Former presidential spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati, has described the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, as one who was “well prepared for leadership.”
In an article published on Saturday, Dr. Abati described the Speaker’s biography written by Dele Momodu, A Reed Made Flint, as “a story of influences and how environment, personality and values shape both the personal and the public.” He gives a detailed account of Dogara’s life right from childhood to the present and highlights his journey from being a brilliant student to his determination to study law, his strong bond with his Christian faith and his eventual foray into Nigeria’s murky political terrain.
To highlight the importance of family background in shaping the lives of every individual for leadership and greatness, Abati attributed the Speaker’s determined search for excellence and unwavering commitment to the best practices to his father, Pa Yakubu’s famous exhortation to his children to “go out there and show that you are a Ganuwari,” a challenge meant to spur him to greatness irrespective of how dire or tough the circumstance is. This guiding principle, according to the former presidential spokesman, was evident in all of Dogara’s endeavours till date, and one of such instances was in his refusal, in the face of great pressure, to bribe judges when his now deceased opponent, Alhaji Barau Shingiri, challenged his victory at the polls in 2007.
Dogara’s background, his resolve, and confidence in his abilities as shown in his insistence to study law despite having to sit for UTME after previously graduating from a teachers’ college, demonstrates, according to Abati, that, “accidents do not always happen, people become leaders through a process of preparation and Dogara seems to have been well-prepared for future leadership.”
He further extolled the virtues of the Speaker such as his business acumen, and described him as “a gifted legislator, a bridge-builder who enjoys the confidence of his colleagues, a committed and dogged champion of the interests of the people that he represents and a convinced opponent of the politics of settlement and mischief.” He encouraged other political characters to toe the path of Dogara by telling their stories in order to “open up the leadership elite to further public appreciation and scrutiny and promote a necessary conversation about values, politics and people.”
The book, ‘A Reed Made Flint,’ was launched as part of celebration of Dogara’s 50th birthday, and will soon be available in bookstores nationwide.
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