The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has officially declared his intention to run the for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mr Gbajabiamila made his declaration in Abuja Sunday afternoon.
He tagged his campaign ‘Nation building, a joint task.’
Addressing an audience of lawmakers, journalists and well-wishers, Mr Gbajabiamila said he sought the office to bring government closer to the people.
Flanked by about 50 members-elect while he read his speech, the House Leader said he would work to serve the people if elected.
“I seek the office of the Speaker to bring our tendencies together and unite us as 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 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 through meaningful and impactful legislation.
“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 fulfilling their hopes and aspiration. This is the Speaker I intend and hope to be and the House I intend and hope to lead (as) a People‘s House,” he said.
Except Nigeria’s ruling party puts its house in order, it risks making the same mistake it made in 2015 when Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President against the interest of the party. Hours after the APC leadership at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and senators-elect announced the endorsement of Ahmed Lawan to be the next Senate president, Ali Ndume has vowed to fight on.
The lawmaker, who was re-elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to represent Surulere 1 constituency of Lagos State, boasted of his long years of experience in the House as an advantage.
Mr Gbajabiamila was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 and has won re-election four times after.
In 2015, he contested to become the Speaker of the house. He lost to the incumbent speaker, Yakubu Dogara,
Mr Gbajabiamila was, however, elected by his APC colleagues as House Leader.
He said the last four years has afforded him the opportunity to study and take note of important areas for action.
“I have spent the last four years in doing my best to stabilise the House, whilst exploring and studying how best legislators can unleash the full potentials of this country. I have taken copious mental and physical notes and its time for implementation,” he said.
Earlier, the Director General of the Femi Gbajabiamila campaign organisation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, described him as the “best option the party could offer.”
He said Mr Gbajabiamila’s intention was not only about his desire but about strengthening democracy.
On Tuesday, the APC is expected to name its preferred candidates for key positions in the House of Representatives.
Although about ten members have shown interest in the position, Mr Gbajabiamila appears to be the party’s favourite. (Premium Times)