Buhari, Tinubu hail Gbajabiamila’s performance

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to remain patriotic to Nigeria as he has always shown.

This is just as the National Leader and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, said Nigeria is a complex country that Gbajabiamila has to navigate through.

Buhari and Tinubu said these on Saturday at a special prayer session at the Ansar-Ud-Deen central Mosque, Wuse 2, Abuja, which was organised in honour of the Speaker to mark his 60th birthday, according to a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi.

According to the statement titled ‘60th birthday: Continue to Serve Nigeria, Says Buhari…Gbajabiamila Remains a Patriotic Nigerian – Tinubu,’ the President urged the Speaker to continue to serve the country in every way possible.

Buhari noted that Gbajabiamila, as Speaker of the House, has positively changed the public perception of the relationship between the legislature and the executive.

The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, who represented Buhari at the event, said he had been directed to wish Gbajabiamila a happy 60th birthday.

He also noted that the President had always stood for a free and fair process, which was why he was happy when Tinubu emerged as the presidential flag-bearer of APC in such a process.

Gambari was quoted to have said, “The message from Mr. President is to congratulate you on your 60th birthday. He also wants to urge you to continue to serve the country well.”

The Chief of Staff said the House, under Gbajabiamila, has ensured a good working relationship with the Executive arm of the government against the notion in some quarters that the National Assembly should “be antagonistic to the Executive.”

Gambari also said the President wanted to assure Nigerians that he did not have any intention to subvert the Constitution to extend his tenure in office.

Buhari also wanted to reiterate his belief in the aspiration for a peaceful and united Nigeria, according to the Chief of Staff.

On his part, Tinubu described the Speaker as a patriotic Nigerian, who uses his position to enhance good governance. He said God had made it possible for Gbajabiamila to impact positively on the lives of Nigerians through the Legislature.

The APC presidential candidate said, “May God continue to give you good health, may He also answer your prayers. Only God will put us on the right path and continue to guide us through life to overcome the problem of leadership.

“May God give you good health to work for Nigeria. It is a complex country that you have to navigate through. May Allah in His infinite mercy give us the stability, the peace to govern; the love that we share for one another, the patriotism that will make us proud of our country.”

The Chief Imam of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Mosque, Dr. Musa Olaofe, who led the prayers for Gbajabiamila, said Nigeria was difficult to govern due to its nature.

He stated that with good leadership, there will be good governance while urging Nigerians to be tolerant of one another for meaningful progress.

Olaofe described the Speaker as a unifier, adding that Gbajabiamila brought people from different parts of the country together to work with him.

In his votes of thanks, Gbajabiamila expressed gratitude to the President for his kind words and for delegating his Chief of Staff to attend the prayer session.

The Speaker also said that he owed his political journey to God through Tinubu, whom he said God used to uplift him and many others politically and otherwise.

Gbajabiamila equally thanked his mother, Hajiya Lateefat Olufunke Gbajabiamila, who raised him in a good manner as well as his wife, Salamatu, who organized the prayer session.

He said, “Let me first of all start by appreciating the president through the COS. Let me also appreciate my benefactor. Many believe that wherever you find yourself, all power belongs to Allah. But Allah doesn’t come down to give you power. He guides and directs you. In doing so, He directed me to Asiwaju. He did it to me, and not just me, he did it to others too. May the Almighty Allah continue to give you that very uncommon capacity.”

The Speaker expressed appreciation to his colleagues in the House who have been supporting and cooperating with him to discharge his responsibilities as first among equals.