The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos), has appealed to all the ministers to always respect invitations of the house.
Gbajabiamila made the appeal at the plenary on Tuesday while ruling on a Motion of Urgent Matter of Public Importance that borders on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The speaker said that the House Committee on Foreign Affairs had invited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to brief the committee on the true state of Nigerians in South Africa with regards to the xenophobia attacks.
The lawmaker said that the ministry had consistently failed to appear even when the leadership of the house wrote to invite him over.
According to him, it is only when the committee or the leadership see the facts that we can actually address the issues properly.
“It is unfortunate that on all those occasions, the minister has not responded to the chairman’s invitation.
“I believe we are one government and I believe we are here to serve the interest on Nigerians.
“Let use this platform to send a direct appeal to the Minister of Foreign Affair, and all the ministers for that matter, that we need to respect the invitation that comes from this House,” he said.
Eid-el-Fitr: Gbajabiamila, Wase congratulate Muslims, urge prayers against COVID-19
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has congratulated Muslim faithful in Nigeria for concluding this year’s Ramadan fast and marking Eid-el-Fitr peacefully.
Gbajabiamila said this on Saturday in Abuja in a congratulatory message by Lanre Lasisi, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.
According to the statement, he also urged the Muslim faithful to pray fervently for an end to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has been ravaging countries all over the world, including Nigeria.
The speaker urged Nigerian Muslims to imbibe virtues such as feeding the needy, being their brother’s keepers and prayers for peaceful coexistence that usually come with the month of Ramada
He said Muslims should also adhere strictly to the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), whom he described as the best for all Muslims to emulate.
“I bring to Nigerian Muslims warm greetings at this season of Eid-el-Fitr.
“It is a season of remembrance of the good things that the Almighty Allah has done in our lives.
“Unfortunately, this year’s Eid-el-Fitr will be celebrated low-key, not by our own making, but that is how our Creator wills it.
“Let’s also pray for an end to insecurity and other challenges that we face as a nation,” the speaker said.
Similarly, Ahmed Wase, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, urged the celebrators to ensure that Sallah was held in an atmosphere of peace, harmony and unity.
In a Sallah massage issued by Umar Puma, Chief Press Secretary, he urged Muslims to follow the guidelines issued by the constituted authorities
“The Sallah period is an opportunity for all muslims to pray for an end to this pandemic.”
He urged all Muslims to respect the restriction on congregational worship, and apply the lesson learned in the month of Ramadan by imbibing the virtues of humility, love, kindness and tolerance.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Gbajabiamila inaugurates committee on COVID-19
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has inaugurated the House Committee on COVID-19.
Speaking at the inauguration on Tuesday in Abuja, Gbajabimila said that nothing defined a nation more than how its leaders and its people rose to the seismic crises that manifested without warning.
According to him, the virus must be confronted and overcome in one way or the other.
“We now face such a defining crisis; we too will face the judgment of history; it is in our hands to determine what that judgment will be.
“The 18-man committee reflects the intention of the house of representative to engage the executive arm of government in a partnership that serves the best interests of the Nigerian people, as we join hands to confront and conquer the most severe challenge of our lives,” he said.
The speaker said that the committee had the responsibility of ensuring that the operations of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 are conducted in line with international best practice.
“Your role is to add value by serving as a link between the task force and the National Assembly, and with the Nigerian people, whose interests we are all serving and to whom we are all answerable.
“It is also your responsibility to ensure that our citizens; doctors, nurses and all the health workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria receive the full protection they deserve, and the benefits they have so honourably earned.
“You have the rare opportunity of writing your legacy in gold, and I am confident that you will meet that opportunity,” he said.
Gbajabimila urged the committee to face the task with a sense of urgency and utmost integrity.
He assured members of the committee of his support and the support of the entire House of Representatives, as they go about their duty.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Haruna Mshelia (APC-Borno) commended the speaker for his nationalist ideologies in running the affairs of the house.
Mshelia, who is a medical doctor, also assured that the committee was determined to deliver on its mandate.
According to him, every effort in the fight against the pandemic must be tailored towards benefitting Nigerians.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Gbajabiamila restates govt’s commitment to address IDPs challenges
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to addressing various challenges facing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
Gbajabiamila said this in a statement issued by Mr Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, on Friday in Abuja.
Represented by Hamzat Baba, Special Assistant on IDPs, the speaker urged the displaced persons not to despair and assured them that they had not been forgotten and would not be left behind.
He said efforts would be made to ensure that every Nigerian that had suffered the misfortune of being forced to flee their homes would be encouraged to return to productive livelihood.
Gbajabiamila donated over three hundred bags of rice, cartons of vegetable oil, cartons of noodles, packs of hand sanitisers and bags of face masks among other items.
“We are here to extend our arms of fellowship to our brothers and sisters who, in flight from conflict and deprivation, have come to find a measure of peace in the protection of this camp.
“We have come bearing gifts which we hope will in some small way, help to improve the circumstances of life for all those who are resident in this camp.
“More than that, we have come bearing assurances that you have not been forgotten and you will not be left behind,” he said.
