“Thank you for saving me from death”, were the words from the Former Speaker, House of Representative, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, at the 3rd Anniversary of the 8th Assembly, Lagos State House of Assembly, held yesterday, 29th of June 2018. He made this statement in appreciation for the opportunity to be a discussant at the anniversary, on the topic ‘Strengthening Legislative Institutions: Panacea for Enduring Democracy’.
While death in this context is not physical death, he meant political death, the Former Speaker at the time he was in office (1999-2003) had his political career plagued with controversies. As the leader of the impeachment movement that challenged the then president Olusegun Obasanjo to either resign or face impeachment, he began to face persecution by the government of the day.
He was called before the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to answer a petition accusing him of gross misconduct and unjust enrichment with public funds. His political persecution did not end there and he was expelled from his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a few days days before his re-election bid for anti-party activities.
Being plagued by these turmoil in his political career, relegated him to political oblivion, therefore dimming his influence, thus his use of the word ‘death’ in this context is apt. As a discussant, he is given an opportunity once again be seen after being relegated to the background for so long.
The 3rd Anniversary of the 8th Assembly had other political figures in attendance and it was commemorated by a special parliamentary session held at the Hallowed Chamber of the Lagos State House of Assembly, in Alausa Ikeja, Lagos. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was also a discussant at the event.
Other political figures in attendance are; Governor, of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola; Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, National Leader, All Progressive Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu was represented by Femi Pedro, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State; Senator Abiola Ajimobi was represented by Mr. Oluseun Abimbola; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule; House of Rep. Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila; Lagos State APC Chairman, Tunde Balogun, Babatunde Ogala; members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, just to mention a few.