By Mr Mustapha Sani, Abuja
The race and vision for the leadership of the 10th National Assembly is getting more interesting every day. Different persons, groups and organisations are advancing various reasons for aspirants to the exalted position of the third and fourth citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We are indeed in an interesting time in the life of this country and no doubt the 2023 elections threw up the challenges that Nigeria requires to join the comity of democratically advanced nations. It has been 23 years of unbroken democratic rule in Nigeria. This is quite a feat in the over 60 years of the chequered history of the country.
We, “Friends of Wase”, a non-profit group, have decided to join in the struggle of finding the right person to take up the position of authority in the political sphere of the legislative arm of government.
One challenge the 2023 elections threw at us is the need for a united, strong and acceptable person. Becoming leader of the House of Representatives in 2023, no doubt requires the same qualities.
The right honourable, Ahmed Idris Wase, has become a household name in the legislative affairs of the nation, especially since he became the deputy speaker of the House in 2019. But he is not a novice in the political landscape of the country.
A brief introduction of our friend Wase is appropriate to restate our reasons for supporting his Speakership aspirations.
The man Ahmed Idris Wase
Ahmed Wase won election into the Green Chamber of the National Assembly in 2007. He is currently serving his fourth term as a member representing Wase Federal Constituency.
He worked in the following committees as a member: Federal Character, Environment, Emergency & Disaster, Public Account, Area Council, Housing and Habitat and Capital Market. Other committees he belong to were Poverty Alleviation, Petroleum (Upstream), Justice, Public Petitions and Labour, and Youth and Employment Head of Section.
He was elected Deputy Speaker in the ninth Assembly with 358 votes unopposed; Deputy House Leader – 2018–2019; member of the Federal Government Delegation to the 89th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York – 2016; Governing Council Member of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) – 2015.
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Duties of the Speaker
The Speaker is the presiding officer of Federal House of Representatives of Nigeria, elected by its membership. He is third in line of succession to Nigerian Presidency, after Vice-President and the Senate President.
The speaker’s official role is to moderate debates, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes and others. The speaker also decides who may speak and he has power to discipline members who break procedures of the House.
The Wase advantages
Nigeria needs strong, competent and experienced personalities to run affairs that have a direct bearing on the people. In a democracy, legislative duties significantly have direct impact on the citizens. This can come in terms of sustainable development that is backed by appropriate legislative laws.
In the nation’s March towards self-sufficiency, true federalism, justice and unity, the right legislations are paramount. Making such landmark legislation is the handiwork of the legislators. In the coming days, inauguration of the 10th Assembly would take place.
The challenges of the 2023 elections showed that Nigeria has to conquer its problems through a concerted, discretionary and deliberate effort to change those imperatives that have impacted our development as a people. Religion, ethnicity and nepotism.
Wase, with right democratic credentials, is needed in this journey to break all barriers in a new Nigeria. His state of origin, known for its religious ambivalence makes him similar to President Muhammadu Buhari. They both comes from the same religiously tolerant society.
A Deputy, Wase on many occasions, directed the affairs of the House competently in the absence of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. He has gained tremendous experience that place him at vantage position to become the next Speaker.
His experience would wield the old and new members-elect coming in under different parties. He will serve as a bridge in the House, which he has served meritoriously in the last 16 years.
The defined roles of Speaker of the House of Representatives, which we stated earlier, required political minds that have served their communities over time and acquired the relevant experience in the hollowed chamber to make legislations that would make life comfortable for every citizen.
We believe Wase will be perfect for the job.
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