When Douglas Canant, a devoted American leadership practitioner, with over 40 years of experience, wrote: “To win in the market place you must first win in the workplace”, perhaps he was having the recent scenario at the National Assembly in mind, before the emergence of Sani Magaji Tambuwal, as the new Acting Clerk to the National Assembly. Legislative scholars, stakeholders and Nigerians have watched in surprise the high voltage drama, intrigues and unwarranted power struggle that engulfed the bureaucracy of the National Assembly as the exit from the service date of the outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly, Arc. Ojo Olatunde Amos drew near.
Readers of this piece should be interested in what transpired before the former Secretary, Finance and Accounts, in the National Assembly, Sani Magaji Tambuwal dramatically emerged as the chief bureaucrat in the nation’s highest legislative body.
What happened? The last Clerk to the National Assembly, Architect Ojo Olatunde Amos, a professional architect, was to proceed on three months of pre-retirement leave on November 14, 2022, a development that made the position of Clerk to the National Assembly vacant.
Then came the heavily spirited efforts by the adversaries of Sani Tambuwal who saw him as a threat to scuttle his chances to the clerkship of the National Assembly. The dust raised can provoke further instability in a system that has been stable with giant strides. Despite this dastard plot the easy and confident Sani Tambuwal looks unperturbed and unruffled because he is one man who believes so much that whatever Almighty Allah has destined must come to pass.
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According to his detractors, Tambuwal was allegedly sponsored by a serving governor from Northwest Nigeria, to play and act the script of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); he was also accused of not being a core legislative staff of the National Assembly, along with other frivolous and unfounded allegations crocheted from the pit of hell. In no time these lies fell like a pack of cards as they were found to be baseless.
It’s quite unfortunate that some individuals chose to propagate the issue of core or non-core legislative staff as a yardstick to promote their selfish ambition to the top management level of administration within the National Assembly as a tool to segregate others whom they see to be a threat.
Records abound to prove that Salisu Maikasuwa, Ojo Olatunde and a few others performed well, even as they were not core legislative staff.
For instance, Adamu Fika was moved from the core ministry in 1991, to set up the 3rd Republic; and he was a marvel at the National Assembly.
It evokes in the mind because the recurring succession struggle in the National Assembly as if there are no rules of engagement. Top management personnel often resort to atrocious blackmail, unbridled politicking, and unnecessary power display just to pull individuals down, in the name of fighting for who becomes the Clerk to the National Assembly.
This tradition is barbaric and quite unfortunate; it may damage the modest strides achieved by the National Assembly so far and even plunge it into a crisis of leadership and confidence that it may never recover from.
In casting its lots on Sani Tambuwal, the National Assembly Service Commission has strictly followed to the letter the obtainable practice of career path progression and seniority within the statutory rules of the National Assembly in choosing or determining who ascends to the position of Clerk to the National Assembly.
Who and where is Sani Magaji Tambuwal coming from? This former Budget Officer ll in Sokoto House of Assembly, who joined the workforce of the National Assembly in 1992, has been preparing for this job; with diligence and an open heart to learn, he has understudied the affairs of the National Assembly to his fingertips.
As an astute manager of resources who makes difference in everything, he touches even the path he follows, Sani Tambuwal’s financial experience of the budgets of the National Assembly is an added advantage to him as the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly.
His immeasurable experience has come to bear particularly at the critical time funds were needed to implement the Staff Condition of Service. This move obviously will boast the morale of staff that are integral to democracy development.
Sani Magaji Tambuwal, no doubt, will make a great Clerk to the National Assembly as many serving staff have pleasant stories to tell about his helpfulness, his large-mindedness, sympathies and responsiveness. His great genius is his ability to get things done in record time.
Dr Sheriff Kayode, a legislative scholar, is based in Kaduna