Dogara’s emergence revolutionary, say ex-Speakers
Some former presiding officers of the National Assembly have described the emergence of Yakubu Dogara as the Speaker of the eighth House of Representatives on Tuesday as revolutionary.
Former Speaker of the Chamber, Ghali Umar Na’ Abba who led a forum of former principal officers of the House on the first formal courtesy call on Dogara yesterday said the revolution was executed by both members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whom he said are matured Nigerians who know where they want to place the country. Na’Abba congratulated Dogara.
Other former principal officers in the delegation were immediate past Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, Agwunwa Anaekwe, Babangida Nguroje, Emeka Ihedioha, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Leo Ogor, Abdulrahman Kawu, Ishiaka Bawa and Mukhtar Ahmed.
Na’Abba, a member of the APC Board of Trustees, expressed the need for the party to accept the new reality, warning against taking actions that may be counterproductive for the party and the country. He said that any party who toys with legislators will be disappointed, noting that this was evident from the emergence of Dogara. He said in spite of what the APC wanted, the legislators chose who will lead them.
According to the former principal officers, the event that played out on Tuesday that led to Dogara’s emergence as Speaker reminded them of the case of Aminu Tambuwal in 2011. “Then it was against the PDP, but now it’s against the APC”.
They advised the new speaker to carry every member along, especially as efforts were being made towards ensuring stability in the House. “You must be carrying everyone along, and I also believe that communication must open with our party in such a way that a synergy is realised with the leadership of the National Assembly and the party.
“What we expect is that, of course the party will do its best to accept what has happened and also work with the National Assembly because it will be counter productive if the party and the National Assembly are not in good terms,” Na’Abba cautioned.
Dogara promised that he and his team “will always run to you for counsel, once you notice that something is happening. I will appreciate any intervention that I can get to ensure we are back on track. If there is any institution that has entrenched democracy in the country, the House of Representatives should be mentioned first, but it unfortunately remains the less celebrated.
“We have seen how we have checkmated tendencies towards dictatorship in this country. Apart from that, it was in this House the third term agenda was killed. We want to reach out to the executive as quickly as possible and to the party as well. We realise that as responsible leaders, we have to compliment the efforts of other arms of government,” he said.
The new Speaker pledged commitment toward the peace and stability of the House with a view to attaining set legislative agenda that will compliment the efforts of the executive in trying to bring about the change Nigerians voted for.