The aides to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, have enrolled 100 pupils into various primary schools in the Daura Emirate of Katsina State.
The Speaker’s aides, under the umbrella of Gbaja Professionals Volunteer Network, carried out the gesture as part of efforts of imbibing their principal’s habit of giving back to society.
The network, formed in September 2019, had organized similar interventions in Surulere, Lagos State, where thousands of students benefitted and did the same recently in commemoration of the Speaker’s 59th birthday where 38 out-of-school children among people with disabilities were enrolled into school at Karmajiji area of Abuja, among other outreach programmes.
Speaking at the occasion, which took place in Daura, the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Alhaji Sanusi Garba Rikiji, said the enrollment was in line with Gbajabiamila’s vision of empowering the people in the area of education.
He said: “This is timely at this critical time of our nationhood where challenges are sending children out of school. The Speaker is a strong believer in one Nigeria. The Speaker is a highly patriotic man. The Gbaja Professionals have touched Nigerians at different locations.
“Today’s event is one of the laudable projects of the group, and it will not be the last in Daura as we shall continue. I urge the pupils to pay attention to their studies. Their parents should also pay attention,” he said, adding that a mechanism has been put in place to monitor their studies for possible rewards.
In a remark, the Katsina State Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajiya Rabiat Muhammad Daura, representing the state governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, said government alone could not take care of all the needs of the people and called on other Nigerians to follow the steps of the Speaker.
She said a gesture such as the enrollment of 100 pupils into schools was a good thing, urging both the parents and the pupils to justify the selection by the Speaker’s aides.
The member representing Daura/Mai-Adua/Sandamu Federal Constituency, Rep. Fatuhu Mohammed, who was represented by one of his aides, Alhaji Aliyu Haruna, thanked the Speaker for the love he has been showing the people of Daura.
He noted with delight how the Speaker visited Daura last year to commission some projects attracted by the lawmaker, expressing appreciation to the Speaker for creating the enabling environment for his aides to organize such a laudable programme in Daura Emirate.
On his part, the National Coordinator of Gbaja Professionals, Alhaji Lukman Lawal, who is the Special Assistant on Budget and Finance to the Speaker, emphasized the importance of education in the lives of children, whom he described as leaders of tomorrow.
He said the Speaker attaches a high premium to education, as such, his aides have keyed into his vision and decided to organize the programme in Daura Emirate to ensure that out-of-school children have adequate access to education.
In a goodwill message, the Emir of Daura, Alhaji (Dr) Umar Farouk Umar, expressed appreciation to the Speaker for the gesture, which he said would go a long way in addressing the issue of out-of-school children in the emirate.
Represented by the Sardaunan Daura, Alhaji Awwal Farouk Umar, the Emir who described the Speaker as ‘Bajabaja’ (a Hausa word for giving or having something in excess), said Gbajabiamila has proved himself to be a nationalist and patriot.
“We thank the Speaker for this gesture. All our representatives have been doing their best for our people. We thank you for this, Mr Speaker. We won’t hesitate to ask for more so that more of our children will be in school. We need more of your assistance in the area of education.”
There were goodwill messages from different personalities at the event including the director of finance and administration in Daura Local Government, Alhaji Lawal Samaila Doro, who said the people of Daura would never forget the gesture.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of school bags, books and other writing materials to the pupils, all of whom were adorned with their new school uniforms, sandals and white socks to match.
The delegation later paid homage to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji (Dr) Farouk Umar Farouk at his palace. The emir thanked and blessed the Speaker for the gesture, saying he would personally tell President Muhammadu Buhari about it.