JOHN ADAMS, Minna
Former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has thrown his weight behind the leadership of the National Assembly, saying that despite the complex nature of the country, a peaceful atmosphere has continued to exist in the two chambers.
General Babangida said he had observed the proceedings at both the lower and the upper chamber with keen interest and “I think you are all doing well.”
Babangida spoke at his hill-top residence in Minna on Tuesday when the leadership of the PDP minority caucus of the House of Representatives led by the minority leader, Hon Ndudi Elumelu paid him a courtesy visit.
“I am passionate about observing what is going on in the country; I develop lots of interest in the ongoings across the country and I think the leadership of the House of Representatives, the Speaker, the opposition leadership and everyone… I think you are all doing well.
He urged the leadership of the National Assembly to remain resilient in carrying out their jobs honourably and diligently, reminding them that they represent the wishes of the people on the floor of the House.
“You represent the people and it is what the people wish that you take up. I want to commend you for doing your job honourably and urge you not to give up.
“The country is complex and difficult because, there are as many opinions as there are the number of people in the country.
“Nigeria is a very vibrant society and what is important is the determination, you have to remain very resilient in everything you do for the benefit of the country,” he maintained.
Babangida assured the group of his blessings and support at any time, saying that he is glad that they survived the initial hiccups, leading to the emergence of the minority leader, urging the visitors that, “it is time to settle down to do a lot of good work for your constituency and for the country.”
Earlier the minority leader and leader of the delegation, Hon Elumelu told their host that they were in Minna to introduce themselves as the leadership of the minority caucus of the House of Representatives and thank the former military leader for the role he played in their emergence as minority leaders.
“We are here to thank you and to ask for your fatherly advice. The country is facing challenges especially insecurity and this is happening in Nigeria. We think coming here will give us ample opportunity of getting some fatherly pieces of advice on the way we will pilot the affairs of the House.”
He said that given the numerous challenges bedevilling the country, the minority caucus wanted fatherly advice from Babangida on how to pilot the affairs of the House of Representatives and proffer solutions to the problems facing the nation.
Elumelu who also prayed for continued good health for the former military leader, assured him that they are ready to provide good governance to the people of Nigeria.
Members on the entourage of the minority leader include the minority whip, Hon Gibbion Gwari and deputy minority whip, Hon Adekoya Adesegun.
Others were Hon Efe Afe, Hon Kpam Jimin Sokpo, Hon Robert Tyough, Hon Soyinka Anjola, Hon Femi Bamishele, Hon Benjamin Mzondu and Hon Samuel Onuigbo.