The ongoing degenerating cold war between the Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nuhu Abok Ayuba, and the Executive triggered by the Speaker himself left right-thinking people wondering on what he intends to achieve.
How would this war of his benefit the entire state? The Speaker is the number three citizen of the state in terms of governance, and the essence of good governance as Chief Obafemi Awolowo said, is for the welfare of the people. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe said, “I hereby admonish politicians to realise that they have no preemptive rights over and above the citizen who elected them to office. They must appreciate the fact that their supreme task is to guarantee to the people of this Federal Republic freedom from fear and to secure for them freedom from want.”
Zik said also, “I regard politics as synonymous with public service buttressed by a sincere desire to make life in this country worthwhile for all who live within its borders.”
The aim of the Speaker as a legislator should be to make better the lives of the people of Plateau, that means anything that will sabotage the progress of the state or breach its peace he would avoid and also to make compromise of personal interest and selfish aggrandizement for the state to succeed. Zik said, “We make compromise to allow the nation succeed.”
Let’s analyze the relationship between the Executive and legislature on the Plateau.
Before then, the Speaker is aware of the Conference of Speakers of the 36 states of the federation that took place in Katsina State on Monday, where their Chairman Bauchi State Speaker, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Suleiman, pleaded with the Governors to grant autonomy to their state legislatures.
Before their conference, Plateau State Governor, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong granted financial autonomy to Plateau State House of Assembly for it to function independently and very well.
After the attack on Yelwa Zangam, the Speaker pushed the blame on the Governor and publicly declared that he is not with him, and that he should go and find solutions to the crises bedeviling the state, which was totally wrong of him to have done that as it has only amounted to absconding from his duty being part of the government. It is the responsibility of government which comprises of the executive, legislature and judiciary, to find solutions to problems bedeviling the state, and not for one of its arms to incapacitate the body and made it appear insensitive to the plight of the governed.
Again, when Plateau State Polytechnic students went on protests blocking the high way at a period the dust of the crises that engulfed Jos North has started settling down, the Speaker did not plea with the students as a responsible leader would do to sheathe their sword, and ensure that the problems that led to the staff of the state tertiary institutions embarking on strike are addressed. Instead he went for the burial of the student that lost his life and made bogus speeches to appear heroic. I am not condemning his attendance of the burial but holier than thou posture and bogus claims to appear heroic. I am not justifying the killing of the student, neither the protests because none of the steps taken had solve the problem of the students writing their examination.
Again, after the All Progressives Congress, APC, state convention allegations started springing up that the Speaker was planning to impeach the governor?
Now, what has his stance on Yelwa Zangam and taking side with protests by students which could have resulted to another round of crises solved? If he had gone to plead with the students and went to see the executive, the problems could have been solved by now. Heroes don’t pull people down to appear great, but solve difficult problems that are a bane to the greatest population.
From the actions of the Speaker, it is clear that he is seeking political relevancy after office, and be seen as a hero who fought the governor and not one that improved and made better the lives of the citizens.
Check it, is this the right time to distract governance in Plateau State? Consider the uncompleted legacy projects all over the state where billions of naira have been spent, is it not time to pressurize the government to complete them?
Recently the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo said states should find avenues of financial independence to succeed. Is it not time for the legislature and executive to put their acts together and boost the revenue drive of the state? One of the major setbacks to Plateau is the too often ethno-religious crises. Now that peace is fast returning, is it not time for the House and the Executive to put more preventive measures to ensure that peace is restored in its fullness and consolidated?
Plateau is not interested in any big boy the speaker is playing, because there are many problems that need attention, and fighting the governor is never one of them.
We have seen cases where Plateau State governors were fought but did not change the course of Plateau.
Joshua Dariye was removed over the allegations of insecurity, financial misappropriation, and bad governance, what difference did it make? How did it better the lives of the citizens of Plateau? Jang came to power and the crises worsened. He left major projects uncompleted. He left over a year pension arrears, six months salary arrears of civil servants. Three months of no work, no pay salary arrears, and seven months of security allowance arrears.
Jang is facing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over financial misappropriation, which the judgment can go either way.
The government has less than a year for active governance and all energies must be channelled towards completing projects and boosting the economy and not distraction from any speaker playing big boy and seeking heroism. We want a hero that will unite the House and the Executive to work harmoniously for the general good of the state. And set up strong institutions by way of legislation.
The Speaker knows that Jos East his constituency strongly holds unto zoning which he is a beneficiary. He has agreed to the terms that is why he is in the House today. Any form of struggling to breach that to remain in power will not work no matter how he fights the governor.
Again, no matter how he fights the governor to satisfy the opposition and then cross carpet to be given the ticket for Jos South/Jos East Federal Constituency, will not work as he cannot be given the ticket at the expense of Hon. Dachung Bagos and he cannot defeat any person of the Berom extraction at the primaries or secondary polls.
And if the fight is with the motive to pave way for Letep Dabang his political principal to be governor, it’s a fatal mistake. The late Senator Ibrahim Mantu ensured Dariye was illegally impeached to return to the Senate for a third time, but lost at the polls twice. Power comes from God. And Letep Dabang cannot be governor due to his antecedents, and the major tribes know him as the champion of minority agenda, while the minority knows him as master oppressor.
There will be nothing as heroic as for the Speaker to drop down his weapon and unite the legislature with the executive for their government to end up well and be on the good side of history.