Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Surulere 1 constituency) has gifted his wife Salamatu
Automobile experts say the G-Wagon is worth a princely N100million. Others say the G-Wagon is closer to N70million than N100million. Whatever.
The number plate of the G-Wagon simply reads: ‘Assurance’ (Shout-out to Davido).
Salamatu is deserving of a pricey G-Wagon and much more, make no mistake. She’s been a good wife and mother to the kids. She’s been there for her lawmaker husband through thick and through thin and she carries herself admirably. She was there when Gbajabiamila was scaling the gates of the national assembly and when he lost the battle to become Speaker of the House. She's been by his side through his political odyssey.
Around Surulere, Salamatu is held as some role model by many aspiring ladies.
She really is some jolly good fellow and fashion icon in her own right.
Which is why Hon Gbaja didn’t need to drag her to the level where we begin to question why she has to receive a G-Wagon as some gift from a federal lawmaker and representative of the people.
By publicizing what should have been a 'coded', behind-the-scene gift from an adoring husband to a dutiful partner, Hon Gbaja has dealt Salamatu an unfair hand. There was no need for the fanfare and grand ceremony given Femi's position in the public space.
At a time when Nigerians are railing against the jumbo pay of lawmakers; at a time when the talk is about why the national assembly shouldn’t corner a chunk of the nation’s budget; at a time when lawmakers have been described as self-serving and selfish, at a time when bills passed are not commensurate with how much Nigerians funnel into fat bank accounts of lawmakers, the last thing a lawmaker should be asking for is making the news for a brand new ‘toy’ for his wife.
Those who often accuse our political class of insensitivity, inability to gauge the mood of a largely impoverished nation and tone deafness; have been provided with one more weapon in Hon Gbaja’s gift to his wife.
That ostentation—that recourse to hedonism from our political leaders can rub a lot of folks the wrong way in a country where 80 percent of the populace live below the poverty line.
Like someone from Gbaja’s constituency whispered to this writer last night, “here’s a man who has empowered his constituents with motor-bikes (Okada) and tricycles (Keke NAPEP) spending all of that money on a gift for his wife….”
When a serving lawmaker jumps on the ‘Davido Assurance’ trend like a teenager, you just know your country has finally hit rock bottom.