By Wasiu Adewale
The much awaited 2023 general elections in Nigeria had come and gone with the winners in various elective positions still in the euphoria of joy and jubilation while the losers are lamenting and licking their wounds in one way or the other.
However, with winners emerged in the different elective positions right from the President, National Assembly Members, Governors to State assembly Members, attention is now shifted to those who will be Principal Officers of the national assembly particularly the Senate President and the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker as well as the deputy Speaker and other positions in the national assembly.
For the purpose of this write up, the focus will be on who the cap fits as the speaker for the 10th house of representatives.
Though it was gathered from a reliable source within the All progressive congress APC at party national secretariat in Abuja, directing ranking lawmakers who have interest in the speakership and deputy Speakership positions not to declare their intentions for now but they can engage in consultations as the issue of zoning of principal positions have been stepped down pending the outcome of supplementary elections slated for April 15 this year since APC is yet to have a required numbers to produce Speaker and deputy unless the party form alliance with lawmakers elect from NNPP and PDP lawmakers elect from Rivers state.
Meanwhile,as the race for the speakership slot is gathering momentum before the official release of party zoning formula some ranking members elect have signified interest in the coveted number 4 position mainly from the north West as well as the north central and other regions with the exception of the South West that already produced the president elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the north East with Vice president elect Kashim Shettima.
Among those ranking members elect who already signified interest to throw the hat into the ring for the coveted office includes the serving deputy Speaker Rt.Hon.Ahmed Idris Wase,from plateau state Former House Chief Whip, Hon. Tajudeen from Kaduna north West, the current house spokes person Benjamin Kalu from the south East, among others.
Rt.Hon.Ahmed Idris popularly known as Wase hails from plateau state in the North Central Geo political zone.
He was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2007 on the platform of Action Congress AC Later To ACN and now APC ,ever since, he has been in the green chamber.
He was a foundation and committed member of the APC.
As a ranking lawmaker, Rt Hon.Ahmed Idris chaired the federal Character Committee for 8 years and member of other committees in the House of Representatives before he was nominated as the Deputy Majority Leader and later emerged as the 9th house Deputy Speaker.
When Rt.Hon.Ahmed Idris Wase was the chairman house committee on the Federal Character for 8 years, he displayed his leadership qualities by ensuring that every member of the committee was carried along in every decision of the committee to the extent that, members of the committee passed vote of confidence on him.
Apart from this, whenever there was any available opportunity for job and project slots he would ensure that members of the committee are properly taken care of.
Rt.Hon.Ahmed Idris is a detribalised Nigerian, evident by his humility and humble attitude towards other tribes within and outside the National Assembly.
Rt Hon.Ahmed Idris Wase has facilitated various developmental as well as recreational projects to his constituency (Wase Federal Constituency) and plateau state which includes Federal medical center, recreational center, Higher institutions,Road Constructions among others
He also empowered thousands of Youths, business owners, farmers, and Artisans
In addition,he gave employment jobs opportunities to thousands of people across the country without religious and ethnic sentiments.
The writer of this piece is from Ondo state, the South West region is one of the beneficiaries of his kindness.
No wonder when the opportunity beckoned on him in 2019 for the exalted position he was overwhelmingly supported by the majority of the lawmakers before he was persuaded by the party heirrachy to step down due to the zoning of the position to the South West which invariably fell on the current speaker Rt.Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila while Rt .Hon.Ahmed Idris emerged as the Deputy Speaker.
Since then the relationship between him and Gbajabiamila has been very cordial and smooth due to his humility and submissiveness.
Opinion sample carried out by one of the journalists among the 9th lawmakers rated Rt .Hon.Ahmed Idris high above other contestants to succeed Gbajabiamila.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke glowingly about his leadership qualities to lead the 10th house of representatives includes Hon.Ayeni from the South West and others, South South South, North West, North Central, North East among others. He was described as a lawmaker who believes in the unity and progress of Nigeria.
Though Rt.Hon.Ahmed Idris Wase has not officially declared his intention to run for the office of the speaker but he has started engaging in nationwide consultations with stakeholders, particularly the governors.
He met recently behind closed doors with the Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, Kogi State Governor Yaya Bello, Nasarawa Governor Abdullah Sule, Ogun state counterpart Dapo Abiodun, Osun State Ademola Adeleke, Borno Zulum,Kebbi Adamu Alero
On the part of Governor Akeredolu, Wase was described as a consistent force within the party as the National Assembly moved to put in place its leadership.
“I’m surprised at times when some people ask if I know you, Wase. Little do they know that you are not just well known to me, but that I know you possess qualities of a consistent and loyal party man.
“You have displayed this over the years looking at your political background right from the period of the then AC to ACN and then to APC. You have never faltered; you have demonstrated great sportsmanship over time.
“I remember when we met in 2019 and resolved against you in favour of Gbaja, you were asked to take the position of Deputy Speaker and you gladly accepted. That is the kind of man we need and I have no doubt that you possess the qualities required to stabilise the incoming administration.
Kogi State counterpart Bello, told Wase that he (Bello) carried a moral burden if he did not support the North Central’s quest for the House of Representatives speakership.
“So this is not just the time of the north central but your time because you are a loyal party man to the core who has not made any attempt to disobey the party”, he said.
While Nasarawa Governor Abdullah Sule told the delegation led by Wase that he is solidly behind the deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase to be the 10th House of Representatives Speaker .
“I’m not just in support of the North Central for speakership; I’m fully behind you in your quest to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives. I’m leading and in the forefront of your campaign”, the governor said.
With all these sterling leadership qualities attributed to Wase by the governors as well as other stakeholders coupled with his experience, Wase ascendancy to the Speaker of the 10th House of Representatives will be a round peg in a round hole that will take the 10th House of Representatives to a greater height.
Thus,Rt Hon.Ahmed Idris the current Deputy Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives has paid his due and made his landmark to emerge as the 10th House Of Representatives Speaker by June this year 2023 when the Lawmakers Elect will be inaugurated.
Writes From Akure,Ondo State Capital