Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tinubu’s competence mantra and Betara’s speakership quest, by Maiwada Dammallam

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“Now, more than ever, the world needs transformational leaders — not to cultivate change for its own sake, but to lead through the inevitable evolutions in business and human society.” – Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.

The victory of the of All Progressives Congress in the last general election can only be beneficial to the masses of this country if tested, trusted, loyal and experienced hands are identified and given the opportunity to drive its developmental programme for the country.

The President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not only a visionary leader and performer, he needs equally tested and proven personalities that would assimilate his vision and assist with the right legislative instruments to make him succeed in implementing his Renewed Hope Agenda.

Having secured the constitutional mandate to govern Nigeria at the centre for the next four years, beginning from May 29, 2023, the APC must of necessity put its acts together by prioritizing competence in line with the mantra of the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which is to run a government of national competence. To succeed, the leaders of the three arms of government in the country must of necessity subscribe to the developmental drive of the President-Elect and be people that are adequately resourced and ready to work in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians irrespective of tribe and religion.

The race for the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President of the 10th National Assembly has begun in earnest. Specifically, Honourable Muktar Aliyu Betara is among the Members-Elect that have indicated interest to succeed Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker. We think Betara is a fit and proper person to be saddled with the the onerous responsibility if the APC is desirous of putting square pegs in square holes in order to retain the confidence of Nigerians and deliver their election promises. No democratic government can succeed without relevant laws and positive collaboration between the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government. Like someone has said, loyalty in politics is everything.

Honourable Betara stands out among his fellow aspirants like a towering pillar of common sense, competence and loyalty to galvanize the incoming 10th House of Representatives for the task of nation building. He has repositioned the House Appropriation system for seamless delivery in the last four years. He commands the respect of most members of the House and he is equally a grassroots politician who has retained the trust and confidence of his constituents who have re-elected him to serve a fifth term in the House. To demonstrate his charismatic, impactful and transformational leadership, Betara is the only member of the House that attracted overwhelming support from his people who contributed over N128 million for him to buy nomination and expression of interest forms during the primary election. He is one of the few lawmakers returning to the House for the fifth term.

Having attracted numerous employment opportunities for a large number of youths in his state in general and constituency in particular, he is better placed to assist the President-Elect in defusing the unemployment time-bomb in the country. He was rewarded by President Muhammadu Buhari with a National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) for his role in returning the budget cycle of the country to January-December as chair, House Committee on Appropriations. Other awards received by Betara include: Democracy Hero’s Award for Best Performing Rep Member of the year, 2020 and Award of Excellence by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), North-East Zone, 2013. He is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). He has sponsored and co-sponsored bills and has contributed to debates in the House.

With his legislative experience, commitment to public service and track record of delivering results for his constituents, Betara is therefore a fit and proper Member-elect to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. At 56, the lawmaker fits in squarely with the intendment of the Not-Too-Young-Run provision in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Betara has often been described as a performer with well-crafted agenda to address the plethora of challenges restraining the House of Representatives from performing optimally as a major institution of democratic governance in Nigeria. Having chaired and worked in critical committees, he is well acquainted with the socio-political challenges retarding the growth of the nation’s economy and he knows what new legislations to introduce and extant laws to tweak to reverse the trend.

He has been rated as one of the most successful member of the 9th Assembly in terms of parliamentary activities, and this success story resonates with his immediate federal constituency where his effective representation at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly is felt directly. He has over the years proven that his foray into politics is solely for service to humanity hence his towering popularity among his peers. It is therefore safe to say that given his track record, regardless of any primordial political considerations, Betara should be given a chance to compete in an open contest for the speakership of the House of Representatives and if given this chance, indeed he is the man to beat. It is also pertinent to say that the APC should ensure that there’s a level playing field for all aspirants for the speakership position, their religious inclinations and regional background notwithstanding.

Betara’s experience puts him in good stead to understand the governance structure of the country and the workings of the legislature. He has the right grip to enable him to effectively navigate the House’s complex decision-making processes. As a detribalised and cosmopolitan persona, Batera is a renowned team player whose contribution to nation-building has been applauded within and outside this country. Betara has proved himself as a committed Public Servant who has time and again demonstrated his commitment to service through stellar philanthropic activities in his constituency. He has provided scholarships to students, succour to the needy and facilitated the construction of various community projects to uplift the living standard of his people.

This shows that Betara has a deep understanding of the needs of his constituents and by extension that of the entire country and is committed to addressing those needs through targeted interventions. If he has so far been committed to the needs of his constituents, certainly he will not neglect the needs of the House members and by extension the citizens of the country, if elected Speaker.

Furthermore, he has also not only been very vocal on issues affecting his constituency like the Boko Haram insurgency that bedevilled the North East and has consistently advocated for the interest of his people in the House of Representatives, his days as Defence Committee Chairman provided the most swift answer to the Boko Haram issue. What more could Nigeria require in a Speaker in a era of unstable security atmosphere? He is by all standards a highly resourceful parliamentarian in the Green Chamber that is well abreast with the challenges inherent in leadership in legislative arm of government. In all ramifications, he has done quite well and extremely well to put it mildly, considering the enormity of challenges faced by the 9th National Assembly shortly after its inauguration in 2019 where he emerged the as the Chairman, House Standing Committee on Appropriation.

Over the years and during his course of service in the Legislature, he has proven to be a formidable and unifying figure that has worked across party lines to achieve common goals of ensuring welfare, security, order and good governance in the country. He has demonstrably build consensus, brought people together to find common ground on issues of national importance. This is a crucial quality for a Speaker, as the role requires someone who can build bridges, forge alliances, and navigate complex political relationships.

Lastly, Betara has a vision for a better Nigeria and has demonstrated his commitment to achieving that vision through his legislative activities in the House since 2007. He has sponsored bills that seek to improve healthcare, education, and infrastructure, among others, which are crucial for the overall wellbeing of Nigerians.

In conclusion, Honorable Muktar Aliyu Betara, is a capable and experienced lawmaker with unalloyed commitment to public service and ensuring life-changing benefits for his constituents and Nigerians. His track record of legislative accomplishments, philanthropic activities, and vision for a better Nigeria stands him out as the most competent and experienced candidate to administer the 10th House of Representatives.

He knows what it means to experience pain and deprivation and he knows what to do to restore hope and alleviate the suffering of the people. It is on record that Betera had helped to restore power supply to his constituency after a decade of darkness caused by Boko Haram terrorists. He has also sponsored transplant surgeries for the less-privileged constituents using his personal funds apart from his empowerment programmes and projects which include job creation, entrepreneurship and  scholarships as well as agricultural intervention.

As a business administration and accounting professional, Batera is best suited to complement the actions and policies of the executive as Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives guarantee the much-needed turnaround of the nation’s economy. It must be noted that the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima, who are both accountants and business-minded would find a dependable professional ally in Betara as speaker of the House in seeing the administration’s pro-economic and business legislations through the 10th National Assembly in the incoming dispensation.

Given the chance, Nigerians can be rest assured that the 10th House of Representatives can become a more effective and responsive institution that works for the good of all Nigerians under Betara.

Dammallam is a public affairs analyst and member, All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Council, writes from Abuja

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  1. Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji is the best option and the personality that will fit the cap in line with the renewed hope agenda of our President -elect ASIWAJU BOLA AHMAD TINUBU. We pray for him to emerge as the SPEAKER OF THE 10TH National Assembly InshaAllaH.


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