Femi Gbajabiamila: Profile of new Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives
Femi Gbajabiamila, representing Surulere I federal constituency in Lagos, on Tuesday, emerged the 9th Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.
He floored his main challenger who represents Chanchaga Federal Constituency, Umar Mohammed Bago.
‘Gbaja’, as fondly called, polled 283 votes to defeat Bago who garnered 76 votes out of the total votes cast.
Gbajabiamila is a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) while Bago (also of the APC) was backed for the position by opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila, the new Speaker was born on June 25, 1962 into the family of Lateef and Olufunke Gbajabiamila.
Gbajabiamila enrolled at the King Williams College, Isle of Man, United Kingdom for his ‘A Levels’ and graduated in 1980.
He returned to Nigeria and was accepted into the University of Lagos for LLB (Bachelor of Law) degree programme. He graduated with honors in 1983, proceeded to the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1984.
Years later, Gbajabiamila established his own law firm, Femi Gbaja and Co. on Broad Street, Lagos, before traveling to the United States for further education.
He attended John Marshall Law School in Atlanta Georgia where he graduated top of his class earning himself a Juris Doctorate.
Gbajabiamila started his journey in politics when he joined the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) and won his first term election in the House of Representatives in 2003.
He was re-elected in 2007 and elected as Action Congress (AC) leader and Minority Whip of the House.
Bills and motions he supported, among others, were the Employee Rights Bill, Local content in Construction Industry Bill, Vocational Schools Bill, The Economic Stimulus Bill, Interest-Free Students Loan and Establishment of Nigeria Education Bank Bill.
In 2011, Gbajabiamila contested and won a third term on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He was again re-elected ACN leader and leader of the opposition in the House.
In 2014, Gbajabiamila as the Leader of opposition in the House led his colleagues into the merger that gave birth to the APC.
He was elected for fourth term in 2015 but lost his bid to become Speaker to Yakubu Dogara.
Gbajabiamila was however elected Leader of the 8th House of Representatives on July 28, 2015.
After his re-election at the 2019 general election, the APC announced him as the party’s candidate to head the 9th House.
The new head of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly is married with children.
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