Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker House of Representatives
By Raphael Ekpang
The Nigeria House of Representative on Wednesday unveiled her in-house magazine (The Green Chamber) to the public in a well attended event held at the national assembly complex, Abuja.
The guest speaker at the unveiling of the magazine which is the first of its kind in the modern history of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Professor Pattrick Lumumba has praised the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila for seeking to reach Nigerians directly through the publication of the Green Chamber magazine.
A renown Kenyan Professor of law and anti-corruption crusader, Lumumba who decried the perception of lawmakers in Nigeria and Africa in at large which he blamed on the misrepresentation by the larger media expressed hope that the coming of the Green Chamber magazine will correct the perception.
“We live in a continent where the legislator is misunderstood, we live in a continent where legislators are not called and expected to perform their traditional functions and that is why the launch of a magazine such as this speaks to the demands of a nation such as Nigeria and I dare say many African countries,” Prof Lumumba said.
While acknowledging the central role of the legislature and legislators in the growth, Lumumba regretted that the patriotic exploits and sacrifices of the parliament are told or appreciated because no one speaks for them.
He said: “There is an African saying that says that if as long as lions do not have their historians, it is the exploits of the hunters than the bravery of the lions that will be talked about.”
While decrying the way major media outlets demonise the legislators in Africa, Lumumba argued that the initiative of the House of Representatives under the leadership of Femi Gbajabiamila was going to be a game changer that other parliaments in Africa can learn from.
“Today you have decided to tell your own stories that you may not be misunderstood. You know when in the 1960s we were told then that you were our servants and for a long time we believed that you are our servants but over the years things changed and we started to believe that you are no longer our servants and that you have become our masters and that therefore, even when you came to represent us in many African countries and you remind us that you are our servant we do not believe you because it is the newspapers that are left to say what you said. Because it is the television and the newscasters that are allowed in their jaundiced way to tell us what you represent.
“It gladdens my heart that in Nigeria through the efforts of Hon Gbajabiamila you have taken the decision to renew your contract with the people of Nigeria. You have decided to recreate the umbilical cord that will link you with people of Nigeria.
“I hope that through this magazine you will be able to reach Nigerians directly.
The magazine unveiling event attracted many dignitaries including the newest All Progressive Congress (APC) governor, Hope Uzodinma of Imo state, Minister of Information and Culture who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and current governor of Katsina state, Hon. Bello Masari, and the governor of Imo state, Sen. Hope Uzodinma. Others include Senator Rocahas Okorocha and many other lawmakers from both the Senate and House of Representatives