Party Loyalty Robbed Me of House  Speakership, Says Doguwa

Party Loyalty Robbed Me of House Speakership, Says Doguwa

Alhassan Ado Doguwa is a former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. He tried to be Speaker of the 10th National Assembly, but had to acquiesce due to zoning arrangements of his party. In this interview with MUHAMMAD KABIR, he speaks on that and some other issues

You couldn’t make it to the Speakership of the 10th National Assembly. How do you feel about it?

For a Muslim like me, the future is always in the hands of God. I don’t believe I can manipulate or manage my future. I can take some steps but no matter what steps I take, I believe fervently that my future is in the hands of Allah. When I first decided to run for the speakership of the 10th House of Assembly, I had my reasons.

Probably, I expected the party would have zoned that to my zone, the North-West zone, or probably I felt and my people felt that I have been in the floor of the House of Representatives for so many years. And I have the legislative experience and the cognate experience to be the Speaker of the House. Of course, there is no doubt about that.

But when other factors came up, things having to do with the decisions of my political party, and as an establishment man, judgement has been passed by the major stakeholders of my great party, the APC, from which I have also taken a lot of benefit from, then I have no course whatsoever, to stand in the way of the decision of the party.

I have no course whatsoever to be a problem to my party. You can only have one Speaker at one given time. And God said probably I was not the one to be the Speaker at the 10th House of Representatives going by the arrangements of my political party.

For my party to have decided that the Speakership goes to the North-West, and in the North-West micro zoned the Speakership to Kaduna State, and since I don’t come from Kaduna State, I had no option than to simply abide by the decision of my party.

You seem to play big on party loyalty?

One important thing I always remember is the fact that I was also a beneficiary of this similar arrangement. In the 8th House of Representatives when Yakubu Dogara was the Speaker, so many people wanted to be in the body of principal officers but not all of us got to be there. It was by this same kind of arrangement that the APC now said, the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives goes to Kano and in Kano to Honorable Ado Doguwa and so be it.

I took that advantage. When I was serving as the Leader of the 9th House of Representatives, I came up to be the leader of the 9th House of Representatives under Femi Gbajabiamila and with the same arrangement, came from the same background from the same arrangement, the party said as the Speaker is now zoned to the South-West.

Femi Gbajabiamila being the one that became the Speaker, they now also said the leadership of the House, the Majority Leadership of the 9th House of Representatives should go to the North- West and in the North-West the party still said the man who served as the Chief Whip of the 8th House Representative, being the most ranking should now take over the leadership of the House of Representatives in the 9th Assembly.

I hope you can see the scenario working. So as long as in one way or the other, some other time at some point, I benefited from the same zoning arrangement by my political party.

But how do you see the whole scenario today?

Even today that I am seated here before you, I am benefitting from a similar kind of arrangement that the party accorded me respectively, then I have no point whatsoever to rise and work against an arrangement that perhaps gave the opportunity to another gentleman and from my own zone.

I have no reason whatsoever to fight that arrangement. We cannot have two Speakers at one time. There must and there is only one Speaker at a given time. And as a beneficiary of so many arrangements made by my party in the past and in the present day 10th Assembly, I think I have to also pay my dues. I have decided to do that and I will continue to be that man of the establishment.

If the system now provides for me, I will pick it up in the name of Allah. Whatever the system provides me, whether on the floor of the House and they decided to make me a floor member, just an ordinary committee member, whatever the leadership of the House decides for me, I will take that with all sense of contentment because Allah decides for everyone.

Allah provides for everyone and whatever He provides for me is what I’ll take with all sense of gratitude and commitment to serve my people. After all, in the first place when my peo- ple elected me to come and represent them as the member of the House of Representatives, they never elected me to serve as presiding officer or a principal officer.

A principal officer, a presiding officer or committee chairman, all these are secondary things that come up at the level of selection process or appointment within the system of the legislative institution. So, I am grateful to God that at least most importantly my people still believe in me, my people still confide in me, and they have confidence in me that I should continue to represent them in the 10th House of Representatives.

This is more important than any other thing and I thank God for this opportunity that my people have ac- corded me once more as a member that represents Tudun Wad/Doguwa Federal Constituency under the ruling APC.

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