Nigeria: Six Things to Know About Late Speaker Ghali Na’abba

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghalli Na’abba, died Wednesday morning, aged 65.

He reportedly died at a hospital in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) but Daily Trust could not independently verify such as of the time of this report.

From his birth to his forays as a politician, Daily Trust highlights 10 things to know about the late Speaker.


Ghali Umar Na’Abba was born into the family of a businessman in Tundun Wda, Kano State, Alhaji Umar Na’Abba, on September 27, 1958. His father was a disciplinarian and an Islamic scholar who taught him virtues of hard work, entrepreneurship, forthrightness, audacity, sincerity, dynamism, liberal disposition, prudence, modesty and strong religious inclination.


Na’Abba attended Jakara Primary School, Kano where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1969. He later attended Rumfa College, Kano for his West African School Certificate and was also at School of Preliminary Studies, Kano and 1976, before gaining admission into the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in October, 1976. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from ABU 1979.

The political scientist completed his postgraduate programme on Leadership and Good Governance at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in the United States in 2004.

Business life

After his university education and a one-year compulsory National Youth Service, he joined his father’s chain of companies in 1980. His business interests ranged from importation of goods, manufacturing to publishing. He rose through the ranks as Secretary, Na’Abba Commercial Trading Company Limited to Managing Director, Manifold Limited, Director, Quick Prints Limited and Managing Director, Hinterland Resources Limited.


As a Political Science student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, he was elected as an executive committee member of the ABU chapter of the revolutionary People’s Redemption Party established in the Second Republic by the maverick politician, Mallam Aminu Kano. He became a notable politician in Kano state and Nigeria in general.

Na’Abba joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 during its formative period and emerged the party’s candidate in April 1999 National Assembly election in Kano Municipal Federal Constituency of Kano State. He won the election to represent the Federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

With the support of other House members-elect from Kano and North West geo-political zone, he pursued the role as Speaker of the House. Although he amassed substantial support from his colleagues and party leaders, he conceded to Ibrahim Salisu Buhari, who later emerged as first Speaker of Fourth Republic House of Representatives.

He was then appointed the House Committee Chairman on Appropriations. Following Buhari’s short-lived tenure, the mantle of leadership fell on Na’Abba as the House collectively struck an unprecedented consensus and made him Speaker.

In April 2003, he sought re-election into the House of Representatives on the platform of PDP but lost in what appeared to be political scheming targeted at preventing him from being re-elected as Speaker due to his popularity in the House.

Conferences and seminars

He attended, chaired and presented papers at several international seminars and conferences on politics, parliament, development and good governance. Among them were Conference of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments held in New York in 2000; West African Speakers Conferences held in 2000 and 2001 in Ouagadougou and Abuja respectively; Commonwealth Parliamentary Association annual conferences held variously in 1999, 2000, 2001 at Trinidad and Tobago, London and Melbourne, Australia and several others.


Na’Abba bagged several awards from the government, civil society groups, organized labour, students unions, private business organisations, political associations and even foreign government agencies, among others.

The honours include: National Honors Award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) awarded by Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria in 2010, Honorary Citizen of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Man of Integrity Award by Students Union of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Award of Excellence for upholding the tenets of democracy in Nigeria by Abuja Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Defender of democracy by Bayero University Students Union.

Others are Appreciation and Commendation Award by Nigeria Association of Indigenous Petroleum Exporters and Importers, Certificate of honour by Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Millennium Gold Award for Youths Development by International Youth Congress, Pillar of Nigeria’s Legislative Award by Law Students Society, University of Jos and Millennium Hero Award by All Northern Youths Forum.


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