Senator David Mark

It is more than one year now since the demise of Engineer Ahmed Aliyu Dogondagi, the Chairman of National Assembly Service Commission [NASC]; the commission appears to be in a comatose condition as nobody is directing the affair of the establishment.

Reports from the commission indicate that Senate President, David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tanbuwal is at each other throat as to who brings the Chairman of the commission. Honourable Tanbuwal is said to have insisted that somebody from Sokoto must replace Dogondagi to complete his term in office. Before the demise of Dogondagi, report has it that he has six [6] months left to stay in office out of which he was to proceed on disengagement leave, in effect, he had effective three[3] months to stay in office.

The report further has it that Senate President; David Mark prevailed on Mr. Speaker to allow one Mr. Yemi Ogunyomi, the immediate past Clerk of National Assembly [NASS] to take over from the vacant office. Mark was said to have argued that Mr. Yemi Ogunyomi will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the vacant position as he knows how to develop legislative service from the point of view of an insider. Besides, his experience and expertise, Ogunyomi heals from southwest geo-political zone that has been complaining of marginalization within PDP fold.

Now, there appears to be stalemate in the appointment of Chairman of National Assembly Service Commission [NASC], as the leaders of the two chambers who are suppose to agree on new Chairman in accordance to the Act establishing NASC whenever vacancy present itself, are at each other’s jugular. For avoidance of doubt, the NASC Act Section 3(3) states: “The President of the Senate shall, upon consultation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, submit to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria a proposed list out of which the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall nominate for appointment a Chairman and members of the Commission.

Who will call the duo of Tanbuwal and Mark to order on this? As they have failed to agree on who should replace Engineer Dogondagi, who will appoint the Chairman or will the commission be left without a head? Watchers of events at National Assembly are however condemning the apparent belligerent position of the Speaker on the appointment of new Chairman of NASC on the ground that since the inception of the commission, only people from northwest geo-political zones have been heading the commission. They reason that it is time Honourable Tanbuwal allows another zone to have a shot at the position. Besides, they argued that it is even wrong for him to be canvassing for somebody from his State to mount the saddle on the account that other zones must be given the opportunity to occupy top positions at NASS. It has been reasoned that since Hon. Tanbuwal emerged as the Speaker of the House of Representatives despite attempt by the ruling party to impose unpopular candidate on the House, he should not derail the principle that brought him to office by showing anti democratic tendencies with respect to who becomes NASC Chairman.

The task before Honourable Aminu Tanbuwal now is to deflate the growing perception that his belligerence is responsible for non appointment of National Assembly Service Commission’s Chairman since the demise of Engineer Ahmed Aliyu Dogondagi about one year ago. Honourable Speaker is reminded that his near perfect handling of affairs in the House has already catapulted and positions him for greater task ahead politically, to this end, he should be politically sensitive on issues like this.

Emeka Oraetoka

Information Management Consultant & Political Researcher

Wrote in from Garki-Abuja

P.O.Box 18928

e-mail:oramekllis2lycos.com