A House of Representatives member, Adamu Chika, has given up the opportunity of seeking re-election, citing lack of public trust in Nigerian lawmakers.
The member, who represents Shiroro/Rafi/Munya federal constituency of Niger State, communicated the unprecedented decision in a letter to the Niger State chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Mr. Chika confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES he wrote the letter, and said he stood by it.
In his memo, the first timer said given the low level of public trust in federal lawmakers, he would only be seeking National Assembly office again for “personal interest”.
“In line with the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad (SAW), that any person seeking to be appointed or elected into public office should be rejected, now that there is eroding public trust in legislators of the National Assembly, it is not worth the trouble to seek such office unless it is for my selfish and personal interest,” Mr. Chika wrote.
National Assembly members faces constant criticisms by Nigerians for their poor work ethics, unending corruption scandals and for the huge perks they receive.
Nigerians criticise the lawmakers for paying themselves millions of naira in quarterly allowances, and failing for years to disclose details of the National Assembly budgets.
Members are also accused of contributing very little to governance, with constant investigations and reports that are hardly implemented.
Mr. Chika serves out his four-year term in June 2019, and is constitutionally entitled to seek re-election. But the lawmaker says he will give up that opportunity.
He also drew the attention of the APC to the lack of cordiality between the government of Niger and federal legislators from the state.
“Though I have quite a number of reasons not to contest the upcoming election, I want to draw the attention of our great party APC in Niger state to the disconnect between the governance (sic) in the state and the membership of the National Assembly, the state assembly and other key stakeholders because there is an absence of synergy,” he wrote.
He said key APC leaders in Niger state were in pursuit of individual agenda and were at loggerheads with the ideals of the party.
He thanked the party for giving him the platform to serve.