By Kola Animashaun
The Speakership of the Federal House of Representatives has finally been settled; Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has clinched it. One had expected the contest to go the usual way. That is, to go to South-West. And, one has expected Mulikat Akande-Adeola to have won it.
But it it did not go the way one expected it to go. One does not expect it to be contested the way David Mark got the Presidency of the Senate.
The South-West contestants went North and South and East. But they had an handicap: the South-West was unable to muster more than five Representatives. And, of course, PDP mulled by Obasanjo had been mortally wounded. Of course, Gbenga Daniel added more wounds and he did not wait to see the damage.
Thirty-five per cent affirmation or not, some people of the North would not take a woman at the headship of the House of Representatives. The insistence of Patience Jonathan and her proposition did not wash. Patience thought women did enough during the last campaigns and should be allowed to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives. It shows that they will still have to do better. A pity, her husband, Goodluck, could not do anything about it.
The Ogbomoso connection could not help. Rather the Adebayo Alao-Akala’s name was a drag rather than a help.
Mulikat had all the right credentials-she was born in the North and went, among many others, to Ahmadu Bello University. I have not heard her speak Hausa yet but I know she would manage a mouthful of it.
Some are saying the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal was a result of a protest votes. Aminu Tambuwal has been defying party’s zoning.
Some of those who voted for him said “the House should be allowed to elect its own leaders who must be competent and not because they are from a particular zone.”
Tambuwal beat Mulikat all down 252 to 90 votes. It was a man’s game it seems. It was a game that was already decided. The North would not be beaten again just as Jonathan beat the cream of the North from Ciroma to IBB, Gusau and Atiku. Mark was spared. Emeka Ihedioha emerged the Deputy Speaker of the House.
…Nearly 4 years late
The first woman Speaker of the House, Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, has been absolved of complicity in the N628 million contract scam. She was sacked from the high stool of Speaker just as she was coming into her own.
She dared the House of Representatives: “I want to challenge the House of Representatives Clerk, who was the Legal Adviser to this National Assembly to release any record against me if there is any. That I have stolen a penny belonging to the House of Representatives or Nigeria. Mr. Speaker, nobody under the sun is capable of tarnishing my image. I have heeded the word of my advisers not to open my mouth to talk. No decision taken since 1999 till 2007 that I did not know about.”
Apparently, it was about time she opened her mouth as part of her valedictory speech. She requested the House to adopt a resolution to absolve her of the graft.
Etteh was accused of inflating the contract of her official residence and the official residence of her Deputy, Babangida Nguroje.
The controversy saw both of them resigning their positions on October 30, 2007.
So, Patricia Etteh said: “I want to put a record straight. I have not been indicted. I want the House (to) pass a resolution that I am not guilty. We have the right to educate Nigerians.”
So the House of Representatives absolved her. Has she been absolved?
Geriatric are gripping
Some geriatric people are gripping about the Yoruba not getting House of Representatives Speakership. I do not blame them as they say: Oko t’o ti lo ni wan wa wo si. The train has left the station.
They did all they could to be sure they polarised PDP and would not work with ACN — the winning team of the South-West. They worked with Gbenga Daniel and the Isiaka Nasiru and they worsted mainstream PDP.
Whatever we may say, the PDP and the Isiaka Nasirus are reactionary.
And ACN may be a poor imitation of the progressive. And the geriatric have lost everything including their rest.
TheNews magazine numbered some of them and they are in their eighties.