The Akwa-Ibom Constituency Briefing: A Perfect Contrast of Its Genuineness

Filed in Articles by on July 20, 2018 0 Comments

The Akwa-Ibom Constituency Briefing: A Perfect Contrast of Its Genuineness

Constituency briefing has taken a rather contrasting definition against the ideal implications in this part of the world, especially in Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria. Therein the state, the practice of

Constituency briefing is simply the meeting of a member representative with his or her people, during which pivotal issues/points such as mentioned below are discussed:

  1. The briefing of the people on what the representative member has done so far in the people’s interest.
  2. The briefing of the people about what bills had been sponsored in the people’s interest; how many of such bills had passed through certain levels of readings in the house and at what stage some of such bills are. This is an opportunity for the people to let the member representative become aware of how important or not such bills are to them. As the case may be, the people may, as result of the unnecessary pending processes of the bill, decide to officially (through the member representative) write the legislature on the need to work on and quicken the success of the bill because of its democratic necessity.
  3. Constituency briefing is, more so, the time to have the people discuss dialectical issues with the representative member. This is very necessary as it becomes the yardstick through which the member representative would create and sponsor corresponding bills in subsequent plenaries.
  4. In addition to the aforementioned, constituency briefing avails the people the opportunity to know what prospects the representative member has for the next legislative session. This knowledge would usually determine whether or not the people are in conformity with such prospects. If they are not, they would unanimously deliberate on the proposed issues and democratically posit the necessary changes. After all that, the member representative is expected to work fully with the collective positions of the people in addition to his or hers.

Conversely to the reality of things in this part of the world, the briefing had long become something which could not in any way be referred to as constituency briefing. It has, instead of the reality/ explication of what the subject is, become an avenue to have the already gullible populace remain gullible, even to a higher degree. It has become an opportunity for some politicians to use material things to cajole the people and make them become and remain vulnerable and gullible.

This type of briefing blinds the people against the ills and wrongs of some politicians. It makes the people keep quiet over what should have been frowned at. Sometimes, the people had had plans to strictly frown at some behaviours and handiwork of the under-performing politicians, but when the same politicians visit them with pregnant envelopes, unused /fairly used cars, motorcycles, fairly used computers, third-handed tricycles, etc., the people unavoidably become cajoled. After all, my people say “inua adai alan isi’tummò atime”, transliterated to English as “the mouth that eats oil does not speak against one who gives the oil.”

But also worthwhile about this topic is the glaring fact that majority of the populace are suffering from a near-incurable fixation about constituency briefing. Factually, the people may be ignorant of the fact that there is no constitutional disbursement done in the legislature in Nigeria for the purpose of the kind of “constituency briefing” practiced here. That’s to say those who do it do so from their pockets. Maybe from their salaries, allowances, insurance ‘blablabla’, and all the ‘blablablas’.

The implications of this fixation are that:

(I)  Even though this scam named “constituency briefing” was started by somebody, the people have become used to it and most of them shamelessly enjoy it. I guess what is needed is the right pieces information about this: I therefore invite them to the March edition of the De Joseph Summit.

(II) There are many politicians who truly understand what constituency briefing entails, some of whom I am VERY close to. But these politicians also understand the fact that if they do not do the briefing the way the people are patterned to understand, they MOST LIKELY may not have their votes a second time. That’s to say the present day politicians who are not bereaved of what constituency briefing really means but decide to follow the tradition are only a victim of what they did not cause. That should not be forgotten. Unlearning the populace of the misunderstanding about constituency briefing is not something that could be done singlehandedly. Suffice it to say why they- the politicians- are willing to practice what President Obama said to the American in about 2012. He said ” I will give to the Americans what the Americans want.”

Even though, if I were the politicians who are not bereaved of the real essence of constituency briefing but unavoidably find themselves in the system, I would have done the following as numbered according to their order of importance as I subjectively consider. I would have:

  1. Carried out the true and corresponding activities which define true constituency briefing as aforementioned.
  2. Shown my appreciation to the people using material things, cash, but most importantly with scholarship awards for those who are willing to go through formal education.
  3. Coined a better and corresponding name for the gathering. I would have named it “Ika State Constituency Briefing/ Thank You Ceremony”

I should mention that constituency briefing in this part of the world has rather become a mechanism of extreme deception employed by some politicians primarily to remain in power, the fact that the gullible and vulnerable populace enjoy the drama notwithstanding.

On youth empowerment, I must not fail to aver that it first of all involves every individual youth. Youth empowerment has to do with first of all realising what it means to be youthful: very productive, versatile, strong, highly creative, optimistic, prospective, innovative, daring, God-fearing, futuristic, etc. Youth empowerment simply means each youth empowering himself/herself with the necessary pieces of information needed to break through all odds of life. As a Christian, youth empowerment extends to mean having enough words to make me always remain conscious of who I truly am in God.

Factually, every youth needs the right information to be empowered and this isn’t what politicians in Nigeria can SINCERELY offer, I stand to be corrected. As a youth, empowerment could best be got in seminars, conferences, Summits, talk shows, churches, the Internet, etc. Cash and other physical “empowerment” become necessary and useful only when a youth has been rightly empowered with words/necessary pieces of information. Without which, a million dollar given to a penny-empowered youth would make no tangible evidence of empowerment: the deep pit dug by lack of ideal empowerment would swallow the one million dollars in less than no time.

© Raymond Consider

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