A major issue in political circles within Surulere I federal constituency is Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s re-election bid for the fifth term. Gbajabiamila, who has represented Surulere I Federal Constituency for 16 years so far, is currently the Majority Leader in House of Representatives.
Having failed in his previous efforts at becoming House of Representatives’ speaker, party sources said Gbajabiamila’s desperate return bid is aimed at achieving just that. They also claimed former governor Bola Tinubu reluctantly balked to pressure to support Gbajabiamila’s fifth term bid.
“Gbajabiamila recruited a lot of highly-placed Nigerians including Chief Bisi Akande to mount pressure on Tinubu. They sold the idea of using Gbaja to get the speakership position for the southwest in the political arrangement that would unfold in 2019,” a party leader said under condition of anonymity.
The party leader projected electoral doom for the All Progressives Congress if it eventually fielded the lawmaker for re-election.
“The signs are not good for our party as regard Femi Gbaja. The party may lose the seat because the opposition against his candidature is loud and clear. In the last election, he could not even face voters living on Mercy Eleni where his mother lives and the residence he claims as his address. It was clear they did not want him. He won narrowly in the election.”
Ayo Adesanya, a concerned constituent, told said: “Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila going for a fifth term is going to be disastrous for the whole of Surulere”.
He further said: “It is going to be disastrous because it would mean the electorate don’t matter any longer. A single ward among all the wards in Surulere has produced a representative for 20 years. Femi has turned himself into a tyrant and people around are not benefitting anything.
“The issue we are having in Surulere is that the system (of imposition) has expired. We cannot continue to recycle somebody that does not have anything new to give to us.”
Also, Ladejobi Shuaibu echoed Adesanya’s grouse. He said, “It’s an injustice for one person to occupy a political seat for 15 years, coming from one ward as well. So, what is the essence of other wards playing and participating in politics?”.
However, some other constituents expressed their support for the lawmaker.
Abayomi Lukman, said, “He (Gbajabiamila) has done quite well and deserves to continue.
Lanre Atunshe, another supporter of the lawmaker, said, “He is a responsible person and he has been representing us well in the constituency. He has done a lot for the constituency and he has been trying his best.”
Gbajabiamila did not respond to a text message when his comment was sought for the story.