Senator Yayi: Two Years On, Effective Representation Continues

Senator Yayi: Two Years On, Effective Representation Continues

When he was popularly elected a senator in the 2015 National Assembly elections, many that knows Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola aka Yayi’s antecedents as a legislator both at the Lagos State House of Assembly for two terms and a member of the House of Representative for a term, were sure that Lagos West senatorial district of 10 humongous Local Governments Areas are in for effective representation.

Doubts were however expressed that with a population of over 12 million representing over half of Lagos State mega city, a population that is twice bigger than that of most states of the federation that are run by powerful governors, Yayi may find it challenging effectively representing the district in the Red Chamber.The doubts were further reinforced by the crisis that bedeviled the leadership election at the Senate which saw Senator Adeola rooting for the party position with intrigues and fallouts that denied him his rightful position even in the traditional ranking of position in the Senate.

On the sideline was also the costly distraction of an election petition by the PDP and its candidate that went right up to the final appeal before his popular mandate was further judicially validated.

And within the two years covered by this summary, the nation fell into a recession which impact vitiated otherwise effective representationThese countervailing circumstances notwithstanding, Senator Adeola has so far singled out himself a senator to be reckoned with in the 109-member Chamber with a publication rating him among the top 10 senators in terms of contributions at plenary.

Two years on, it is certain that majority of the constituents and indeed other Nigerians can testify to the public service orientation of the one that is popular by his sobriquet Yayi, an abbreviation of a Yoruba name meaning “Distinguished Child”

At the level of the primary duty of law maker and in furtherance of his belief that we have enough laws that are not operational or needs to be amended to bring them up to date or correct anomalies in them, instead of making new laws, he has presented a bill “Federal Capital Territory Act Cap F6, LFN (Amendment) Bill, 2015” to correct the anomaly of double taxation affecting Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory.

He also co-sponsored the Bill Against Sexual Harassment of Female Students in Tertiary Institutions that was passed among the 95 Bills passed by the Senate in two years.
And let it be known that it is not only bills presented or supported that a senator is assessed in a democracy.
Their opposition to the passage of some laws or motions affecting the interest of their constituents and people also counts. In this wise, Senator Adeola opposed the now dead Social Media Bill that wanted to criminalize use of social media under the guise of curbing frivolous petitions.
When attempts were made to amend the CCB and CCT Acts as well as Administration of Justice Act in a manner suggestive of selfishness, Senator Adeola was among its opponents that led to withdrawal of the proposed amendments.
He also kicked against the attempt of GSM service providers to increase tariff for data.
The Senator however caused not a small stir in the course of the second year as a senator with the introduction of 14 constitutional amendment bills.
These 14 amendment bills were aimed at addressing various issues that ails our constitution or provisions that need adjustment to take in realities of the present and future times.
From records, the closest number of such legislative bills to his is a senator with about six such bills.
Twelve of the bills were successfully introduced, passed the first reading and were committed to the Constitutional Review Committee for further legislative work in accordance with Senate Standing Rules.
One such is a “ Bill for an Act to Alter The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Guarantee Freedom of Speech and Legislative Actions of Members of the National Assembly”.
Another amendment bill of his is Bill No.SB 345which seeks to prevent torture or inhuman or degrading treatment like parading of suspects by police, stripping of arrested person and in detention of their cloths or using sticks, whips, baton, guns or any other form of torture to extract evidence from suspects while Bill No. SB 346 seeks to give more power of direction over the Police by State Governors instead of the centralize provisions contained in Sections 214(4) and 215(5) in combating crimes.
Still on controversial bills, Sen. Adeola Bill No.SB 347 did cause a stir. The bill seeks to alter Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers which forbids public officers from maintaining and operating foreign accounts.
Not surprisingly this bill generated a furore with some claiming it will fuel corruption but in essence the prohibition of operating such a bank account does not accord with the current realities where the world has become a global village where illicit funds could easily be tracked.
On the converse side is the usefulness of such accounts by genuine holders to engage in legitimate personal and business transactions.
No less than three major national newspapers had published some of the proposed amendments as lead or major story with such generating heated debate for the issues they propose to address.
In the area of legislation for educational development, Yayi introduced two bills for the upgrade of two polytechnics, namely Yaba College of Technology,Yaba, Lagos and Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State to the level of a degree awarding universities of technology.
The two bills have passed first reading and will soon be debated to pass second reading.
So far, Senator Adeola has single handedly introduced 15 bills to the 8th Senate while co sponsoring many others including the Sexual Harassment Bill and Special Status for Lagos Bill.
In the area of motions, Senator Adeola was the sponsor of the motion to ‘‘Investigate Revenue Generating Agencies over alleged Leakages, Non Remittance and Misuse of Generated Revenue’’, which led to the inauguration of an ongoing Senate Ad Hoc Committee that he chairs to investigate all revenue generating agencies.
Adeola also has a motion awaiting listing and debate on the “Legality and Management of Public Funds to Promote the Export of Cassava from Nigeria”.
This motion seeks to address the illegal use of fund and the criminalization of the export of cassava in our law book.  Yayi also co-sponsor of the passed Motion on the Fuel Tanker Accident at Alimosho in June, 2015.
Senator Adeola has successfully presented two petitions to the Senate. To the Glory of God, one of the petitions has been fully resolved in a case of injustice against one constituent Sgt. Amos Olaniyan.
He was verbally suspended from the Nigerian Police Force 21 years ago for an offence that a Police Orderly Room trial has since exonerated him.
The Senate has adopted the report of its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Petition and its Resolution ordered the IGP to apologize, reinstate, promote and pay Sgt. Olaniyan all salaries and allowances due him.

