Tuesday 2 May 2023


The most important and exigent item on the agenda of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) at the moment, is the leadership selection for the 10th National Assembly (NASS), ahead of inauguration in June. Nigerians have pretty interest in seeing that the scenery does not assume the stature of a dilemma to attract protestation, particularly by the opposition political parties' parliamentarians - elect who have been inundated with the allegations of religious fanaticisms, bigotries, ethnic chauvinism, sectarian views and dictatorial tendencies or high handedness against the contenders for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Trust Nigerians for close knitted observation no matter how far fetched such allegations. They are right, saying that the contenders for the House Speaker, reduced or rubbished in the muddy waters of non - conformists have had the myth of statesmen removed from them and earned low popularity rating in the hallowed  chamber but are engaged in a lot of the behind- the- scene political maneuverings, gerrymanderings or grandstanding to clutch the Speaker's position of the House, blindfolded to the disastrous implications for the ruling APC and President - elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The greatest mistake will be to sign on the ambush by the non-conformist; and that's saying, the kingmaker is always the first victim of the new king might not happen. This moral implication is what's against all the contenders for the Speaker of the House. Except one contestant- Hon. Alhassan Ado Garba, fondly called Alhassan Doguwa, Member, representing Doguwa/Tundun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State.

For the whole of last week, the President-elect and his party core stakeholders were not in a hurry to wind up decision on who nets the position of Speaker of the next national parliament. Doing so in a haste could cause implosion. The question of which zone the Speaker comes from and how he scales the huddle to have the hot seat, proverbially, the golden seat, cannot be a stubborn bone in the throat; it isn't to be met with any hitches.

But the dilemma is that what has held up the decision on the House Speaker is the doctrine of necessity, interpreted here to mean who out of the pack of contenders carries viable credentials that gives him a cumulative edge over others, in terms of industry and legislative track records, and on the other hand, courage and loyalty in the face of challenges at campaigns and elections? What about the volumes of votes, the contenders coasted home in the aftermath, to the party and President-elect? And who has the ear of the President-elect to effectively work with him for desired performance? All of that will be deployed to the advantage of the next government, soonest than soon. Of the contenders, Doguwa possesses far more than the credentials to be the next Speaker, leading the way with his unit, ward and local government votes, and the two House of Assembly in his constituency, delivered to the party with his Northwest votes that left the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gasped for breath. Doguwa's feat is a new twist added to the jigsaw puzzle which is also the source of his co- contenders' salvo, with ambush laid for him.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the outgoing Rt. Hon. Speaker has no partisan interest in anyone of the contenders for the office of Speaker, saying, he has not sponsored or put forth anybody. He however, considered it laughable the conjecture that he has special interest in anyone. "I find the speculation in the social media that I have a particular person to be Speaker very laughable," he said, adding that "on this Speaker thing, I'm nobody's plaything."

Nobody would want to pull out of the winning party over disagreement on the issue of Speaker of the House as there's not any serious controversy or misdeeds to warrant that. And no one can blame the free reins of the President-elect in the matter of the House Speaker. Everyone knows, Tinubu is a man, positively independent minded and who cannot be pushed to the wall, or shoved by any person or group of people. He cannot be said to be learning the ropes, far and too far from it; and he cannot be seen as an opportunist, or a lackey of the feudalist. He's not bothered either. If he were to be bothered about criticisms, then he wouldn't have achieved so much positive as former Senator that underscored his legislative experiences, albeit shortcut by the bungled 3rd Republic and tremendous governance and administration under him as ex- Governor of Lagos State. Criticisms, if any, over Speaker's position won't take any toll on him and there cannot be any apprehension in the party over his choice of the Speaker of House of Representatives who would work directly with him. I must say that anybody in his right frame of mind would agree that generally, Tinubu  has done more good for the nation.

If am to recommend who should be the Speaker of the 10th NASS, I will not hesitate to point in the direction of Doguwa who will be the 5th timer in the House of Representatives at inauguration next June, just a month away. Why? He has acquired long, deep, wide and useful legislative experiences and he's passionately committed to the overall objectives of good governance, well served, a parliamentarian to rely on, with focus on legislations to uplifting the standard of living of Nigerians.

A Kano- born, son of a prominent politician- father who was elected member, Kano State House of Assembly under the defunct People's Redemption Party (PRP) government of the 2nd Republic, Doguwa who's a first class graduate of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano, became member of the House of Representatives under the now rested Social Democratic Party (SDP). He supported Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to become Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the botched 3rd Republic. And upon his election in 2007, Doguwa returned to the House of Representatives in 2007, got re-elected again in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023 by his electorally enthused Doguwa/Tundun Wada federal constituency. He served as Special Adviser to Kano State Governor on Environment, and Special Adviser on Governmental & Political Party Affairs to Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara (2000). Between 2007 and 2023, he has served  as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission on Millennium Development Goals, MGGs; Chairman, African Network of Parliamentarians on MDGs; Chief Whip of the 8th NASS; Vice - Chairman, Constitutional Review Committee; Committee Member, Niger Delta Development Commission; Committee Member, Public Petitions Committee, Committee Member, Drugs & Narcotics Committee, and quite a number of other committees. Doguwa was conferred with the prestigious National Honour of the Order of Niger (OON) in October 2022 by President Muhammud Buhari.

And given Doguwa, the House Majority Leader's excellent work relationships while he remained firmly associated with the strides of the outgoing Speaker, he has drawn inspirations to unity and peace, diligence and harmony, charisma and resilience, fairness and equity, energy and capacity, vision and resourcefulness, commitment and consistency as well as integrity and competence that get the House rejuvenated _ad infinitum_ . He's a dedicated, fiercely loyal party man who encourages party cohesion by effective management of perceived and actual conflicts that has continued  to foster internal understanding, internal democracy and growth of the party. And particularly, Doguwa's bravery and campaign escapades in all places contributed to the emergence of Tinubu as President - elect. 

And back in his Doguwa/ Tundun Wada federal constituency of Kano, Doguwa is so much liked and venerated such that the 5times he presented himself separately for election, he was unanimously approved to ' carry go' as the irrepressible representative of his people as he's said to be fair to all. And reportedly, he has not for once looked away from the needs and aspirations of his constituency. "He is not a lawmaker, distant and unreachable," they said. Meaning, it is in the politics of effective representation that he has the highest comparative advantage of the foursome: expertise, influence, popularity, and acceptability. He belongs in the class of all - inclusive politicians, and not in the group of bad apples, or one motivated by inordinate ambition.

Doguwa deserves to be Speaker of the 10th NASS.

 _OLUSESI is Deputy Director, Directorate of Publicity, Research & Strategy All Progressives Congress (APC) Osun State

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