Former speaker of the house of representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, today, gave a full insight into the intrigues that led to the endorsement, and eventual emergence of his successor and incumbent head of the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Hon Yakubu Dogara.
Speaking for the first time on his role in the election which pitched Dogara against the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Tambuwal, who is now the governor of Sokoto state, said the issue of competence, rather than any reason, led to the endorsement of Dogara by eight out of ten members of the body of principal officers of the 7th Assembly.
Tambuwal spoke in Sokoto when leaders of Sayawa Community of Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Areas of Bauchi state paid him a thank you visit to show appreciation to him for supporting Dogara to become Speaker.
He said the survival of the legislature as an important arm of government makes it imperative that competent hands are headhunted to be its leaders.
“Eight out of ten members of the Body of Principal Officers in the last Assembly supported Dogara’s aspiration. Only Hon Femi (Gbajabiamila) and Hon Datti Ahmad supported Femi.
“I have strong affinity with Hon Femi. He was closer to me than Dogara. But when talking about leadership and collective decisions, sentiments have to be put aside. I’m not here to tell you that my support made Dogara the Speaker, no. Two things made Dogara to become the Speaker, one is God and two, Dogara’s competence.
“The acknowledgement of Dogara’s competence did not start with me. It started from the time of Hon Patricia and Etteh and Hon Dimeji Bankole when they entrusted him with a sensitive position of the Chairman of House Services Committee.
“The committee is one of the most sensitive in the legislature. Apart from taking care of the welfare of members, the committee oversees all procurement processes. As the Speaker, I only did what my predecessors did by giving Dogara this sensitive position.
“No person, as far as I know, has ever served as chairman of the House Services committee in two dispensations. Dogara broke that jinx. All through my tenure, I brought Dogara close to me because I have found in him a person who is competent, accommodating, and with capacity to lead.
“Anyone doubting Dogara’s ability to lead, should ask members of the 7th Assembly how he handled their matter. So we supported Dogara not for any reason but because he was competent to deliver on any task given to him,” he added.
Last week, Dogara hailed Tambuwal for his appointment as a life member of Nigeria’s body of benchers, describing his successor as a man who “has written his name in gold”.