There's cabal in N'Assembly- Clerk

THE PUNCH Newspaper

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, on Sunday, raised the alarm over the existence of a cabal in the National Assembly.

Maikasuwa, 52, was inaugurated as clerk in August, succeeding Mr. Oluyemi Ogunyemi, who exited the service on attaining the retirement age of 60.

The clerk spoke at a reception held in his honour in Keffi, Nasarawa State by the Keffi Youths Progressive Association.

The reception was attended by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Usman Nafada, senators, members of the House of Representatives; former ministers, and a former presidential aspirant, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, among others.

The clerk revealed that the cabal, mostly top civil servants in the National Assembly, could destroy the career of anybody who was not a member.

The head of the National Assembly bureaucracy recalled how he had been a victim of the cabal before ‘God’s intervention’ saved his career.

According to him, his travails started when he “introduced a sense of belonging and team spirit” as the Director, Personnel Management.

He said, “I inspired the confidence of staff and exhibited exemplary leadership which altogether culminated in my rising profile in the NASS bureaucracy.

“Alas, little did I know that some ambitious and mischievous colleagues had started regarding me with contempt and envy due to my modest achievements; and they openly boasted that they were going to clip my wings.

“I never bothered about bureaucratic politics because I never got that orientation from my first working environment, the Federal Capital Development Authority.

“Then, all of a sudden, some of my hostile colleagues and their collaborators got an opportunity to clip my wings.

“This was made possible because there was a cabal that held the NASS bureaucracy under siege, and I was not considered an eligible member.”

Maikasuwa explained how the cabal frustrated his appointment as substantive clerk of the House of Representatives in 2007, preferring to designate him as ‘Clerk, Special Duties,’ a nomenclature that is non-existent in the scheme of service of the National Assembly.

Maikasuwa said that in the bid to frustrate him, the “cabal arranged for the Office of the Vice-President to forward a request for my nomination for the Senior Executive Course 29, at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.

“Since the cabal was still bent on scheming me out not only from the post of the Clerk and House of Representatives, but also out of the entire NASS, I got the nomination, which I accepted in good faith,” Maikawa said.

He revealed that the cabal held his appointment letter from April to November 2007 before releasing it.

“Even when I returned and resumed duty, from 2007 to 2009, the cabal refused to give me an office and strategically and conspiratorially barred me from all management meetings and all official assignments,” Maikasuwa said.

The clerk told his audience that it took the intervention of the President of the Senate, Mr. David Mark, and on unnamed former minister for the cabal to back down on its resolve to stop his progress in the service.

“The Almighty God came to my rescue and by His grace, I subsequently became the Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly and now the Clerk to the National Assembly,” he said.

The clerk added that the lessons he learnt from his travails were trust in God and not to “believe in the theory and practice of godfatherism.”

In its reaction to Maikawa’s claim, the House of Representatives said cabals existed in every system.

The spokesman of the House, Mr. Eseme Eyiboh, blamed the existence of cabals on the “level of our underdevelopment.”

According to him, this has led to a situation where “wrong people find themselves in wrong places, stronger than the institutions they represent.”

He added, “People who act God exist in every system; the statement by the Clerk is not out of place, especially when he has used his personal experience to buttress his comments.”

Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Information and Communications, Mr. Labaran Maku, asked public servants to strive to leave good legacies instead of compromising their integrity just to acquire wealth.

Maku said an honest and disciplined public officer would be remembered for his integrity many years after he had left office, and not how much wealth he had acquired through corrupt means.

Maku observed that the inordinate quest for wealth by Nigerians could easily force an otherwise honest public officer to engage in corrupt practices.

Maku added, “If you know that what you are about to do will jeopardise your integrity or compromise the institution which you represent, don’t do it.

“Money is not everything; it is better to leave a good legacy than to be lured into soiling your record of service.”


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