Memories and emotions went high on Wednesday during the valedictory session of the House of Representatives, as Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila officially dissolved the 9th assembly.
Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the Majority Leader of the House, had moved a motion to commence the valedictory session, while Rep Ndudi Elumelu, the Minority Leader seconded the motion.
Gbajabiamila, in his valedictory speech, said: “I will miss all of you and miss this house, you have enriched my life and I cannot express how much you have impacted the house.”
In an emotion-laden speech, Gbajabiamila said the joint efforts in nation-building by members were to ensure that the dreams of the nation’s founding fathers did not die.
He said, “We have come, we have seen and while we are yet to conquer, my enthusiasm to serve remained undiminished.”
According to him, it has been the honour of his life to serve the people of the country.
“I thank my constituency and I express gratitude to my colleagues for the privilege to serve.”
He said since he assumed office, the house had changed drastically in such a manner he had not witnessed, adding that the change came with speed as witnessed in the last four years.
He said the 9th House of Reps had governed well with some interventions, including COVID-19 pandemic, Police Reform Bill, Electoral Acts Amendment Bill, Constitutional Review, among others.
According to him, “We have worked to take advantage of social and economic transformation that benefit us; we have left our mark on every sector of our national life.”
He said the House was able to introduce discipline on the Appropriation Act that now commenced from January to December of every year.
According to him, the 9th House of Reps has ended and the 10th will commence.
“I urge you to ensure that you are not found wanting by man or God in the final judgment.”
Also, Rep. Julius Ihovhre (APC-Edo), said he would forever cherish the friendship he made in the 9th assembly, adding that such a relationship would last forever.
He commended the speaker for leading the house well and perfectly and demonstrating that he could manage a diverse group of people.
“In your new roles as the Chief of Staff to the President, the challenges you will face are more than here, we plead with you not to abandon the spirit of excellence,” he said.
He said Nigeria required the kind of leader with a sense of mission while urging Gbajabiamila to ensure the Federal Government paid attention to basic education.
Rep. Luke Onofiong (PDP-Akwa-Ibom) said members had made relationships that would last forever and commended his constituency for giving him the privilege to serve.
He commended the speaker for accommodating members and relaxing the rules to give new members a voice, noting that the speaker was gentle enough to accommodate their errors.
He urged the house to take the judiciary seriously with salary review.
Rep. Yusuf Gadgi (APC-Plateau) on his part said, “In my constituency, Muslims are 30 per cent while Christians constitute 70 per cent but they have always sent me here and for using me as a good example of how Nigeria should behave.
“What I want to say is the message of forgiveness, I want, on your behalf and other members, to forgive one another. In this assignments, we must have offended one another.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that his comment on forgiveness generated some uproar, as members grumbled endlessly.
Unperturbed, Gagdi said “Irrespective of the grumbling, what is right is right and people must learn to forgive others”.
Rep. Aisha Duku (APC-Borno) expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the first woman to represent her constituency.
“Mr Speaker you have blessed me to bless others, I have changed the perspective of politics in my area because this is the first time that a Fulani woman and a Muslim will come out from that area.
“I have been able to enlighten people and bring out the women to vote, which hitherto they had not.
“I have participated in Bills assented to by the president and today they are laws, I commend my committee as the Chairman, House Committee on INEC, for supporting me.”
Duku said she was now a better Nigerian, as she travelled to a lot of places in the country but her only regret was that no gender bill was passed.
In attendance at the session of the 9th assembly were former speakers, House Leaders such as Gali Na’abba, Patricia Etteh, Mulikat Akande and some former clerks of NASS.
Edo Central Stakeholders Chide Shaibu Over Attempt To Blackmail Obaseki To Abandon Zoning Arrangement
The people of Edo Central Senatorial District have called on thevstate deputy governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu to exercise restraint and stop the “incessant blackmail of governor Godwin Obaseki, in a bid to pressure the governor to yield to pressure to disregard the senatorial zoning arrangement to produce the next governor of the Edo State.
In a press briefing in Benin city, the convener of Esan Advocate For Good Governance, Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo said the deputy governor ‘s frequent tirade is to get the Governor to endorse his candicacy for the governorship election holding next year.
“This is the singular reason he is employing different tricks to box the governor to a corner and extract a committment,” he added.
He stated that Shaibu’s attempt to curry public sympathy is aimed at armtwisting the governor.
He said: “The frustration he is expressing is only a coy way to make it seem as if he is being victimised, but everyone knows he is intoxicated by his inordinate ambition.
“Shaibu thinks everything must be by force. It is on record that the people of Edo North Senatorial District produced Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is also from Etsako West Local Government Area, as the current Edo State Deputy Governor. He served for eight years between 2008 and 2016 before handing over to the incumbent governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, a Benin man who was produced by the people of Edo South Senatorial District.”
Comrade Bartholomew Okoudo declared that, lot to produce the next governor according to the zoning arrangement is on the Edo Central Senatorial District who has never had the opportunity to produce the governor of the state except the short reign of Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor between May 2007 and November 2008.
