The Grim Reaper Visits the House

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Adedayo Akinwale writes that the recent demise of two members of the House of Representatives, though sad, has also presented another opportunity for the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party to renew their rivalry

The swiftness with which the Ninth House of Representatives passed the 2020 budget, the prompt passage of Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019, as well as the urgency it intervened in critical issues of national importance among others showed that the House started on a good note just less than one year after its inauguration.

However, with the almost flawless and smooth run of event since its inauguration, the House has had its moments of sadness, especially with the recent demise of two members of the House.

The Green Chamber was first thrown into mourning with the demise of the lawmaker representing Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency of Niger State, Hon. Ja’afaru Iliyasu, who was also a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Also, the lawmaker who represented Babura/Garki Federal Constituency of Jigawa State on the platform of APC, Muhammad Fagen-Gawo passed away on Tuesday, 31, 2019 in Dubai.

Before the demise of the lawmakers, the ruling party had 217 lawmakers while the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has 115. But with the demise of two lawmakers now, the APC now has a total of 215 lawmakers, though the party is still in firm control of the House.

Iliyasu, according to sources close to him died in his sleep after returning from a trip to Lagos state where he attended a retreat organised recently for members of the House Committee on Public Accounts.

According to the source, “When he came back from Lagos, everybody said good night. Only for him not to wake up in the morning.”

The Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said the late lawmaker had just returned to Abuja after a retreat organised for members of the House Committee on Public Accounts in Lagos.

The Speaker said he was “deeply shaken” by the demise of the late lawmaker whom he described as a gentleman who showed great willingness and determination to work with his other colleagues to make good laws for the country.

The Speaker described the lawmaker’s passing away as painful and said he would be remembered for his commitment to representing the interest of his people and Nigerians as a whole.

Gbajabiamila stated, “I woke up to the sad news of the passing away of our great colleague, Ja’afaru Iliyasu.

“Iliyasu was a gentleman and a determined lawmaker who wanted to make his mark in service to his country. Unfortunately, death took him away at this time.

“Within the last few months that he had been in the House, he proved himself to be a worthy legislator. I must say that I am pained just like my other colleagues over his demise. I pray the Almighty Allah grants him Jannatul Firdaus as his final abode,” he added.

However, the demise of Iliyasu means that the political parties in the constituency will once again go back to the trenches and contest for the vacant position.

Though Niger State is at the moment an APC state, but it will be a fight to finish between the APC and the PDP.

Meanwhile, when the House thought it has had the last of sad moments, Fagen-Gawo, who is also a member of the ruling party died in far away Dubai at the age of 65.

The late lawmaker, a two-term member of the House, was the Chairman, House Committee on Constituency Outreach.

Gbajabiamila in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said he was deeply touched by the news of the lawmaker’s death, describing it as painful.

He said, “Fagen Gawo was a truly committed lawmaker who meant well for his constituents and the country as a whole. I still have fond memories of Fagen Gawo, who happened to be a gentleman that was always willing to offer himself for the service to the nation as a member of the House.”

The Speaker added that Fagen-Gawo was a lawmaker who exhibited high sense of maturity and statesmanship, stressing that he was always deep in his thoughts and wise in his counsel.

With the two sad events, the APC and the PDP now have two other states to contend with to fill the vacant position.

QUOTE:

The Green Chamber was first thrown into mourning with the demise of the lawmaker representing Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency of Niger State, Hon. Ja’afaru Iliyasu, who was also a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Also, the lawmaker who represented Babura/Garki Federal Constituency of Jigawa State on the platform of APC, Muhammad Fagen-Gawo passed away on Tuesday, 31, 2019 in Dubai. Before the demise of the lawmakers, the ruling party had 217 lawmakers while the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has 115