As Campaign In SURULERE Hots Up
The campaigns have started once again. This is because its only a few months to the General Elections. In Surulere Federal Constituency, the talk is about how Majority Leader of the House of Reps, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is going for a 5th term. Already, his loyalists have begun subtle campaign for him to come back.
Only a few weeks back, Hon. Gbajabiamila brought Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to Surulere. At the event, Ambode said his administration will go all out to transform the economy of Surulere and make it to be at par with those of Victoria Island and Ikoyi, starting with the resuscitation of the night life of the axis.
Speaking while unveiling a road project in Modele-Mathew Street and solar powered street lights in Modele-Mathew Street, Randle Avenue and Fred Anyiam Street in Surulere constructed by Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Gov. Ambode said the hospitality and entertainment business which the area had always been known for, would be revived and scaled up to actualize the plan for the massive development of the axis.
He said: “I have discovered that unless I pursue and take over the National Stadium and the Arts Theatre, I cannot achieve my goal because with those 2 projects and places, the hospitality and entertainment business in which Surulere is really known for will be brought back to life because the real entertainment in Lagos State actually started from Surulere.
“I will do everything to ensure that the economy of Surulere is as competitive as that of Victoria Island and Ikoyi.”
He said though a lot of projects had been implemented by his administration in Surulere, more would be done to truly change the face of the area, and make the economy compete favourably with others.
According to him, “So, what is it that I want to make Surulere to look like? You remember we have already done Ishaga-Mabo Road, Itire-Lawanson Road, Ijesha Road, the palliative is ongoing. We have upgraded Agboyin Avenue and then Simisola Mogaji Close. But what is very important to me in Surulere is to bring back night life hundred per cent in this area,” Governor Ambode said.
He commended Gbajabiamila for keying into the ongoing infrastructural renewal efforts of his administration, saying it was gratifying that individuals and corporate organisations were now joining government to fast-track socio-economic development and empowerment of the people.
Governor Ambode, who particularly lauded the commitment of the lawmaker to the welfare of the people of his constituency and all Lagosians, said it was on record that Gbajabiamila had used his seat in the House to attract numerous projects to his constituency and Lagos at large.
He recalled how Gbajabiamila in 2016 mobilized the Lagos Lawmakers in the House of Representatives to pull resources together to give Lagos a befitting Sports and Recreation Centre in Epe, as well as plans for federal engineers to rehabilitate Karimu Street in Surulere.
Showering praises on the federal lawmaker, the Governor said: “He (Gbajabiamila) has complemented the job of our Government very well at the national level and we appreciate him for his clever intervention especially his leadership role during the recent Constitution Amendment process.
He defended the interest of Lagos in seeking for devolution of more powers to the states.
“Hon. Gbajabiamila is a most valued legislator who has supported our government in all we have been doing and his support has been unflinching. On behalf of the government of Lagos State, I want to commend him not only for doing us proud in the House of Representatives but also making his Federal Constituency, Surulere, a beacon of development in Nigeria,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor urged other public-spirited individuals and corporate organisations to emulate Gbajabiamila by adopting public infrastructure for maintenance or rehabilitation, just as he called on residents to make effective use of all public infrastructure in their neighborhood and protect them from vandalism or destruction of any kind.
Besides, Governor Ambode congratulated Gbajabiamila’s mother, Alhaja Lateefat Gbajabiamila on her 88th birthday which coincided with the commissioning of the projects, saying it was a perfect way to celebrate her for being the first woman to be elected a Local Government Chairman in Lagos State.
Earlier, Gbajabiamila said the decision to construct the road, which was hitherto in very dilapidatedstate, was inspired by the massive efforts of Governor Ambode in transforming all parts of the state.
“Today is not my day; today is the Governor’s day. I say this with a lot of deep thought because you can be a Governor, you can be a President, you can be a Chairman of Local Government, if you don’t have disciples, you are nothing.
“The Holy Prophet Muhammed had disciples; Jesus Christ had disciples. It is those disciples that go out there and do his work. Why I say today is the Governor’s day is because I am only complementing what the Governor has been doing all over Lagos State. He (Governor Ambode) is the one that has inspired me,” he said.
The talk now at Surulere in Lagos is about how Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is seriously preparing for his 5th term in the House of Reps.
Though, he has not officially declared his intention to run for the fifth term, his body language and recent speeches suggest this. Some people are of the opinion that Femi has had his fair share in public office, and as such he should step aside for others to go for the seat. Others, however, insisted that APC could not afford to lose the wealth of experience of this erudite lawyer.
At 56, Femi Gbajabiamila has done well for himself. He is a lawyer, an All Progressives’ Congress chieftain and the House Leader of Nigeria’s 8th House of Representatives.
Gbajabiamila was elected to the House of Reps in 2003, and re-elected in 2007. He represents Surulere I Constituency of Lagos State in the House of Representatives. He is the House’s Majority Leader.
He was the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives in the 7th National Assembly. He was head of the House of Representatives ad Hoc Committee Investigating claims by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON that 140.9 Billion Naira (about One Billion Dollars), which was owed by Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc, has been paid. The call for investigation of the reported payment was made by another lawmaker, Bimbo Daramola, who moved the motion that the House should set up a panel to verify the claims by AMCON that the Femi Otedola’s two companies have defrayed the money, which the government of Nigeria paid for petroleum products reportedly not delivered as agreed upon by the dictates of the government’s fuel subsidy scheme. Bimbo Daramola had suspected that the payment, if truly made, was “shrouded in secrecy.”
3 years ago, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila was a forerunner in the race for the seat of the Speaker of the House Representatives in the 8 National Assembly.
Educated in Nigeria, US and the UK, Femi Gbajabiamila attended the popular Igbobi College in Yaba, Lagos and then proceeded to King William’s College, on the Isle of Man, United Kingdom. He also attended John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, United States and the University Of Lagos (UNILAG), in Lagos obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Law.
The 56 year old lawyer is famous in the Nigerian political environment since he joined politics and became elected to the House of Representatives in 2003, and re-elected in 2007 and then 2011. He represented the Surulere I constituency of Lagos State in the House of Representatives and was the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives in the 6 and 7 Assembly
As the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s major legislative interests were the independence of the legislature and welfare of lawmakers. Hon. Gbajabiamila has shown that he has no fear for controversy, having stood against the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in the latter’s third term bid. As an opposition politician, he moved a motion invoking the doctrine of necessity, which allowed for recently-ousted President Goodluck Jonathan to become Acting President in 2009. He is also known for being the first legislator to reject a national honour award.
Hon. Gbajabiamila has sponsored 29 bills on the floor of the House of Representatives – the highest number by any legislator. Among these bills are ‘Nigerian Communications Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2013 to help track the usage of communication terminals by terrorists; Central Bank of Nigeria (Amendment) Bill, 2012 to help strengthen the nation’s monetary policy; Building and Public Infrastructure Protection Bill, 2011 with the objective to enable maintenance of public buildings and infrastructure and many more.
He is interested in Reducing Cost of Governance and Accountability. Advocates will find a listening ear in Hon. Gbajabiamila on the question of reducing the cost of governance by reducing the salary of legislators. The House member, however, questioned the often made comparison between the United States legislators and their Nigerian counterparts, saying that the demand on the latters’ salaries is not pari passu with those of the former.