Five months after their inauguration, many senators have yet to establish constituency offices, investigations 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, state that the demands from their constituents included assistance for payment of hospital bills, school fees and social functions.
Some residents, said gaining access to lawmakers, who came home during festivals, was tough.
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, 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.
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, 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 was 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.
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.