•Speaker, House Of Reps., FEMI GBAJABIAMILA
The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has several loyalists scattered across the political landscape of the country. Many of these loyalists are seasoned politicians who have been with him for a very long time and stood by him through thick and thin. These are men Asiwaju has placed a great deal of trust in. He knows everyone of them like he knows the back of his hand. He knows their strengths and weaknesses. He knows where each of them best fits in within the scheme if things.But, more than anything else, he knows the few of these loyalists that he can trust with his life. One of them is speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
They have been together for a couple of decades running. Femi Gbajabiamila will always tell anyone who cares to listen that Asiwaju called him back home from abroad to come and help move Nigeria forward by joining politics. And he has had no regrets whatsover heeding to that call. Today, he is not only the number four citizen of the countrty by virtue of his position as Speaker of the Federal Houser of Representatives, he is by miles regarded as one of the most respected and accomplished Lawmakers in the country. His calmness, his remarkable intellect and legislative prowess stand him heads and shoulder above his contemporaries. He is a politician’s delight anyday, anytime. But beyond all of these, he is a man that’s extremely passionate about his Surulere people whom he represents at the Federal House of Representatives. He is totally committed to making available to them the dividends of democracy and much more by giving them quality representation at the House of Representatives and pushing for the enabling Laws and policies that will make life better for them in his Senatorial District, Surulere 1 constituency. This, perhaps, is the reason why his people don’t joke with him. And he doesn’t joke with them either. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2003 and he has not disappointed his people eversince. Year in, year out, he has continued to work tirelessly to justify the confidence they have in him by consistently re-electing him into office every election year as their representative in Surulere 1 Constituency.
A few weeks ago, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila was at an event organised by the Progressives Sisters Network (PSN) to honour the President –elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. While addressing the gathering, he shared with them some of the great qualities of Asiwaju and why he will make a great president if elected the president of Nigeria. He also revealed some of the very instructive lessons he has learnt under the mentorship of the Jagaban Borgu, now fondly addressed as the Jagaban of the universe. Clearly, he has benefited a great deal from Tinubu’s mentorship in the nearly 30 years he has spent in public service.
Hear him as he speaks glowingly of the man everyone calls the Greatest Political Strategist of our time.”We are here to talk about a man whose entire life is a testament to the incredible impact that individuals can make on the lives of others when they devote themselves to building ladders of opportunity for others to reach the highest heights their talents can take them,” he said.
“Most importantly, we are here to hear from the people who at the critical moments of their ascent, benefitted from the support, guidance, and leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I am one such person.”
Gbajabiamila said nobody succeeds in life on their own and must thus rely on the guidance of a mentor.
“We depend on relationship networks, our family, our friends, and even sometimes the kindness of strangers to achieve the best desires of our hearts. In those moments, nothing beats having a guiding hand from someone who has been down the same road and can provide you with a roadmap,” he said.
“For nearly three decades now, I have had the opportunity and privilege of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s guiding hand to help me in my public service. I have learned lessons from him that have helped me be a better legislator and public servant.”
The Speaker said aside from him, several present and past public officials have benefited from Tinubu’s tutelage, including women.
The legislator said as Governor of Lagos, Tinubu constituted a cabinet of people based on merits irrespective of their religion, tribe, and background.
“That cabinet had men like senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Ben Akabueze, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, Senator Femi Lanlehin, Sunday Dare, and Arthur Worrey, amongst others.”
“All these individuals who have gone on to have accomplished careers in the public and private sectors by virtue of their own abilities are Lagosians by their contributions to the growth and prosperity of the state. But none of them is from Lagos. I learned from Asiwaju that what matters is the quality of the person, not where they come from, their gender, or religion.
“You will never succeed in building such a team if you focus on asking questions about which God a person prays to, which language one speaks, and which church they attend. These questions don’t speak to the quality of a human being. More often than not, they reflect the prejudices and limited vision of the person asking the question.
“Asiwaju taught us that the promise of democracy is not perfection. The promise of democracy is accommodation and dedication to service in the best interest of the collective. We learned from Asiwaju that the private ambitions of any one individual must never take preeminence over the shared interests of the community, the party, or the country.”
Without a doubt, many of these qualities of Asiwaju as revealed by Femi Gbajabiamila are some of the stand out attributes of the President-elect that have endeared him to millions of Nigerians across the country. He has been able establish strong relationships that cuts across tribe and religion and built bridges that have earned him enormous good will that helped him win the just concluded 2023 presidential election.
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