Femi Gbajabiamila, the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives has promised to facilitate a cordial relationship between President Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly.
The pledge was made on Wednesday by Gbajabiamila, who has been appointed as President’s Chief of Staff in his opening address that lasted 23 minutes at the opening of the 9th House’s valedictory session in Abuja.
While thanking his colleague lawmakers for their support, the Speaker described his new appointment as humbling.
He assured the lawmakers that in his new role, he would work to ensure “a cordial and productive relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government whilst respecting the independence and prerogatives of the legislature.”
Gbajabiamila added, “As I transition into my new role, a role unlike the one I have had for these many years, I ask for your support and best wishes as we continue to work together to advance the cause and fulfil the promise of Nigeria. I will miss all of you, and I will miss this House. I want you to rest assured that wherever the road takes me, I will carry you all in my heart fondly because you have enriched my life in ways words alone cannot fully express.”
In his speech, the Speaker expressed concerns about the exodus of Nigerians over sociopolitical and economic challenges, warning of the dire consequences for the country in the future.
Gbajabiamila regretted that Nigeria was losing its best hands and brains to other countries.
Gbajabiamila said, “Despite the considerable investments we have made to improve our public infrastructure and the numerous reforms we have enacted to change how we administer the government, our country faces many significant challenges.
“These challenges have caused many of our fellow citizens to wonder if the promise of democracy will ever become real in their lives. Too many of our young people have lost faith entirely and are choosing in droves to seek their fortunes and their futures in other lands. We are losing some of our best and brightest, and if we don’t act now, the consequences of this loss will shortly become painfully evident.”
He asked, “How do we ensure a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides opportunities for all who work hard to succeed through their labour and ingenuity? How do we protect our people from the marauders and insurgents, the petty criminals and assorted villains who wish to harm them, whether for profit or in service of other agendas? How do we restore faith in our young people so that so many of them no longer feel like the only way to achieve their best aspirations is to chase their fortunes in faraway, often hostile, lands?
“These are the critical questions all of us in government must answer or risk the unforgiving judgment of history. With each new day, we have an opportunity to make the hard choices and take the necessary actions to guarantee our nation’s future. With each new day, we have less time to act and a more outstanding obligation to act quickly.”