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January 3, 2024

Gbajabiamila’s record in NASS can’t be matched —  Speaker

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Gbajabiamila

By Dickson Omobola 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Tajudeen Abbas, said the record of his predecessor, Femi Gbajabiamila, in the area of legislation and infrastructure cannot be matched.

Abbas said this during the inauguration of a 484-bed hall of residence at the University of Lagos, which was christened the Femi Gbajabiamila Hall.

The Speaker said Gbajabiamila, who served 20 years in the House of Representatives before he was appointed Chief of Staff to the President, was an asset not just to the people of Surulere but to the nation’s apex legislative body.

Abbas said, “I don’t see in this generation any lawmaker that can do as much as Femi Gbajabiamila did for the Nigerian people. I don’t see that person. I say that with a sense of sincerity and honesty. This is a man who has been a high flyer from day one for the past 20 years. He was at the helm of leadership at the National Assembly for an unprecedented 20 years of service to humanity.”

He said Gbajabiamila, who served as Minority Whip, Minority Leader, Majority Leader, and then Speaker until last year, had left shoes that would be difficult to fill by any politician.

“I can’t see anyone from the past to the present who can match these achievements. He is a rare person and I am sure there might not be too many people like him in this generation but it is our prayer that the future should emulate the good examples he set in the National Assembly,” the Speaker added.

Abbas, who inaugurated four other projects which were sponsored by Gbajabiamila including the National Open University of Nigeria Surulere Campus, the rehabilitated Randle Street, the refurbished Bode Thomas Police Station and the Femi Gbajabiamila Mini Stadium, Orile; publicly endorsed the candidacy of Fuad Laguda, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

The Speaker said he was confident that the many projects sponsored by Gbajabiamila would convince the people of Surulere Constituency 1 to vote for Laguda in next month’s by-election which is being conducted to fill the vacant seat left by Gbajabiamila upon his assumption of office as chief of staff to the President last June.

In his remarks, Gbajabiamila said he felt the need to sponsor the 484-bed hall at the University of Lagos because there was an accommodation deficit at the school.

The President’s Chief of Staff, who is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, said lack of accommodation could also affect the performance of students hence the need to construct a new hall of residence. Also explaining his reason for constructing a mini stadium at Orile, he said it had become necessary to keep the youths busy as an idle hand is the devil’s workshop.

Gbajabiamila said he was hopeful that all the projects that were inaugurated including the Surulere Campus of the Open University, would inspire youths to greatness even as he called on youths to immediately apply for admission into the school.

The former Speaker, who noted that he had influenced the completion of over 250 projects in Lagos and beyond, said he was hopeful that the newly inaugurated projects would be properly maintained.

In her remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folashade Ogunshola, said the new hostel would help ameliorate the school’s accommodation challenge.

Ogunshola said her predecessor, Prof. Toyin Ogundipe, was the one who approached Gbajabiamila while he was Speaker to kindly assist the school in expanding its student accommodation. 

She said the school was proud of Gbajabiamila as its alumnus but said the institution would still need assistance from the federal government to upgrade some of its facilities.