Since the Return of Democracy in 1999 (The Fourth Republic) the Quest for the leadership of the National Assembly for both the Senate and House of Representative has been a difficult task and hard nut to crack because of the interest and politics surrounding the selection of the First amongst equals.
With the advent of the 4th Republic the choice of the leadership was not too Tasking because most Members/Senators were new to the Legislative House, hence the issue of Ranking and Experience was minimal. Political parties mainly depended on zoning formular to zero down on a consensus candidate.
But with subsequent Assemblies from the 5th Assembly other issues/factors beyond zoning started to be considered most particularly Ranking, Experience and Competence.
The House of Representative (Green Chambers) has already been in the eyes of the storm with its own share of controversy in the choice of it’s leadership since the return of Democracy in 1999. Only four (4) Speakers were successfully Elected and completed there tenure without being Impeached (despite controversies attached to the office) these include Rt Hon Bello
Masari (2003 – 2007) Rt Hon Aminu Tambuwal (2011 – 2015) Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara (2015- 2019) and now the present speaker Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (2019 – date) while other
speakers had faced impeachments this includes Hon Salisu Buhari (3rd June 1999-23rd July 1999) succeeded by Rt Hon Ghali Umar Na`Abba (23rd July 1999-3rd June 2003) Hon Patricia
Etteh (6th June 2007 – 3rd October 2007) succeeded by Rt Hon Demiji Bankole (1st November 2007-6th June 2011).By this chronology one can now Ascertain that Eight Speakers had
served between the period of 1999 – 2023 democracy (4th Assembly – 9
The scenario has changed and the politics for the seat has become much dynamic and interesting since the dramatic emergence of Rt Hon Aminu Tambuwal as the Speaker of
Assembly who won against all odds, defying zoning and party politics. And since then seat of Speaker of the Green Chambers has been an unpredictable Quest, till when votes are finally counted, one cannot conclude who emerges. The drama of the 8th Assembly is still fresh in the minds of those who follow the politics of the National Assembly and Nation at large.
The polity is already over heated concerning the leadership of the 10th Assembly in both the Senate and House of Representatives, the House of Representative has (11) Eleven gladiators each with his/her strength/strategies up their sleeves, who will emerge Speaker remains to be
wondered, as Lobbying gains momentum each passing day till 13th June 2023.
These Aspirant include Hon Idris Wase (Plateau State) Deputy Speaker of the House, Chairman House Committee of the whole, and Elected since 2007 (a 5
th term member) Hon Muktar Aliyu Betara (Borno State) Chairman House Committee Approprication Elected since
2007 (a 5th Term member Ranking) Hon Yusuf Gagdi (Plateau State) Chairman House committee Navy Elected 2019 (2rd Term Member) Hon Tajuddeen Abbas (Kaduna State) Elected in 2011 Chairman House Committee Land Transport (a fourth term member) Hon
Alhassan Doguwa (Kano State) Majority Leader Elected 2007 ( 5th term member) Hon Ben Kalu (Abia State) Spokesperson of the house and chair house committee on media and publicity elected 2019, Hon Miriam Onuoha (Imo State), Chairman House committee on disabilities Elected 2019, Hon Sada Soli (Kastina State) Elected 2019, Chairman House Committee on water Resources, Hon Ahmed Jaji (Zamfara State) elected 2019, Hon Tunji Raheem (Kwara State) Elected 2018 Chairman House committee Emergency and Disaster,
Hon Makki Yellaman (Jigawa State) Elected 2019 Deputy Chair House Committee on Defence.
All are party men and loyal to the current Speaker and the party, most were even instrumental in the emergence of Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker, hence the pressure on the current speaker and the party. The party needs to thread cautiously to avoid the “2015 Leadership Experience”.
Avatars for Peace and Social Justice Initiative an Advocacy group is urging Honorable Members as Representatives of the general public to save our nascent Democracy in being cautious to select/elect the 10th Speaker of the House of Representatives with a Dispassionate attitude, taking into cognizance the Unity of the House and country. And choosing a leader
whose characters traits include Competences, Experience, Ranking, Acceptability by colleagues, Humane and good Interpersonal relationship with colleagues that will promote
better legislative work and function for the betterment of the House and Nigeria, far above sentiment of Religion, Tribe and Ethnicity, Party Affiliation/Loyalty and Zoning formula.
The mistake of the past that resulted in Impeachment of Speakers should be avoided as lessons should have been well learnt from such experience.We look forward to adopting a Candidate even as a group that will Represent the mood and conviction of the General public amongst the Aspirants with best Leadership Qualities.
COMPETENCE, EXPERIENCE, RANKING FOR LEADERSHIP Is THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE NEXT SPEAKER
Barr Swuthirba Joel
Convener / Coordinator Avatars for Peace and Social Justice Initiative