Members-Elect from various opposition parties in the House of Representatives on Sunday rallied support for Femi Gbajabiamila as the next Speaker of the Lower Chamber.
The lawmakers including ranking members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Alliance (AA), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), who converged at the formal declaration of Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the House of Representatives held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja
Gbajabiamila’s declaration coincides with the two-week long orientation programme for 109 Senators-Elect and 360 Members-Elect, organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
In his presentation, Gbajabiamila who recently won re-election in the House for a fifth term, pledged to provide quality leadership when elected.
“I have spent the last 4 years in doing my best to stabilize the House, whilst exploring and studying now how best we as legislators can unleash the full potentials of this country. I have taken copious mental and physical notes and its time for implementation.
“I have tagged my campaign NATION BUILDING, A JOINT TASK because the task is onerous and can only be completed if we all come together, in line with the legacies of our forebearers and the labour of our heroes past. Our Speakership campaign logo embodies logos of all political parties represented in the House (9thAssembly) and I humbly invite each one of them to join me so together we can build a more perfect union. I seek the buy-in of all my colleagues, political patties and Nigerians to this Joint Task.
“I seek the office of the Speaker to bring our tendencies together and unite us as country. I seek the office of the Speaker to bring governance even closer to the people. I seek the office of the Speaker to mentor the next generation,” the Lagos lawmaker noted.
He also reiterated his resolve to strike a delicate balance in the relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government without compromising the latter’s independence.
The lawmaker who was described as intelligent, astute politician, forthright and loyal party man, canvassed for unity among all members in the bid to achieve meaningful purpose for Nigerian people.
The Lagos lawmaker who has carved a niche in the law profession, pledged to be the a Speaker elected to do their business and champion their cause and in doing so fulfilling their hopes and aspirations.
In his remarks, Abdulmumin Jibrin, Director-General of Gbajabiamila Campaign Organization argued that the candidacy of Gbajabiamila is not about himself rather about sanitizing our democracy.
Jibrin who expressed courtesy to members of the minority parties in the Lower Chamber, chided some aggrieved lawmakers who have embarked on campaign of calumny to embark on issue based campaign rather than image smearing venture.
He however observed that the ruling party will not fold its arms to allow the minority parties to take over the principal officers position as in the 8th Assembly.
Jibrin assured that Gbajabiamila will be the Speaker of all the members irrespective of party loyalty as well as ensure independence of the Legislature and at the same time interdependence between the arms of government.
Also speaking, Khadijat Buba-Ibrahim also solicited for the support of all the political parties in the choice of Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker of the 9th Assembly.
On his part, Wole Oke (PDP-Osun) who rallied support for Gbajabiamila, affirmed that Gbajabiamila visited his house twice “soliciting for my support in the quest to become the Speaker of the House.
“So I’m here as a mark of honour,” adding that: “there’s nobody more qualified… In the south West, we are giving you one of our best, and I promise I will be with him althrough,” Oke assured.
Also speaking, Ado Doguwa, Majority Chief Whip who applauded the charismatic ability of Gbajabiamila during his days as opposition leader, described him as possessing “intellectual experience and a team player.”
Some of the newly elected from APGA, AA, who spoke at the occasion, pledged overwhelming support for Gbajabiamila’s candidature and his resolve to ensure legislative independence and protect the interests of Nigerians irrespective of party affiliation.
The Members-Elect who urged APC lawmakers not to see them as opposition members, assured of their readiness to partner with the riling party in the 9th Assembly.
On his part, Ifeayin Momoh (APGA-Anambra) expressed optimism that Gbajabiamila has unrivalled leadership quality that could build bridges between the Executive and Legislature as well as promote grassroot development for our Constituency.
In his remarks, Jerry Alagbaso (PDP-Imo) who eulogised Gbajabiamila’s leadership qualities, harped on the need other contestants to rally support from members of the minority parties.
“You can’t be carrying us on your back yet our legs are touching the ground. For me I’m going to support you, provided when you kill a cow, you remove what makes it soar and makes it difficult to eat… I have to protect the South East and South South interest,” Alagbaso said.
Other lawmakers who presented goodwill messages in support of Gbajabiamila include: Tahir Monguno (APC Borno); Alhassan Doguwa (APC-Kano); Iduma Igariway (PDP-Ebonyi), Peter Akpatason (APC-Edo), among others.