By Femi Ogunshola
The choice of Ahmed Wase as Speaker of the 10th National Assembly will bring a new lease of life to legislative responsibilities in the country, says a group.
They attributed to Wase’s long legislative experience as the deputy speaker and principal officer in the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
This was disclosed in a statement by Mr Mustapha Sani, National Coordinator of the Friends of Wase, a non-profit organisation, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Sani said that with the expectations of a new Nigeria, the House of Representatives would require an outstanding personality to steer the ship of the elected members.
‘’We are indeed in an interesting time in the life of the 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 chequered history of the country.
‘’We, the Friends of Wase, a non-profit group, have decided to join in the struggle of finding the right person to take up position of authority in the political sphere of the legislative arm of government.
‘’One challenge the 2023 elections threw at us was the fact of having a united, strong and acceptable person in the scheme of things for the electorate to buy-in. The same qualities, no doubt, are required in choosing who becomes the leader of the House of Representatives in 2023,’’ Sani said.
He said that Wase has become a household name in the legislative affairs of the Nation especially since he became the deputy speaker in 2019 with an outstanding number of member voting for him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Wase was elected into the lower Chamber of the National Assembly in 2007 and is currently serving his fourth term.
He worked in the following committees as Member: Federal Character, Environment, Emergency & Disaster, Public Account, Area Council, Housing and Habitat, Capital Market, Poverty Alleviation, Petroleum (Upstream), Justice, Public Petitions and Labour, and Youth and Employment Head of Section.
Wase was elected Deputy speaker in the 9th 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 held in New York- 2016; Governing Council Member of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), 2015.’’
NAN reports that a speaker of the House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the House elected by its membership.
The House Speaker is third in line of succession to the Nigerian Presidency, after the Vice President of Nigeria and the President of the Senate of Nigeria.
The speaker’s official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like.
The speaker decides who may speak and has the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the chamber or house.
Sani said that in a democracy, legislative duties significantly have a direct impact on the citizens in terms of sustainable development that are backed with 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 legislatures. In the coming days, the 10th assembly would be inaugurated to conduct the affairs of the nation.
‘’Just as we stated earlier, 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; especially religion, ethnicity and nepotism.
‘’A competent person like Wase with the right democratic credentials is needed in this journey to a new Nigeria where all barriers must be broken. His state of origin known for its religious ambivalence makes him similar to Mr President who comes from same religiously tolerant society.
‘’Wase on many occasions has steered the affairs of the house competently in the absence of Mr Femi Gbajabiamila (the speaker) as deputy. His experience will definitely wield together the old and new members-elect coming in under different parties.
”He will serve as a bridge in the house in which he has meritoriously served in the last 16 years,’’ Sani said.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz