By Imam Imam
HONOURBLE Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Speaker of the House of Representatives, is 47 today. To his country men and women however, it is not attaining the milestone that is of much concern to them, rather, it is the direction which the amiable lawmaker from Kebbe/Tambuwal federal constituency is leading the country that has continued to elicit positive reactions from people across all walks of life.
Since his election as speaker, Tambuwal has continued to thrill Nigerians with his innovative approach to leadership and lawmaking.
A lawyer by profession, a politician by popular will, an accomplished leader by popular choice, a legislator by trust, Tambuwal has shown enough political dexterity to make him one of the most respected political figures in Nigeria today.
His meteoric rise in the legal profession and politics has reaffirmed his position as a master tactician in disciplines built on the philosophy of self respect, fair play, hard work and the spirit of give and take.
As argued by some scholars, the basic challenges of leaders reflect two fundamental, enduring aspects of leadership. First is the humanity of leaders in revealing their hopes and fears, traits and instincts. Second, is the unchanging agenda of leadership, in all times and places, as revealed in the setting of goals, plans, purpose and strategies, and working through with other people to actualise their vision in a world that is often uncertain, recalcitrant and sometimes perilous.
To appreciate the legislative footing of the Seventh House in its attempt to fill the void created by the challenges of leadership confronting Nigeria, one needs to revisit its inaugural agenda. I will recall here the kernel of the legislative blueprint which was unveiled June 28, 2011 and remains a study in specific prescriptions. It traversed constitution amendment, revival and diversification of the economy, employment generation, strengthening national security, curbing corruption, tackling general infrastructural decay, improving health system and the educational system.
Perhaps I needn’t add that in a move that verged on statesmanship and humility uncustomary to previous sessions, Speaker Tambuwal graciously conceded that the House accepted responsibility for failures and unconscionable gaps in meeting its brief.
Statesmanship and humility
“We will be responsive, transparent and accountable in all we do. My period of service as the Speaker of this hallowed chamber will restore the House of Representatives as an institution where the will of the people is done,” he told Nigerians.
Almost two years on, the chamber has kept faith with this agenda. It’s people-oriented footing bears this out. The Seventh House has been at the fore-front of defining important national issues for public discourse.
Tambuwal has used his considerable experience towards the development making the legislature a people-oriented entity that elevates participatory lawmaking to an art. As he celebrates his birthday today , it is not just the intriguing narrative of how he was elected Speaker of the House that should resonate with political scientists. That experience should also serve as a reminder of the many profound achievements we could record if we rise above the inhibiting considerations of tribe and religion.
At 47, Tambuwal’s youth points to a future of hope and possibilities. Besides, his apparent willingness not to be encumbered by the political exigencies or double-speak that had stunted our progress is quite inspiring. For him, what matters is the nation’s interest. Call that an unyielding idealism and you won’t be entirely wrong.
No doubt, Tambuwal’s candor, nationalistic outlook, ability to make fair and inclusive decisions, maturity and his desire to interact freely and affectionately with all members in the House in a professional context, has today earned him the confidence of his colleagues and all Nigerians alike. To this great man of ideas, I say a happy birthday.