House of Reps Speakership: Betara a kingmaker who wants to be king

Hon. Aliyu Betara

As the May 29 date for the inauguration of a new Federal Government draws near politicians have raised their ante as they position themselves for various offices.

One place the political maneuvering is clearly pronounced is the National Assembly.

Unlike the cabinet, and other key positions in the Executive arm which will be filled through appointment by the President, the Legislative arm will be led by leaders directly elected by the lawmakers.

In recent weeks, the two chambers of the legislature, the Senate and the House of Representatives have witnessed heightened political activities as aspirants to various leadership positions strategise to win over both returning and new-elected members to buy into their ambitions.

At the House of Reps, the permutation has revolved around zoning, a gentleman agreement political offices sharing formular entered into buy the nation’s leading political parties; female Speakership; and those clamouring for experience in the business of the House overriding any other consideration in the choice of a Speaker.

On May 8, Rep. Aliyu Betara (APC-Borno) threw his hat into the ring as he declared his intention to vie for the exalted office of the Speaker of the 10th National Assembly House of Representatives.

A 5th timer, Betara represents Biu/Bayo/Shani and Kwaya Kusar Federal Constituency.

The Speaker of House of Reps, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila calls him the ‘Head Boy’because of his influence in the House while many House members call him the speaker behind the Speaker.

Others jostling for the job include Rep. Ahmed Wase, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the leader of the House, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi, Rep. Sani Jaji.

Making his declaration, Betara promised to carry every member of the House along if elected.

He assured that he would lead a robust House of Representatives that would be alive to its legislative responsibilities to Nigerians.

Betara is said to have a wealth of experience and has headed key committees in the House including the House Committee on Appropriation; Banking and Currency, Interior and Army, and chairman House Committee on Defence.

Rep. Mohammed Kasaure (APC-Jigawa) said in 2015 Betara was influential in the emergency of Yakubu Dogara as the then Speaker, against the preferred candidate of the party for the job.

Betara has also received endorsement from the opposition, as a leading member-elect-Jubrin Abdulmumini (NPP-Kano) was quoted by the media as saying Betara has all the qualities to lead the House.

Leading opposition members-elect in support of Betara speakership bid is Jubrin Abdulmumini (NNPP-Kano) who said the opposition must ensure they have a voice in who emerged the speaker of 10th Assembly.

Betara’s ambition has also received support from the civil society orgainisaton.

In a statement, Mr Williams Martins, the National Coordinator, the Movement for Effective Legislature and Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria (MELSDN), said if Betara emerges as Speaker, it meant endorsement of competence and integrity by the House.

A pressure group in All Progressives Congress (APC), the Concerned APC Members Forum, has urged the leadership of the party to prioritise national interest, competence and integrity in supporting candidates for 10th National Assembly leadership.

“We have studied the Constitution of our party, and its manifesto which does not preach religion, ethnicity, and tribal dichotomy, but competence”, the convener of the forum, Okpokwu Ogeni, told newsmen in Abuja.

A former Rep. member, Mr Timothy Golu, said he has confidence in Betara’s ability to lead the House.

“Betara is highly respected by his colleagues. He has proven track records of service and leadership skills which makes him very suitable for the position of Speaker.

“His culture of patience and tolerance makes him an amiable personality.

“Holding key committees of the House gives him a better view of legislative compendium and how to apply solutions to problems of policy implementation”, the media quoted Golu as saying.

As Nigeria moves towards consolidating its democracy, it is crucial that the choice of leadership of different arms of government should be based on candidates who key into the aspirations of Nigerians..

The business of legislation is so serious that it cannot be compromised on alter of gender, religious, regional or tribal sentiments.(NANFeatures)

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.