By Gift Chapi Odekina
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday emerged as the Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, after he pulled a total number of 281 votes against his rival Umaru Bago who pulled 79 votes.
Speaking after his swearing in at the National Assembly, Speaker Gbadjabiamila reiterated his commitment to making the 9th assembly the desire of all Nigerians.
According to him, the country is presently confronted with a myriad of problems and it is the responsibility of all members of the institution to set aside political, ideological and other differences that may distract them from the assignment the Nigerian people have sent them to perform.
He said, “There is a lot more that unite us than divide us. There is much work to be done and we must now pull together, roll up our sleeves, settle down and attend to the people’s business. Whatever political party each one of us may belong.
“We must be conscious of the fact that Nigerians are truly desirous of good governance and are looking to us to be the agents that will through meaningful legislation combat security, poverty, corruption and other problems and contradictions that have held our country back and stunted our development, he added.
Stating his commitment the Speaker said “I hereby dedicate myself to the service of this Honourable House and of the good citizens of this great country, with the commitment that I shall at all times strive to defend the constitution of our Republic.
“I equally commit myself to always observe the tenets of justice, equity and fairness in my dealings with my colleagues, and to apply the ideals of transparency, probity and accountability in my management of the affairs of this Honourable House.
Speaking further on his agenda for the 9th house, Gbadjabiamila said that the 9th Assembly under his leadership will be a reformed assembly, adding that the reforms will be dished out piecemeal and at intervals so as not to shock the system.
He said that the 9th assembly will not be business as usual staying that he will be shaking the table just a little.
“We will be introducing various reforms that will reposition this institution but please rest assured that they will be for the greater good. On our shoulders lies the responsibility of working together as a House to safeguard the future of our great country.
“The House must be reformed before the country can be reformed we simply cannot and must not fail”, he said.
The Speaker thereafter announced the appointment of Hon Sanusi Rikiji the former Speaker of Zamfara State as his Chief of Staff. Hon Sanusi he said comes with a wealth of legislative experience and his inclusion in the 9th Assembly will add immense value.