The ruling APC having the majority members in the House will definitely produce a replacement for Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. As the race for the Speakership has begun, all eyes are on one man, Muktar Aliyu Betara.
The number of aspirants in the race is growing on daily basis as a result of the leadership of the ruling party not yet taking position on which geo-political zone the speaker will come from but Betara a serious contender in the race has set everything in motion in becoming the Speaker of the 10th House.
He joined the race on the conviction that whoever will work with the executive must bring tendencies together and unite all irrespective of tribe, religious and political background. Betara has a clear vision of what the leadership of the House entails, making him to embark on wide consultations with the major stakeholders in the party both at the State and National levels.
For a House with different interest and ideology, the Speaker must foster cordial relationship between the executive and legislative arms without compromising the rules and regulations of the House; Betara is well suited in such position having become an active member of the House in the last four assemblies and all indication pointed at him as preferred among the contestants.
The track records of Betara best positioned him ahead of others; let’s take a look at the seven features that could work for the emegence of Betara as 10th House of Representatives Speaker.
1. Cognate Legislative Experience
Betara emerging as one of the few members to have served in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth assemblies in Nigeria, with the current and immediate past tenures secured on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is well prepared for the task ahead.
He was first elected into the Green Chamber in 2007. He won the February 25 National Assembly Election making him a five times Lawmaker by the time the House resumes in June. He entered the race for the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and got elected as the member representing the interests of Biu, Kwaya Kusar, Bayo and Shani Federal Constituency. Among the contenders for the Speakership race, Betara cognate Legislative Experience in terms of coordination, exposure, accommodation, Bills sponsored, Motions moved, oversight functions and brilliant contributions are a plus to his aspiration.
2. Leadership Skills as Chairmen of House Committees
Leadership entails ability and capacity to accommodate divergent opinions, being democratic and respecting other people’s opinions. Betara since 2007 has held different positions in the House and has proven himself as a result oriented and goal getter without stepping on toes. If Former Members of the House could throw their weight behind his aspiration, it shows his level of acceptability could only be possible with good character and humility.
Between 2007 and 2011, Betara acted as Chairman of the Sub-committee on NDIC, Banking and Currency. He also served as a member of the House Committee on Interior, and was subsequently appointed as Chairman, Sub-committee on Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office (CIPPO).
At the seventh assembly (2011 to 2015), he was appointed as Chairman, House Committee on the Army, directly making recommendations to empower and sustain the activities of the army against the rising insurgency in the Northern region of Nigeria.
From 2015 to 2019, Betara served as Chairman of the House Committee on Defence. He is the current Chairman of the House committee on Appropriations, presiding over all other committees regarding the appropriation process in the House of Representatives.
3. A Loyal Party Man
Betara joined politics for one cogent reason, service to humanity. As an accomplished Accountant, blessed in all ramifications, ordinarily should be less concerned about his people but rather passionate about the welfare of his constituent. He believes in Progressive politics which made him to joined All Nigeria People Party ( ANPP), a platform he was elected in 2007. With the merging of the party to the ruling APC, he has been a loyal party man that believe in the supremacy of the party. The choice of Betara by the leadership of APC will enhance harmonious working relationship with the executive.
4. A Good Manager of Crisis
In the game of politics, conflict of interest and ideas within the House is inevitable, but managing crisis requires a leader with wisdom and political Will to take certain decision to douse tension. Betara has what it takes to unite the House in the face of provocation and altercation. He has been lauded for his critical decision-making and crisis management skills in the House.
5. Massive Support From Former Members of the House
The coalition of former Members of the House of Representatives from the six geo political zones endorsement of Betara is a plus to his aspiration. They premised their support on the determination to have someone with the ability and capacity to unify the country, competence and skills to drive an effective and productive legislature, build bridge between other arms of government.
These set of former lawmakers have influence that can shape who becomes the speaker of the House. The former members cut across 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Assembly, mobilising support from their respective zone, selling the intimidating credentials of Betara with regards to his legislative prowess that will position the 10th Assembly as a formidable House.
6. Track Records/ APC Stakeholders Support
In the contest that has no fewer than 10 people intensifying campaigns and lobbying the leaders and colleagues, Betara has taken it upon himself to combed every political nook and cranny of his party to solicit for the support of party’s stakeholders. For any leader to support and throw his weight behind certain politician, they must have seen something unique about him or her; Betara giant strides and track record since 2007 as federal Lawmaker has endeared some political leaders to him both in the state and national levels.
He is currently the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations in the 9th Assembly which held its first session on 11 June 2019. Under his leadership, the committee has succeeded in having the June-to-June budget cycle changed to a preferable January-to-December one for a more effective budget implementation. As a result, the Appropriation Act, 2022 and the Finance Act, 2021 have been passed and enacted respectively for the third consecutive year without fail, enabling all stakeholders to prepare adequately for any fiscal changes.
His legislative interests include Youth and Women Empowerment, Developmental Governance, Health, Education, Social and National Security, as well as providing equal opportunities. He is believed to be responsible for the construction of 20 health care centers, 10 ambulances, a mini-stadium and the installation of more than 600 solar-powered street lights in his constituency.
7. Cordial Relationship with Colleagues
One thing is for the leadership of the party to zone and another thing is to be in the good book of fellow lawmakers who hold the voting power on the Assembly floor. Betara is a man with serene humility, character and fear of God. His simplicity and accomodating nature make many of his colleagues to respect his opinion. This singular act might work for him because people need leader that is approachable with listening ears. Betara can count on the votes of his colleagues for the position of the Speakership.
Aside this seven unique features that Betara is counting on, others factor will also work in his favour.
He began his education at Biu Central Primary School in 1973 and obtained