UK High Commissioner lauds Reps on passage of Electoral Act 2022

Kehinde Akintola – Abuja

The outgoing British High Commissioner, Ms. Catriona Laing on Tuesday showered encomium on the leadership and members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives on the giant stride achieved on the passage of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Ms. Laing stated this during a working visit to the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who also acknowledged the role played by the Speaker towards encouraging Women in Parliament.

While acknowledging that she had a wonderful experience working with the leadership of the House of Representatives led by Gbajabiamila, she applauded the working relationship on the Electoral Act.

She said: “I’ve been here, as you mentioned since 2018. In fact, I arrived just before the last election. So, it’ll be nearly four and a half years. By the time I finish, I always wanted to do two electoral cycles. And it’s proven to be fascinating to do.

“So, I’ve had some highs, many highs, a few lows, but overall, it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience. And it’s very strong foundation and it’s been really a good working relationship with Mr. Speaker and his team.

“We’ve worked together on a number of very important electoral bills, his own initiative, the centre’s foundation he’s set up to support young legislators and I was very privileged to support the launching of that so it’s been a great pleasure working with him,” she noted.

Speaking at the sideline of the interactive session, Ms. Laing applauded the role played by the Speaker towards deepening Women in Parliament and the need to do more.

In his response, Gbajabiamila who acknowledged the robust relationship between midwife by the outgoing British High Commissioner stressed that “It’s a bitter-sweet visit I would call it. Sweet because it’s always good to have you around and to sit with you, knock heads together and discuss various issues. But bitter because you’re outgoing. It’s bitter because I personally have to speak for several Nigerians everywhere and in their official and in their personal capacity as it is.

“Your time here your time, sometimes I think your passion is so evident in many of our discussions, and my hope and my prayer is that whoever succeeds you will carry on in that same trajectory in building and fostering and even more sustainable relationship between our two countries. I really do thank you very much.

“We will miss you. Nigeria will miss you; the Parliament will miss you and your various engagements. I pray that whatever you do, various engagements. I pray that whatever you do moving forward, I wish you God’s speed and I wish you well, I thank you once again very profusely for the interest that you have showed the work we do here in Parliament,” Gbajabiamila noted.

While responding to the issue bothering on Women in Parliament, Hon. Gbajabiamila who described the steps taken so far as “small steps, baby steps, but we’re going to get to the destination.

“Let me just say this session is not over yet. We still have a couple of months and surprises do happen, alright,” he noted.

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