Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, says the national assembly is “irrevocably committed” to protecting the interest of the people through the discharge of its legislative duties.
He said this on Sunday at the “Gbaja 2019 End of the Year Grassroots Empowerment Programme” in Lagos.
Gbajabiamila said criticism that the 9th assembly is a rubber stamp to the executive is unfair, saying the fact that the legislature is on the same page with the executive should not lead to unjust criticisms.
The speaker added that he 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 9th National Assembly is a rubber stamp to the executive,” he said.
“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.”
Twenty-three saloon cars, 90 laptops, 30 generators and 301 sewing machines were given to beneficiaries at 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, Tunde Balogun, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, commended the speaker for the empowerment, saying the party and the people were proud of him.