It may now require the memory of a Dolphin to put a face to some names that featured in the Lagos 8th Assembly who never made it to the 9th assembly. Temitope Musowo gives reasons some will ever be remembered.
Absent but present
Although some prominent members of the 8th Lagos House of Assembly did not secure return ticket to the house but through their activities and influence they succeeded in putting their footprints on the sand of time. Their contributions to debate and other legislative acts cannot be easily taken leave of in a hurry.
While some may be remembered for their brilliant contributions to legislative discuss, some for their friendly aura or their roles in the success story of the last assembly, some may even be remembered for not too good reasons.
Of course, few of them still occupy vantage positions today and therefore still remain in public glare, however, a few of them may be on their way to political oblivion.
They stood out
The story of the Lagos 8th Assembly may not be complete without mentioning the name: Lanre Ogunyemi, a lawmaker who represented Ojo constituency II. He was the chairman House Committee on Education, an eloquent and a smooth talker whose brilliant contributions on the floor of the house still resonate till date.
Ogunyemi will forever be remembered for the Yoruba Cultural Day which attracted prominent Yoruba sons and daughters including the Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife. A programme that was praised by Nigerians home and abroad, which made more plausible the bill making teaching and speaking of Yoruba language compulsory in all Lagos schools.
Hon. Ogunyemi though lost his bid to represent Ojo at the House of Representatives at the primary election, nevertheless, as a loyal party man, he was appointed as the State Secretary of the APC, a position he currently occupies.
There was a Tejuoso
Honourable Adefunmilayo Tejuoso is another member of the Lagos 8th Assembly that cannot be forgotten easily. A woman, who combines beauty with brain, an experience parliamentarian, she was undoubtedly the most outspoken of the four female lawmakers in the 8th Assembly.
Tejuoso as the chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and LASIEC was passionate about women’s right and gender equality, you could easily incur her wrath if you allow your masculinity mutate into blatant chauvinism before her.
However, she carried herself in a way that was close to arrogance. In her opinion, lawmakers are demi-gods, who should be worshipped. She believed certain things are their exclusive rights, as though others who are not lawmakers are children of a lesser god. The very reason security men threatened anyone who used the elevator reserved for lawmakers (even when the general one was faulty) with the statement; “if Tejuoso catches you”, as if she was the Chief Whip in charge of elevator.
Tejuoso, who represented Mushin I also aspired to represent her constituency at the green chamber but lost at the primary election.
Was Adekanye in the assembly?
Sincerely, not much could be remembered about Hon Oladele Adekanye, who represented Lagos Mainland Constituency I, apart from the fact that he was the chairman House Committee on Commerce and Industry.
He was not really given to much talk, though he made his own contribution on the floor of the house anytime he deemed it necessary. However, Adekanye was the only one out of the 11 lawmakers who did not bother to contest either to return to the 9th Assembly or go for higher office. Not much has been hard about him and his political career it seems may have nose dived.
Giwa’s unique stature
Hon Sola Giwa, a man with a unique stature, who represented Lagos Island II, was also the chairman House Committee on Wealth Creation. If he won’t be remembered for always coming late to plenary sessions, he will be remembered for ‘air pollution’, at least, by people on the 3rd floor of the lawmaker’s wing of the assembly complex.
Despite the passage of a bill against smoking in public places by the same house, a cloud of cigarette’s smoke covers you as you approach his office. Sola Giwa’s love for tobacco earned him the name; “Hon Benson & Hedges”.
The Lagos Island representative who has now been appointed as S.A. on Central Business District (CBD) also failed in his bid to return to the house.
Here comes Eleniyan
Anyone who says he doesn’t know the amiable Hon. Olusegun Olulade, popularly called Eleniyan probably had nothing to do with Lagos 8th Assembly. The Epe II representative had around him this aura of friendship that endeared him to many. Not a few saw him as a man that never carried himself with the braggadocio of ‘I am a lawmaker’.
He was obviously the most media friendly of all the forty lawmakers in the 8th assembly. He had built a robust relationship with the media since his days as the chairman House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy in the 7th Assembly.
Olulade would call even the cleaner to greet her; he never looked down on anyone and you don’t need an official letter to see him, an attitude many said would take him far as a young man.
