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Aliyu Betara: Why the ‘Golden Boy’ of the 9th Assembly is fit for Speaker By Jubril Oche Ben



Hon Muktar Aliyu Betara,

Vice President-Elect Senator Kashim Shettima and Muktar Aliyu Betara, the lawmaker representing Biu/Bayo/Shani federal constituency have a lot in common.

Shining stars from Borno State, they have distinguished themselves in the National Assembly. Both enjoyed incredibly dazzling careers in the banking and accounting sectors.

However, the most striking similarity is the tag ‘Golden Boy’. They took different paths to get here.

At last year’s NBA conference, the then Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress stunned the audience with a brief summary of his meteoric rise. 

From cradle to management cadre in Zenith Bank, Shettima’s story was that of resilience, hard work and persistence.

He epitomizes intelligence, capacity and foresight to turn around things for good in any organisation, achieved through leadership, teamwork or otherwise.

He earned himself the title of ‘Golden Boy’ of Zenith Bank. Shettima boasted that his political trajectory thus far confirmed that he is a man with great ideas and intellect which he will use to complement his principal, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Nigeria’s President-Elect) who is also a visionary leader with an excellent template to turn around the country’s current security and economic tide.

It was this track record, capacity and competence that Nigerians saw in Asiwaju Tinubu – the ‘City Boy’ and Senator Shettima, the ‘Golden Boy’ that convinced them to ignore and jettison the religious sentiment of the Muslim-Muslim ticket and voted them overwhelmingly in the just concluded presidential elections. 

Another fast-rising star could complement the duo in the National Assembly. Hon Betara’s judicious and effective appropriation of resources (budgetary allocation) to Ministries, Departments and Agencies and to Honourable Members of the House of Representatives for optimal output earned him the nickname – the “Golden Boy” among his peers in the 9th Assembly. The Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations commands the respect, support and trust of his colleagues to become Speaker in the 10th Assembly. 

Betara has exceeded expectations in his constituency in terms of infrastructural development (constituency projects execution), empowerment and effective representation. No surprise he was given the mandate by his people for an unprecedented fifth term. The experienced legislator is tailor-made for the job. 


Some of us that had taken a course in business management can speak correctly on the importance of having a prudent and proficient “administrator” or “manager” of human/resources in an organisation.

The role Betara played in the 9th Assembly is that of a proficient and efficient administrator who was fair, just, logical and sincere in the appropriation of resources for the improvement of the living standard of Nigerians and the development of critical sectors of the economy.

This pivotal role that he played has earned him love, trust, respect and confidence from his colleagues in the Green Chamber and one can now draw a conclusion as regards why his ambition to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives is receiving overwhelming support and endorsement from both returning and new members of the parliament across political party bifurcation.

Hon. Betara is humble, intelligent, and smart with the wisdom of the ancient. He is friendly, generous, easy going and accessible and always ensures fairness, transparency and logic in the discharge of his official responsibility as Appropriation Committee Chairman.

 In short, most embers of the 9th Assembly has openly confessed on several occasion that Hon. Betara is the reason behind their success and sterling performance in their various constituencies as regards appropriation of fund (envelope) for the execution of projects.

On meeting Hon. Betara, you will be struck by his pleasant visage, general urbane exterior, the mildness of manners and his desire to please everyone that comes his way. However, beneath his mildness were 24 carats of sturdy leadership proficiency, administrative acumen, sincerity and credibility, a House of Rep Member who happens to be familiar with Betara revealed to me.

Already a veteran in both chambers of the NASS, Betara has been in the House since 2007. He has held several strategic positions such as Chairman of the Sub-committee on NDIC, Banking and Currency, Member of the House Committee on Interior and was later appointed Chairman of the Sub-committee on Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office between 2007 and 2011. He also served as Chairman of, the House Committee on the Army in the 7th Assembly (2011 to 2015) and Chairman of the House Committee on Defence from 2015 – 2019 before his current position as Chairman of, the House Committee on Appropriations (2019-2023).

Hon. Betara has built bridges and the cultivated seed of friendship over time in the National Assembly across party, religious and ethnic lines. He has gathered ample legislative experience over the years and equally established a reputation for methodological versatility in the House of Rep which has baked and prepared him for the onerous obligation of the Speakership Position that he is contesting for.

His administrative acumen, competence, credibility, and legislative experience combined with his acceptability by the majority of the returning and newly elected members of the House of Representatives stands him out among other contestants and positioned him as the man to win the Speakership Position of the 10th Assembly once the election is held.

He is a unifier, a rallying point and remains the “popular choice” of the majority of the returning and newly elected Members of the Green Chamber and any attempt to shortchange or manipulate him out of the Speakership contest in the guise of zoning or religious balancing may bring forth acrimony in the House which will not be healthy for the smooth running of the “Renewed Hope” administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The incoming administration of Asiwaju does not need to be reminded that the hope of Nigerians is high and they are expecting nothing short of excellent performance from the government. The executive arm of government can not function effectively without the complement and support of robust and sound legislation and oversights from the legislature. Therefore, the cadre or calibre of “who” becomes “who” in the Leadership of the 10th Assembly should neither be taken for granted nor seem as business as usual where competence and credibility are often sacrificed on the alter of zoning, religious or ethnic equation.


The executive, judiciary and legislative arms of government are partners in the business of governance standing on a tripod.

If any leg of the tripod becomes faulty through the wrong recruitment of its leadership, there will certainly be an overbearing effect and consequence on the other legs of the tripod.

It is on this note that the APC, as the party in government should focus more on electing competent, experienced and credible hands like Hon. Betara to lead the lower chamber of the National Assembly so that he could complement and make the job of the executive smooth and easy. 

The Asiwaju Tinubu administration should be conscious of the mediocre finding their way to the seat of power in the National Assembly all in the name of zoning or religious balancing.

The House of Rep Members are knowledgeable, mature and sensible enough to know who is capable of leading them as Speaker and I think it will be wise for the party, APC leadership to give them free hand without influence, to elect their Principal Officers in the Chamber without placing much premium or priority on geopolitical zoning or religious balancing, same manner Nigerians jettisoned religious sentiment and voted for the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Tinubu/Shettima on the trust and basis of competence, track record and capacity.

If competence, capacity and experience take the centre stage in the process of recruitment of the Leadership of the 10th Assembly, I can go to sleep, believing and expecting to see Hon. Betara emerge as the Speaker who will give the green chamber a purposeful, patriotic and robust Leadership.

The author, Hon. Jubril Oche Ben; a stakeholder of APC writes from Benue State. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

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