Something has provoked a coalition towards the search for the leadership of the 10th House of Representatives which is exected to emerge in a matter of weeks.
The funny and pedastic behaviour of the leadership of the ruling party in brazen conjunction with the outgoing leadership of the house to have unilaterally macro and micro zoned the leadership offices to some zones and individuals, sparked the provocation. It is a natural cause of collision. The action is not only belittling of Hon Members-Elect but very inimical to the success and sustainability of democracy and the expected stability of the 10th National Assembly.
Thanks to majority of the aspirants who have expressed their anger and pain and decided to come together to adopt a consensus person among themselves.
All of them are equally very qualified to lead the house in their rights as Representatives of the people, but only one person will have to occupy the seat. It is my prayers that they genuinely look for some certain factors among themselves to achieve at the consensus. I respectfully plead with the coalition of eminent Hon colleagues to consider Rt Hon Aliyu Muktar Betara, the current Chairman of Appropriation Committee to be their choice. This is not out of any negative bias, but constructive and rigorous analysis and observations. It is not to reduce the personality of anyone of them but a neutral ànd objective feeling as a way of checking the excesses of those who want to impose leadership on the house.
Gentle but firm, simple but frank, easy going but meticulous Rt Hon Aliyu fits the call to this exalted office going by the aggregate assemblage of factors that makes efficient leadeship.
For our bicameral national assembly, the task is to find suitable persons to occupy the positions of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives and their deputies to properly guide proceedings and uphold the independence of the institution and the rule of law. It is a fact that while the legislature is the engine room of democracy anywhere it is practiced, its leadership is the fuel that drives and powers the engines. So therefore the need to get good and efficient, effective and credible legislative leadership at all times cannot be compromised. Round pecks in round holes are very necessary to have a sound and stable, focused and enduring leadership for the parliament.
It is on record that the nation has produced many indigenous Speakers for the institution of the parliament since the first republic and each has played his or her part according to his or her capacity and ability. We can remember with ease some recent occupants of the office such as Ghali Naaba, Aminu Masari, Patricia Etteh,Dimeji Bankole, Aminu Tambuwal , Yakubu Dogara and the incumbent Femi Gbajabiamila. All these great leaders have played their roles and as the 10th national assembly gets prepared to commence, the issue of who becomes the Speaker has taken center stage as usual.
Among those contesting to take over from the outgoing Speaker is the gentle and easy going, formidable and experienced fifth term Borno State born legislator, Rt Hon Aliyu Muktar Betara, the Chairman of the Appropriations committee. The name Betara ,evicts admiration and attention because of the nature of his personality and the relationship he enjoys with people around him. Only few people are like Betara. While God creates everyone differently with varying gifts,grace and talents, the man Betara is richly endowed with virtues of humility, respect, compassion, godliness, good moral sense and brotherhood. He does not play politics with relationships,he cherished them so much. First elected in 2007 to represent Biu, Shani,Kwaya Kusa and Hawul federal constituency of Borno State, Betara is still occupying the seat, waxing stronger and serving his people and the nation meritoriously. Among his colleague aspirants, he stands tall. He is an excellent example of a bridge builder. He relates so well with everyone and show compassion where needed. He respects fellow politicians regardless of party affiliation and has built friendship across religious and tribal lines. He is cool headed and understands deeply legislative permutations. He has what is expected of a head of parliament having built stuff for himself via his personal abilities, capacities and sheer will determination to keep focus. Having been a serving legislator for 16 years running and getting to another fresh term, only few of his colleagues can match his legislative prowess and stamina. A quite person who talk less and listens more, Betara is highly respected by his colleagues. He has a proven track records of service and leadership skills which makes him very suitable for the position of Speaker. His exceptional skills of patience and tolerance makes him an amiable personality. Holding key committees of the house such as those of the army, defence, customs, banking and currency and now appropriation gives him a better view of the legislative compendium and how to apply solutions to the problems of policy implementation especially as he relates with the executive and judicial arms of government. Betara is a unifying force in the apex legislature. House leaderships have always seen him as an elder( regardless of his youthful age) in resolving matters and issues within the parliament and among colleagues.
Since 1999 one of the arms of government that has reasonably restored itself to glory is the legislature. It has always been the most affected each time the military takes over power and yet it remains the only sign and indicator of democracy. To be fair to the nation’s legislature, especially that of the apex bicameral federal legislature which we constitutionally operate today in Nigeria, it has been a success story. And the success story of today’s national assembly can not be complete without the mention of great legislative players like Betara who have become constant reference points for comparative thinking.
A number of other candidates have also shown interest in the position to lead their colleagues, but what is needed most at this particular time is not the traditional approach to legislative leadership but a holistic understanding of what it takes to bride the gap among peers and of intra and intergovernmental affairs which has direct bearing on the lives of the people. The nation needs a sound and energetic, humble and sensitive, proactive and connectible, dynamic and digital, moral and Godfearing parliamentary leader whose passion is not to upgrade himself or his personality but to demonstrate efficiency, strong political will, compassion and knowledge in governance. A fourth term legislator, Betara represents the new face of contemporary leadership in Nigeria. He is sound, always smiling, always seeking to know, interested in new areas of developmental legislation and ensuring that the institution of the parliament which guides democracy is also well guided and protected.
The 57 year old Business Administration graduate was so fast in acclimatizing himself within the political circle of the lower chambers. A very calculative and meticulous lover of people , Betara is a friend of everyone. A strategic political thinker who believes in the capacity of everyone to render his or her contributions. His capacity to initiate and sustain friendship is superb. His respects to Hon colleagues and other political players is legendary. In all the committees he has chaired, it was always a sight to behold as every member wants to belong to his committee. This is because of his selfless, generous and compassionate disposition to the welfare of others. Always at home with himself, Betara can sacrifice a meal for the needy. He is highly respected among his peers and colleagues. As a politician with a huge grassroot base, Betara has impacted tremendously in the lives of his constituents hence his unmatched records of increasing votes at each succeeding elections.
At a time like this, and with our national peculiarities, the apex legislature needs such an all rounder: a man with such patience and legislative tolerance who has built friendship across the nation to bring people together. The lower chamber with its huge size needs a man whose level of understanding and tolerance goes beyond mere political calculations.