There was a drama at the House of Representatives on Tuesday when it was announced that one of the wives of the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, had been delivered of the lawmaker’s 28th child.
Ado-Doguwa, on a lighter note, said he was considering the allocation of a polling unit to his private home, as part of the amendments to the Electoral Act 2020, since he plans to have up to 30 children before the end of the current 9th National Assembly.
The drama began at the opening of the day’s plenary when the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked if the Majority Leader had any personal explanation or announcement to make to the House.
While Ado-Doguwa said there was none, the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, announced that the Majority Leader just had a new child.
Elumelu said, “Mr Speaker, mine is to congratulate my brother, the Leader of the House. He currently has 28 children and still counting. He just received double a few days ago. That makes it 28. It was 26, now 28.”
Gbajabiamila asked the Majority Leader to defend himself, saying he did not understand what Elumelu was saying.
Ado-Doguwa said, “Mr Speaker, I didn’t know that you were talking about me. This is no longer news. It is no longer news because this thing happened in the last 24 hours. It is true that my beloved family had gotten an additional one person, not two like you (Elumelu) said. And it is a baby girl, bouncing. The mother and the baby are hale and hearty. The husband is still active; I am here. And I thank God that I kept to my words to the House of Reps; that while I had 27, I promised you that I would continue counting. I want you to know, by the grace of God and your prayer, that the count will continue. Thank you and God bless Nigeria.”
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The Majority Leader added, “Now that we are considering the Electoral Act amendment, I will also – when we get to the floor, perhaps at the Committee of the Whole – appeal to my members so that we suspend the relevant rules; we have a clause in the Electoral Act where it permits families that do have 30 kids in their homes to have an electoral polling unit in that family.”
Gbajabiamila asked, “So, Leader, you are working towards (having) a polling unit in your house. Now that you have 28 children, you have two more to go.”
Responding, Ado-Doguwa said, “Yes, between now and 2023, before the election comes, if you allow that, then I will have a polling unit within my home.”
The Speaker said, “Congratulations, Leader of the House.”
The Majority Leader replied, “Thank you so much, Mr Speaker. I thank you honourable members. Please, the count still continues.”
Ado-Doguwa had stormed the chamber with his four wives for his inauguration as Majority Leader of the House in 2019.
Then, after showing his wives to lawmakers, he had disclosed that he had 27 children “and still counting.
Gbajabiamila had recalled how the Majority Leader told him the story of how he (Ado-Doguwa) once returned home at about 7pm and met some children playing football on his premises; and when he asked them to stop for the day and return to their respective homes, he was told that they were his children and in their home.
Ado-Doguwa, who is representing Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State, has been in the House since the defunct Third Republic, approximately in his seventh term. PUNCH