The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has allowed the electorate to retain for life their legislator who gives them good representation.
A legislator or law maker in other words, is a person that writes and passes laws. In Nigeria, legislators include senators, House of Representatives members and state houses of assembly.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the current Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Honourable Yakubu Dogara, is one of the best, popular and most outstanding law makers in the country who served for a very long time in the second chamber in Nigeria’s bicameral legislature.
He represents Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa federal constituency of Bauchi state. It’s worthy to note that he is currently serving his third term. We give thanks to Almighty God that he is the 14th speaker of the house today and enjoys support of most members due to his humility, gentility, simplicity, integrity and dignity as well as his respect for colleagues.
The aforesaid qualities made him last longer as the number four citizen of the country unlike some of his predecessors who were impeached within few months or years after their election. Remember Salisu Buhari, Patricia Eteh, etc? Nigeria’s House of Representatives has been rancorous since the transition to civil rule in 1999 and only Bankole, Masari, Tambuwal and Dogara were able to remain on the ‘hot seat’ for complete four years during their tenures though there were foiled plots to remove them.
In the case of Yakubu Dogara, he was not the preferred candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress as it initially anointed Honourable Gbajabiamila as speaker but as it was predestined, Dogara surmounted all odds to emerge speaker.
President Muhammadu Buhari had said Dogara is a source of inspiration to the youth and younger generation due to his political dexterity. This was despite his election against the party’s wish.
Dogara, the ‘Dan Amana,’ as he is fondly called by his constituents, has since his election proved to the world that he is an astute politician and excellent public servant as he performs his duties very well and renders humanitarian services to all and sundry regardless of ethnic or religious inclinations.
Before I enumerate his many constituency projects and interventions within the last three and half years, it is pertinent to give readers insight into his career. He first took up employment after school in April 1988 as a teacher at the ATBU staff school, Bauchi. After completing his National Service in Akwa Ibom state in 1994, he went into private legal practice until 2005 when he was appointed special assistant to the minister of state for transport.
He held this position until 2006 when he decided to contest to represent the Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa constituency at the House of Representatives. His bid proved successful and he has been a member of the house since 2007 to date and I am in support of his re-election in 2019.
Why do I think he should be re-elected? Dogara is a strong advocate of the independence of the legislature, rule of law, local governments financial autonomy and a detribalized Nigerian.
He was also instrumental to the passage of a bill for the establishment of the North East Development Commission in order to reconstruct and rehabilitate the region destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.
Although he is from the Sayawa minority tribe in Bauchi, Dogara is loved by all tribes in the state because he extended his projects to all communities not only in the three local governments he represents but to all parts of Bauchi state.
Some of his projects include construction of mosques, churches, farm markets in villages, water boreholes and roads.
Last year, the speaker flagged off federal roads projects he facilitated in the state worth over N50 billion. He flagged off the projects in Dass local government where he explained that the roads would be completed within a period of two years. He said the gesture was in tandem with the promise he made to the people of the state to give them good representation at the National Assembly.
Those projects, he said, would take the state government at least 10 years to complete them if the roads were ordinarily to be carried out by it considering how slow the government handles its projects where none was completed for over three years since the inception of Governor Mohammed Abubakar.
Aside the aforementioned projects, Dogara, the ‘Dan Amana’, provides free medical treatments to patients across the 20 local governments on yearly basis.
The recent one was conducted in March this year when about 10, 000 patients drawn from across Bauchi State and neighbor states were treated of various ailments free of charge courtesy of the speaker.
During the exercise, 77 patients suffering from different health problems underwent surgeries free of charge. Of the 77 surgeries carried out, 28 were cataract operations, four patients with goitre (swelling of the neck) and six women with uterus cancers were successfully operated on. This was just as he sponsored surgery for the separation of a conjoined twins at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
His wife, Mrs Gimbiya Yakubu Dogara, also complements her husband in discharging social responsibility through providing assistance annually to women suffering from VVF (Vesico Vaginal Fistula) and also empowers women farmers by donating high breed seeds, seedlings, farm implements and cash to the beneficiaries.
Having served selflessly for 12 consecutive years, Dogara wanted not to contest again in the next polls so that he can give chance for upcoming politicians and have time to relax with his family. But he pressurized by the constituents who were satisfied with his representation to run again and he finally succumbed to pressure and purchased the PDP nomination form because he doesn’t want to turn down his people’s request.
It is noteworthy that he quit APC due to internal crises rocking it, lack of internal democracy, marginalization of his supporters and political associates in the party in Bauchi state which he severally complaint to the national leadership but failed to address the problems thereby forcing him to defect to the PDP.
According to the people of Bogoro, Dass and Tafawa Balewa local governments, Dogara is their political party because they are ever ready to support him under any platform. Today, you cannot abuse the speaker in the three areas and go scot free because the people will retaliate due to their passionate support to the number four citizen.
I therefore call on them to come out massively and vote Dogara in 2019 and members of the House of Representatives to also retain him as speaker because he proved to be a good son, ambassador and representative of the Nigerian masses.