Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has formerly declared his intention to run for the speakership of the 9th House when inaugurated in June this year. Gbajabiamila Gbajabiamila While making the declaration in Abuja on Sunday, Gbajabiamila who represents Surulere 11 federal constituency of Lagos State said he would be peoples speaker if elected.
According to him, he has the legislative experience to lead the House having been in the House for the 4th time before now. It will be recalled that Gbajabiamila ran for the same position in 2015 but lost to current Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
He said: “After wide consultations with my colleagues, friends, family, party and stakeholders and in total submission to the will of God, today I formally declare my intention to seek the position of the office of the Speaker of the 9th Assembly and offer my service to the nation in this capacity. “As many of you are aware, I ran for the same office just four years ago but it was not to be. Well four years has come and gone and now we have come full circle.
“With all sense of humility, I seek this office with a rich legislative background and pedigree and having just won a historic 5th term mandate to the House. I have in the last 16 years dedicated my life to the service of my constituents and Nigeria. I have studied and understood the intricate workings of the legislature. “In these 16 years, I have been a principal officer for 12 years. “It is this wealth of experience and a burning desire for food governance that I bring to the table.
“I seek the office of the Speaker to bring our tendencies together and unite us a 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. I seek the office of the Speaker so I can use the bully pulpit to galvanize honourable members to make life more abundant for every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religious background or political persuasion. There is much work to be done by way of legislation in many areas of our life including bit not limited to education, health, power, infrastructure and alleviation of poverty.
“Historically, the House of Representatives was established to be the People’s House and for the People’s business. It follows therefore that the Speaker must be the People’s speaker elected to do the People’s business and champion their cause and in doing so fulfuling their hopes and aspiration. This is the Speaker I intend and hope to be and the House I intend and hope to lead, a People’s House.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Director-General of Gbajabiamila Campaign Organization, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jubril said that the candidacy of his principal was not about him but about sanitizing and stabilizing democracy. He also appealed to other aspirants of the top office to run an issued based campaign and desist from throwing muds.
He said: “The candidacy of Femi is not about him himself but about sanitanizing our democracy. It is about practising what we preach, global best practices. We make reference to the united States, United Kingdom. While is it that we are very bad in practices? We are guilty of what happened in 2011 and 2015. But that does not mean we can’t correct it.
“Our candidate is here and at the risk of sounding immodest, I will not be making a mistake if I say that Hon. Femi stands out as the best candidate we can offer. “We are not taking the situation for granted. We will run a very clean campaign. We are not interested in throwing muds. For those who are interested in spreading rumours, we plead to them in the interest of peace, we beg them to run an issues based campaign. We will lobby, we will campaign and we reach our colleagues.
“We will continue to work hard. Consult and continue to reach out and we call on everyone to all come and join hands. “We assure that Femi will be a speaker for every member of the House. He will also ensure the independence of the legislature.” In his good will message, the Chief Whip of the House and an aspirant of the office who may have been tipped for the office of the Majority Leader, Hon. Ado Doguwa said that Gbajabiamila was a team player, assuring that the northwest will give the southwest and Nigerian one of their best too.
“He’s is a team player. He is as simple as ABC. He is most qualified. I want to assure you that we are here on the commitment of our people. Femi will be a speaker for each and every one of us. We will give you one of our best”. On his own, Hon. Jerry Alagbosa advised the aspirant to consult widely amongst the lawmakers for their support, urging him to make commitment for the south east and south south zones.
“All of us know Femi but let me say, democracy is a process. It requires consultation and lobbying. Femi needs to come and meet elders like us. You need to come and do the needful. Not a matter of calling us on phone. For me, I am going to support you. After this declaration, we need to see because I have to protect the interest of the south east and South south”, Alagboso, a PDP Lawmaker from Imo State said.
In their respective remarks, the members-elect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Action Alliance, AA; All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and African Democratic Congress, ADC pledged their support on behalf of their states and geopolitical zones. The event attracted some new lawmakers and returning ones such as the current Speaker of Zamfara State, Hon. Rukuji and Hon. Ismaila Kuwu who served as Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly matters.