National Electoral
Commission, INEC, released
its timetable for the general
elections in the country,
those with interest in various
positions started canvassing
for support. Some who were
anxious and overzealous for
the positions of their choice
went about achieving it
long before the umpire body
announced that it was time to
begin electioneering, all in the
name of consultations.
In fact, serious political
alignment and realignment
were made to enable those with
special interest for positions to
qualify for these positions.
Mr. Peter Abel Diah, a
Sardauna born politician who
was already a member of
the state House of Assembly
representing Mbamga state
constituency, was also at his
political calculations as to
how he would retain his seat
at the state legislative house.
As a lawmaker, it was not too
strange to work out his way
in his constituency. When he
canvassed for the support of his
people, it paid off. The people
of his constituency voted for
him overwhelmingly.
As a politician obviously,
the lawmaker would have had
interest in something higher
but certainly as confirmed,
he had no interest in the
speakership of the House.
He would have loved to
be speaker during his first
coming if there was such an
opportunity but the politician
did not have his eyes on the seat
of the speaker. He was satisfied
with the task of representing
his people at the House of
Assembly. He believed that he
was going to be a floor member
of the House.
A close relation of the new
Speaker informed that the
idea of being the speaker of
the House did not even cross
the mind of the lawmaker.
According to the informant, if
the Mbamga representative in
the state House of Assembly
were asked for his opinion on
the issue of speaker he would
have nominated another
person as according to him,
“the man is an easy going,
humbled and humane, who
does not want to even hurt
a fly. He is a politician with a
After the elections have
come and gone with people
elected for various positions, it
then became the responsibility
to the lawmakers to make their
in-house arrangement to come
out with the speaker. But even
at the level of this arrangement,
the Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP which won the majority
in the House was to come out
with speaker of the House.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday
checks have confirmed that
the lawmakers had to meet
to come out with a name to
become speaker. Diah who
was a member-elect attended,
but never felt he would end
up getting the support of his
colleagues to become speaker.
An insider told Nigerian
Pilot Sunday that what stopped
the immediate past Speaker,
Dr. Mark Useni, from retaining
his seat was the fact that the
Taraba State governor, Darius
Ishaku, did not only come from
the same constituency, but they
are also blood related.
The spirit of federal character
and political balance in the state
and even in the country, do not
allow for the chief executive
and the leader of the House
to come from the same zone,
though this is not captured
in the Nigerian constitution.
This among other reasons as
pointed out by the insider
prevented the immediate past
Speaker from retaining his seat
as the speaker of the eighth
To allow room for power
balance it became obvious that
another person from a different
senatorial district to emerge as
the Speaker of the House. It
was after due considerations
of the factors involved that the
lawmakers decided in their
wisdom to zone the seat and
as fate has it, God smiled on
Diah and he was nominated.
Even some members that had
different opinion on the issue
had to respect the decision of
the party.
Unarguably, it was what the
lawmakers agreed upon that
happened on the floor of the
State House of Assembly. The
representative of Lau state
constituency, Joseph Albasu
Kunini nominated Peter Abel
Diah to be the speaker and
that became the unanimous
decision of the 24 member
Before administering the
oath of office and allegiance,
the Clerk of the House,
Ismaila Tentason Ukwen
read a letter of proclamation
from the governor of the
state, Darius Ishaku which
was in compliance with the
constitution of the country.
The Marafan Mambilla, while
accepting the responsibility
as the Speaker of the eighth
Assembly said he had accepted
the responsibility when the
state has many challenges.
He admitted that all members
were qualified to lead the
House but God chose him at
this time. Diah promised that
he was going to make his office
transparent and accessible
even as argued that he was not
a leader but a servant of the
According to him Taraba
state at this time needed a
servant not a leader and as a
servant, he promised not to
disappoint his colleagues and
the people of the state. “As a
servant I promise to give my
best to the people.”
The new Speaker promised
that he would not hesitate to
consult where necessary and
urged all the people of the state
to advise where necessary, as
according to him they were all
stakeholders in the affairs of
the state.
While insisting that the
era of politicking was over,
the Marafan Mambilla
declared that it was time for
reconciliation for purposeful
development to take place
in the state. He sued for
understanding and cooperation
with the media appealing that
the media professionals should
endeavour to balance their
reports for the betterment of
the state.
The 44-year-old lawmaker,
who told journalists that his
colleagues humbled him by
the election, disclosed that he
believed in the ability of the
executive governor of the state,
Darius Ishaku to develop the
state, which he said, was the
main concern of the people of
the state.
He pointed out that that at
the level of the legislature, the
members of the House would
embark on effective legislation
to enable the executive perform
by surmounting the challenges
ahead and as well executing
developmental projects.
Commenting on the election
of the new Speaker, a politician
who also attended the
inauguration of the House who
was soliloquising while going
back said he was overwhelmed
by the decision of the House to
elect Diah as the new Speaker
of the eighth Assembly.
The new Speaker, according
to him was a levelheaded
person who also has respect for
elders. He expressed hope that
the Speaker would not let the
House down, as he would not
The House under the
speakership of Peter Abel
Diah, which adjourned last
Wednesday, would reconvene
on June 15 to continue with the
business of legislation for the
benefit of the state.
It is from June 15 that the
people of the state would come
to know if the right choice has
been made in choice of speaker

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