the task of transforming the country.
The Speaker said he believed that his aides came with a lot of
experience and maturity, urging them to apply the same in their various
responsibilities in the next four years.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke during a retreat for his aides organised by his
office in collaboration with PERL-ECP Nigeria, a project under DFID,
challenged all his aides to brace up for the task ahead as they work
towards achieving his agenda themed ‘Nation Building: A Joint Task.’
“Success for me as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives depends
on you doing the work to which you have been assigned, and doing so
diligently and with integrity, never leaving room for friends and foes
alike to question either your commitment or your sincerity.
“It is to all of you gathered in this room that I depend on to drive the
agenda, develop performance indices, monitor implementation, evaluate
outcomes and report on the way forward. So far, I have been impressed by
the contributions and output from some of you. The initiatives you have
taken, the ideas you have championed and the efforts you have made are
encouraging; they give me confidence that we have assembled a team that
at its best, can and will be transformational.
“We are here for the country, to make the country work. Everybody here
was carefully selected. So, don’t undermine your offices. You are here
to work for the country, and that’s a huge responsibility.
Gbajabiamila added: “The task before us is enormous. Fate and
circumstance have called us to serve at a time of rapid, inexorable
change. Our population growth far outpaces the rate of economic growth.
Insecurity has made large swathes of our country uninhabitable for
citizens and unattractive to investment. Our education system is
producing graduates who cannot compete in the 21st-century knowledge
“We are fighting insurgents in the North East who want to remake our
world in the image of a medieval theocracy. Economic and social inequity
continue to exacerbate our age-old conflicts, making cooperation and
progress difficult, and often impossible. All the old certainties have
fallen aside, and we are confronted with the dire consequences of years
of poor planning, poor implementation, corruption and indiscipline.”
“I want you to remember today as always what our mission is; to protect
those who need us to shield them, to empower through opportunity, to
decide what future we want and then to build it. This is our mandate,
and we will deliver because we must, because there is no alternative,”
In a brief remark, the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Hon Sanusi Garba
Rikiji, thanked the Speaker for giving him and other aides the
opportunity to work with him.
“I call on my dear colleagues to consider our appointments as a
challenge and call to national duty. We will pay you back with loyalty
and dedication. We will ensure that you achieve your goals,” Rikiji
In her address, the team leader of PERL, Dr Adiya Ode, team leader of
Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), commended the Speaker
for putting the structure to succeed.
“This time is a time for greatness in the world. We look forward to
seeing great things coming from you. Many young men and women are hungry
and angry. We call on you our leaders to do something. I want to commend
your agenda on reforms. We love your idea of budget reforms.
“The issue of inclusion, women in governance. Please make space for
women and the people living with disabilities. Thank you for your
commitment to collaborate with the Executive. We have seen that in your
actions,” she noted.