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Doguwa with 28 kids may soon start representing only his family

Doguwa with 28 kids may soon start representing only his family
January 28
10:01 2022

Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the Majority Leader in Nigeria’s House of Representatives, announced the birth of a new addition to his family, a baby girl, on Tuesday on the floor of the House. Doguwa who is 56 years old and the longest-serving lawmaker in the House of Representatives represents Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano state even though, at the rate he’s going he may soon begin to represent only his family. His new daughter is his 28th child! Not only that, but he is also boasting that he’s not yet done. On one hand, he has his father’s legacy to aspire to. He had reportedly boasted about his father who died at 86, leaving behind 40 children including a 4-year-old. At this rate, and at ‘only’ 56 years with 28 children already, Doguwa will surely surpass his father by the time he’s 86 years old. It would appear that Hon. Doguwa is also working hard towards having a polling unit in his house.

In case you’re at a loss, to understand this story better, let me help you by reproducing the excerpts of what transpired on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday when Doguwa got up to speak. The drama began when Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, House minority leader, congratulated Doguwa on the birth of his new child. To this, the new father responded: “This is no longer news. It is no longer news because this thing happened in the last 24 hours. It is true that my beloved 

family has gotten an additional one person. It is a baby girl. Bouncing. The mother and the baby are hale and hearty. The husband is still active. I am here. And I thank God that I kept my word with the House that while I had 27, I promised you that I would continue counting. I want by the grace of God and your prayers that the count would continue.”

This response was received with the sort of laughter you’ll hear in a barroom. Perhaps, Doguwa’s colleagues have become accustomed to his ways. Not surprisingly, Doguwa went further to say: “Now that we are considering the Electoral Act amendment, I would also add when we get to the floor perhaps in the Committee of the Whole, I would appeal to my members so that we suspend relevant rules and we have a clause in the Electoral Act where it permits families that do have up to 30 kids in their homes to have an electoral polling unit in that family.” Then he was asked by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, if he was in fact working towards having a polling unit in his house. Doguwa replied: “At least between now and 2023 before the elections come, if you allow that, then I would have a polling unit within my home.”

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All this would be funny were it not being enacted at a supposedly respectable place like the National Assembly. My main concern is that this was being discussed on the floor of the House of Representatives. This is the same place they like to refer to as hallowed chambers although a few people have mistakenly called it ‘hollow’ or ‘hollowed’ chambers including a former speaker, Patricia Etteh. I’m no population police but if Doguwa and his colleagues didn’t carry on in a place like the House of Representatives, I’d have gladly unlooked. But how can representatives of constituencies with millions of out-of-school children, in a country that keeps ‘winning’ the poverty capital of the world ‘competition,’ think it’s funny that one man is boasting about ‘producing’ 28 children and counting?

What sort of examples are these supposed lawmakers setting? Who in their right senses, at a time when population control should be encouraged, would boast of having 28 kids? This is why corruption persists. It’s definitely one of the reasons banditry and terrorism are currently thriving, especially in the northern part of Nigeria. Although we are all “enjoying” this terror across Nigeria. Even if Doguwa were the richest man in the world, which he is clearly not; there are still implications for the country.

Sadly, it’s true this is not the first time Doguwa has brought drama to the hallowed chambers. Around this time last year, he was showing off his 4 wives to the House when he was being sworn in after winning a rerun election. He’d asked the four women to stand up as he called on them one after the other. And at that time, he boasted about having “27 children and counting”. And Speaker Gbajabiamila actually told him to “continue.” Doguwa obviously feels very encouraged. Almost all the media reports I monitored reported the birth of Doguwa’s 28th child as if this was just ordinary news. In fact, one blogger talked about Doguwa’s “lovely family” in reference to the picture of him, his wives, and their 27 children. Lovely isn’t the word I’d use.

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I watched the trio of Tundun Abiola, Reuben Abati, and Oseni Rufai’s discussion of the Doguwa’s baby-making drama on Arise TV ‘The Morning Show’ on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. They made the right noises and rightly expressed their displeasure. For the same reasons that the matter shouldn’t have been on the floor of the House. Although Tundun who’s advocating for two children per family tried to walk back some of her talks by saying that even in more advanced democracies, lawmakers sometimes discuss less serious matters. Meanwhile, on that same programme, same day, they were lamenting the fact that over 10 million children were out of school, mostly from Doguwa’s northern part of the country. How then can those who should be making laws to solve this problem be joking about irresponsible procreation? The irony which couldn’t have been lost on Tundun is her own family history. Her father, the late M.K.O Abiola reportedly had over 40 children and many wives. At the time he died, “accredited wives” alone were more than 10. Then there were the mistresses and other categories of baby mamas. Anyway, this is not about Abiola or anyone with too many children to count. Our lawmakers and other leaders must do better. Journalists and other social commentators shouldn’t also be seen to be encouraging bad behaviour.

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