The speaker also made a commitment of his time in office, to ensure a return to productive livelihood for all citizens of Nigeria who suffered the misfortune of being forced to choose between dying at home and running away to survive.
“Allow us the honour of spending the day with you as brothers and sisters, and may God bless and keep us all through the challenges of the present times,” the speaker said.
Responding, Mr Idris Halidu, the Coordinator/Spokesman of Abuja-based IDPs, commended the gesture of the speaker, adding that Gbajabiamila was the first lawmaker to remember IDPs in Abuja since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The speaker has been around for a long time and we know him, he is not a bench warmer; he has been very active and proactive.
“He is the first to remember us since the outbreak of this pandemic.
“As we thank him for this kind gesture, we implore him to help to resuscitate the IDPs Bill.
“It passed second reading in the Eighth National Assembly but could not go further. We want to encourage him to assist in revisiting the bill,” the IDPs spokesman said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Gbajabiamila condoles with President Buhari over nephew’s death
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has condoled with President Muhammadu Buhari and the members of his extended family over the death of his nephew, Alhaji Mutari Dauda.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi, Gbajabiamila also extended his condolences to the entire people of Daura Emirate over the loss.
Gbajabimila prayed for the repose of the late Alhaji Mutari Dauda, who was the younger brother to Mamman Daura.
He also prayed God to give the President, members of his extended family and the Daura Emirate the fortitude to bear the loss.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Infectious diseases debate will go public – Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila says the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill will be put forward to a public hearing.
Gbajabiamila said that stakeholder contributions would be sought to make improvements to the bill before being reviewed and debated by the Committee of the Whole.
“It is from the accumulation of these myriad views, suggestions and good faith critiques from within and outside the house that we will arrive at final legislation that meets the present and future needs of our country, and which we all can support in good conscience,” he said.
He, however, said that the social distancing guidelines under which the house operated presently meant that the usual format of public hearings was not tenable.
“If a socially distant public hearing becomes workable, we will certainly explore that option.
“Nonetheless, the house will provide alternative platforms for all Nigerians who desire to send in written documents that articulate their concerns, make recommendations on amendments and perhaps present other formulations for a new framework for managing infectious diseases in Nigeria.
“All the contributions we receive will be considered and aggregated to improve the proposed legislation,” he said.
While laying to rest the controversies that were generated since the bill was proposed on April 28, he said allegations that the proposed bill was a product of inducement by foreign interests was untrue.
He said the bill, still a proposal subject to consideration, amendment and improvement had been assailed as a sinister attempt to turn Nigerians into guinea pigs for medical research while taking away their fundamental human rights.
“Suffice it to say that none of these allegations are true.
“Unfortunately, we now live in a time when conspiracy theories have gained such currency that genuine endeavours in the public interest can quickly become misconstrued to raise the spectre of sinister intent and ominous possibility.
“This House of Representatives will never take any action that purposes to bring harm to any Nigerian here at home or abroad.
“As we have thus far shown by our conduct, the resolutions and actions we take in this 9th House of Representatives will always be in the best interests of the Nigerian people who elected us and no one else,” he said.
The speaker said that in the recent uproar, certain fundamental truths had been lost and were worth remembering.
According to him, the current framework for the prevention and management of infectious diseases is obsolete and no longer fit for purpose.
He added that the current law severely constrained the ability of the Federal Government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take proactive action to prevent the entry into Nigeria of Infectious diseases and the management of public health emergencies when they occur.
He said that the government was vulnerable to claims that some directives already being implemented to manage the present crisis did not have the backing of the law and therefore could not withstand judicial scrutiny.
Gbajabiamila said that whether Nigerians chose to accept it or not, the world had changed irretrievably as there was no ‘normal’ to return to.
He added that the present crisis had laid bare the fundamental weaknesses in the nation’s systems of law and policy and left the nation at risk of devastating outcomes on all sides.
“Inevitably, this demands that we should be willing to consider new ideas, explore novel possibilities, rejecting those ancient shibboleths we have long adhered to without benefit.
“We may sometimes disagree with the how and the why of policy proposals. The parliament of the people is not an echo chamber.
“It is a marketplace of ideas where only those proposals that gain currency with the majority should carry the day,” he observed.
He, however, said disagreements must be grounded in a shared recognition that the present travails demand urgent interventions.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bill which was sponsored by Gbajabiamila seeks to empower the NCDC and make it more proactive and not just reactive and function when there was an outbreak.
It also seeks to empower the president and the minister of health to exercise certain necessary powers at first instance, during any outbreak.
The speaker urged members to pass the bill for second and third reading and seek concurrence from the Senate before it was sent to the president for assent.
However, some lawmakers were not comfortable with the speed at which the speaker of the house wanted the bill to be passed.
This and some other provisions of the bill created controversies.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
Gbajabiamila tasks media to rise to the challenge of fake news amid COVID-19 fight
In a congratulatory message on the celebration of the 2020 World Press Freedom Day, Gbajabiamila tasked the media practitioners to be more factual in their reportage to promoting national development.
