Femi Gbajabiamila, representing the federal constituency of Surulere I in Lagos, emerged on Tuesday as the ninth speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria.
He defeated his main rival representing the Federal Unit Chanchaga, Umar Mohammed Bago.
“Gbaja”, as he is affectionately called, obtained 283 votes to defeat Bago, who obtained 76 votes on the total votes cast.
Gbajabiamila is a congressional leader in charge of all progressives (APC), while Bago (also APC) was supported by the opposition Democratic People’s Party (PDP).
Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila, the new speaker was born on June 25, 1962 in the family of Lateef and Olufunke Gbajabiamila.
He attended elementary school in Lagos at the Continental High School and in 1973 he attended the Igbobi College, Yaba for his secondary education, where he graduated in 1978.
Gbajabiamila joined King Williams College, Isle of Man, United Kingdom for his “A Levels” and graduated in 1980.
He returned to Nigeria and was accepted at the University of Lagos for the LLB program. He graduated with honors in 1983, joined the Law School of Nigeria and was called to the Nigerian Law School in 1984.
Years later, Gbajabiamila founded his own law firm, Femi Gbaja and Co. at Broad Street, in Lagos, before going to the United States to continue his studies.
He attended John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated as best in his class and earned a doctorate in law.
Gbajabiamila began his journey in politics when he joined the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) and won his first election to the House of Representatives in 2003.
He was re-elected in 2007 and elected as leader of the minority of Action Congress (AC) and Whip of the House.
The bills and motions he supported, among others, were the draft law on employees’ rights, the local content in the draft law of the construction industry, the draft law on vocational schools, the draft law of Stimulus economic, interest-free loan for students and the draft law of the Bank of Education of Nigeria.
In 2011, Gbajabiamila challenged and won a third term on the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform. He was re-elected leader of the ACN and leader of the opposition in the Chamber.
In 2014, Gbajabiamila, as leader of the opposition in the House, led his colleagues to the merger that gave rise to the APC.
He was elected to the fourth term in 2015, but lost his candidacy to become speaker of Yakubu Dogara.
However, Gbajabiamila was elected leader of the 8th House of Representatives on 28 July 2015.
After his re-election in the 2019 general election, the APC announced him as the party’s candidate to head the ninth house.
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