Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has insisted that the ninth National Assembly is not a rubber stamp, while pointing out that he was not elected to fight the executive arm but to engage and collaborate with stakeholders to bring dividends of democracy.
Gbajabiamila assured that the National Assembly was irrevocably committed to protecting the interests of the people through diligent discharge of its legislative duties.
The Speaker said this yesterday in Lagos while speaking at the ‘Gbaja 2019 End of the Year Grassroots Empowerment Programme.’
Gbajabiamila said criticism that the ninth assembly was a rubber stamp to the executive was not fair, saying the fact that the legislature was on the same page with the executive on issues of national interests did not make it a rubber stamp.
The Speaker added that he, like his colleagues in the National Assembly, was not elected to fight the executive and that lawmakers would disagree with the executive if there was the need to do so.
“People, naysayers, critics and people from other parties have said the ninth National Assembly is a rubber stamp to the executive.
“You know my reply when they say that to you? ‘Tell them that you would rather have a rubber stamp National
Assembly that will bring progress than the one that is fighting the executive without progress.’
“This is because when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. This is not a rubber stamp National Assembly; this is a National Assembly that represents the people and is committed to their interests.
“The people of Surulere Federal Constituency 1 did not elect me to go and be fighting the executive. Is that what you asked me to go and do?
“Rather, you asked me to engage and collaborate with other stakeholders to deliver democratic dividends, part of which we are having today.
“This is a new dispensation where there will be checks and balances, there will be separation of powers, we will disagree with the executive when there is need to do so and agree with them if there is need.
“But our watchword will be the interest of the people. That is the oath which I and my colleagues swore to,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that 23 saloon cars, 90 laptops, 30 generators and 301 sewing machines were given to beneficiaries in his Surulere 1 Federal Constituency.
The Speaker also gave between N100,000 and N200,00 grant each to 500 business owners as well as 30 photocopiers and 309 home solar systems to other beneficiaries at the programme.
In his remarks, chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Tunde Balogun, commended the Speaker for the empowerment, saying the party and the people were proud of him.
He also commended his constituents for their support for the Speaker, saying that the empowerment items were the dividends of their support.