MADAKI: Let Tambuwal Stop Interfering On How We Elect Next Speaker
Alhaji Ali Sanni Madaki, a member of the House of Representatives from Kano State, tells ADAMU ABUH that merit and competence will determine choice of Speaker in the 8th Assembly.
In 2011, the PDP zoned the position to the Southwest, eventually; Aminu Tambuwal emerged victorious.
LET me rewind your mind to what brought about that rebellion. I think it’s very important. I recall when we came in 2011, we were willing to assert our authority and tell the party, PDP then, that they have done something wrong. To our understanding and based on what our leaders told us then, there was an agreement in PDP, the North will have two terms, the South would have two terms. By then, Obasanjo had done two terms, which was for the South. Yar’Adua came and started, after three years, God, in his infinite mercy, took away Yar’Adua. It was agreed that Jonathan would complete his tenure, and after he completes that tenure, someone from the North would take over as President. But when the time came, the President refused to abide by that arrangement in which he said he should be allowed to do only one term and that after that one term he would go. So, when we came as members from the North, we were aggrieved on that decision. So, when Tambuwal came out and said he wanted to contest for House of Representatives Speaker, we said we were going to support him to tell the party that what it did was wrong, that if there was no agreement to zone the Presidency to any section, we don’t see any reason why someone would come now and say there was an agreement to zone the Speakership, as it was done then, to the Southwest. We came and rebelled against the party, but if you could remember, he had the full support of the Southwest. That was the reason Tambuwal was elected as Speaker, because, if you take away the vote of ACN, we would not have had Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker.
There is the story that there is a likelihood of an alliance between Gbajabiamila and one of the contenders, that is Mungonu from Borno State. Do you foresee that?
I believe politics is about negotiations, about give and take. And I believe Hon. Monguno is eminently qualified to be the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and if they have an alliance with Femi, I would support it, because I know the pedigree of Femi and the pedigree of Monguno.
What do you suspect is the reason Speaker Tambuwal is backing Dogara?
Selfish interest… let me put it that way…very selfish interest… I don’t know.
Still on Tambuwal’s backing for Dogara, like one of you had said earlier on, are you suspecting anything?
It’s a rumour I’m hearing. People would say maybe Tambuwal is supporting Dogara because they have done something in the House services and they want it covered. That is what I heard, but I don’t have evidence to back it up and so I’m not a kind of person that will be circulating rumours, but that’s the rumours going round. When Tambuwal wanted to become Speaker, one of his arch enemies was Dogara. Dogara opposed him, while Gbajabiamila was taking him from house to house, from pillar to post to make sure he becomes Speaker. Now Dogara is nobody without Tambuwal. What makes his aspiration even tick is because Tambuwal is with him, but it’s the truth nobody wants to say. But that’s the way I’m, I will say it: Tambuwal is supporting Dogara.
Is it something you’ve confirmed yourself or you’re joining the hearsay party?
It’s not hearsay, by his action, by his utterances. Recently, some members of the group that I belong to, the Patriot went to him. The statement he was making, he was trying to instigate members to work against the party if the Speakership is not zoned to the place where his candidate is from. He said people should go and vote for whom they like, blah, blah, blah, that no big man should ask them to vote for this or that. And I’m assuring him that no big man will tell us to vote for this or that, but we know who we are voting for.
As a parliamentarian do you support the independence of the legislature?
One of the cardinal principles of legislative independence is that at the time of election they pick own their leaders.
That is why I’m telling Tambuwal to stop interfering in the way and manner we are going to elect our leader. Because he has been our Speaker for four years either for good or for bad, and God in his infinite mercy has now made him a big man in Sokoto. Let him go and face his job in Sokoto and I am praying for him to do well there. But please, let him allow members-elect of the 8th Assembly to choose who would be their Speaker. It should not be Tambuwal who would choose our leader for us. You cannot shave my head in my absence.
Don’t you also think that zoning is what APC nneds to overcome these challengesference?
It is a form of interference, but that is done so as to have balancing. It will not be good like some people are saying now to have President from the North, Senate President from the North and Speaker from the North. I don’t think that is fair, I don’t think its justice; I don’t think its equity. We should take as we usually do, two to this side, two to this side. The time would come when our democracy would develop to a certain level, when we can have all from one house and there won’t be a problem, but as it is now, we want this democracy to thrive and it would thrive by being fair and equitable to all of us.