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Nigeria’s Gbajabiamila Hands over Baton of African Speakers’ Conference to Ghanaian Counterpart

The outgoing Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representative reiterated the need for Africa to work together to survive.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday, said Africa must create its own way of surviving global pandemics and other challenges facing the continent.

Gbajabiamila made the assertion at a brief ceremony in Abuja to hand over the baton of leadership of Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments (CoSAP) to his Ghanaian counterpart,  Hon. Bagbin Alban Sumana Bagbin.

CoSAP was Gbajabiamila’s brainchild birthed on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 to enable speakers of African parliaments to brainstorm on ways of mitigating the deadly effects of the virus, amongst other challenge.

The event, however, became necessary to enable Gbajabiamila who will be exiting office soon hand over the baton of leadership to his colleagues.

Speaking at the occasion, Gbajabiamila said, “As representatives and advocates in our national parliaments, we can influence national discourse and frame public debates. 

“We must use this power to preach the message of African brotherhood and shape the world-view of our various peoples to achieve a common understanding of how deeply connected we all are and how it is in all our best interests to look out for each other in a world that more often than not, will not look out for us. 

“Through CoSAP, we will continue to work together, doing all we can to achieve great things for our African homeland. My brother, Rt Hon Bagbin, when the Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments (CoSAP) was conceived, your predecessor, Rt Hon Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, was the first head of parliament.

“I shared the vision with. He did not need convincing; he understood the need for an institution such as CoSAP and recognised the many possibilities that could derive from it. It is to your personal credit that you have so skilfully carry on the partnership.

“When I hosted you here in Abuja in 2021, I expressed my hope that long after our time in politics has passed, we can sit back as brothers do to look back with pride and thanksgiving for the things we have achieved together – for Ghana, for Nigeria, and for Africa. My time as Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives will shortly end.

“However, our friendship and our partnership continue. And I am honoured to hand the Conference of African Speakers (CoSAP) into your care. As you undertake the task of charting the course of parliamentary cooperation and collaboration in Africa, you have my support as my dear brother and my worthy friend.”

Similarly, the speaker also handed over the leadership and operations of Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI) to the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

Udora Orizu and Juliet Akoje

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