The battle for speaker-ship of the House of Representative is intensifying as more people have joined the race, bringing the total number of aspirants to 17.
Vanguard reports that out-going Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, formally joined the race yesterday citing his experience in the house having been there for four terms as reason why he would be the people’s speaker. He said:
After wide consultations with my colleagues, friends, family, party and stakeholders and in total submission to the will of God, 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 good governance that I bring to the table.
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 galvanize 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 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.
Gbajabiamila also contested for the seat in 2015 but lost to the present speaker Yakubu Dogara.