Abdussamad Dasuki: Inspired by Need for Quality Representation
In this report, Onuminya Innocent focuses on the political trajectory of Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki and his bid to represent Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State again
All over Nigeria – indeed, the world – trust in government and people in government is teetering on the brink of collapse. This is as politicians dash people’s hopes and confidence, and many experience disappointments in those they entrusted with power.
The trend of disappointment and distrust pose a critical challenge to development. But one man is on a mission to reverse the trend for his people, the people of Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency of Sokoto State.
Hon. Abdussamad Dasuki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives candidate for Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency in next year’s general election, says he has identified the problem, and he is prepared to fix it.
“I have seen the challenge that growing distrust of people in power by those who elected them is creating for societal progress,” he says. “How it is making it difficult to summon resources and drive for development and protect development projects.”
The son of the late Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki (18th Sultan of Sokoto) has also figured out what to do.
He says, “What to do is to rekindle the hope of the people, rebuild their trust, and fire their passion by delivering quality representation to them.
“I am inspired by the need for quality representation in Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency. It is my major motivation for seeking reelection to the House of Representatives.”
In May, Dasuki won the PDP House of Representatives primary by a unanimous vote. He says if elected to the lower chamber next year, he would continue the mission he had launched in 2015, alongside other like-minded legislators, to return Nigeria to the parliamentary system of government.
The former Commissioner for Finance in Sokoto State believes the presidential system, which the country has practised since the inception of the Second Republic in 1979, is too bloated to facilitate development. He wants a change to a leaner governmental structure, which the parliamentary system supports.
“I still think we should rethink this system, our presidential system of government, which, as we can all see, creates unnecessary openings for corruption and conflict, and work towards its replacement with the parliamentary system,” says Dasuki, who was House of Representatives member for Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency between 2015 and 2019.
He says his immediate constituency, Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency, would be a major partaker of dividends of democracy under his representation.
How would he achieve his mission for his people? What are the possible solutions he can implement to guarantee confidence in his legislative abilities, if elected into the House of Representatives next year?
Dasuki says, “I have defined my mission, which is to rebuild the people’s confidence in representative governance. My strategy would be the facilitation of projects and schemes that target the majority of my people. I have done it before, I will do it again.”
If elected, Dasuki would be coming to the National Assembly with ample legislative, executive, traditional, and private sector experiences under his belt.
Dasuki, who belongs to the Malam Buhari Dan Shehu ruling family of Sokoto Caliphate, holds the title of Santurakin Sokoto, which was conferred on him in 2021 by Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III. The Santurakin Sokoto titleholder assists the Sultan in the day-to-day running of the Sultanate.
Dasuki began his political career in 2011 with his election into the Sokoto State House of Assembly as member representing Tambuwal East State Constituency. He chaired the Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture between 2011 and 2013 and served as Chairman, Committee on Finance and Appropriation from 2013 to 2015.
As a lawmaker, Dasuki sponsored several bills and motions that positively impacted good governance in the state and the lives of his constituents.
At the House of Representatives, Dasuki also sponsored critical bills and motions. They included North East Development Commission Bill, Usman Danfodio University (Amendment) bill, Motion on Erosion for Dogondaji and its Environs, and the historic “Not too Young to Run Bill”.
He was an active member of the global Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and also served in various committees of the House. He served in the House Committees on Navy, Sustainable Development Goals, Financial Crimes, Local Content, North East, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Dasuki’s remarkable performance as Chairman, House Committee on Navy, paved the way for the construction of a world class Navy Secondary School in Tambuwal, the first of its kind in the North-west.
Dasuki’s sterling representation and contributions in the House also earned him recognition by the House Press Corps, which conferred on him the Young Lawmaker of the year award in 2017.
He was appointed Commissioner for Finance by Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal soon after his re-election in 2019.
Dasuki’s professional abilities were brought to bear on the Tambuwal government’s economic reform agenda, leading to very impressive outcomes. The Tambuwal economic reforms, which he drove as commissioner for finance, boosted the state’s finances, improved transparency, and blocked loopholes that had aided corrupt practices.
The successful implementation of the reforms earned the state endorsement of major finance institutions, which supported development projects. They included a grant of $33 million in three years and another $22 million from the World Bank for the commitment to the implementation of the State’s Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme. This followed Sokoto State’s impressive score in the SFTAS ranking, where it placed among the top three states in the country.
Sokoto State also came first among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the tax payment column of the Subnational Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Baseline Survey, as announced by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Other achievements under Dasuki as Commissioner for Finance included enactment of the harmonised Consolidated Revenue Law of 2019, which helped the state raise its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by 97 per cent; continued automation of revenue processes; establishment of revenue codes for the state and all the 23 local governments; establishment of Single Treasury Account (TSA); adoption of Cash Management Strategy; adoption of Monthly Debt Arrears Clearance Framework on Contract and Gratuity payments; establishment of SFTAS Secretariat; and construction of an ultramodern Revenue House and Complex.
It was also under Dasuki’s commissionership that the state achieved harmonisation of civil service database; sanitisation of civil service salaries and pensions by linkage of BVN to personnel management data; implementations of N18, 000 and, subsequently, N30, 000 minimum wage and Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS); enactment of Fiscal Responsibility Agency Law 2020 and constitution of its board; migration from Cash Basis Accounts to IPSAS Cash and, later, Accrual Basis ISPAS.
“I believe I have acquitted myself capably in public offices where the Almighty God has given me the opportunity to serve,” Dasuki says.
His stewardship at the state and federal legislature and in the cabinet of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, facilitated several other key projects to his Kebbe/Tambuwal federal Constituency. These include gully erosion control works in Jabo and Bashire, ICT Centre with modern equipment in Dogondaji, construction of classrooms at Sanyinna, Mana and Mai Banche primary schools, construction of classrooms at Abdullahi Bara’u Secondary School Dogon-Daji in Tambuwal Local Government and renovation of classrooms at Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Tambuwal.
His empowerment programmes include distribution of sewing and grinding machines to over 1,000 women in his constituency, distribution of 350 water pump machines to farmers for dry season farming, distribution of 99 set of computers and printers to Secondary Schools, and empowerment of about 350 youths with N7 million (with beneficiaries receiving N20,000 each). Apart from these, over 70, 000 persons have benefited from Dasuki free medical outreach in Dogondaji, Tambuwal, Sanyinna and Kuchi in Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency. Also, to tackle water borne disease, he has constructed more than 50 motorised boreholes in the constituency.
Driven by his passion for education, Dasuki established annual scholarship scheme for students who are from his constituency in tertiary institutions.
Based on his stewardship in the legislative and executive arms, there has been growing calls for his return to represent his Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency
“Since he left the House of Representatives in 2019, we have seen the difference, the clarion call for his return to represent us again is not based on sentiment or bias but on competence,” says Abdullahi Muhammad, a resident of the constituency.
Dasuki responded to those calls and emerged candidate of the PDP for the February 2023 election to represent Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency again.
“Of course, there is room for more contribution to governance and society. That is why I am seeking the mandate to represent Kebbe/Tambuwal Federal Constituency,” Dasuki said.