By Victoria Onehi
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has said he founded the Legislative Mentorship Initiative(LMI) to groom and train youths to serve in public offices.
The former Speaker said this at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Fellowship Programme for the 2nd Cohorts of the Legislative Mentorship Initiative in Abuja on Monday.
” Within the Nigerian space, you have Doctors’, Pilots, Lawyers, Mechanics , Engineers and they have to go through special trainings and become experts in their fields. But then, they have to be subjected to a group of people called politicians, but some of these politicians have not been trained and some of those in governnmnt have not been trained for that purpose.So, there is irony in that set up.
“The purpose of the Legislative Mentorship Initiative(LMI) is to identify and train a generation of public sector leaders who decide that holding power is getting things done and who have the expertise and temperance and use the machinery of governnmnt to achieve peace, drive progress and ensure prosperity for all. This mandate is critical and important for the future stability of Nigeria.”Gbajabiamila said.
The Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) Prof Abubakar Suleiman, in his opening address said the occasion marked the significant milestone in the LMI as it is the first set of participants to be mentored under the stewardship of NIILDs.”This programme marks a new chapter in the LMI evolution ensuring sustainability and expanding its reach to empower future generations of legislators and leaders.”Suleiman said.
The Chairman, LMI Planning and Advisory Committee, Mr Dapo Oyewole said now that the Legislative Mentorship Initiative has been institutionalised in NILDs, it has come to stay. He added that future Governors, Senators, Ministers, Speakers and even Presidents will emerge from LMI Fellowships.
The President/Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Dr Ike Neliaku, said the Founder of LMI,Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has decided to produce more Leaders than Followers hence his vision to set up the initiative. He urged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity and learn from everything at the Mentorship programme.
The Chairman LMI Selection panel,Hon Henry Nwawuba said about 5000 young people applied for the LMI 2nd Fellowship Programme and after rigorous selection process, 45 participants were picked accross 36 states and the FCT.
In her charge to the Fellows-in- Training (FiT) of LMI, Mandate Secretary, Women Affairs Secretariat, FCT, Mrs Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi said the participants should be original and authentic to bring out the You-in-You in them. He urged them to bring out their energies, inspiration, ingenuity to become the leaders they are being trained to be.
She commended the Director of LMI, Miss Chimdi Neliaku for bringing out her ingenuity and innovations to bear in leading the Initiative.
In her vote of thanks, Miss Chimdi Neliaku, thanked the Founder of LMI, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and his wife Salamatu, for birthing the vision of LMI to groom youths for political and public offices.She urged the 2nd Cohorts of the Initiative to make the best of the opportunities LMI is offering them and they will be at world stage.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, the Speaker of 2nd Cohort of LMI, Kator Igbudu thanked the Founder of LMI for his visionary leadership and also committing resources towards training them not just for the future of Nigeria but for the world at large.