For a man who rose to become a household name in several states, the name Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka is synonymous with security. The chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics can be as engaging as he reveals the quality of the elite police officer that he had being. KATDAPBA Y GOBUM takes a look at soft-spoken retired police commissioner turned senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone.
It is not for nothing that the Distinguished Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, Senator Hezekiah Ayuba Dimka is passionate about his new role. He should, he has been involved in securing the lives of people for the better part of his life, and now to legislating for good laws for the same.
Winning the coveted crown of the office of the senator was herculean, but from all indications, it has become a major millstone for the genuine dreams he has always had for people. He has been quick to point it, he can’t go into overdrive to think that the victory is absolute; it is for the people because it involves all of those that made him what he is today. Because it is not a winner-takes-all, all his constituents have a voice so long as his mandate is sustained through them.
Since he was declared winner of the election and subsequently inaugurated as a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, the soft spoken Senator of the Plateau Central Senatorial Zone does not want his tenure to be a road show. Already, he has worn the right shoes to run with the people’s mandate ensuring that the right things are done for the zone, state and the federal.
If what his office plans to do are anything to go by, the word indifference to people and quality of representation would for long not be mentioned near them. The senator is not blind to the yearnings of the people he represents. They are not fables. His office is deliberately planning to achieve the mileage, the zone may not have witnessed for long.
He has long to depart from the usual political crowd that has characterize our polity. No wonder, only recently, he came to the aide of farmers in the zone with fertilizers, knowing there cannot be anything worth giving than this in this season; even as he is aware the zone is populated by farmers. Those who were affected by recent disasters in some parts of the zone are remembered and not forgotten.
For the period of being in the wilderness, a hard lesson may have been learnt in the zone, such that traveling on that same road is one that should be avoided. ‘Our constituents, more than ever before, know what they want; and not how they should be treated’, Senator Dimka has been quoted as saying repeatedly.
Going forward, for him that is an enormous task which has not been taken for granted. Today good conscience in Nigeria, they say is hard to find in the vicinity of public leadership, but here are we with a scenario; where in just a matter of months, we are on the way of having one, who can beat his chest about having a conscience in the performance of his duties as a representative of the people of Plateau Central Senatorial Zone.
The journey to realizing a workable partnership is through the creation of a constituency office, a development most of his predecessors had jettisoned. What that translates to is that the one way they can reach such a representative may be through phone calls, when he comes home and perhaps during hard-to-come stakeholders meeting. If there was any suggestions to be made, hardly are they given access to their houses in the state or at Abuja.
For most constituents who genuinely want to pass certain vital pieces of information that could drive the process of democratic representation can be anything but frustrating. In the past such pieces of information had been withheld, given the fact that meeting a Senator, Reps or a house member could be like the proverbial camel passing through the eye of the needle.
In Senator Hezekiah A Dimka’s time, returning to meet his constituents as well as access to genuinely meeting him for the progress of the zone is a concern that is receiving premium. Already, a constitutional lawyer who has a pedigree in law drafting, working in concert with his associates has been brought on board to assist in areas that would invigorate the system. He has started work in setting up a constituency office and recommending the right caliber of officers and personnel that would run it.
Apart from the above brief, one area that has not helped our representatives is having quality research officers. In saner climes, particularly; in the United States, Britain and many more, representatives are able to present quality motions that are translated into bills as a result of the painstaking researches that go into it.
Senator Dimka will be depending on such researchers who will in turn give him the latitude to change the face of law making. If there is a difference in this area, note that he has listened to those at the background, who are silently working for the progress of representation and to advance the course that the Distinguished Senator has set out to achieve. He is not oblivious of this.
Before long, it will be on record that the quality of presentations on motions and bills from him will be different from others. It is the kind of representation for which Senator Dimka has longed to play in the course of his tour of duty. Already, work has started on about three areas which are close to his chest; and for which Nigerians will be the primary beneficiaries. One of such areas which address technical education has been conceptualized by an expert who has spent about 35 years teaching and researching in that area. What better hand to get than this?
Currently he is the chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, an assignment he took with equanimity knowing the state at which its consumption has spiraled and cut short the lives of the young and indeed the old. As a retired security chief, the import of what should be done to achieve a mileage is not lost on him.
There is an opening for help through the committee, even as he is aware that there is an increase in the concerns about drugs and insecurity in Nigeria lately. It is a general concern that insecurity has taken over all our communities, much to our chagrin. It has been discovered that there is a linkage between insecurity and the consumption of drugs and narcotics.
In his words: Drugs is responsible for the increased rate of insecurity and crime in Nigeria, as we have witnessed of late. The Senate is worried as we are all, which is why we shall be working assiduously to stem the tide; otherwise, we shall be swallowed if left unattended to.
‘We are facing a youthquake. As a result of lack of employment, most youths are easily drawn to taking illicit substances, which do not stop at that alone since they do not have skills to engage themselves productively; they turn to crime. Skills give them a future; drugs and unemployment give and support the rise of the tide of insecurity. We must be united to fight the scourge in our communities through the provision of jobs and other skills to the youths to secure their future’.
It is understandable that in some climes, the penalty for the sale and the consumption of illicit drugs is death. It is on record that several Nigerians have faced the hangman’s noose in foreign countries as a result of drug trafficking. If the institution is strengthened here, the capacity to fight and ward off the youths will be appreciated.
However, in a situation where the NDLEA’S capacity to mobilize to fight the crime is lacking, due largely to neglect and motivation; we shall continue to live with it. Not this time around, knowing that our communities are not immune to crime and criminality boosted by the availability of drugs at every corner.
There are several unemployed youths walking our streets in search of non-existent jobs. To take them off, they need to be genuinely engaged; otherwise they can be productively employed by the devil. Under the present circumstance, God may have brought him and the members to salvage an institution that has been neglected and not given a voice to fight drugs and narcotics.
The National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) would have been stronger had there been definite attention to strengthen their capacities for their activities at the headquarters, commands, and its training wing. He confirmed the Senate’s readiness to change for the better the development that would not give those engaged in sanitizing our communities of drugs. The institution deserves to be strengthened and reorganized for productivity.
It is understandable, his choice is informed by the debilitating effects of drugs and the course younger people have chosen to pursue for themselves. The road to perdition is easy to be chosen, but its recovery and the effect on the society is better imagined.
The journey has just begun, though far in our estimation; he wants to be seen to be engaged in programmes that would change the lives of the people who gave him the mandate. He has hit the ground running, but he will not leave anyone behind. He wants everyone to be on board, because it is their mandate for him to execute.