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Reps Hold Valedictory Session In Honour Of 4th Assembly Speaker, Late Ghali Na’Abba

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Reps Hold Valedictory Session In Honour Of 4th Assembly Speaker, Late Ghali Na’Abba
…colleagues describe him as one who gave his life for the nation
By Gloria Ikibah
The House of Representatives has held a Valedictory Session is held in honour of Speaker of the fourth Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, on Thursday at the National Assembly.
This is in accordance with the tradition of the House, when a former or sitting members passes on.
Naijablitznews.com reports that the former Speaker died on December 27, 2023, in Nigeria.
In accordance with the House rules, the Leader of the House, Rep. Julius Ihonbvere, moved the motion for the commencement of the Valedictory Session and it was seconded by the House Minority Leader, Rep. KingsleyChinda.
Naijablitznews.com recalled that on Wednesday at plenary the House moved a motion for the admission of non members into the Lower Legislative Chamber for today’s ValedictorySession.
Former members of the National Assembly from 1999 till 2023 were present and they include former Speakers Aminu Bello Masari, Femi Gbajabiamila, former Deputy Speakers Chibudum nwuche, Austin opara, Lasun Yusuf, Emeka ihedioha, former House leaders Bawa bwari, Ahmed Gamaliel among others.
Also present at the session was the family of the late Ghali Umar Na’Abba.
In his opening speech, Speakerof the House, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, described the deceased with his simplicity, modest and religious man who gave his life for the service of the nation.
He said: “While this is a moment of grief and national mourning it is a moment of celebration and sober reflection. As we reflect on his life we are reminded of our democracy”.
Former Speaker and current Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, described Late Na’Abba as a talented politician, worthy public servant and ‘a true Nigerian whose death has brought us sorrow”.
“I appear in mixed emotions but I take solace that we are here not to mourn but to celebrate a giant.
“The evident abound that he lived a very good life. He was a follower of Mallam Aminu Kano and was concerned about the downtrodden in the country.
“He served the downtrodden and chose to be a servant of the people, his voice was to speak for the voiceless”, he stated.
According to Gbajabiamila, “Our democracy is young but after two decades we have become comfortable with the present situation. When we returned to democracy in 1999 the political rules that guided us today was not there but Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba understood what it took to lead the House.
“As a Speaker, I consulted with him on a regular basis and I thank him for that. He was a beloved father, brother a mentor and guardian”.
Former Speaker Aminu Bello Masari who spoke on behalf of the Body of Former Speakers said the history of the legislature cannot be written without the name of Late Ghali Umar Na’Abba.
According to Masari, Ghali has paid his dues and he prayed for God to grant him eternal rest.
He added: “For those of us who were with Ghali from 1999-2003, I remember when the House was constituted none of us had any experience of legislative duties. We had an executive who was a former military General with no experience of democracy. This was the situation that Ghali found himself at that particular situation.
“Ghali came from a radical political background and it gave him courage to face the situation.
“He was a distinguished Nigerian and parliamentarian, he had the courage to provide leadership under such difficult times. But he survived and completed his tenure despite all the challenges. The sad part of it in Nigeria is that you are taken care of when you are dead and not when you are alive”.
Masari therefore the lawmakers to provide leadership that will give the citizens hope.
Hon. Chibudum Nwuche spoke on behalf of the Body of Deputy Speakers, described the late Ghali Na’Abba as a “Leader Per Excellence” who led the House in the 4th Assembly without a compass.
Hon. Nwuche stated: “Between 1999-2003, I had the singular opportunity to serve under two Speakers, Hon. Salisu Buhari and Hon. Ghali Na’Abba. This House was full of members who had dreams for the country and were independent.
“Ghali ensured the NDDC Act was passed in the Assembly and Ghali ensured that he mobilized the House to override the President’s Veto. Ghali passed the Act without the President. They tried to remove us several times but with the support of members we stayed till full term”.
The former deputy speaker said the late Ghali was a leaders that should be mortalized. “Ghali was a good man”, he added.
On behalf of the Body of Principal Officers, Hon. Bawa Bwari, described today as a day of mixed feelings.
He said: “We had a special bond filled with mutual trust. He was a mentor. I recall the countless times we worked side by side in transparency. He was a pillar, strength and beacon of hope”.
Hon. Bwari said one of his qualities was fearlessness and he always worked for what he believed in.
“What I will always remember was his ability to unite a House of various divides. He impacted on me, the 1999 House and Nigerian.
“Na’Abba has left a void in the House of 1999”, he added.
Senator Binta Masi Garba, who spoke on behalf of female parliamentarians, described how the late Former Speaker gave all 12 female parliamentarians in the 4th House the same opportunity to assent “our contributions to nation building”.
“He was a dogget fighter, detribalized Nigerin. What the National Assembly is doing today, he was the man that started and gave the independence of the parliament”, she asserted.
The House Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda, described the late Ghali Na’Abba as a nationalist.
He narrated his experience with the late Former Speaker: “I schooled with one of his children when I did my Masters in Law. I bought handout and text book for one of his daughter and she went home and told the father who insisted on speaking with me. Her father had asked her how she got the books and she told him it was a serving Honourable member that bought it.
“I had the benefit of speaking with him and one of the things he told me was that the time had come for the counter to make a difference in the lives of the downtrodden.
“This spurred me and today we have presented three bills on constitutional amendment.
“Firstly there are several Ghali Na’Abba” living today, please let’s begin to locate them. Secondly, I want us to tap from what we are seeing today, that it is not “How Far”, “How Long” but “How Well”.
“Thirdly, from the life of Ghali everything made, created, were made to bring life to other. A little selfishness and more selflessness will bring joy to the minority”, Rep. Chinda narrated.
Naijablitznews.com reports that the foremost statesman who passed on at the age of 65, was a passionate and courageous public servant who spent his life in service to the country. He made remarkable contributions to the development of the legislature and has been described as one among a special breed of Nigerian lawmakers.
A Kano-born politician, Rt. Hon. Na’Abba served in the crucial office of Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, before fate thrust on him the leadership of the House on July 29, 1999, as the 7th indigenous Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives.
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I’ll Never Sing New National Anthem – Oby Ezekwesili Vows

