Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, who served between 1999 and 2003 said that he was politically sacrificed for daring the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo by leading the Green Chambers to override the veto power of the President for the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Na’Abba spoke at the weekend when the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang, rallied the support of his former colleagues in the House of Representatives for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Party (APC).
At a special luncheon organised as part of activities to mark the end of second legislative year of the 8th National Assembly in Abuja at the weekend, Senator Enang said the event was to help smoothen the cordial relationship and goodwill existing between the legislature and the executive arms to enhance good governance.
Senator Enang lauded the former lawmakers for standing by President Buhari’s administration. “Nigeria is on the path of economic recovery through sound governance. President Buhari is fixing the country the right way and I’m convinced the expectations of Nigerians will soon be met by the government. You may not appreciate the pain of the injection needle but ultimately it would bring cure.”
The presidential aide also briefed the ex-lawmakers on the activities of the Executive and the Legislature in the past two years and charged them on the need to project the positive image of the country wherever they find themselves.
“Alhaji Na’Abba is the brain behind the NDDC Act and the percent in allocation the commission is getting today. Also, what the entire National Assembly is enjoying today was made possible by Na’Abba,” said Senator Enang.
Alhaji Na’Abba who spoke extensively on the events of the past described Senator Enang as the country’s most experienced legislator having gone through all the ranks of the legislature, beginning from his local council as a counsellor.
“He has brought honour to us his colleagues. We’re proud of Senator Ita Enang. Even he had no previous experience, he held his own as chairman of Business and Rules. During his chairmanship, he was able to bring to the House a lot of intellectual discourse. Let me congratulate Senator Enang for his commitment in the discharge of his duties as a presidential adviser,” said the former Speaker.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives went on to describe the legislature as the ultimate training ground for leadership in the country.
“When I recollect those moments of the past I feel sad,” quipped Alhaji Na’Abba, who added the country sacrificed him politically for the role he played in the establishment of the NDDC. When I realised that money for the oil producing area was not enough, I mobilised my colleagues from the north to over-ride President Obasanjo’s veto power after he refused to assent the NDDC Act.
On the raging subject of restructuring, Alhaji Na’Abba also had his say: “any part of the country with genuine problems must be listened to, just as we listened to the South-South when the issue of militancy came up. The North-East and the South-East must also be listened to.”
Some of the former legislators, including Ambassador Jerry Igboke took turns in extolling the exemplary leadership qualities of Senator Enang and Alhaji Na’Abba, urging Nigerian politicians to strive to emulate them.
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