The leadership of the House of Representatives has debunked reports going on in some national dailies and online platforms that the Honourable Speaker House of Representatives, the RT Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has said “going to prison is honour for politicians.”
In a statement signed by Umar Muhammad Puma, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives dated June 9, 2020.
“The attention of the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase has been drawn to a misleading story in national daily of June 9, 2020 with the headline.” Going to prison is honour for politicians, says Gbajabiamila”.
“This story is most misleading and a deliberate misrepresentation of facts. At no time did the Honourable speaker declare or insinuate that “prison experience for any politician is a “badge of honour” as erroneously published in the said story.”
The statement also noted;
“To set the record straight, it is true that the Rt. Hon. Speaker, was represented by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase, who led Principal Officers of the House on a visit to Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, at his residence in Abuja on Monday, June 8, 2020.
“During the visit, the Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the speaker and the entire leadership of House of Representatives, sympathized with Senator Orji Kalu & advised him to consider his incarceration and subsequent release from jail as part of “destiny” and should not be discouraged.
“Wase also relayed his experience with the former governor of Plateau State, Late Chief Solomon Lar, whom he said once told them after coming out of prison that as politicians they should expect things like this.”
The Deputy further said;
“There was never a time, the Deputy Speaker, who spoke for a little over three minutes during the visit said that “going to prison is badge of honour for politicians”.
“Wase only alluded to what the Late Solomon Lar had told them. Therefore, there is no way the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker would have said what is stated in the story.
“It is most unfortunate, and strange to have ascribed this to the person of the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase.”
In a word of advise, Wase added;
“We advise readers to disregard this piece of news, which was deliberately slanted and twisted to suit the reporters vague intention. The leadership of the House of Representatives under the RT. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila will continue to accord due respect to the media and support responsible journalism.
“We advise journalists to at all times get their facts right before going to press.” The statement concluded.