The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Wednesday, officially declared his bid for the Office of the Speaker in the coming 10th National Assembly.
Ado-Doguwa, who is Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency in Kano State, at a press conference in Abuja, made the formal declaration.
The majority leader recalled how he stepped down for Femi Gbajabiamila to become Speaker of the 9th House of Assembly, noting that his journey to the leadership of the House can be likened to that of the incumbent Speaker’s.
The ranking member of the House said after his declaration as winner of a supplementary election and subsequent issuance of Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission, he had consulted widely and had “been approached by many Nigerians, mostly my colleagues, who urged me to declare my intention to contest for the speakership of the House of Representatives in the 10th Assembly.”
According to Ado-Doguwa, those asking me to run believe I am among the qualified candidates for the job.
“Not just because I am deserving (sic) but because I have the capacity and experience to deliver on the expectations of millions of Nigerians who believe that our democracy must be led by competent and experienced leaders,” Ado-Doguwa stated.
The majority leader said, “I am a strong and committed party man and have stated it categorically clear in other fora that, because of my absolute loyalty to the party and my unflinching respect for party supremacy, my ambition will be predicated only on the condition that the party zones the speakership position to the North-West Zone which is my immediate constituency.
“I have realised that it is necessary to heed the call of the people who believe in my capacity to seek the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I am committed to working with my colleagues and all Nigerians to deliver on their expectations and to preside over the house to the best of my ability in the overall interest of the people.”
The lawmaker stated that he had paid his dues and “it is time to reward my stewardship to both the parliament and the nation.”
Ado-Doguwa recalled that between 2011 and 2015, the Peoples Democratic Party had a majority in the House and controlled the leadership in that dispensation, while Femi Gbajabiamila was nominated by the South-West Caucus as Minority Leader.
He also recalled that from 2015 to 2019 when the All Progressive Congress had a majority in the House, “it was only natural that the Minority Leader transits to Majority Leadership position.”
Ado-Doguwa further recalled that the moment the convention was proposed, he personally agreed to step down from the position of Majority Leader which he was earlier tipped for and settled for the Chief Whip position, to give room for Gbajabiamila to assume the position of Majority Leader.
He added, “Fast forward to 2019-2023, 9th Assembly, in keeping faith with the convention of the House, when the speakership position was zoned to the South-West, it was only natural that my brother and good friend, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the then Majority Leader, was the only one adopted for the speakership position, the rest is now history.
“There is a lot to learn from this brief narrative. Our superlative Speaker (Gbajabiamila) has been in the House since 2003 till date and rose through the ranks to become what he is today. We cannot sweep under the carpet the cognate legislative experience, requisite parliamentary background and interpersonal relationship with his colleagues, developed and nurtured over his almost 20-year sojourn in the House, as being manifested in his leadership style and prowess in the 9th Assembly.”
The majority leader said he was “tempted” to ask, “Is history repeating itself?’
He added, “I believe the answer is yes. Just like our Speaker, I am also serving out my 5th term in the House. I have served as Chief Whip, House of Representatives 2015 to 2019, and currently, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, working harmoniously with my Speaker.
“By the special Grace of God, I stand out as the oldest serving member from the North-West zone in the House, and with the support of my colleagues, I am the Leader of the North-West and the Leader of the APC Caucuses in the House.
“God willing, I will be the Speaker that would see through the implementation of the Renewed Hope 2023-Action Plan for a Better Nigeria anchored by our amiable and tested President-elect, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
Ado-Doguwa had last weekend issued a notice to members of the House, informing them of his decision to run for Speaker of the 10th House.
“The letter is an open letter to all of our members-elect captured on a hand pamphlet. We, however, intend to make a formal declaration of intention to run for the Speakership of the 10th NASS,” he told our correspondent on Monday night.
Ado-Doguwa declared the speakership bid amid a trial for alleged crimes.
The PUNCH reports that Ado-Doguwa was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport on February 28, 2023, while boarding a flight to Abuja and he is standing trial over alleged criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, unlawful possession of a firearm, mischief, and public disturbance.
He is currently on bail.