According to him, “The shenanigans by Comrade Shaibu aimed at blackmailing the governor in pursuit of his unreasonable and desperate ambition to become the next governor at all cost will not work and must be resisted by all well-meaning Edo people.
“During the administration of Chief Lucky Igbinedion between 1999 and 2007, the Deputy Governor at the time was Chief Mike Oghiadomhe from Etsako in Edo North Senatorial District. He also served for eight years.
“This was followed by Oshiomhole also from Etsako West as Governor and now Comr. Philip Shaibu, from Etsako West who is almost completing eight years tenure as deputy governor.
“How then can he be aspiring to be next governor? Is this fair and equitable? What is the fate of the other local government areas and senatorial districts in the State? (Sic)”
The Esan Advocate For Good Governance convener who stated that the deputy governor has his right to aspire for any political position in the State and Country, urged him to stop “these charades to pressure the governor into neglecting the zoning arrangement. His agitation runs against the spirit of fairness and equity.”
He continued: “We also charge Nigerians not to be deceived by all these tantrums, blackmail and display of entitlement by the deputy governor which are failed attempts to force the governor to yield to pressure so that Comrade Shaibu can have his way and become the next governor of Edo State.
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“From Shaibu running to the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking for a restraining order to stop Governor Obaseki from impeaching him to spreading falsehoods about the Governor preventing him from performing his roles as deputy and causing various scenes at public events and public places, it has all been an engineered charade to make the Governor seem unapproachable.
“The most recent of this is his attempt to force his way into the personal office of the governor along with his security aides at the Dennis Osadebey Avenue, GRA, Benin City.
“The Deputy Governor who has worked with Governor Obaseki over the past seven years should know him better that no amount of pressure to blackmail him will force the governor to support him in his inordinate quest.
“We the people of Edo Central Senatorial District are calling on him to stop this charade and toe the path of peace in the spirit of equity and fairness.
“There is peace and security in Edo and we urge the Deputy Governor not create the scene that there is none in Edo through his actions and desperate moves.”
Okoudo who declared that it is the turn of Edo Central to produce the next governor of the state, added that anyone working contrary to such plan is anti people as it relates to the zoning arrangement.
Edo 2024: Former Edo Assembly Speaker, Ebea, Nears Conclusion of Statewide Consultations For APC Ticket
Chief Festus Odianosen Ebea, the Obarisiagbon of Ubiaja and former Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, has disclosed that he is on the verge of concluding extensive consultations across the state as he contemplates vying for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in the forthcoming 2024 Edo Governorship elections.
Ebea, a prominent figure in Edo State politics, recently embarked on this strategic move to gauge the pulse of the electorate and the sentiments of party stakeholders as he weighs his chances in the highly anticipated gubernatorial race.
Sources close to the former Speaker revealed that his consultations have covered a wide spectrum of the state’s political landscape, including meetings with party leaders and officials, grassroots leaders, opinion molders and various interest groups.
The sources further ddisclosed that Ebea has alsobdiligently engaged in conversations aimed at understanding the concerns and aspirations of Edo State residents.
Speaking at Ubiaja about his progress, Chief Ebea expressed confidence in his ability to secure the APC ticket,
He stated, “I am humbled by the positive reception I have received during my consultations. Edo State is at a crucial juncture, and I believe I have the vision and commitment to take our state from Hope to Higher Ground. This is my vision.”
According to report, Ebea’s aspirations have gained momentum in recent weeks as more APC members rally behind his potential candidacy.
Reports saybmany supporters believe that Chief Ebea’s experience in state governance, having served as the Deputy Speaker and later Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, positions him as a strong contender for the party’s nomination.
Nevertheless, the race for the APC ticket promises to be highly competitive, with several other aspirants also actively pursuing the nomination.
The party’s primary election will be closely watched as it unfolds in the coming months, setting the stage for a thrilling contest in the 2024 Edo Governorship elections.
As Chief Festus Odianosen Ebea inches closer to concluding his statewide consultations, Edo State residents and political observers eagerly await the final decision on whether he will officially throw his hat into the ring for the APC gubernatorial ticket.
The 2024 Edo Governorship elections are expected to be a defining moment in the state’s political landscape, and Ebea’s potential candidacy adds an intriguing dimension to the contest.
JUST IN: Obaseki, Shaibu’s Rift Gets Messier As Deputy Prevented From Entering Govt House
The fight between Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on Monday took another twist as the deputy governor was prevented from entry the State Government House apparently on the order of Obaseki.
It was learnt that gate to the former office of the deputy governor located in the Government House and the main entrance leading to the storey building was locked with chains and heavy padlocks.
Shaibu and his aides, whom it was gathered waited for about an hour without success to access the facility despite frantic effort made by him ( deputy governor) to reach the governor on phone failed left the premises unintended to.
Sources revealed that Shaibu had some discussions with the state commissioner of police and the Director of State Security Services, DSS alerting them of how he was locked out from his office.
Shaibu was said to have summoned the government house camp commandant, Ibrahim Babatunde, (SP) and asked him why he was locked out of his office.
SP Babatunde, was alleged to have said that the directives to lock out Shaibu from the facility was an order from above, adding that the CSO in government house, Wabba will be in a better position to explain.
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