Dogara: Emergence Of A Controversial Speaker | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Dogara: Emergence Of A Controversial Speaker

Posted: Jun 11, 2015 at 1:47 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Funmi Falobi  – Lagos


Finally, members of the House of Representatives have elected Yakubu Dogara, who represents Bogoro/ Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency in Bauchi state, as the Speaker of the 8th Assembly.

To followers of events at the National Assembly (NASS) and the politicking that has been going on, the emergence of Dogara might not have come as a surprise. Dogara scored 182 votes while his main contender from the same party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Femi Gbajabiamila, who represents Surulere Federal Constituency, Lagos State, polled 174.

man-in-the-newsPrior to the Tuesday, June 9 NASS election, APC had conducted a mock election where Gbajabiamila won the party’s official candidature. However, Dogara and his supporters walked out of the mock election and decided to contest at the floor of the House.

His chances to win the speakership position received a boost when the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, adopted him as its candidate. PDP has 125 members in the 360 – member House of Representatives while APC has 214. The three other parties, Labour Party, Accord Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), share the balance of 10 seats.

While APC has described the outcome of the election as unacceptable, President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted to work with the new NASS leadership.

In a statement released by Buhari’s Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, the President would have preferred that the process of electing the leaders as initiated and concluded by the APC had been followed by the lawmakers, “nonetheless, the President took the view that a constitutional process has somewhat occurred.”

Mixed reactions have however trailed the outcome. While some view the speaker as working against his party procedure, analysts, however, believe that the whole process has added another feather in the cap of the nation’s democracy. To them, the issue of god-fatherism in politics must be dealt with as Nigerians are actually expecting the change that will impact their lives positively.

Many are also of the view that APC needs to tread softly especially after its massive victory in the 2015 election so that the party will not consume itself.

A similar event played out in 2011 when Aminu Tambuwal emerged as the Speaker of the House against the zoning arrangement of his party, PDP, defeating Mulikat Akande-Adeola who was the party’s candidate. Tambuwa enjoyed the support of the opposition to torpedo the PDP zoning formula, which ceded the post to the South – West geo-political zone.

Born on December 26, 1967, Yakubu Dogara began his education in 1976 at Gwarangah Primary School in Bauchi. Upon graduation in 1982, he proceeded to the Bauchi Teachers’ College for his secondary education, and obtained a Grade II Teachers’ Certificate in 1987. In 1988, he went on to the University of Jos, Plateau State, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Law (LLB Hons.) degree in 1992.

From 1992 to 1993, Dogara was a student at the Lagos campus of the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar in 1993. He later obtained a Masters (LLM) in International Commercial Law at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland.

In 2005 he was appointed Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Transport. In 2006, he decided to contest to represent the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa-Balewa constituency at the Federal House of Representatives and has been a member of the House since 2007. From 2011-2015, he served as Chairman of the committee on House Services and Welfare, before he emerged the speaker.