Na’Abba: OrderPaper recalls last encounter with late speaker

Elizabeth AtimeDecember 27, 20234 min

The late House of Representatives Speaker, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, will be remembered for being fierce, fearless, and forthright

Hall of Fame Na'Abba
The late Umar Ghali Na’Abba

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, is dead.

Na’Abba died at the age of 65 in Abuja. Mr Ahmed Tijjani Lawal, an aide to the deceased, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The second Speaker of the House of Representatives in the current 4th Republic died in the wee hours of Wednesday, December 27, 2023.

He was elected Member of the House of Representatives in 1999 from Kano State. He became the Speaker a few months after the inauguration of the House following the resignation of the then Speaker, Salisu Buhari, also from Kano State, over a certificate forgery scandal.

OrderPaper Nigeria joins leaders, patriots and other well-meaning Nigerians in expressing immense sadness over the demise of the late ex-legislator who played a significant role in the activities of the organisation.

The late Na’bba, being a leader with unimpeachable integrity, commended OrderPaper for initiating the Most Valuable Parliamentrian (MVP) initiative. Recall that on May 21, 2023, the ebullient former speaker led some eminent Nigerians in delivering good will messages at the unveiling of the best performing legislators of the 9th National Assembly who were subsequently inducted into Nigeria’s first-ever MVP Hall of Fame.

He spoke glowingly of the initiative: “l am delighted at the honour accorded me by OrderPaper Nigeria to deliver a goodwill message at this historic celebration of value and excellence in Nigeria’s federal parliament, the National Assembly. There is no doubt that despite being the largest democracy in Africa, Nigeria is still an evolving democracy.And as is common in countries where representative democracy is practised, the institution of the legislature plays a pivotal role in the evolution of the concept.

“In Nigeria, the National Assembly, as we all know, bears an uncomplimentary perception in the minds of the average Nigerian due to a number of factors – including a general misconception about the actual roles and functions of lawmakers, perceived self-centeredness given the allegations of bogus salaries and allowances, lack of transparency, scandaltainted inconclusive probes, and a host of reasons.

“On the other hand, while many positives have come out of the National Assembly. They really do not stay long in the minds of the average Nigerian, and the impact of laws and the place of parliament in national development could easily be overlooked. Given this background, the decision by OrderPaper Nigeria and its partners, as a foremost independent Public Policy Think Tank and Parliamentary Monitoring Organisation in this country; having led interventions in the legislative space for about eight years now to conceptualise and introduce a Roll of Honour for lawmakers deserves the commendation of every Nigerian and lover of democracy.”

He had described the induction event thus: “The decision to reward performing lawmakers based on the metric of

data (in terms of bills) and character is a novel and catalytic contribution towards improved service delivery by members of the National Assembly. I am convinced that the MVP Hall of Fame is a significant contribution to legislative strengthening and promoting the independence and people centeredness of the legislature. I enjoin the incoming I0th Assembly to be fully conscious of and be swayed by the fact of this novel initiative and that Nigerians would watch their performances in order to deliver a verdict in four years’ time.”

In a terse and mournful remark, Oke Epia, Founder/Executive Director of OrderPaper Nigeria, said the passing of Speaker Na’Abba “deals a deadly blow to the diminishing tribe of national leaders with formidable conscience, invincible uprightness, and unmovable stand for truth, justice and equity in our dear nation. May his kind and fearless soul rest in peace.”

Elizabeth Atime

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