Lawmaker For Life? Tension In Surulere Over Gbajabiamila’s 5th Term Ambition
Is he the only one? Is there truly no one else?
Tension is currently brewing in Surulere over the decision of Femi Gbajabiamila to seek re-election into the House of Representatives for a fifth term.
Gbaja, as he is popularly called, was first elected into the House in 2003 to represent Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos State at the age of 40.
He sought reelection in 2007, 2011 and 2015 and won on all occasions.
He first served as House Minority Whip from 2007, and later became Minority Leader, a position he held up to 2015.
Gbajabiamila was the choice of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the race for the Speaker of the House in 2015 with the incumbent Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, running in defiance to the directive of the APC and in collusion with the PDP.
He was later compensated with the position of House Leader.
The Majority Leader had in the last few weeks indicated interest in contesting for the same position in 2019.
His decision has, however, not gone well with some people in his constituency, who feel he should leave the stage for a fresh face.
The discontent against the aspiration of Gbaja was ignited by many groups in the area, including Save Surulere Movement, Free Surulere Group, Not Too Young To Run Movement, among others.
He is also facing stiff opposition from some members of his party.
The aggrieved party members and groups have vowed to stop Gbajambia s bid to represent the constituency for the fifth term by all means.
At least six candidates from the APC, including a former state lawmaker, Kabiru Lawal, have indicated interest in Gbaja’s position.
During the 2015 election, it was through the grace of God and the interest of Tinubu that party members worked for him,” a source told Bounce News.
"What has he really done for our constituency after spending four terms in the House of Representatives?,” the source asked.
The lawmaker's associates have also joined the fray, saying it is their principal constitutional rights to seek re-election for as many terms as he desires.
They noted that the lawmaker's political future should be left to the electorate to decide.
They argued that any attempt to shut Gbajabiamila out of the 2019 poll would amount to an infringement of his rights.
One of the arrowheads of the Gbajabiamila's reelection bid, Saheed Eyinowuawi told Bounce News that the Majority Leader's desire to seek another term in the House in 2019 was not for selfish reasons but to provide leadership and add value to the law-making process.
He pointed out that legislators in advanced democracies were allowed to serve as many terms as possible leading to their becoming authorities in parliament.