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Why the 10th Assembly Needs Betara as Speaker

Yemi Itodo

As the race for the leadership of the 10th Assembly has commenced, no less than eight persons have publicly declared their intention to contest the speakership of the House of Representatives.

But among those jostling for the seat, the aspiration of one man has reverberated more with both the returning and new members that many have concluded that the matter has been settled in his favour.

The member representing Biu/ Shani/Kwaya Kusa/Hawul Federal Constituency, Hon. Aliyu Muktar Betara is a silent achiever whose reputation as an astute administrator and efficient manager of human resources has spread widely.

As chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, he has been the engine room for the success of the 9th House of Representatives, as his footprints extend to almost all the committees and 360 Federal Constituencies in Nigeria.

As a humble leader who doesn’t believe in talking but action, his impact has been felt in terms of infrastructural development, empowerment programmes and skills acquisition that traversed the landscape in the current Assembly.

Apart from helping many constituencies through their members to benefit from projects of various kinds, he has in his usual humble self, refused to advertise himself, but has concentrated in making sure that all members succeed in attracting developments to their Constituencies.

Having won his seat again, the ranking Member has offered a new deal to those who have been elected to the Parliament and this comes in terms of an offer to serve at a higher pedestal by being the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The returnee Members who have enjoyed excellent working relationship with him have since lined up behind him while the new Members who have come to know him by his reputation as a go-getter and team player are also complying with the desire to see that the next Speaker is one who is not only competent but also accessible to Members at all times.

Since he assumed chairmanship of the House of Representatives Committee, budget processes became more enhanced which has fast tracked activities in ministries and extra ministerial departments to the benefit of the good people of Nigeria.

Since he took charge of the important Committee, the legislature has not had any scandal or accusation of malpractices as witnessed in the previous House and he has an effective way of ensuring accountability in all the processes.

These feats have endeared him to both the legislators and the executive arm of government and has earned him respect as an efficient leader who handles his briefs with dedication and all sense of seriousness and marks him out as the best choice for Speaker in the 10th Assembly.

While many agree that he has the competence to preside over the House, the only issue they have brought as standing against him is the fact that he is from the same geopolitical zone with the next Vice President, Alhaji Kashim Shettima.

But they forget that the President-elect has made it clear that his choice of people to work with would not be done purely on political consideration but competence.

Added to that is the fact that coming from the same zone with the President or his Deputy had never hampered the choice of legislators when they see competency and experience.

That was why, even when Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from the same zone and state with the current Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, it did not deter the House in electing the latter as Speaker.

Betara has been unanimously pronounced as trustworthy and reliable, the matter of which zone he hails from pails into insignificance.

What people are talking about is their desire to see a legislature that is vibrant and alive to its responsibilities with competent leaders who can bring out the best in the executive and make laws for the good governance of Nigeria.

Among those aspiring to lead the next House, Betara stands tall as unifier, who relates excellently with all, regardless of religious, geopolitical or party affiliation.

His ability to lead has seen him heading numerous committees of the House, such as Army, Defence, Customs, Banking and Currency before heading the Appropriation Committee.

The House cannot afford to toy with such experiences as they will come handy in relating with the executive arm and holding it to account, while ensuring better deals for the average Nigerian.

No doubt, he has all it takes to lead the House of Representatives as its Speaker as he is highly gifted in pursuing what he perceives to be for the good of the masses coupled with the fact that he is young and energetic.

Elected in 2007 to represent Biu/ Shani/Kwaya Kusa/Hawul Federal Constituency of Borno State, Betara is a graduate of Business Administration who decided to go into politics in the bid to help his people.

He has been able to do that effectively with the transformation of the three local governments in his constituency and the empowerment of his people that he has always been returned anytime he presents himself for election.

Outside his constituency, people see in him the ability to cordinate his colleagues and work with the next APC led administration to achieve the kind of fast paced development they promised the people and the description of who is best positioned to achieve this fits him squarely as this is hardly the time for someone who is only coming to learn on the job.

Itodo, is the Chairman, National Assembly New Media, National Assembly Complex, Abuja-FCT