21 March 2019

Nigeria: 9th Reps' Speaker - Wase Is the Right Man for the Job Polls in North-East

opinion

As Nigerians get set to usher in the 9th National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, in June this year, they await the emergence of a Speaker that will not only fit the Number 4 Citizen's seat, but also someone that would make the Green Chamber a melting pot where the much-needed laws that would make life better for the citizens through good governance are enacted, speedily so.

Majority of Nigerians would also want to see a Speaker that will ensure a harmonious working relationship between the Legislative and the Executive arms of government to achieve the ideals of the APC-led government in the next four years, beginning from May 29.

You need not go far. One man fits the bill, and he is Hon Ahmed Idris Wase, who has been representing Wase Federal Constituency of Plateau State since 2007 in the Green Chamber.

Wase does not only possess the qualities of being a leader, including leading the House with 360 members, he also has the prowess and finesse to handle every situation that may present itself as speaker.

APC as a party, with the help of the presidency, is set to zone the various leadership positions in the National Assembly. But truth be told, that zoning SHOULD be done with certain considerations.

First, the party should consider zoning the positions, especially that of speaker, to a region where it has lawmakers-elect with popular support. In this regard, Hon Ahmed Idris Wase has the support, cooperation and understanding of his colleagues as we would see in this piece.

Second, there is need for the party to consider zoning the position of speaker to a region that has never produced the Number 4 Citizen's seat, which is the North central, where Wase comes from.

After obtaining a National Diploma in Civil Engineering from the Plateau State Polytechnic in 1986, Hon Wase, born on June 1st, 1964, later obtained Higher National Diploma in Civil Engineering from Kaduna Polytechnic in 1995.

In 2005, he was appointed as the Executive Secretary of the Plateau State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, a position he held up to 2006 before his election to the Green Chamber by his constituents under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007. Wase remains a committed member of APC after the merger that gave birth to the party.

In his zeal to understand the dynamics of good governance and positive social change, he bagged an Executive Certificate in Strategic Governance in 2016 from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States.

Wase has demonstrated to his constituents that good governance and quality representation were possible, hence his many programmes that have had positive impact on his constituents. His key areas of interest have been education, health, youth empowerment, infrastructural development and quality representation of the interest of his state at the national stage.

No matter how hard one tries, you cannot take away certain things from Hon Wase: he is calm, unassuming, tact and visionary.

Due to his commitment to fatherland, Hon Wase, whose friends and associates also call Maje, was made the chairman of the House Committee on Federal Character in the 7th Assembly, retaining the same position during the current 8th Assembly until his elevation to become the Deputy House Leader late last year.

As the Chairman of the Federal Character Committee, he fought consistently to bridge the disparity and imbalances in various states and regions in terms of employment and infrastructural distribution to bring them in line with the constitutional requirement of federal character. He has distinguished himself as a man keen on Justice, Equity and Fairness.

He became known as a go-getter for employment opportunities for members and staff of the National Assembly, a development that has endeared him to many of his colleagues and the staff of the federal legislature. His Committee became the most active committee in the 7thand 8th Assembly, recording an unprecedented number of interactive meetings with MDAs exceeding 150 sessions per Assembly.

Apart from members and staff of the National Assembly, as chairman of the House Committee on Federal Character, Wase also assisted many other Nigerians in securing jobs in different government agencies. You don't have to be from his Federal Constituency or Plateau before he could assist you. He most times personally placed calls to those whose CVs were submitted to him for them to go to particular agencies for job interviews and eventual employment. That is Wase for you.

On his contributions on the floor of the House during debates on major bills and motions, each time Wase stood up to speak, all you could hear is sense and experience. His contributions are always laced with wisdom from a man that has it in abundance.

Like an elder that he is, he always makes peace with his colleagues and ensures that everybody lives peacefully in the House. His facial looks portray a man full of humility, sagacity and vision.

For those who know Hon Ahmed Idris Wase very well, he is not known to be angered by anything. He always wears a smiling face, and no member, either serving or former, would tell you that Wase has ever offended him/her in any way. Indeed, he is a man of the people.

In the last 12 years that he has been serving as a lawmaker, there was never a time that any scandal cropped up around him.

He served as a member of several committees during the 6th and 7th Assembly, including Committees on Emergency & Disaster (2007-2011); Public Service & Federal Character (2007-2011); Environment (2007-2011); Area Councils (2011-2015); Capital Market (2011-2015);Public Accounts (2011-2015); Poverty Alleviation (2011-2015); Housing & Habitat (2011-2015).

Since his appointment as Deputy House Leader, by popular demand, Hon. Idris has been proactive in ensuring the speedy passage of many executive bills which had been untouched for many months before his appointment. For instance in the first few weeks after his appointment, he led the debate of over five Executive bills some of which were:

DEEP OFFSHORE AND INLAND BASIN PRODUCTION SHARING CONTRACTS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2018, which aimed at blocking leakages in government revenue streams and ensure that the Federal Government maximises sufficient royalties from Production Sharing Contracts between NNPC and International Oil Companies (IOCs).

He also argued for and ensured the speedy passage of the Executive Bill, COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT 1990 CAP C.20, LFN 2004 (REPEAL AND RE-ENACTMENT) BILL 2018. It is another revolutionary bill that was meant to totally overhaul Nigeria's corporate regime and promote ease of doing business.

Another crucial Executive Bill he argued for was the NIGERIAN MINERALS AND MINING BILL 2018, meant to reorganise the Nigerian Mining Industry in order to properly position it to effectively develop and harness mining potentials in Nigeria in line with global best practices.

He has many other individual bills in his name, spanning across various sectors of government.

In 2015, Hon. Ahmed Idris was appointed as a member of the Governing Board of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) where he has been contributing to the development of robust legislative and democratic engagements.

In 2016, he was selected as a member of the Federal Government Delegation to the 89th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, United States in August 2016.

In June, 2018, Hon. Idris was appointed as Regional Representative for West Africa to serve on the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) International.

Going by all the above, one is left with only one fact: that Hon Ahmed Idris Wase (Maje) is prepared to take on the speakership of the House. A man of Wase's calibre is indeed The Right Man for the Speaker's Job!

- Halilu wrote in from Abuja

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