By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—Some past and present presiding officers of the House of Representatives, yesterday paid a glowing tribute to late Bethel Amadi., former Chief Whip of the House of Representatives in the 6th National Assembly from Imo State, who died recently after a protracted illness.
He was first elected into the House in 2003 where he served for two consecutive terms and was later elected the President of Pan-African Parliament.
Among those who paid tributes yesterday special valedictory session for the deceased were the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, Imo State Governor-Elect, Emeka Ihedioha, who was a deputy Speaker of the House, first female Speaker of the House, Patricia Etteh and the President of Pan African Parliament, Roger Nkodo Dang who led a delegation of members from Cameroon.
Others are the majority leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, deputy minority leader, Chukwuma Onyema and former Chief whip, Samson Osagie
Speaking, Dogara said: “Hon. Amadi touched us in special ways and would live in our lives forever. We want to extend our condolences to his family and family of Parliamentarians. May his soud rest in peace.”
Similarly, Tambuwal who came with scores of former lawmakers especially in the 6th and 7th Assembly among who were Victor Ogene, a former deputy chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, said late Amadi exhibited high level of patriotism.
“With mixed feelings, we are here to send our brother forth to eternal glory. It is therefore not an easy moment. Our path crossed on this floor, precisely on June 3, 2003 when we were inaugurated as members of this House. We came close and worked together on very many important national issues. And I found in him a very resourceful parliamentarian, a pan Nigerian. He exhibited patriotism, nationalism in all he did. We have lost a brother. We have lost a friend”, he said.
On his part, Emeka Ihedioha, lamented that Amadi passed on at a time he was needed most, saying “He was committed to my election. If he were alive, he would have played a pivotal role in our government. He was a great ambassador of our state.”
Also, President, Pan African Parliament, Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang, who deputised the deceased as president, said Amadi played a reconciliatory role during his time.
“Amadi was a man of robust reconciliation. I worked very close with Amadi. If it were to vote on his death, all members of the Parliament would have voted no. Amadi was full of life. He had strength in him. He was very young and a very good politician also”, he said.
Meanwhile, the House has adjourned plenary to Tuesday next week to enable the members attend the burial in Imo State.