***Marks Ten years in office, as lawmakers lavish encomiums.
By Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri
Nigeria’s longest serving Speaker of a state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Abdulkarim Lawan, who is also the Speaker Borno State House of Assembly, on Wednesday 9th February 2022) marked his uninterrupted leadership.
Having clocked 10 years in office, Lawan emerged Speaker on Thursday 9th February 2012, after the impeachment of his predecessor, Hon Goni Ali Modu.
Borno which has been an epicentre of insurgents in the last 13 years, has witnessed unprecedented developments, specifically in the area of Education, Agricultural revolution, heath care delivery service, poverty alleviation, securing lives and property of the citizenry and managing the plight of millions Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in camps, reconstruction, rehabilitation, resettlement processes and ongoing stabilization efforts in liberated communities under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum despite the unfortunate activities of the sect members.
This is even as the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Abdullahi Askira and other Lawmakers have continued to pour their encomium on the Speaker for his simplicity, principles and transparency in all legislative matters in the last 10 years, describing him as a detribalized politician.
Although, reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation of IDPs started during the tenure of former Governor Kashim Shettima, now Senator representing Borno Central, continual efforts were carried out by the present administration, as most of the Local Government Areas of Nothern Borno Senatorial District as well as communities in Central and Southern parts of the state were carried out by Governor Zulum APC led administration under the state Chairmanship of Hon Ali Bukar Dalori, with support from the members of the state House of Assembly, Judiciary, Media, security agencies and development partners among others, which led to millions of IDPs return to their liberated communities voluntarily.
With the cordial relationship that exist between the Executives, Judiciary and the Legislatures, being spearheaded by the Most humble and gentle looking Speaker, his Deputy, Abdullahi Askira and the entire House, Governor Zulum has within just two and half years executed over 600 people oriented projects spread across the 27 local government areas.
Lawan while speaking to Vanguard exclusively on Wednesday thanked Allah (God), and the present government under the leadership of Professor Governor Zulum, his colleagues at the assembly, and the good people of the state, especially those from his constituency (Guzamala) for giving him the mandate to offer service to humanity.
He then passed a vote of confidence on the leadership style of Zulum’s APC- led administration, especially in the ongoing stabilization and resettlement of millions of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs back to their ancestral homes.
Lawan said, during the years under review, uncountable Bills were passed into law under his leadership, however, he explained that, he always feel proud of the Bill passed which led to the establishment of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) that came into force in 2013 as a volunteer group helping the military to combat Boko Haram, and as well the Bill that was recently passed and signed into law for domestication of Child Rights Protection Act, which will provide western education, healthcare delivery service and other needful for children roaming about the streets in the state.
His words: “On behalf of humble myself and family, i want to use this opportunity to thank God Almighty for making it possible for me to clock 10 years of uninterrupted leadership in office.
“I want to also commend government, all my colleagues at the assembly, and the good people of the state, especially those from my constituency (Guzamala) for their unflinching support and by giving me the mandate to offer service to humanity.
“I want to also express confidence on the leadership style of governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum’s APC- led administration, especially in the ongoing stabilization and Resettlement of millions of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs back to their ancestral homes as well as execution of over 600 people oriented projects across the 27 Local Government Areas.
“Since the establishment of the Civilian-JTF there has been a tremendous improvement in return of gradual peace, and relationship between the civilian populace and the armed forces.
“I want to pay tribute to all our gallant officers and men who have paid the supreme sacrifices for us to have peace in this part of the world” he said, adding that the tribute also was for CJTF, many of whom have died, paying the far reaching sacrifice for the state to have peace.” The Speaker stated.
He equally enjoined the people of the state to continue give their maximum support to the present administration of governor Zulum’s transparent and accountable leadership which has taken Borno to greater height within the shortest time.
Shedding more light, the Deputy Speaker, Hon Engr Abdullahi Askira in an interview described Lawan as a Team Player, very humble and hardworking Legislator, who believes in transparency and rule of law in all his dealings in the House.
Rt Hon Askira stated that in the last 10 years, the Speaker has brought stability and due process, as we have never had any problem among ourselves, as we operates rancor free despite our ethnic or socio cultural backgrounds.
“Recall that at a point in time, youths became worried over the incessant killings and destruction of properties by insurgents, and the House under the leadership of the Speaker had to pass the Bill for establishment or emergence of the Civilian JTF.
“The constitution of the Civilian JTF was a Child of Necessity, which has brought sanity, normalcy and peace not only in Borno, the north east, but the country as a whole. Infact, it was when Borno established it’s own Civilian JTF before some other states of the federation started emulating us, so the credit must be given to the Speaker in this regard.” Said the Deputy Speaker.
On the recent passing into law of the Child Rights Act/ Violence Against Persons (VAPs), and subsequent signing into law by governor Zulum, the Deputy Speaker said, it took the House more than nine months, studying the voluminous and contentious nature of the Bill, before we engaged all stakeholders who critically contributed by coming up with some clauses that replaced the ones that suit our own system.
According to member representing Hawul State Constituency, Hon Ayuba Wakawa said, “Hon Abdulkarim Lawan is a natural born leader who united the House under one umbrella for the common good of Borno state, I tend to learnt alot Working with him”.
Likewise, Member Representing Marte Local Government Area, Hon. Engr Mohammed Gambomi in his response said,
“It is neither by accident nor by surprise for Hon Abdulkarim Lawan to be leading the Borno House of Assembly for over 10 years as Speaker.
“Indeed his honesty, transparency, respect for the rule of law and his principle of ‘one for all, all for one’, have made him a Leader with respect and integrity. I congratulate him and wish him well.”
Another Member representing Nganzai State Constituency, Hon Mohammed Ali Gajiram said, “the Speaker has exhibits successful leadership, by making the lives of his team members and workers better.
“This he achieved by setting a harmonious working relationship between the House and the Executive, by maintaining a cordial relationship with the entire assembly members and the management”.
Also in an interview with the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Speaker, Maina Ma’aji Maina Modu said, “in recognition of the people oriented legislation under Lawan’s leadership, the articulated parliamentarian, administrator and manager per excellence has received a number of awards which includes; Excellent Leadership and Good Government Award by the National Institute of public Administration and Management Development, Peace Ambassador by Universal peace Foundation during the First African Summit on Agriculture in Dakar, Senegal, as well as Anti Corruption Ambassador (M Clean) by ICPC and Foundation for Transparency and Accountability (FTA) and host of others too numerous to mention.