Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state and former speaker of the federal house of representatives, says the emergence of Yakubu Dogara as his successor was based on merit.
He Dogara as “a detribalised and committed Nigerian”, saying he decided to support him over Femi Gbajabiamila – who he admitted was his close ally – because of his “competence”.
Tambuwal was speaking on Monday when a delegation from Sayawa communities in Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa local government areas of Bauchi state paid him a courtesy visit.
“Dogara is a patriotic, committed and pious Nigerian who has been tested and trusted,” he said.
“He is one young northerner and Nigerian who has not only integrity, but accommodation and the ability for leadership.
“When you are talking about leadership, you must put away sentiments. I have strong affinity with Hon Femi. He was closer to me than Dogara. But when talking about leadership and collective decisions, sentiments have to be put aside.
“I’m not here to tell you that my support made Dogara the speaker. Two factors worked for Dogara; one is God and the second is his competence.
“The acknowledgement of Dogara’s competence did not start with me. It started from the time of Hon Patricia and Etteh and Hon Dimeji Bankole when they entrusted him with a sensitive position of the chairman of house services committee.
“The committee is one of the most sensitive in the legislature. Apart from taking care of the welfare of members, the committee oversees all procurement processes. As the speaker, I only did what my predecessors did by giving Dogara this sensitive position.
“No person, as far as I know, has served as chairman of the house services committee in two dispensations. Dogara broke that jinx. All through my tenure, I brought Dogara close to me because I found in him a person who is competent, accommodating, and with capacity to lead.
“Anyone doubting Dogara’s ability to lead should ask members of the 7th assembly how he handled their matter. So I supported Dogara because he was competent to deliver on any task given to him and his emergence as the speaker was based on merit and divined by God.”
Ishaku Komu, the paramount ruler of Sayawa community, who led the delegation, thanked Tambuwal for supporting Dogara, an indigene of Bauchi.
The monarch promised Nigerians that their son would live up to expectation.
He also urged Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari to enable him effect the desired changes in the country.
In his remarks, Suleiman Bogoro, executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), also an indigene of the community, described Tambuwal as “bridge builder”.