1. Distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I am immensely pleased to welcome you to this special valedictory session to mark the end of the 8th Assembly’s legislative proceedings.
2. First and foremost, I give gratitude to the Almighty Allah, the beginning and the end, the most gracious, merciful and protector of our lives for making it possible for all of us to witness this valedictory session.
3. Likewise, I thank all of you my wonderful colleagues, particularly Hon. Bayo Osinowo (A.K.A Pepperito) for the exemplary and unflinching supports you have given to me and the entire leadership of the 8th Assembly thus far. Every one of you deserves to be singled out and acknowledged individually for your remarkable commitment and oneness of spirit. I thank you most especially for the sacrifices and your perseverance that have seen the 8th Assembly succeed thus far.
4. Well, I have listened with gripped attention to your comments and remarks concerning my leadership qualities, style and our achievements so far. All that you have said are just candid opinions and genuine views freely expressed.
5. You will agree with me that we have been together for a long time and I thank the Almighty Allah that I will still be with most of us for another four years. When I think about our struggle and wars fought together, when I remember the support you have given me, when I view the achievements we have collectively recorded in bringing this legislative institution to this enviable height, I cannot but be grateful to still being in your midst.
6. Let it on be on the record that it is you, my colleagues, that have really made whatever gains we have recorded possible.
7. Be it in the area of manpower development, physical development and institutional development, it is to your credit that Lagos State House is seen within the federation and outside the country as an excellent and responsive legislature.
8. For the first time in this history of legislative democracy in Nigeria, our assembly carried out real townhall meetings simultaneously in all the 40 constituencies of the state. No doubt, the exercise, which was a successful one, enabled us to get first-hand information from our constituents concerning areas that needed attention of government.
9. Dear colleagues, you will recall that reports on our findings were sent to the Governor in order that budgetary allocations could be made to address our constituents’ needs. So, whatever you see as infrastructural developments in the state today came into existence as a result of our insistence that our people enjoy dividends of democracy wherever they are in the state.
10. Dear Colleagues, I stand here very proudly and fulfilled to say today that we have done everything within our capacity to preserve and even improve on the quality of life of Lagosians through people-oriented bills, which have become laws. It is gratifying to say here today that this House since its inauguration on June 8, 2015 has passed into Laws Forty-five (45) Bills with hundreds of resolutions and couples of regulations.
11. It is worthy of note that this House for the first time in its history introduced nine Private Member’s Bills, five of which were initiated by my humble self. These bills, which ranged from addressing issues of insecurity in our dear state to creation of employments among others have already become laws and thereby delivered the dividends of democracy to the entire Lagosians.
12. While I may not have the luxury of time to highlight all the bills that this 8th Assembly has passed into law, I cannot but spotlight a few. The reason being that we have not relented in blazing the trail in formulating laws for the benefit of the good people of Lagos State and in the promotion of a truly inclusive, participatory, open and people-oriented democracy since its inception.
13. As you are aware, it is during this assembly that we saw to the implementation of Lagos State Employment Trust Fund Law, 2015. Because of our avowed commitment to economic well-being of Lagosians, this law has, no doubt, provided job opportunities for both old and young and reduced the rate of unemployment not only in the state but the country as a whole.
14. Likewise, the Neighbourhood Watch Law of 1996, which was repealed by this Assembly and signed into law as Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Law (2016), has not only provided jobs for our youths but also helped in ensuring that emerging highbrow crimes like killings by herdsmen, kidnapping, ritual killings and terrorism do not take root in Lagos State.
15. Furthermore, the enactment of a law to establish the Lagos State Cancer Research Institute to provide for the promotion, aid and coordination of researches relating to cancer and cancer-related illnesses is part of the ingenious measures undertaken by this House.
16. It also gladdens our heart that the passage of our Appropriation Law has been prompt and thorough without any contradictions towards delivering dividends of democracy to Lagosians throughout the 8th Assembly.
17. At the same time, this House became the first to livestream its plenary sessions in the history of Assemblies in the sub-Saharan Africa during the 8th Assembly, a feat that has been praised both home and abroad.
18. The stakeholders’ forum organized by this Assembly on compulsory teaching of Yoruba in all schools in Lagos State, a milestone in the political development of Lagos State House of Assembly, has also been adjudged a success far and wide.
19. Also, in the area of human resources development, we are second to none. My colleagues and members of staff of the Assembly have been internationally and locally trained in the realm of legislative functions. It is no doubt that the Assembly, as a result of experience garnered in various trainings, now acts as a resource institution to other legislatures in the federation. Our performance is usually rewarded in the form of awards and commendations by local and international organisations. Lagos State House of Assembly is now respected by all at home and abroad. We cannot exhaust the details of our achievements so far.
20. Distinguished colleagues, all these would not have been achieved without your support and encouragement. Your criticism, ideas and advice really shaped my understanding of responsibility of leadership, I must confess. I thank you for allowing me to raise the standard of leadership, and I appreciate you for the wonderful role you have played for ensuring that there is mutual respect for each of the arms of government in the state.
21. I appreciate the leadership of our party too, especially the National Leader of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for their unflinching support in making sure that we succeed in the 8th Assembly.
22. I say thank you too to the Clerk of the House for his supports. To the management and staff, I doff my hat for you. Evidently enough, you remain the backbone of this assembly. You are the engine room where productions are made possible. You are the worthy ambassadors that bring forth the goodies, even in the sun and rain.
23. In the same vein, I am grateful to the good people of Agege, especially my constituents, my immediate family members and the entire Lagosians for their uncommon supports at all times.
24. As we end the 8th Assembly, distinguished colleagues, for the decisions we have taken in good faith in the course of discharging our duties, may the living never curse us. May the dead never curse us. For the decisions me might have made in error, may the incoming generation never curse us. We pray that in all we have done, may the generations after generations remember us for good.
25. Likewise, may I use this medium to appeal to all returning members to endeavour to keep the flag of the Assembly flying in the incoming 9th Assembly. We must do everything within our power to see that this assembly is always above the common standards of excellence that it is known for.
I thank you all for your listening pleasure.
Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa
Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly.