An aide to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, has confirmed that the Speaker has earmarked a stupendous N500million to celebrate the 90th birthday of his mother, Alhaja Lateefat Olufunke Gbajabiamila, whose preparation started yesterday.
It could be recalled that Olufunke Gbajabiamila was the first Chairperson of Surulere Local Government of Lagos State.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Lanre Lasisi, however, said the money earmarked for birthday celebration, was not from government coffer, adding that the event was strictly for family members and a few friends.
“The Speaker, his family and a few friends were in Dubai to celebrate the 90th birthday anniversary of Alhaja Lateefat Olufunke Gbajabiamila, the Speaker’s mother.
“For the records, this event was strictly for family members and a few childhood friends for which no public funds were appropriated or expended”, Lasisi said in a statement.
The fanfare and elaborate celebration to mark the Alhaja’s 90th birthday is expected to run until March 10 in the beautiful city of Dubai.
According to the report, already, reservations for guests had been made at the Conrad Hilton Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, where the least room allegedly goes for $122 (N43,920) per night.
Sources said that Alhaja Gbajabiamila played a pivotal role in Speaker Gbajabiamila’s steady progress in the murky politics, a reason the Speaker is prepared to celebrate her in a big way, especially as she reached the milestone age of 90, going by the calibre of guests that would attend the occasion.
“The Speaker was duty-bound to honour his mother as well as respect the decision of his siblings who, some are 12 years older than him. Let me also add that contrary to being an outgoing woman, Mama wished for a private and simple birthday ceremony with very close friends and associates.
“She believed that if it was held in Lagos, the venue would be filled to the brim and raises fear or crowd control because of her popularity”, the statement added.
The Speaker was also said to have personally appealed to most of his political allies to stay away even as members of the House of Representatives were not invited to the party.