The intrigues and outcome of 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections will remain fresh in the minds of Nigerians for a very long time to come and will remain a reference point for political pundits, strategists and researchers. The wave and shock of the election between the major political parties – the All People Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and New Nigeria’s People Party (NNPP) – across the country, where many political gladiators lost, have sent shockwaves to Nigerians and others. In a significant number of cases, there have been ‘upsets’, and many National Assembly ‘heavyweights’ lost their bids to return to either the Senate or the House of Representatives. As the field battles have been won and lost, attention will now be shifted to determining those who are to lead the both Chambers of the 10th Assembly, it is natural to assume that the scheming, strategies and engagements have started, albeit clandestinely, for the election of the Principal Officers of the 10th Assembly. The All Progressive Congress (APC) so far is lucky to have the highest numbers of the legislators at both Chambers and this has narrowed the choice to the party.
A political tsunami befell the APC in Northwestern States, where the party lost significant legislative seats to the opposition, especially in its strongholds of Kano, Kaduna and Kebbi State. Despite with the political tsunami, the region still gave the President elect the highest vote of 2.6 Million, while Katsina State was the only saving grace of the party, where 80% of its legislator’s were elected, (3) three Senators and (9) Nine members of House of Representatives. To reward the region and the State in other to win back the hearts of its teeming supporters and regain its strength in the region, the Katsina State deserves to be considered for the slot of Speakership of the 10th Assembly. Nigerians will be expecting to have a vibrant and robust leadership of National Assembly that will support the Executive arm of government in meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the electorates. In achieving this, a competent, trusted and experienced legislator of impeccable character needs to be considered to lead the Green Chambers. The person must understand that the unity between legislative and executive arms of government is mutual and strategic. He must be a true party man, who understands the party’s manifesto and will never do anything to undermine it. APC needs a Speaker who will support, compliment the mission, vision and aspiration of the President-elect, His Excellency Ahmad Bola Tinubu.
With Kano, Kaduna and Kebbi being out of the equation for their being without ranking legislators, while Zamfara and Jigawa are having newly elected Members, attention should be shifted to Katsina. Incidentally, Representative Sada Soli, representing Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency, perfectly fits the bill. Hon. Sada is a machine politician with a progressive bend and a perfect man for the Job of the Speaker. Upon completion of his primary, post-primary and tertiary education, he spent his young to adult age as a staff of the National Assembly from 1992 to 2006, rose through ranks until he retired and contested as a legislator at the Green Chamber in 2007. Hon. Jibia’s credentials present him as the most experienced legislator at the Green Chamber that will not be a round peg in a square hole if elected as the Speaker of the 10th Assembly. In 1992, he joined the service of the National Assembly as a Senior Legislative Officer in the House of Representatives and served as a Committee Clerk to Foreign Affairs and National Planning. In 1994, he was released for administrative duties to the National Constitutional Conference Commission (NCCC). In 1996, he was granted a study leave for his Postgraduate Study and appointed as a Clerk to the Committee on Foreign Affairs in 1999 and later appointed as the Clerk to the Committee on National Security and Intelligence.
On the approval of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Hon. Soli was seconded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and posted to Nigeria Mission in Washington D.C, United States, as Special Assistant and Minister Counsellor to Ambassador Professor Jubril Aminu from 1999-2003. From May 2003, Hon Sada concluded his tour and was de-seconded to the National Assembly and continued with his career as a legislative officer and was posted to the Senate and appointed as the Clerk to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, a post he held until September 2006 when he resigned voluntarily from the National Assembly as a Chief Legislative Officer after fourteen years meritious service from 1992-2006. He answered the call of his people to represent them at the Green Chamber and was elected as a Member of House of Representatives for Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency in 2006. In August 2007, he was appointed Deputy Chairman House Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, including Membership of the following Committees: Privatization and Commercialization, Capital Market, Legislative Budget, Foreign Affairs, Inter-Parliamentary, Petroleum–Upstream, Aids Loans and Debt Management. In September 2007, he was appointed the House Committee Chairman on Cooperation and Integration in Africa.
From 2009 to 2011, Hon. Sada chaired the House Committee on Inter-Parliamentary and elected as the Regional Representative (West Africa) and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). From 2011 to 2015, Hon. Soli was the Chief of Staff to the Speaker of House of Representatives. He was elected back to the Lower Chamber in 2019 and appointed as the Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources and member of the following Committees: Agriculture, Production & Services, FCT, Banking & Currency, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Power, Works and Capital Market. He was appointed Chairman Ad hoc Committee on National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) to Investigate the Non-Remittance of Contributions in the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF); appointed Chairman Ad-hoc Committee on Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited; to Investigate the Alleged Negligence by the Federal Ministries of Justice, and Petroleum Resources in the Handling of the Transaction between the Federal Government and the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) Limited.
Hon. Sada from 2019 to date has served as member of the following Ad-hoc Committees: Special Committee on Constitution Review, Unspent Fund, Electoral Act, Petroleum Bill, Power, Parliamentary Friendship Group (Nigeria and Cameroon), Assessment and Status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002-2020 by Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for effective/efficient management and utilization, Ad-hoc Committee to Investigate Joint Venture (JV) Businesses and Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) of NNPC from 1990 to date. In 2023, Hon. Sada was found worthy as a true representative of his people and the State and was reelected back to the Green Chambers to represent them. Going by his track record, party loyalty, a career legislative staff, a former Chief of Staff to a Speaker of House of Representatives and a third term member of House of Representatives, Hon. Sada Jibia has all it takes to lead the House of Representative as its Speaker of the 10th Assembly.
A good democracy is not achievable without a good legislative arm of government. APC deserves a leader with good character, experience, ability and know-how to help in nurturing our democracy for the betterment of the nation. Hon. Sada Soli Jibia is endowed with these qualities. Going by his track records and achievements, he will be a Speaker of the Lower Chamber that will help in delivering the good dividends of democracy. He is a good time manager, a tactician, vibrant with tremendous capability. He is thorough, meticulous, good organizational ability that will be to the advantage of the Green chamber. He is an encyclopedia of legislative rules and will not be coming to learn on the Job, Hon. Sada is one of the legislators in this country today that virtually know the rules of both Chambers (Red and Green) off the cuff, and he is much more in consonance with the parliamentary thinking and ideology.
There is no doubt APC will have a trusted and tested Parliamentarian in him to led the legislators of the 10th Assembly at the Green Chamber who will contribute to a strong cordial relationship with the Executive and Legislative arm of government to the development of our nation.
Mr. Umar writes from Abuja.