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has vowed never to sing the newly adopted national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’.

Ezekwesili said she would continue singing the previous national anthem, ‘Arise, O compatriots

Her remark was in response to President Bola Tinubu’s confirmation of ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the latest national anthem.

Posting on X, Ezekwesili wrote: “Let it be known to all and sundry that I, Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili will whenever asked to sing the Nigerian National Anthem sing:

1. Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.

2. Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause
Guide our leader’s right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace and justice reign.

She added: “This is my own National Anthem and let it be known that no one can suppress my right to dissent an obnoxious “law” that is repugnant to all that is of good conscience in Nigeria. Whatever else is #NotMyNationalAnthem.

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ARISE NEWS MANAGING EDITOR’S DAUGHTER BAGS MASTERS FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The daughter of Arise News Managing Editor, Christian Ogodo, was among graduands who bagged various degrees from the prestigious Havard University in the United States.

Oghenetega Steffi Eberechukwu Ogodo, was conferred with a masters degree in Urban Planning of the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University on 23rd May, 2024.

Tega was also a Bloemberg Leadership Fellow, who did her industrial training with the Rochester City Council in New York, while her field work had the theme: “People must feed,” postulating that there must be decent and nutritious food even for the downtrodden people in society.

Tega is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Second Class Honours [Upper Division] from the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.

She is the daughter of Nigeria’s foremost News Anchor on Arise News on WEEKEND NEWSNIGHT, Christian Ogodo, who is the Managing Editor of Arise News Media Group.

She is currently working with an engineering consulting firm in Chicago that specialises in logistics.

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National Anthem: Nigeria switches from fatherland to motherland

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By Francesca Hangeior

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, today, officially reverted to the National Anthem that heralded its independence as a sovereign Nation.

President Bola Tinubu, after he met a joint session of the National Assembly, signed into law, the adoption of the old National Anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

“Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was adopted as Nigeria’s first national anthem on October 1, 1960.

The anthem’s lyrics were written by Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria when it achieved independence.

Frances Berda composed the music for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

However, the second national anthem, “Arise, O Compatriots,” was adopted in 1978.

The lyrics of the now jettisoned anthem were a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest.

The words were put to music by the Nigerian Police Band under the directorship of Benedict P. Odiase (1934–2013).

The Nigerian national anthem lyrics were created by five people: P. O. Aderibigbe, John A. Ilechukwu, Dr. Sota Omoigui, Eme tim Akpan and B.A. Ogunnaike.

With the return to the old anthem, Nigeria officially switched from a ‘Fatherland’ to a ‘Motherland’.

Hereunder are the Three Stanzas of the old but now new National Anthem:

1. Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

2. Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

3. O God of all creation,
Grant this our one request,
Help us to build a nation
Where no man is oppressed,
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed.

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