial District and even from his other admirers beyond the zone. Many have continued to share testimonies regarding how Senator LA has positively affected their lives in the past year. Torrents of testimonies abound about the Distinguished Senator LA’s magnanimity.

He’s a man determined to leave his footprints permanently etched on the sands of time, what with his achievements and legacies in the past one year as the Senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly.

For decades after his tenure, echoes of his achievements will continue to reverberate on the political landscape of Kaduna Central in particular and the entire Kaduna State in general. Senator LA has continued to empower many of his constituents to enable them to compete with their peers elsewhere in Kaduna State and Nigeria. Like him or hate him, Senator LA will continue to be the darling of the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District and even the entire Kaduna State.

From all indications and given his remarkable strides in this past year in office, Senator LA’s tenure will eventually become deeply etched in the memory of the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District and beyond.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District and course, Kaduna State as a whole, still have a lot to benefit from Senator LA’s experience, achievements, good naturedness, and commitment to uplifting the masses as already demonstrated in the empowerment programmes he has carried out in the past one year since he was elected to represent the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District.

Senator LA’s political battles, victory, and successes within his first year in office should therefore come as no surprise to his adversaries, who should brace themselves for more resounding successes from the Distinguished lawmaker in the remaining three years of his first tenure in the coveted office.

. Olatunji is Senior Special Assistant (SSA Media) to the Distinguished Senator Lawal Adamu Usman

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