By JUDE NDUKWE
Leadership at every level is all about the people. Any leadership that does not envision programmes in the people’s interests is a failed leadership ab initio. It is for this reason that the next House of Representatives must be led by someone with proven capacity, competence, character, and experience in the business of lawmaking. This is necessary because the Federal House of Representatives is a House of the people, therefore, it must not only be seen to serve the interest of the people, it must also produce results at all times to show that it remains aligned with the people’s expectations and aspirations.
Unless Members of the Federal House of Representatives elect leaders who cannot be swayed by extraneous forces against them and their constituents, they will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of their people and would have disappointed many and live ingloriously among their constituents ever after. It is for this reason that men and women of goodwill everywhere have been clamouring for Hon Tajudeen Abass of Zaria Federal Constituency to be elected the next Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives.
As a man who has since traversed the length and breadth of both the country’s public and private sectors in different enviable capacities without blemish, the Iyan Zazzau is experienced enough to lead his esteemed colleagues in navigating the complex and intricate demands of lawmaking successfully for the benefit of the people.
Having started his lofty career as a primary school teacher in Zaria for seven years starting from 1981, Abass moved to a private financial services firm, Trust Acceptance Ltd and then as an Accountant II in the Bursary Department of Kaduna State Polytechnic in 1989. But his affection for people and service would not allow him remain in the more lucrative Bursary Department of the Polytechnic, so in the same year, he switched to academics as Lecturer II and doubled as pioneer Head of Department of Accounting and Finance of Kaduna State Polytechnic, Zaria. After establishing the department on a sound footing, Tajudeen sought more experience in the private sector and moved to Nigeria Tobacco Distribution Company now known as British-American Tobacco where he served as Area Marketing Manager from 1993 to 1998. From there, he took higher responsibility as General Manager of Jos Tobacco Distribution Company Ltd in 1998 but returned to his love of service to the people when he took up appointment as Head of Department and Senior Lecturer of the Banking and Finance Department of Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria in 2001 and then to Kaduna State Polytechnic in 2005 where he served as Lecturer 1 and pioneer Head of Department of the institution’s Banking and Finance Department till 2010.
A man dedicated to his dreams of a better society, Hon. Tajudeen Abass kept on developing himself even while serving in various capacities. After obtaining his First School Leaving Certificate in Zaria and his West African School Certificate Examination in Makarfi, he obtained a Grade II certificate from the Kaduna Teacher’s College and then a Diploma in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Following that, the highly experienced lawmaker obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and then a Ph.D in Business Administration from Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. As a revered academic and vastly travelled man, Tajudeen has successfully published 13 scholarly works in international journals and has attended over forty national and international academic programmes.
With such glowing academic sojourn and enviable career, the Iyan Zazzau has proved without any iota of doubt that he has the capacity and competence needed to lead the 10th House of Representatives to an admirable height and help etch the names of his colleagues in gold in the heart of Nigerians.
His profound experience as a lawmaker started when he was first elected to the Federal House of Representatives in 2011 under the platform of the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to represent Zaria Federal Constituency and served as the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Compliance until 2015 when he was reelected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Solid Minerals. A man loved by his people for his result-oriented legislative output, he was once again overwhelmingly reelected to the Green Chamber in 2019, and having demonstrated competence, character and virtue in the discharge of his responsibilities in the House, especially in the Committees he served, he was appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport in the 9th House, a position he holds till date. Aside being the APC Caucus Leader for Kaduna State in the House of Representatives since 2019 and was also the Chairman of the House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Constitution Review Conference for North-Central in 2021, he was Treasurer of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (African Chapter) in 2019, the same year he was appointed to represent the North West region in the Governing Council of the Nigeria Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), an appointment he holds till date. Regularly courted for his wealth of experience, Tajudeen has served as Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committees four times from 2015 to 2022.
Always seeking to improve the welfare of the people through quality legislative bills and motions, Tajudeen sponsored 43 bills and 13 motions in the 8th Assembly which was the 3rd highest number of bills sponsored by any member. Not known to rest on his laurels, Tajudeen took quality representation and legislative output a notch higher by sponsoring 78 bills and 7 motions in the 9th Assembly which was the highest by any member in the House, and more fulfilling for him is that 20 of his bills have been assented to by the President, hence, contributing meaningfully to the sociopolitical and economic development of the country.
These great feats have singled him out for consecutive awards and honours as the Best Performing House of Representatives Member for several years.
Tajudeen is a Member and Fellow of several professional bodies including being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILTS) in year 2020; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Administrators, 2016; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketers, 2013; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Treasury Management, 2010; Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Nigeria, 2015, and Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management in 2008.
A Lawmaker with such towering credentials who has proved to be a man of his own mind with excellent interpersonal skills cannot be a stooge to anybody and will work with his colleagues, as he has done everywhere, to achieve great things for the House and the people the members represent.
Every institution will always put its best foot forward; it cannot and should not be different with the House of Representatives. No matter the factors considered in choosing the next Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass ticks all the boxes. Humane, cerebral, experienced, transparent, accountable, competent, compassionate and cordial towards colleagues and the people, he has come prepared and committed to be the best Speaker of what will be the best Federal House of Representatives in Nigeria’s history!
Jude Ndukwe, a public affairs analyst, sent this piece from Abuja