By Umar Muhammad Puma
A popular anonymous maxim says “life is like a piano. Anyone can play a song through meaningless repetition, but it takes passion to play a masterpiece” . In other words, God has endowed every human being with knowledge and talents, but only self-motivated and determined people with personal conviction do live a vibrant and energetic life that leads to success.
But like the renowned American football coach, Vincent Thomas Lombardi once said, the difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
Today, we celebrate a humble but accomplished man, an intelligent but simple personality, a father, a lover of humanity, an advocate of equality, peace and unity; a political and democratic icon, and a distinguished Nigerian, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, and the first Deputy Speaker ECOWAS parliament, who by the special grace of Allah turns 56 years of age.
It is an age old held belief that people born in the month of June often exhibit cheerfulness; they are full of life, very intelligent, extremely inquisitive in nature and intellectually sound. These attributes are certainly never in short supply in the life of this great man.
Though from a humble background, Ahmed Idris never allowed that to limit his quest to develop himself and impact positively on the society.
Hence, armed with determination and foresight, he made his way through thick and thin and has today etched his name in the sands of history in the nation. He did not attain this feat through the backdoor, but it was through dint of hardwork.
A man who abhors injustice in all its ramifications, it is on record that he sponsored the motion that led to the investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of job applicants at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment test during the administration of President GoodluckJonathan.
Nigerians can never forget in a hurry how prospective applicants were parked up in stadia across the country like sardine in the name of sitting for employment examination. Apart from this, Wase has since 2007 sponsored many significant bills and strategic motions that have led to the development of the country.
As the deputy speaker, it is a known fact that Wase is the backbone of the Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila led House of Representatives, which has within one year set a standard in legislative revolution since 1999.
He has brought maturity to bear on the leadership of the current House and is largely seen as the stabilising factor; and this has accounted for the huge successes recorded by the Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila led chamber.
Due to his competence and popularity, Hon. Wase was unanimously elected as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives on June 11, 2019 by his colleagues across party lines.
Today, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase better known as Maje clocks 56 years of age. It is a thing of joy that a man who has devoted his whole life to the service of the nation has been so blessed by the Almighty Allah to achieve much within this period.
In spite of what the deputy speaker has achieved in his lifetime, the leader has remained humble and is rearing to do more.
So, who exactly is Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase?
Born on the 1st June, 1964 in Bashar District of Wase Local Government Area, Plateau State to the family of Mallam Idris, Ahmed, was enrolled into LSB Primary School Bashar, where he obtained His First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1978.
He then proceeded to Government Secondary school Mbar and he was later transferred to Government Secondary school, Dengi, the present day Kanam Local Government Area.
In his quest for knowledge and pursuit for education, Hon. Ahmed Idris gained admission into Plateau state Polytechnic to study Civil Engineering in 1983, where he obtained a National Diploma in Civil Engineering in 1986.
He later applied for a Higher National Diploma programme with the Kaduna State Polytechnic and bagged the Certificate in Civil Engineering in 1995.
In his zeal to understand the dynamics of good governance and positive social change, he applied for an executive programme at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United states where he bagged an Executive Certificate course in Strategic Governance in 2016.
Hon. Maje was elected into the lower Chamber of the National Assembly in 2007 and is currently serving his third (3rd) term as a member of House of Representatives, Wase Federal Constituency. His victory at the poll on February 23rd will translate to his 4th term as a Federal Legislator.
Idris has through the years demonstrated to his constituents that good governance and quality representation is possible, hence his many programmes that has had a positive impact on his constituents.
His key areas of interest have been Education, Health, Youth empowerment, and infrastructural development and quality representation of the interest of his state at the national stage.
Also credited to him are the following; Sponsorship of Students Scholarships, attracting Infrastructural Development such as: Solar Street lights, Hand pump and Motorized Solar Boreholes, Construction of Primary Healthcare Centres, Building of Skills Acquisition Centres, Construction of Roads, Schools, community centers, sports complex etc.
He is an effective advocate for Youth Empowerment and poverty Alleviation. He has achieved these through issuing of grants to the Youths and providing welfare packages to the less privileged.
Prior to serving as Member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Idris worked with Bauchi State Ministry of Environment from 1988 – 2002, from there he proceeded to College of Education Gindiri as a Non-Academic Staff, between 1996-2005 where he held the following positions: Technical Officer & Assistant: 1987-1988
Chief Technical Officer:1987-1988, Director of Works (Acting Capacity): 1988-2002, Director of Works (Acting Capacity): 1996-1997, Physical Planning (Acting Capacity): 2003-2005.
Ahmed Idris was appointed as Executive Secretary, Plateau State Muslim Pilgrim Welfare Board from 2005-2006, a position he held till elected by the people of Wase to represent them as a Member, Federal House of Representatives, Wase Constituency under the auspices of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007.
In 2011, he was reelected to the green chambers under the auspices of the ACN. He remained a committed member of ACN until he later won on the Platform of the APC in 2015 after the great merger.
Ahmed has spent most of his public life in the Green-Chamber advocating for real solutions that are capable of expanding opportunity for all Nigerians.
As the Chairman House Committee on Federal Character, he fought consistently to bridge the disparity and imbalances between various states and regions in terms of employment and infrastructural distribution to bring them in line with the Constitutional requirement of Federal Character.
Through several bills, he championed fixing our broken Federal Character Commission, via strengthening its service delivery, ensuring equitable balance and fairness to ensure marginalized people are given a chance in employment opportunities and Infrastructural Development.
His 8 years as Chairman House Committee on Federal Character (where he spent lots of time grilling Chief Executives of various MDAs on equitable zoning of employment opportunities) has characterised him as a man keen on Justice, Equity and Fairness.
His 8 years at the helm of the Committee (during which time he was known as the go-to-man for employment opportunities for members and Staff of the National Assembly) endeared him to lots of members and even staff of the Assembly whom he was able to assist with employment opportunities for their constituents.
His Committee became the most active committee in the 7th and 8th Assembly recording an unprecedented number of interactive meetings with MDAs exceeding 150 sessions per Assembly.
During the 7th & 8th Assembly, Hon. Ahmed Idris also served as: Member, House Committee on Emergency & Disaster – 2007-2011, Member, House Committee on Public Service & Fed. Character – 2007-2011, Member, House Committee on Environment – 2007-2011, Member, House Committee on Area Councils – 2011-2015.
Member, House Committee on Capital Market – 2011-2015, Member, House Committee on Public Accounts – 2011-2015, Member, House Committee on Poverty Alleviation – 2011-2015, Member, House Committee on Housing & Habitat – 2011-2015, Member, House Committee on Housing – 2015-2019.
Member, House Committee on Justice – 2015-2019, Member, House Committee on Gas – 2015-2019, Member, House Committee on Public Petitions – 2015-2019, Member, House Committee on Capital Market – 2015-2019 and Chairman, House Committee on Federal Character – 2015-2019.
Hon. Idris Ahmed Maje has attended several workshops, seminars and conferences locally and internationally. In 2016, he was selected as a member of the Federal Government Delegation to the 89th Session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, United States in August 2016.
He is happily married with children.
Umar Muhammad Puma, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker.