Speakership: Gbajabiamila woos colleagues with smart phones

Speakership: Gbajabiamila woos colleagues with smart phones

- Hon Femi Gbajiabiamila, on Thursday, May 2 stepped up his campaign for the office of Speaker in the 9th Assembly

- Gbajabiamila, 56, gathered members-elect from across the political divides in Abuja to sell his manifestoes to them

- The 56-year old lawmaker also lavished the lawmakers-elect with gift items which included smart phones

The All Progressives Congress (APC) anointed candidate for the Speakership of the 9th House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajiabiamila, on Thursday, May 2 stepped up his campaign for the office.

Gbajabiamila, 56, gathered members-elect from across the political divides in Abuja to sell his manifestoes to them and unveil his game plan for the forthcoming election for the principal officers of the National Assembly slated for next month.

According to Leadership newspaper, Gbajiabiamila also lavished the lawmakers-elect with gift items which included smart phones.

As they filed out of the venue for a press conference also in the same hotel, the lawmakers-elect clutched the parks containing the phones and posed for separate photographs.

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Sources at the closed-door meeting claimed that the members-elect signed the register for the phones and other gift items in an envelope before all was handed to them. The sources, however, declined to give disclose what was in the envelope that each beneficiary received.

One of the loyalists of the Lagos-born Speakership aspirant, Hon Onofiok Luke (PDP, Akwa Ibom), who addressed a press conference after conferring with Gbajiabiamila, said that they opted to support him for the office because of his capacity, openness and experience in the National Assembly.

Hon Luke, who is the outgoing speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly and member-elect for the incoming House of Representatives, said 178-members-elect are rooting for Gbajiabiamila and have resolved to adopt him for the office because “he is a non-sectional lawmaker.”

He continued: “This is a conglomeration of people of different parties. I am of the PDP, we have members of APC here, and we have members of APGA and we have people from AA. We have others from the SDP and from the ADC. It’s a multi-party arrangement.

“We decided to convene ourselves as newly-elected members of the National Assembly because we have acknowledged the fact that because of the challenges that we have, we need a bi-partisan approach to solving them and the only person that shows that credibility, capacity, and all it takes even as reflected in his manifesto to carry the entire parties along, is Hon Femi Gbajiabiamila.

“The man will not mortgage the independence of the legislature and will at the same time not engage the executive in a fiasco; he is a man who will build a good relationship between the executive and the legislature, and between the legislature and the judiciary.

“Hon Gbajiabiamila is a leader who will care about the welfare of all Nigerians; he is a man who will put the interest of Nigerians above his personal goals. He will also put the interest of Nigeria above the party.”

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Meanwhile, a political group, Sustainable Democracy Agenda (SUDA), has called for open balloting during the election of presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly.

Convener of the group, Malam Ibrahim Usman, stated this in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday, April 21 in Abuja.

According to Usman, SUDA had uncovered plot by some principal officers of the present 8th Assembly to manipulate the election in both chambers through the use of secret balloting.

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