Valedictory Speech By Hon. Atunwa, Speaker Kwara State House Of Assembly

Today is the last . Accordingly, it marks the end of my tenure as the , a capacity in which I have served for the past 4 years. Indeed, it is a privilege to have served the people of through this office.

Foremost, all thanks and praises are due to Almighty God for his mercies and blessings on my colleagues and I in this House. We thank Him for giving us the health and strength to carry the burden of our duties to our fellow citizens. Thereafter, I profoundly thank the people of my constituency and Kwara in general for giving me this unique opportunity to serve them.

Fellow members, on 6th June 2011, you gave me this mandate, not because of my intellectual prowess or political dexterity, but by the will of God, you believed I will provide a competent, efficient and transparent leadership.

So I must therefore, express my wholehearted gratitude to all Honorable members for your steadfast support throughout my tenure. My able and capable deputy, must be commended for being a pillar of support and a steady hand in steering the ship of this House. The Majority Leader, , Chief Whip, , Deputy Majority Leader, and Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Sikirat Anako have all played pivotal part in the success story of this 7th Assembly.

Even more importantly, each and every member of this House is deeply appreciated for your contribution not only to the service of , but also to the achievements of this tenure.

Sadly, we lost two of our members. Hon Haliru Idris (fondly called “Commando”) and Hon Suleiman Sunaboro Idris. We will always remember them fondly for their contributions to the achievements of this House. May their souls rest in eternal peace.

We have had ups and downs and we’ve been through thick and thin. But in the end we always pulled together as one big family. I am proud to say in this Assembly, we have never let party affiliations come between us. Rather, the interest of the people has always been paramount.

When records are critically assessed and all indices applied, this House will be rated as one of the best performing legislature of its period in Nigeria. Despite the fact that this Assembly found itself in a period where the nation faced tough challenges due to poor governance resulting in political instability and economic crisis, we remained focused and committed to giving the best representation to our constituencies.

The records of this Assembly are clear, the successes are not hidden, the accolades are real, and the vibrancy can be felt across the state. We have passed Bills and Resolutions which have had positive impacts on the people. Whilst some of our Resolutions have addressed specific circumstances, others have been of general applicability. I am particularly proud to say, that all Bills passed in the 7th Assembly have gone through the most anxious scrutiny. Public Hearings have been the norm on all Bills followed by robust debates on the floor. In short period of time, members have all become experts in law and legal drafting. No single Clause can escape members if it is badly drafted.

I congratulate the returning legislators and the newly elected ones. I urge you to take this as a call to service not a call to riches. The people gave you their mandate on the basis that you will boldy represent their interests. Do not let them down nor take their support for granted.

To my colleagues who are not currently returning to the legislature, I am confident, and pray, that other higher calling in the service of the State or Nigeria awaits you in the nearest future.

The prayers and rock solid support of the led by HRH , , have been a source of comfort to this House.

I specially thank His Excellency, for his unwavering support for the House throughout my tenure. The Executive-Legislature harmony that existed in this tenure is worthy of emulations and commendations.

It would be most unjust if I fail to express my profound gratitude to our political leader, for his sterling political leadership of the State.

I reserve my final gratitude to the hardworking and disciplined staff of this House headed by the Clerk of the House, . It has been very pleasant working with you all. I have had the opportunity of heading various Ministries in the past, but I am delighted to say that Kwara State House of Assembly staff have been the most professional.

As I drop the mantle of leadership of this House and proceed to the , I promise to continue to offer my best to the people of my constituency in particular and Nigeria in general.

I wish all of us God’s speed and glad tidings always.

Rt. Hon. Razak Atunwa Esq

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