Rt. Hon Yusuf Gagdi: Unveiling an enigma for 10th Assembly Speakership
I have seen people whose life trajectory speaks volumes of hard work, determination and passion for the common good. The story of Hon. Yusuf Gagdi is such that it can make the devil green with envy. He has demonstrated that there will be a way once there is a will. This much has defined his pursuit in life, culminating in the Federal House of Representatives as a member representing the Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency of Plateau State.
In his bag are a combination of experience and credibility. As Deputy Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, he displayed leadership at its peak. He was also instrumental in the seamless relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms of government in Plateau State.
If you call him the Wizkid, you won’t be wrong because he is a young chap that understands the language of the teeming youthful population in the country. As a young man who has witnessed some of the challenges confronting the youths in the country, he maximized the opportunity to bring about meaningful changes when they avail themselves.
Make no mistakes. Hon. Yusuf Gagdi is not a newcomer to politics and leadership. As a fact, he cut his teeth from the unlikely of places, and since then, he has not looked back. The burning desire to be a part of the system that works has necessitated his involvement in ventures that resonates with the overarching interest of sustainable growth and development in the country.
It, therefore, didn’t come as a surprise his re-election to the House of Representatives despite the upsets recorded in Plateau state. He proved that there should be no excuse for putting people first in all endeavours—this much he has done and still does in his constituency and Plateau state at large.
Aside from the fact that he has a large and accommodating mien that speaks volumes of a pan Nigerian even at 42. His respect for rules and procedures is infectious. He also has in his kitty an unblemished record in public service that puts him on a high pedestal and above his contemporaries.
Those that have encountered Hon Yusuf Gagdi would readily attest to his intelligence and grasp of issues, especially concerning the national discourse. He is not shy to make his intentions known to you. A different breed of politician, you should call him. His contributions on the Federal House of Representatives floor have always been received with an ovation.
We must indeed admit that Hon Yusuf Gagdi is the epitome of humility and passion for the common good in Nigeria. He tells any that cares to listen that his driving force in life is the ability to bring about positive changes in the country’s socio-economic life. And this explains why he has remained the darling of the youthful population in Plateau State and beyond.
That the country deserves leaders in the mould of Hon Yusuf Gagdi must be emphasized. The peculiarities of the time require that we must get it right with the choice of leaders, especially in the legislative arm of government, to complement the efforts of the executive in the quest to formulate and implement far-reaching plans and programmes that would have meaningful impact on the lives of every citizen of Nigeria.
To achieve this, emphasis must be placed on competence, exposure, commitment and passion for the common good. These attributes define Hon Yusuf Gagdi. He has demonstrated those as mentioned above during his political career hence his suitability for the speakership position of the 10th Assembly.
The candidature of Hon. Yusuf Gagdi should excite discerning minds. His leadership qualities are such that he evokes the capacity to translate vision into reality. As the Chairman House Committee on Navy, it is on record that in the annals of the committee, there has never been a time when the House of Representatives and the Navy had a productive and meaningful relationship.
For example, as Chairman of the Committee on Nigerian Navy. Hon Yusuf Gagdi was vocal about the fight against insurgency in North East Nigeria. He questioned the sincerity of the superpowers towards providing the needed technological know-how in addressing the Boko Haram threats in North East Nigeria.
He also advocated for improved funding for the operations of the Nigerian Navy in safeguarding our nation’s waterways. He was the brain behind the Nigerian Police Reform Bill aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Police for better efficiency and service to the nation. A host of other notable bills he sponsored were passed and signed into law.
What you can’t take away from Hon. Yusuf Gagdi is the ability to conceptualize and follow through on policies and programmes. Some say he has the Midas touch, and anything he touches turns to gold. Some also say he is a young, dynamic gentleman with a national appeal to all citizens and a true definition of intellectualism. He represents a new breed in politics.
Whatever school of thought you belong to; it remains a fact that Hon Yusuf Gagdi has what it takes to lead the Federal House of Representatives as Speaker. Three things will happen: one is that the Federal House of Representatives will experience robust leadership that would see to the passage of bills that would impact positively on our socio-economic well-being as a country; secondly, the Federal House of Representatives will be less rancorous because of his broad appeal amongst colleagues regardless of party affiliations and thirdly, the willingness to work assiduously with the Executive arm of government towards translating the hopes and aspirations of the people into tangible realities.
Hon Yusuf Gagdi is indeed an enigma whose suitability for the leadership of the House of Representatives is well-placed. It, therefore, behoves the APC leadership and other relevant stakeholders to see the materialization of this lofty aspiration that holds the potential to bring about sustainable growth and development in the country.
• Agbese is a United Kingdom based scholar writing from Scotland.