The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Hakeem Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), has officially joined the race for the office of the Speaker of the 9th Assembly.
Gbajabiamila, in company of 170 members-elect, made his intention known on Sunday in Abuja.
It was the second term he would vie for the top seat in the lower chamber. He lost by eight votes to incumbent Yakubu Dogara in 2015.
The fifth-term Reps member said he is in the race to unite the nation and to bring good governance closer to the people.
If elected speaker, Gbajabiamila said that he would galvanise the lawmakers to make life more abundant for all Nigerians.
He said there was much work to be done by way of legislation in the area of education, health, power, infrastructure and alleviation of poverty.
Rep. Mumin Jibrin (APC-Kano), the Femi Gbajabiamila Campaign Director General, said that Gbajabiamila is the best candidate for the office.
According to him, the candidacy of Gbajabiamila was about democracy and bringing civility and global best practices into the legislature.
Jibrin said Gbajabiamila stands out as the best candidate describing him as a bridge builder and a man with experience and legislative knowledge.
He promised to respect other contestants, run issue-based campaigns and urged all members to join the project.
Also, Rep. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), said that all party members should respect and protect party supremacy.
Monguno, who read the citation of the candidate, said that it was normal for the minority leader to become majority leader when his party becomes majority.
Gbajabiamila was born 25 June, 1962. After primary education , he went to Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos in 1973 for his secondary education and graduated around 1978.
He enrolled at the King Williams College, Isle of Man, United Kingdom for his ‘A Levels’ where he graduated at the top of his class around 1980.
Upon his return to Nigeria, the young Olufemi was accepted into the University of Lagos, Nigeria for a three-year LLB (Bachelor of Law) degree programme.
He graduated with honours in 1983 and proceeded to the Nigerian Law school, where he was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1984.
After attending the John Marshall Law School in Atlanta Georgia and passing the Georgia bar exams in 2001, he practised law in the US for some years, before returning home to take part in politics.
He was first elected in 2003 and was re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and this year.
“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. 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, religion 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.”
Being Text of Official Declaration of Femi Gbajabiamila for the Office of the Speaker, 9th Assembly, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen
My name is Femi Gbajabiamila, presently the House Leader in the 8th Assembly of the House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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 hardwork 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, hardwork and perseverance, the sky can sometimes be the beginning.
I stand before you as a man with an abiding faith in the greatness of our country. Let no one tell you otherwise. We are not where we ought to be considering the abundance of talents and the blessing from God however I rest assured that slowly but surely we will get there.
It is because of this unshakeable belief in the potential and genius of Nigeria and the majesty of our democracy, that I today after wide consultations with my colleagues, friends, family, Party and stakeholders and in total submission to the will of God, today 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, 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 12years. 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, placing me in a uniquely advantageous position of understanding the nuances and intricacies of this very critical arm of government and the need for its independence and at same time 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 4years in doing my best to stabilize the House, whilst 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 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 labours of our heroes past. Our Speakership campaign logo embodies the logos of all political parties represented in the House (9th Assembly) 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 parties 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. 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, religion 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, a People’s House.
So help me and help us God.