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Assessment of top members of the House of Reps gunning for return

By Tordue Salem
Rep. Oladimeji Bankole
Dimeji Bankole was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 after a stint in Business and Maritime Consultancy. He became Speaker in 2007 with overwhelming support. Unlike his predecessors, his candidacy for the top job was supported by over ninety-percent of the 360 members on the floor of the House.

As a renaissance helmsman, his tenure has witnessed a flush of activities that have seen prodigal agencies of government remitting billions of internally-generated revenues to the coffers of government.

His regime, through oversight has facilitated the return of over N800billion of unspent funds by Ministries and Departments of Government to the government treasury.

In his passion for transparency and good governance, he introduced a Bill to establish a Government Accountability Office, and initiated the Input-Output-Outcome strategy for fiscal accountability and guide for sound governance.

However, his stewardship of the house has sometimes been characterized by crisis leading to the open fight by members on the floor of the house last year. A number of House members were suspended on account of the fight.
He studied in Economics and Public Finance at the Universities of Oxford and Harvard.

Mr. Bankole is of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and he seeks to represent Abeokuta South, Federal Constituency of Ogun State for the third time.

Rep. Tunde Akogun
A retired colonel in the Army and a graduate of History from University of Ibadan , he had a stint as Minister of Culture in the early 90s. He was the choice of the PDP South-South caucus in 2007 for the post of Leader of the House. Akogun, a self-effacing man of capacious memory and a deep sense of community, continues to render service at over 70 years of age.

He came to the House in 2003. He seeks to represent Akoko-Edo Federal Constituency for the third time.

Farouk Lawan
Rep. Farouk Lawan is indeed an institution in the House of Representatives and leader of one of the most influential power blocks in the House. He has been in the House of Representatives since 1999. Born in 1962, Lawan is a master political strategist who has from time to time surfaced from beneath to guide the political course of the House.

He was pivotal to the emergence of Rep. Dimeji Bankole as Speaker. He is chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Education.

He seeks to return to represent the Shanono/Kano Federal Constituency for the fourth term.

Rep. Olufemi Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila is the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, a position he glided to as soon as the immediate Opposition Leader, Muhammed Ali Ndume defected from the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP to the PDP.

He has always held his thin shoulders and grey-capped head high. A no-nonsense and thorough-going lawmaker, he has established himself as an authority on legislative procedure and legal doctrines as regards the conduct of parliamentary business.     .

He seeks a return to the House for the third time to represent Surulere I Federal Constituency of Lagos State on the platform of ACN.

Rep. Leo Okuweh Ogor
A graduate of Accountancy and one of the most consulted lawmakers and indeed influential lawmakers he single-handedly proposed five organic amendments to the 1999 Constitution and has sponsored more than 10 Bills in his 7 years in the House.

At a time the GSM companies claimed that the per second billing was impracticable in 2003, Rep. Ogor as Vice-Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Communications helped to tackle the industry pushing until the duo of MTN and the then ECONET recanted and introduced per second billing just after Globalcom commenced operations.

Ogor from the inauguration of the sixth National Assembly in 2007 has had his eyes on leading taking the principal officer positioned zoned to the South-South and he would no doubt be angling for same in June if re-elected today.
He seeks to represent Isoko Federal Constituency of Delta State for the third time.

Rep. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal
A former Leader of the Minority, Tambuwal one of the most articulate House members jumped ship from the ANPP in 2007 to the PDP and emerged as the Deputy Whip of the House under his new party. More of a political strategist than a legislative showman, he has since 1999, worked aground.

Tambuwal, a lawyer, seeks to represent the people of Kebbe/Tambuwal in Sokoto State for the third time.

Rep. John Enoh
Easily one of the most cerebral legislators in the House he was a former Sociology lecturer before joining politics in 1999.

In 2003, he kept his cool and could easily be dismissed as a ‘bench warmer’ before he was made the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance by Bankole. As a Finance Committee Chairman, Enoh was an authority in the matters of public finance and was in the lead in the many exchanges between the House and the executive on matters of finance.

He seeks to represent the people of Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency of Cross River State for the third time under the platform of the PDP.

Rep. Dino Melaye
Melaye gained entry into the hallowed chambers in 2007 with a reputation of being a political activist. He featured prominently in the public squabbles to unseat former Speaker Mrs. Patricia Etteh. He was the last man standing in the defence of Mrs. Etteh but subsequently transferred allegiance to the Bankole leadership but only for sometime as he was again caught up in the melee that ensued in the House last year.

He was given an indefinite suspension for his role in that face off but returned to late last year following a court order.
Melaye lost out in the PDP primaries in his constituency which has the record of returning members for only one term.

Though he came through the PDP, he now seeks to return to present the Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency for the second time on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.

Rep. Henry Dickson
Mr. Dickson, a former Attorney-General of Bayelsa State under the Governorship of President Goodluck Jonathan, heads the House Committee on Justice. He has served on virtually all important panels constituted by the House, including that on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB and the Anti-terrorism Bill.

Though he is said to be at logger-heads with Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, the Presidential factor might just wade in. He seeks to return to the House to represent Sagbama/Ikeremor of Bayelsa State under the PDP.

Rep. CID Maduabum
Rep. Maduabum is a legislative and physical phenomenon. A man who towers about 6-feet from the ground he is an springboard of many legislative initiatives popular and unpopular. He was a key proponent of the legislative proposal to foist all members of the National Assembly in the national executive committees of the political parties.

He replaced Dr. Harry Oranezi in 2005 after a legal pronouncement and went headlong, joining a small circle of legal eggheads in the House.

A PhD candidate in Law, the lawmaker is one of the most respected among lawmakers in the Green Chamber.

Because of the peculiar instability of the politics of his native Anambra State, Maduabum has touched three parties in less than a year. He is now in Accord Party, seeking to return to the House for the third time to represent Nnewi/Ekwusigo Federal Constituency of Anambra State.

Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa
She is likely to return to the House for the third time. Easily, the most lovable face of the Bankole House; she exudes a charisma that is an uncommon attribute of many politicians in public life. Remarkably, her attributes have not made her the most lovable person among her colleagues.

Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa was the major brain behind the Freedom of Information Bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives.

She is Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora.

She seeks to return to represent the Ikorodu Federal Constituency on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje
Ms. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, is the scion of eminent retired Justice Rosaline Elendu-Ukeje. The 41-year old Ukeje, is one of youngest and most vibrant members of the House of Representatives. She has a few quality Bills to her name including a Bill that seeks to establish an International Donor and Development Partner Commission in the Country.

She is the Chairman, House Committee on Civil Society and Donor Agencies. She seeks to return to House for a second term to represent Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State, on the platform of the PDP.

Rep.
Independence Chiedoziem Ogunewe
Ogunewe is an intellectual recluse. As a thorough-going lawmaker and an economist of note, he commands the respect of his colleagues whenever he stands up to make his contributions on the floor. Ogunewe is, however, a controversial personality on many issues and has often gone the narrow road on political  matters.

Ogunewe is easily remembered for his support for third term during the Obasanjo regime would be aspiring for a third term for himself in the House of Representatives.

Though elected on the platform of the PDP he now seeks to represent Ahiazu/Ezinihite Federal Constituency of Imo State on the platform of All Progressives’ Grand Alliance, APGA.

Rep. Bethel Amadi
Amadi is the First Vice President of the African Parliament. He is the immediate past Whip of the House and has proven in more than seven years to be one of the more articulate lawmakers in the Green Chamber.

A lawyer of more than twenty years’ experience, he has held the chairmanship of several Committees in the House including the Committee on Aviation.

He seeks to return for a third term to represent Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House.

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