Abuja (NAN) The Chairman, Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Senator Atai Aidoko, has called on Kogi State Government to put measures in place to ameliorate the sufferings of the citizens.
He also urged the state government to hasten to pay outstanding salaries of workers, saying that his interaction with people indicated that there was much hardship in the state.
Aidoko made the call in an interview the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, people are finding it difficult to meet basic needs such as feeding their families and paying school fees of their wards.
The lawmaker said, “one thing I know, based on my interaction with people is that there is a lot of hardship.
“A lot of people are suffering and I think that it is the responsibility of the government, especially at the state level, to listen to the cries of these people.
“It is not fair for people to support or vote people into power and begin to suffer on account of it.’’
On allegations of mismanagement of bailout funds levelled against the state government, he said that he had no details on it.
“As a Kogi indigene, I am well aware that salaries have not been paid to some civil servants.
“I am well aware of the issues that are going on about the screening of the workers.
“I am also aware of the hardship that people are going through on account of these things.
“This, I am aware and this I feel very strongly about; I feel it is not right. People should be paid their dues, especially when provisions are made, when the resources are available.
“That is my position but on the issue of the bailout, in terms of figures, in terms of what was supposed to be done or not, I have no knowledge, I have no figures.
“I like to comment on things that I can stand on; at my level as a senator, I should not be caught speculating. I should talk from the point of view of facts.
“Those facts I don’t have about whether the funds are there or they were misappropriated,’’ he said.
On his replacing Sen. Isaac Alfa as senator representing Kogi East, Aidoko said he only reclaimed his mandate that was stolen.
He pointed out that the judgment that brought Alfa to the senate was set aside by the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which pronounced him as the rightfully elected senator to represent the district.
The lawmaker said that until the decision of the appellate court was set aside, he remained the senator for Kogi East.
“Alfa was not part of the General Elections in 2015. He was not part of the rerun election, yet he procured a judgment from court to declare him a candidate.
“But, the Appellate Court in its wisdom looked at it and set aside the decision of the lower court and returned me as the real candidate of the PDP in the 2015 election.
“You can only be a candidate of a party where a party sends your name to INEC. His name was never sent to INEC.
“ Justice, having been served and having won at the Court of Appeal, it is only natural that I resume my seat as the legitimate senator representing Kogi East,’’ he said
He denied allegations that he bribed his way to the senate, saying “that is not correct and that is just a defeatist statement and that is just the layman’s understanding of the law.
“If the appellate court finds out that his coming to the senate is not backed by law and the judgment of the lower court is set aside, the natural thing to do is to give a consequential order.’’