He has since been reinstated and is processing his papers for payment of salaries from 1994 to 2015. With the reinstatement, he was retired and is due to collect gratuities and pension.At the general level of participation in debates, Senator Adeola contributed to the debate on the Legislative Agenda of the 8th Senate when the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Legislative Agenda of the 8th Senate was debated.

In his contribution he had raised the issues of effective operation of the National Assembly Budget and Research Office, NABRO, which will greatly assist in passage of Appropriation Act (Budgets) as well as assist in the oversight function of the legislature.
Furthermore, he contributed and fully represented Lagos West Senatorial District in the confirmation of ministers for the Federal Government, the chairman of FIRS, Mr.Babatunde Fowler who is from Lagos, the heads of NCC, AMCON and in the deliberation to approve the 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Bills.
He also contributed to the debate and was part of the Senate team that visited Lagos State in furtherance of approval of a Second Tranche of $200 million out of a $600 million World Bank loan for infrastructure development in Lagos State.

The Senate and the Federal Executive Council have since approved the loan for Lagos State Government.As it is his practice as a representatives’ over the years he have continued his goodwill gesture to reach out to leaders and members as well as other critical stakeholders in the senatorial district during festive periods to the best of his ability and of the resources available.

So far, he has felicitated with his constituents during “Itunu Awe”(Muslim Fasting), Ileya, and the Yuletide of Christmas and New Year.

Of course the usual undocumented transfer payment for school fees, house rents, burials etc of some constituents are weekly occurrence that needs no trumpet blowing. All in a Nigerian legislator’s work.However it is in the area of empowerment that Senator Adeola greatly excelled in the last two years.

He mobilized and paid for the Joint Admission Matriculation Board, JAMB examination for 500 indigent but brilliant students for 2016 university admission programme.
The format adopted in terms of pre qualification tests was to ensure that a high success rate is achieved in this educational empowerment for our constituent youths. He granted 56 tertiary institution scholarships of N50, 000 at the rate of 2 in each of the 28 LCDAs of Lagos West.

The scholarship is to run for 4 years. He also facilitated Entrepreneur Development Training Programme for 200 youths of Lagos West.In the area of infrastructure development of his district in assistance and complementing the efforts of Lagos State and Federal Government, Senator Adeola donated 10 Nos of 500KVA transformers to a community in each of the 10 LGAs that made up Lagos West.

The Senator has sunk 28 Boreholes at the rate of 1 in each of the 28 LCDAs. The Senator also donated 5 Nos of 18 Seater Toyota Buses to Lagos West Senatorial District Obas, the Council of Baales Lagos West Senatorial District, the CDC, the Christian Association of Nigeria,  and the League of Imams.Other empowerment of the Senator   includes 300 Grinding Machines at 30 per LGA, 380 Sewing Machines at 38 per LGA, 150 2KVA Generators at the rate of 15 per LGA, 120 Hair Dryers with stands at 12 per LGA, 250 Hand Held Dryers at the rate of 25 per LGA, 250 Clippers at 25 per LGA, 500 Helmets at 50 per LGA, 44 wheelchairs at 4 per LGA, 500 Lifejackets for Distribution to riverine LGAs, 40 Modern Vulcanizing Machines at 4 per LGA, 20 Welding Machines at 2 per LGA, 10 Tricycle at 1 per LGA and 5 Block Molding Machines.

And presently another set of 20 Block Molding Machines are at his Senatorial District Office awaiting distribution to constituents as part of employment creation and entrepreneur development scheme.Certainly these are all enviable achievements in two years by a senator representing the largest senatorial district in Nigeria without any special privileges or allocations different from other senators with far less number of constituents.

The secret of this quantum of achievements in representation can only be accounted for by experience in legislative business, public service in giving generously and living true to the meaning of his sobriquet Yayi.

No wonder a popular magazine recently adjudged him as “Senator of the Year 2016”. As it is constituents and indeed other Nigerians expect more from one of the youngest senator who look good to go on to higher offices with his people oriented performance.Odunaro is the Media Adviser to Senator Adeola

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