After an exhaustive strategy meeting in Abuja, a frontline political association, Progressive Forum for Leadership and Thoughts; also known as the “G-50” has described as baseless and unfounded a news story circulating in the social media alleging and accusing the Chief of Staff to the president, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila of involvement in corrupt practices and bribery during the nomination and appointment of Ministers and Board Members by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Group also described the news report as an attempt to distract the new administration from forging ahead and delivering on its campaign promises to Nigerians.
In a press conference jointly addressed by the association’s Convener, Rt. Hon. Engr. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau Phd,Hon. Abiodun Akinlabi; Hon. Usman Bawa ABG; and Hon. Abdullahi Kontagora, the “G-50” which is an association of like-minded past and present Members of the National Assembly declared that “without dignifying the said story with any reply, it is however necessary and incumbent on us to protect the integrity, honour and character of one of our own who is contributing resourcefully, selflessly, diligently, and immensely to the progressive steps, actions and decisions that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has taken thus far in redirecting the status and image of our dear country.”
Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau declared that, “careful analysis of the story reeks innuendoes, jealousy, envy, bile and strife. It was short in logic, negative in thought and unprofessional in delivery. The story was nothing but a bogus, worthless, ill-thought, ill-advised, disdainful and intrinsically wicked attempt to smear and impugn the image, personality and credibility of the Chief of Staff, and by extension to not only ridicule the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress but to also create and invent mistrust, falsehood and outright disconnect between and amongst all persons, more importantly Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila who is working assiduously for the overall success of the Tinubu government.”
Speaking further, Hon. Abiodun Akinlade, current Member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Safety Standards, who is from Ogun state wondered why, “the powers behind the masquerade-rumour peddling news story can go to the extent of crafting such obnoxious and ill-mannered falsehood just because they are blindfolded by inordinate ambitions. One wonders why this faceless, shadowy persons can come up with spurious, rudderless, irresponsible and vicious propaganda in an attempt to clothe the hardworking, visionary and conscientious Chief of Staff in borrowed and ugly robe that do not fit his true personality and his undeniable commitment to the general success of his principal and the APC.”
In his contribution, Hon. Usman Bawa ABG from Kaduna state declared that, “it is trite to ask where were these latter-day saints, overtly power hungry and over-sanctimonious people when Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila was passionately labouring, creatively and courageously canvassing and marketing the APC prior to and it’s eventual formation. It is very sad and disheartening that having sacrificed a whole lot, in different capacities and positions as Minority Leader, Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, and now Chief of Staff to Mr. President, for the continuing relevance of the APC in our polity, and the country in general, is now being abused, denigrated and vilified through deliberate mis-information and deception-laden stories.”
While describing the purveyors of the bribery allegations and corruption narrative as a motley group of bad failures, losers in most recent quest for positions, and conscienceless political lillliputians who appears to have chosen the spread of falsehood, dropping of lies and negative propaganda as ungodly route towards creating acrimony between the Chief of Staff and his principal, as well as other personalities who are desirous and determined towards ensuring that Nigerians get the very best from the new administration, Rt. Hon. Gusau said that, “as a pan-Nigerian body focussed on good governance at all levels, G-50 strongly advise and counsel these faceless persons and similar hideous groups to embrace peace, unity, and join hands with the Chief of Staff in his avowed commitment and unapologetic passion to the overall success of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is necessary to stress that to make this a reality, Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila need the prayers, support, contributions and collaboration of every Nigerian regardless of party, tribe, ethnicity and religion. These and more are the natural attributes and qualities that Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila has exemplified over the years, that has endeared him to numerous people.”
Commenting on the positive credentials of the Chief of Staff, Niger-born Hon. Abdullahi Kontagora emphasized that, “in all his official duties and personal interactions, he has distinguished himself creditably as a bridge-builder, visionary and patriotic personality who is very dependable, reliable, loyal, dynamic and responsive. His passion and commitment to true, meaningful and progressive nation building, growth and national development is outstanding.”
Hon. Bawa added, “at every given time, Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila championed the protection of the rights and image of Nigerians. For instance at the peak of xenophobic attacks and obnoxious trade policies against Nigerians in South Africa and Ghana respectively, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, he ensured that they were addressed immediately. Also, deploying his knowledge of legislative processes and strong leadership skills, he ensured the passage of Bills that are now Laws, thereby deepening and enriching the country’s democratic governance.”
In it’s commendation of the Chief of Staff for his wholesome commitment and unflinching loyalty to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the administration’s unrelenting and untiring efforts in ensuring that Nigerians enjoy the very best of democratic dividends, Convener of the Group, Rt. Hon. Gusau stressed that,”the Chief of Staff has done very well since his appointment and subsequent assumption of office. Since Nigeria’s return to democratic governance in 1999, the country has never experienced this type of Presidency-Legislative collaboration. Also, with the blessing of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the hard work of his Chief of Staff, this is the very first time that Nigeria will have this noticeable numbers of lawmakers as Ministers and Members of Federal Executive Council.” Espousing on the new development, Hon. Kontagora believes, “it will not only bring breath of fresh air between the Presidency and Legislature but also increase synergy and quick decision making.” On his part, Hon. Akinlade posited that, “having an experienced and versatile lawmaker as Chief of Staff to Mr. President, days and matters of acrimonious relationship between National Assembly and the Executive are over.”
The “G-50” while commending it’s members; drawn from the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Assembly for attending the strategy session, declared and assured President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his government of massive and overwhelming support because, “as a Group that is wholly and totally committed to national growth and development, we believe in Tinubu’s policies and programmes towards uplifting the standards of Nigerians, promoting true nationhood, and guaranteeing meaningful development through effective, efficient and results-yielding executive-legislative collaboration” Rt. Hon. Gusau concluded.