Nigeria: Dissecting Gbajabiamila and the quest for Speakership

April 29, 2019 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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By

Abba Dukawa

 

 

One thing that one cannot be denied about Femi Gbajabiamila’s qualities of representation is that he has always been firm in the line of justice and his commitment to his constituents in the last 16 years. The majority leader had dedicated his life to the service of his constituents and Nigeria at large.

 

I will not be making a mistake if I say that Hon. Femi stands out as the best candidate the members in the chamber cannot miss. One thing that many know is that Femi’s candidacy is not about him himself but rather the sanitizing of the nation’s democracy. It is about practising what he always preaches, global best practices.

 

Femi Gbajabiamila is deeply involved in the pro-democracy movement that battled and finally ousted the military dictatorship on May 29, 1999. A feisty Hon Femi does not care a hoot whose ox is gored in the process of advancing the fundamental human rights of his people and Nigerians at large, as far as he is concerned all citizens are equal before the law; what is good for the goose is also sauce for the gander, the popular Gbaja surmises.

 

During the unpopular third term gambit by then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, he was in the forefront of the massive mobilization of democratic and progressive forces that sealed the fate of the third term promoters and their paid hatchet men in and outside Nigeria’s National Assembly.

 

The majority leader of the 8th National Assembly’s quest for the office of the House of Representatives speakers is not about his personal benefits it’s about the strengthening of the legislative arm with 16 years’ experience which has enabled him to understand the intricate workings of the legislature, a critical arm of government, and has come to understand the imperative of striking a delicate balance in the relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.

 

Looking at Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s marvelous scorecard as a legislator he is the one widely acknowledged as a politician worthy of his onion in the quest for making the nascent democratic system ticking. Gbajabiamila sponsored the highest number of Bills in the National Assembly amongst all the legislators. Amongst his Bills and Motions in the House, Gbajabiamila has been very passionate about the Employee Rights Bill, local content in the Construction Industry Bill, Vocational Schools Bill, the Economic Stimulus Bill, Interest-Free Students Loan and the Establishment of Nigeria Education Bank Bill, etc. Other bills to his watch include the bill to criminalize the use of ‘estimated billing’ in the calculation of electricity consumed and to be paid for by consumers by Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies.

 

Despite the All Progressives Congress’ stand on the leadership of the 8th Assembly, in clear defiance of party directives that the position had been zoned to the South West rather than APC renege members in the green chamber with support of opposition party members, this played itself out with the emergence of Hon. Yakubu Dogara as speaker.

 

Even though the contest was tough and even bitterly fought with all manner of recriminations and rancour from opposing camps after what the reneged APC members did. A mature Hon Femi Gbajabiamila accepted the outcome, serving superbly and loyally as House Majority Leader, co-operating and collaborating with previous rivals and contestants in moving the House Legislative Agenda forward.

 

Femi Gbajabiamila, Baban Jamila as people fondly called him, promised opposition parties serving and newly elected lawmakers to be inclusive and really need them. To prove his effort to run inclusive for the 9th National Assembly Gbajabiamila’s Speakership his campaign logo embodies the logos of all political parties represented in the House (9th Assembly), and also have tagged his campaign NATION BUILDING, A JOINT TASK , saying he humbly invites each one of them to join him so together we can build a more perfect union. I seek the buy-in of all colleagues in the green chambers in respect of party affiliations and Nigerians to this Joint Task.

 

If the postulation is anything to go by, Femi Gbajabiamila is the one who can be entrusted with such a challenging responsibility of becoming the speaker of the federal House of Representatives, considering the fact that the nation’s democratic system is in dire need of reform that will have a far reaching positive impact on the lives of Nigerians.

 

In a speech announcing his declaration for the Speaker, Gbaja said “I stand here today before you hopefully as a symbol of encouragement and point of contact for the many young men and women out there who believe that with hard work and commitment whatever the mind can conceive is possible. As a beacon of hope and faith and a testimony to the endless possibilities that abound in this great country. That you can be whatever and whoever you want and with focus, hard work and perseverance, the sky can sometimes be the beginning.”

 

Femi Gbajabiamila possesses the priceless acumen needed to take up this task and another pivotal point that cannot be taken away is his political worth to his party and Nigeria. He has manifested a sophisticated political capacity of which only a few can boast.

 

 

 

 

Abba Dukawa

A Kano based media practitioner and public commentator for 13 years with many articles published by a number of online mediums and print media. Dukawa can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com

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