As the race for the position of Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives in the ninth Assembly continues, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Majority Leader, has formally put himself forward.
Gbajabiamila, who made the declaration on Sunday at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, said he is seeking the office to unite all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliation.
The event was attended by lawmakers, both serving and elect, who came to support Gbajabiamila’s ambition.
“I seek the office of the Speaker to bring our tendencies together and unite us as a country,” he said.
“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 galvanise Honourable members to make life more abundant for every Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, religious background or political persuasion.
“There is so much work to be done by way of legislation in many areas of our life, including but not limited to education, health, power, infrastructure and alleviation of poverty. I believe many of these deficits can be addressed.”
Gbajabiamila explained that being the House Leader for four years has placed him in a unique, vantage position to understand the nuances and intricacies of the critical arm of government and the need for its independence and interdependence with the executive.
“It is this wealth of experience and a burning desire for good governance that I bring to the table; a desire to take the legislature to the next level, standing tall and shoulder-to-shoulder with the most advanced legislatures world over.
“I have spent the last four years in doing my best to stabilse the House, while exploring and studying how best we as legislators can unleash the full potentials of this country. I have taken copious mental and physical notes, and it is time for implementation,” he added.
He added that his ambition is predicated on the unshakable belief in the potential and genius of Nigeria and the majesty of the country’s democracy.
He continued: “With all sense of humility, I seek this office with a rich legislative background and pedigree and having just won a historic fifth 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, a critical arm of government, and I have come to understand the imperative of striking a delicate balance in the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government without compromising the latter’s independence. Indeed, there is an essential need for a symbiotic relationship between all arms and all tiers of government if we are to make steady progress in nation building.
“In these 16 years, I have been a principal officer for 12 years. I have occupied the office of leader of the opposition and successfully moved my party from opposition to majority in the House and thereafter assumed the position of house leader.”
Gbajabiamila added that he is seeking the office of the Speaker to mentor the next generation and galvanise lawmakers to make life more abundant for Nigerians.
“There is so much work to be done by way of legislation in many areas of our life, including but not limited to education, health, power, infrastructure and alleviation of poverty,” he added. “I believe many of these deficits can be addressed through meaningful and impactful legislation.”