One month after Reps Speakership loss, what’s next for Ahmed Wase?

Gaddafi IbrahimJuly 10, 20236 min

A ‘yoke’ in Nigeria’s National Assembly appears to be affecting former Presiding Officers of either Chamber who return to parliament. OrderPaper Nigeria’s Gaddafi Tanko examines the possibility of Ahmed Wase breaking this proverbial yoke in this piece.


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The elections for Presiding Officers of the National Assembly may have come and gone but the spotlight is not totally off some of the major contenders in the race for Speakership and Senate Presidency.

Outlined in this category is the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase, who represents Wase Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the Green Chamber.

A scion of the Bashar Royal House, Wase’s late father is the immediate past traditional ruler of Bashar; one of the communities that make up the federal constituency. At a point, he served as Executive Secretary of the Plateau State Muslims Pilgrims Board, an agency saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the welfare of Plateau State citizens on pilgrimage to Mecca during Hajj.


READ ALSO: ROAD TO 10TH NASS: APC shuns Senator Kalu, Wase in zoning arrangement


Since his election to the federal legislature in 2007 under the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), a former labour leader at the College of Education Gindiri, has always been re-elected to the Green Chamber. He is believed to be the preferred choice of his constituents at each electoral cycle mainly because of his contributions in the area of representation.

The Plateau lawmaker is said to have attracted meaningful infrastructural development to the historic Wase town, including a National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Campus, a Federal Medical Centre and a Police College. Additionally, there are speculations that he continues to utilise his office towards the employment of graduates from the constituency and neighbouring towns into federal government agencies.

However, he has been described by parliamentary observers during his tenure as Deputy Speaker as one leader with little regard for contrary views. This intolerant disposition is said to have manifested most during his chairmanship of the Committee of the Whole in the House of Representatives; which is a conventional duty for the Deputy Speaker. A major point of reference case was his blatant refusal during a plenary session he presided over; to accord ex-Benue lawmaker, Hon Mark Gbillah; the opportunity to present a petition authored by the Mutual Union of Tivs in America (MUTA) protesting the killings of their tribesmen by herdsmen in Benue.

Close observers of the parliament in Nigeria argue that such action and many others counted against him when he indicated interest in becoming the nation’s number four citizen. Anti-Wase campaigners were said to have capitalized on a series of similar happenings to de-market him before new members, thus making his loss during the Speakership contest a fait accompli.


READ ALSO: ROAD TO 10TH NASS: Can Wase make the Speakership chase?


Having lost his leadership bid initially predicted as a straight win by some analysts considering his sacrifice in 2019 to step down for then-Speakership candidate, Femi Gbajabiamila, in line with the wishes of his party; the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Thus, the development has provoked questions about what is next for Rep. Wase, who had served as Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Character, Deputy Leader of the House and Deputy Speaker, respectively, in addition to other ad-hoc responsibilities. The question became imperative considering what is almost becoming a parliamentary pattern for former presiding officers of Nigeria’s federal legislature (Red and Green chambers) who adopt what may best be described as a siddon-look approach to the business of lawmaking, oversight, and representation.

The pattern is said to have started with the President of the Sixth and Seventh Senate, David A.B. Mark, who returned to the Eighth Senate but did not get a chance to retain his leadership of the Red Chamber, especially with his party’s loss of majority status in the National Assembly. There are indications that he barely sponsored a motion or bill in his last four years at the National Assembly. Although the same cannot be said of his fellow Presiding Officer and three-time Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who often made enriching contributions during plenary in the Ninth Senate before his conviction in London over organ trafficking.


READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila, Wase sponsored 21% of bills by Reps Principal Officers | Ninth NASS Scorecard


In the case of Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the Eighth House of Representatives who returned for a fourth term in the Ninth National Assembly as a floor member, not much could be said about his contributions during plenary. Even though he sponsored ten bills in the life of the Ninth Assembly, 90% of those bills stagnated at the first reading stage.

For former Lagos lawmaker and immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbjabiamila, but for his appointment as Chief of Staff to his political mentor and President of the Federal Republic, Bola Tinubu; it would have been a litmus test for him. Kudos to the former Speaker for sponsoring the first motion in the Tenth House of Representatives before his exit from the Green Chamber.

Importantly also, while the House of Representatives is yet to announce the composition of the Standing Committees that will pilot its oversight responsibilities as mandated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), one expectation is that he will bring his experience to bare in championing proper checks on the executive in whatever Committee he is saddled with its chairmanship.

The big question, however, remains, will Ahmed Idris Wase break the ‘siddon-look’ pattern?

Gaddafi Ibrahim

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