The speaker lauded the doggedness of the Nigerian media in finding solutions to the challenges facing the country over the years as it had contributed a lot in stabilising the nation.
“It would not be out of place to call on media practitioners in the country to be more factual about their reportage of activities in the society with a view to promoting development and rise to the challenge of fake news, especially as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nigerian media practitioners must resist every temptation that would make them promote reportage that is anti-people as no country would thrive if the media spreads falsehood,’’ he said
He said the media must also support the government in its drive to make meaningful impact in the country as well as call the same government to order where it is evident that it drifts.
“The choice is ours, either to make our country great through good reportage and analysis of issues, or to allow fake news and, in many cases, flagrant falsehood to take over the space, he said.
The lawmaker said that at this age of social/online media, the onus is on the real journalists to make a difference.
“But I believe that the Nigerian media would not do anything that will take us backwards. I also want to believe that media practitioners in the country are ever committed to seeing the country move forward.
“If that is the case, we must show patriotism in our dealings as media men and women. We must fight fake news, especially at this time of COVID-19 pandemic. I also wish to pay tribute to journalists who have been working hard at the frontline of reporting this pandemic at great personal cost,” Gbajabiamila said.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Ramadan: Gbajabiamila, Wase urge Muslims to pray for an end of COVID-19 in Nigeria
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and his Deputy, Ahmed Wase, have urged Muslims to use the month of Ramadan to pray for the country.
They gave the advice in Abuja on Friday in separate messages to Muslims at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, a fasting period for Muslims.
The Speaker urged the faithful to use the period for sober reflection and to get closer to their creator.
He noted that the month of Ramadan comes with a lot of lessons, stressing that if all Muslims would replicate the same for the rest of their lives, the society would be better for it.
“As we all ushered in the Holy month of Ramadan, I pray the Almighty Allah will enable us to see the end of the month in peace and accept all the acts of Ibadah to be offered during the month,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said Muslims should be their brothers’ keepers, including non-Muslims among them, noting that there can be no better news than peaceful coexistence among all citizens.
He also called on Nigerians to pray for their leaders now and always to lead the country in the best way.
Wase, his deputy, also called on Nigerians to use the fasting period to pray for the end of coronavirus pandemic in the country, adding that Ramadan provided every Muslim a unique opportunity to pray against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“As a Muslim, I believe so much in prayers, especially the ones offered during Ramadan because this is a period of purification, when a Muslim is expected to, more than before, show piety in all areas of life.
“I admonish Muslims to manifest the spirit of love, oneness, charity, obedience and other tenets of Islam during and after the period of Ramadan fasting.”
Wase called on Muslims to always obey directives by government by maintaining hygiene through regular washing of hands, keeping social distance and staying at home to prevent further spread of this deadly virus.
He commended the resilience and sacrifice of all Nigerians in the face of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, expressing optimism that with continued prayers, the country would triumph over the deadly disease.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)
Gbajabiamila mourns Abba Kyari
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has described as shocking and sad the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari.
In a condolence message on Saturday
by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi, the speaker said Nigeria had lost a patriot in the person of Kyari.
He said Kyari would be remembered for his selfless and dedicated service to Nigeria right from his days as a private citizen through the time he served as the Chief of Staff to the President.
Gbajabiamila said that with Kyari’s and other Nigerians’ death as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the country needed to do everything possible to avoid further spread of the disease, while taking care of those that tested positive so far.
“I am particularly saddened and shocked at the demise of the Chief of Staff to the President. Here was a person who was highly patriotic and who showed the highest level of commitment and dedication to duty.
“Malam Abba Kyari would be remembered for his contributions to the development of the country at various stages of his life, including the last few years that he had served as the Chief of Staff to the President.
“I believe Kyari died while serving the country as he contracted the disease during his trip to Germany in March on a national assignment as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the intractable electricity problem in the country.
“This is indeed a great loss to Nigeria. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this trying time. I also want to extend my condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari for this loss.
“Death is inevitable for every human. The deaths of Malam Abba Kyari and other Nigerians at this time call for us all to rise as a nation and fight the COVID-19 pandemic in every possible way we can,” he said.
Gbajabiamila urged all Nigerians to follow the guidelines set out by the authorities in preventing further spread of the virus.
The lawmaker prayed Almighty God will grant the Chief of Staff and other Nigerians that died as a result of this pandemic a good resting place.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Buhari condoles with Speaker Gbajabiamila over loss of mother-in-law
President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and his wife, Salamatu, over the passing of her mother, Mrs Mildred Bisalla.
The president’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Buhari joined all family members, friends and associates in mourning the deceased “whose antecedents of piety and charity, especially in her community, continues to resonate in many testimonies’’.
According to him, Mrs Bisalla’s diligence in bringing up strong and reputable children will always be appreciated by society.
He, therefore, urged the Speaker’s wife to sustain the good works of her mother, which she had long started.
The president prayed that the almighty God would grant Mrs Bisalla peaceful rest and comfort her loved ones.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
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