Eleniyan as the chairman House Committee on Health Services brought to the attention of the then governor, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, a lot of grey areas in Lagos healthcare services, while performing his oversight functions diligently.
If no one misses him, the journalists he usually hosted to an expensive annual dinner in best hotels in Lagos will definitely do.
Though, Olulade also lost the party’s ticket to represent Epe at the National Assembly, yet, many believe his political future still remains bright, He is currently into a private consultancy business.
Bello jumps ship
Hon Akeem Bello is now a Commissioner II at the Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (LAHASCOM). He was the Minority Leader before he jumped ship to the ruling party with his colleagues from the PDP.
Akeem Bello though not so eloquent was not doing badly as representative of Amuwo-Odofin constituency II, even though he lost his ticket to return to the house.
Many are of the opinion that Bello may have to master very well the unique art of politicking within the Lagos APC and his constituency to secure his political future.
Ever forget Mama Rainbow ?
Hon Omotayo Oduntan fondly called mama rainbow by her colleagues is another name that featured prominently in the Lagos 8th Assembly, she was the only principal officer among the 11 of them who failed to return to the 9th Assembly.
The Deputy Chief Whip represented Alimosho constituency II, she was the only female principal officer in the last Assembly. One thing you can easily remember about Oduntan is that she was and still very passionate about of her Alimosho constituents that she would always bring their matter before the house for consideration.
Oduntan even after losing her ticket to House of Representative at the party’s primary will still not joke with the plight of her people and she will always be there with Alimosho people anytime they need her.
From lawmaker to Chief of Staff
Hon Saka Fafunmi is currently the Chief of Staff to the Speaker of Lagos Assembly, he came to the house as an engineer and left a lawyer, a goal getter who doesn’t joke with his personal development.
Unlike many of his colleagues, he hardly put on Agbada except occasionally, he seems to be more comfortable in his Caftan and ‘Aboki’ cap. Fafunmi was privileged to have represented Ifako-Ijaiye constituency I at the Lagos Assembly three consecutive terms. He was the chairman House Committee on Environment.
He was being accused of putting his penchant for personal acquisitions above the love of his constituents, little wonder he lost his bid to also represent Ifako-Ijaiye at the National Assembly.
Famakinwa becomes Speaker’s SA
Even with his appointment as the S.A to the Speaker on Political Matters, the mention of Hon Dayo Famakinwa may not ring any bell. Famakinwa who has failed to learn that money is not good in the pocket of one person is often seen as being tightfisted by many.
He dropped the ball when he taught since Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had promised all of them (PDP decampees) automatic second term ticket, he needed not ”take care” of the leaders and his constituents again.
Many political pundits have predicted that the representative of Ajeromi/ Ifelodun constituency I may not go far in politics if he does not learn the act of giving to the people.
When Osinowo sneezes everyone catches cold
Anyone writing the history of Lagos state House of Assembly cannot put a full stop without mentioning Hon Bayo Osinowo who represented Kosofe constituency I, though, he was not a principal officer but he was a force to reckon with.
Hon Osinowo now a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria popularly called ‘pepper’, was the rallying point in the 8th Assembly, lawmakers including the speaker gathered around him for political solutions.
When Osinowo sneezed in the 8th Assembly everyone including Obasa caught cold, his influence which seems to have now waned since he moved to Abuja as a senator, was second to none.
The chairman House Committee on Lands was not a regular face at the plenary but the whole assembly complex new anytime he was around as his office often turned to a Mecca of sort.
Olorunrinu ‘PDP’s last man standing’
While his colleagues dumped the PDP for the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), shortly after they got to the house, Hon Dipo Olorunrinu remained in his party (PDP) till almost the end of the 8th Assembly, a stance that looked to many like an act of courage and loyalty to his party, until he also dumped the party immediately he lost to the APC candidate at the general election.
It is easy to remember Olorunrinu as the last man standing, the only PDP member in the 8th Assembly, a decision that denied him so many privileges his colleagues enjoyed.
The Amuwo-Odofin constituency I representative was about the youngest of the 40 lawmakers in the 8th assembly. He never headed a committee till he left, neither did he enjoy foreign trips and other freebies like his colleagues.
People still wonder why he had to wait till he lost all privileges before joining the ruling party, a decision he has continued to rationalize with platitudinous inanities.