The north-central region of Nigeria, having an estimated population of about 20 million (11% of Nigerians), had consistently positioned itself as a formidable political hub with the requisite understanding of the dynamics of the country’s politics. Comprising Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger and Plateau states, the region is currently the strongest APC base with about 84% dominance in terms of governance. The recent display of political prowess by the region has left many Nigerians in unquantifiable amazement. Having garnered a total of 1,670,088 votes in the February 25th presidential election, the region has outstandingly placed itself as a major (among the top three) contributor to the victory of APC at the center.
In view of the ongoing leadership tussle in the House of Representatives, feelers within the ranks of the APC have it that the north-central should take the lead. This is because the region only had the taste of speakership once during the 2nd term of Shagari administration in 1983; a term that lasted only three months before it got truncated by a military take-over. The fact that the president-elect and his vice came from south-west and north-east respectively, seemingly takes the two regions out of the equation. Although the north-west gave the highest number of votes to the APC in the presidential election, it has produced four speakers of the lower chamber between 1999 to date. The south-west has had three while the north-east had one. These and many other political factors have clearly singled out the north-central as a worthy and deserving contender in the said tussle.
Another important pointer to this constructive argument is the fact that the north-central is blessed with a befitting personality whose capacity, administrative and leadership prowess are second to none. A 5th term member representing Wase federal constituency, a one-time majority leader of the house, deputy speaker of ECOWAS parliament and incumbent (9th assembly) deputy speaker of the green chamber; Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase. This gentleman has distinguished himself as a true representative of the masses and a leader per excellence since his debut to the house in 2007. Through 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th assemblies of the green chamber, Hon. Wase had presided over three strategic committees and served in thirteen others as active and versatile member. Hon. Wase has sponsored a record twenty two (22) bills of immense constituency, state and national value including the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board (Amendment) Bill, Federal Medical Centre, Wase (Establishment) Bill, Federal University of Agriculture, Wase (Establishment) Bill, Federal University of Education, Pankshin (Establishment) Bill, Federal Polytechnic, Shendam (Establishment) Bill, National Institute for Sports Act (Amendment) Bill, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (Establishment), National Sports Commission Bill, Nigeria Football Federation Bill, National Housing Fund (Establishment) Bill, Miscellaneous Offences Act (Repeal) Bill, Federal Commissions (Privileges and Immunities) Act (Amendment) Bill, Public Accounts Implementation Tribunal Act (Amendment) Bill, Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) Act (Amendment) Bill, Federal Character Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap. M17, LFN, 2004, a Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Commissions (Privileges and Immunities) (Amendment) Act Cap. F9 LFN, 2004, a Bill for an Act to Amend the Public Accounts Implementation Tribunal Act Cap P36, Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004, a Bill for an Act to Prohibit any Form of Expenditure in Default of or Contrary to Appropriation by Heads of MDAs, a Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Character Commission (Establishment etc.) Act, Cap. F7, Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and a Bill for an Act to Amend the Currency Conversion (Freezing Orders) Act Cap. C43, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Honourable Wase’s ability to coordinate and canvass for the support of the vast majority of his colleagues towards achieving common positive goals cannot be overemphasized. A humble, confident and loyal fellow, Hon. Wase has also proven to be a dutiful and strong pillar to reckon with in the north-central through formidable grass root mobilization. His legislative experience, over the years, had shaped him into a highly cherished and charismatic personality of high repute among elders, religious leaders across both faiths, traditional rulers, party stakeholders, youth and the general populace of his blessed region. His recent display of astute nationalism in a rigorous nationwide consultation to declare his patriotic and selfless intention to steer the affairs of the green chamber in the forthcoming 10th assembly is, no doubt, a giant political stride unprecedented. His direct link with the grass root, of not only his immediate constituency, can barely be rivaled with any known legislator within and outside the north-central region.
From the foregoing constructive and logical perspective, it is worthy of note by the APC, both at the center and within the north-central caucus, to strengthen this patriotic movement with every iota of swiftness, seriousness and sincerity. We must all join the progressive wagon of positive commentators in this discuss. As a democratic nation that we have chosen to be, we must strive fervently to ensure that power and representation are equally distributed among the people. It is time for north-central to be given this noble chance to produce the next speaker and to be represented by a qualified leader. Not just any leader but a person from noble lineage with sound academic background, a teacher, a role model, a counselor, a leader and an administrator par excellence. That leader is none other than Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase.
A mandate for Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase in this regard, is the wisest political decision and a tremendous political investment for, not only the All Progressives Congress (APC), but the future of Nigeria’s emerging democracy.
*Abdulsalam I. Galadima (PhD) & Malam Sa’idu S. Maidawa*