Unmasking Sani Tambuwal: The New Clerk To The National Assembly

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By Dr. Sheriff Kayode

“To win in the market place you must first win in the workplace”
_Douglas Canant

When Douglas Canant, a devoted American leadership practitioner, with over 40 years experience, wrote that :”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 service date date of the out going Clerk to the National Assembly, ARC. OJO OLATUNDE AMOS drew near.Its unbelievable that this trajectory was not at the instance of outsider but powerful intrest who has benefited from the same system.
Readers of this piece should be interested in what actually 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 3 months 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 has the capacity to 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 believe so much that whatever Almighty Allah has destined must come to pass.
According to his detractors, Tambuwal was allegedly sponsored by a serving governor from Northwest Nigeria, to play and act the scripts 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 corchorted from the pit of hell.In no time these lies fell like a pack of cards as they were found to be baseless. If lies travel a million miles, the truth will overtake in a super sonic speed of the light.
To start with, Sani Magaji Tambuwal is not the only non core legislative officer that has risen to the Clerkship of the National Assembly, Architect Ojo Olatunde Amos was Clerk to the National Assembly yet he proved himself creditable and yet exceptional well.
It’s quiet 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 threat.
Records abound to prove that Salisu Maikasuwa, Ojo Olatunde and 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 why the recurring succesion struggle in the National Assembly as if there are no rules of engagement.Top management personnel often resorts to atrocious blackmail, unbridled politicking, 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 crisis of leadership and confidence that it may never recover from.
Indeed, it is a bad scenerio as the propaganda and media war took a political dimension , when a porported All Progressives Congress (APC) group erroneously alleged via excessive media fire works that the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) was planning to take over the bureaucracy of the National Assembly, by resorting to wicked blackmail and outright lies? Why this desperation to politicize the bureaucracy of the National Assembly that is suppose to be apolitical?
Quite frankly, such desperate intention is very dangerous to our nascent democracy and the National Assembly as an institution.
The National Assembly since independence had lived up to expectation as the only symbol of democracy hence any self inflicted wound capable of spewing instability must be checked. The National Assembly Service Commission members under the Chairmanship of Eng. Ahmed Khadi Amshi are highly respected Nigerians with impressive track record. They are aware that seniority and federal character remains the cardinal yardstick for appointment of the Clerk to the National Assembly.
This happened recently, when President Muhammadu Buhari, went ahead to appoint one Mrs. Christy Uba, as the Acting Director of National Youth Service Commission (NYSC), pending the appointment of a substantive director by the government? President Buhari simply used seniority to choose who takes over in NYSC.
Therefore, when Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi, the Executive Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission ( NASC), led other able members of the body, during its 565th meeting on November 18, 2022, to summon their patriotic instinct and zeal, subjugate narrow selfish intrest of a few in favour of the public service rules and proclaim Sani Magaji Tambuwal, as the new Acting Clerk to the National Assembly.
Engr. Ahmad Amshi, by acting according to the powers statutorily confers on the National Assembly Service Commission, in section 6 ( b) of the National Assembly Act 2014, he was rewarding a man incredibly imbued with the qualities of hard work, administrative competence and systemic loyalty.
In taking such wonderful decision, the National Assembly Service Commission has duly taken into consideration the federal character principle operatable in Nigeria; even at a time the current Federal Government is being accused of biased in its lopsided appointments.
Also 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.
It is equally proper to state that, the so called delay by the National Assembly in arriving at its positive decision is justified, as the Commission has painstakingly done a marvelous work by picking Sani Magaji Tambuwal.
This is to quickly say too that the recent appointment of other senior management team members, particularly, that of Barr. Kamarudeem Ogunlana, the ex- Secretary, Legal Services, as the new Acting Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly is in order and can be described as a round peg in a round hole. Ogunlana has put over twenty five years of service to the National Assembly with proficient and proven legal experience.Worthy to mention too is the deserved appointment of Clement Inyang a chartered Accountant who stepped into the shoes of Sani Tambuwal as the Secretary, finance and Account.This appointment remains a landmark because it’s the first time ever in the history of the Nigerian legislature that a seasoned chartered accountant is heading the finance directorate.
Who and where is Sani Magaji Tambuwal coming from?
This former Budget Officer ll in Sokoto House of Assembly, who joined the work force of the National Assembly in 1992, has been preparing for this job; with deligence and an open heart to learn he has understudied the affairs of the National Assembly, to his finger tips.
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 moral of staff that are integral to democracy development.
As somebody who kept a track and worked closely with former Clerks to the National Assembly including Architect Ojo Olatunde Amos, he has learnt the administrative ropes perfectly, which will make him to adjust quickly to his current position.He has been part of all the negotiation with the staff union for an improved welfare hence he remain the best personality for the job.
In unmasking Sani Magaji Tambuwal to the Nigerian public, is exposing a super administrator, a master class in finance and accounting business; an intellectual giant in his own right.
To fully know a man like Sani Magaji Tambuwal, is to look at what Doug Canant has postulated about a great leader; a leader who must have won first ” in the work place. That is the kind of personality occupying the highest administrative spot within the National Assembly today.
This man posseses an extraordinary leadership attributes; an acknowledged professional with captivating local and international certificates in his knitty. Tambuwal is unsparing in his efforts to make things work in any official assignment, he is involved in, which oftens brings dramatic results; he is an assiduous goal- getter.
Sani Magaji Tambuwal, no doubt, will make a superlative Clerk to the National Assembly, as many serving staff have pleasant stories to tell about his helpfulness, his large-mindedness, wide sympathies and responsiveness; his great genius is his ability to get things done in record time.
The fact of the matter is that if Sani Magaji Tambuwal had not learnt the administrative ropes professionally and succeeded in winning the hearts of the greatest numbers of the managerial cum rank and file staff of the National Assembly, the National Assembly Service Commission would not have confidently placed its mantle of leadership on him on November 18, 2022?
His outstanding professional achievements and commitments has helped greatly in building a formidable and flourishing National Assembly bureaucracy, especially in the area of finance and accounting.
It is therefore a welcoming news, when the National Assembly Service Commission, picked this bundle of energy and intellects, known for his sterling qualities; ability to withstand pressure, accessibility to staff and affable nature.
With Sani Magaji as the new Acting Clerk to the National Assembly, it is hoped that staff welfare will be paramount on his administrative dashboard; and the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding ( MOU) reached between staff and management will be pursued vigorously and positively.
Sani Magaji Tambuwal, indeed, has in him a fire of administrative spirit, that burns in defense of collective enterprise, orderliness and official progress.
There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to make a great Clerk to the National Assembly.
Dr Sheriff, a legislative scholar and Journalist is based in Kaduna

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