Speaker Abass describes late Ghali Na’bba as extraordinary statesman

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 23, 20246 min

The Speaker eulogised the Ghali Na’ Abba in a valedictory session describing him as a leader with an impeccable leadership style.


The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abass (APC, Kaduna) on Thursday showered encomium on the late Speaker of the 4th Assembly, Umar Ghali Na’ Abba, in a valedictory session to pay tribute to the deceased, qualifying him as a true democrat who displayed resilience and put the interest of the masses first in the discharge of his legislative duties during his tenure as speaker from 1999 – 2003.

The valedictory session was graced by Former Speaker Aminu Bello Masari, Senator Binta Masi Garba, former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ehidioha (Deputy Speaker 7th Assembly), Abubakar Bawa, President Tinubu’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila (Speaker 9th House), Usman Nafada (Deputy Speaker, 6th Assembly), Suleiman Lasun (Deputy Speaker, 8th Assembly), Senator Etta Enang and others.

Na’Abba: OrderPaper recalls last encounter with late speaker

Speaker Abbas described Ghali Na’bba as “an extraordinary statesman and a patriot,” saying that the ex-Speaker “undoubtedly, left an indelible mark on our nation’s democratic journey and will be remembered as one of the titans of our democracy.”

“He was a modest and deeply religious man who gave the last full measure of devotion to his work and Nigeria. He lived a simple life but always with the end in mind. His life is, therefore, a worthy lesson for political office holders of today and generations of politicians to come,” he said.

Speaker Abbas said though it was a moment of grief and national mourning, it was equally a time for sober reflection and celebration of his unblemished public service record and enduring legacy.

“At a more personal level, I am humbled by the enormity of his contributions and inspired by the purity of his vision. As we reflect on his life, we are reminded of the enduring strength of our democracy and the pivotal role of the legislature in that regard,” he added.

On his part, the Speaker of the 5th Assembly, Aminu Bello Masari described the late Speaker as a national figure who was actively involved in national matters even after leaving office.

According to Masari, “Ghali Na’bba came from a radical background of Kano. Even after he left leadership, he remained in the political limelight making contributions, suggestions and providing guidance. We need to keep the family of such people in good shape. He showed resilience in the discharge of his legislative duties. I want to use this opportunity to remind ourselves that we need to provide leadership that will give them (Nigerians) hope. Examples should be from us leaders. We should live by example, we are all in it. We must provide leadership by example, no more excuses”, he emphasised.

Former Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila praised the late Ghali Na’bba for his bravery in always speaking the truth adding that he was a successful businessman who used his wealth to serve the indigent.

”He chose to remain in the political limelight making contributions and suggestions, continuing to serve even after office.

“Ghali Na’bba spoke the truth and was successful and despite his royalty and background, he chose to serve the downtrodden.  When democracy returned in 1999, he worked to maintain the independence of the legislature. I will thank him for his service. I followed his career, when I was made Speaker I spoke to him quite often and he gave me words that money could not buy in the market. He is a mentor and a leader and will forever be remembered.,” he stated.

In the same vein Deputy Speaker of the 10th House, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) showered praises on the late Speaker describing him as a man of courage, a hero of transparency, and accountability in the advancement of democracy, who stood for the masses and a democratic leader displaying indefatigable leadership style in effectively carrying out his legislative duties and oversight.

“We are gathered today to celebrate a man, a hero—a man who stood for the masses. True representation is those who stand with what the masses stand for. What is true democracy without good representation? We celebrate a man who believes in democracy. Let’s stand for democracy and let’s stand for the people. I want to thank Mr Speaker because he believes in what Ghali Na’bba stood for. I therefore suggest that a building in the National Assembly complex should be named after him.”

Professor Julius Ihonbvere (APC, Edo) in his message said the late Abba was a man committed to democracy and social justice describing the late speaker as a true Pan-Africanist.

“His commitment to social justice and democratisation of this nation can not be overemphasised. The man with the sense of vision, a true Pan-Africanist and a veteran.”

In his message, the House Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) said the late NaAbba was a detribalized leader who paid his dues stressing the need to live a fulfilled life not by how long but how well.

“One of the things he told me is that the time has come for this country to change, the system is no longer working. Ghali was a detribalised leader who paid his dues. İ want us to take 3 things away from here. There are several Ghali Na’bba that are still living out there, let us begin to locate them and encourage them. Secondly, it is not how far but how well. Thirdly, I have learned that from the life of Ghali Na’bba, a little bit of selfishness and more selflessness will bring joy to humanity.”

OrderPaper recalls that the former Speaker Ghali  Na’ Abba passed on the  27th of December aged 65.

Elizabeth Atime

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