Honourable Sanai Oyewole Bolanle (SOB) Agunbiade is the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly. A third-term Legislator, Agunbiade, in the first part of this interview with thegazellenews.com‘s DARE OJELADE, speaks on his experience as the Leader in the House and some of his achievements as a lawmaker
How can you describe your experience as the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly?
I will say that it has been a worthwhile experience. A worthwhile experience in the sense that it make you look at things in a larger perspective. As the Majority Leader, you are more responsible, knowing fully well that you are one of the images of the House. It makes you to be calm and view things in holistic way with respect to realising that anything you do or say may affect the interest and integrity of the House. It gives you the opportunity to understand the process of legislation more and also exposes you to the workings of the Legislature.
It makes you to be more studious (reading more) because you have to be at breathe with the various laws in the Assembly and whenever any bill is to be passed, you will need to examine existing legislation to be sure that there is no conflict between the bill you are handling and the existing ones and that it doesn’t run into conflict with constitutional provisions.
It makes you to interact more with your colleagues, because you will definitely have one thing or the other to do with other members. And by virtue of this, you are directly responsible on behalf of the House as a link to all the committees of the House of Assembly. You will take instructions and directives from the Speaker of the House and of course it gives you more strength.
Thus, I will say the experience has been a worthwhile one for me. The added responsibilities have made me more calm.
Has there been any moment that you think you shouldn’t have taken this position?
There was nothing like that. The only tasking experience I had which makes me to thank God the more for the strength He has given me as well as thank my friends and other persons who have contributed to my life up to this stage was a day I had to leave the office around 15 minutes past midnight preparing for the Second Anniversary of the 8th House of Assembly. The following day was for Special Parliamentary Session and I had to be around early so I was back at the office before 7 o’clock for the preparation. I barely slept for three hours. Immediately after that programme, I just went back home and slept off. That kind of strength and energy, the experience that you may need to work under very tight schedule is one of the thing that gives me joy.
As a lawmaker, what is your relationship with your people in Ikorodu?
My relationship with my constituents is very cordial. I appreciate them and they appreciate me. They have been very wonderful and I have a very good rapour with them.
How has your tenure in the House of Assembly been beneficial to Ikorodu people?
This question should be best answered by the people of Ikorodu but I know I have impacted positively: both in the areas of attracting infrastructure to the constituency as well as moving relevant motions and bills on the floor of the House that have been beneficial to my constituents.
During my first and second terms in the House, I raised many motions aimed at promoting the interest of Ikorodu and its people. I have moved motions on increased security in the area, moved motion against the activities of land speculators (ajagungbale), and I have also moved motion against the activities of armed robbers in Ikorodu among others.
I moved motions calling for the repair of the Ikorodu-Mile 12 road severally before it was actually rehabilitated; my motion kick started the Awolowo road rehabilitation. I remember that whenever I raised motion on the floor of the House, my colleagues would jokingly challenged me that, is Ikorodu the only communty in Lagos State and also asked if the state government should spend all its money on Ikorodu? I told them that’s where I reside.
I moved a motion on the damaged portion on Awolowo Road, Eruwen specifically before the road was rehabilitated. Three months after I raised the motion, then Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji was coming from Epe and passed through that road. Unfortunately for him, it was shortly after a heavy downpour and it was hard for him to pass. He called me right from that spot and said, “SOB! Yes I have now see the practical manifestation of what you were saying. Please see me in the office tomorrow”.
So when the issue of roads to be nominated for rehabilitation came up, Awolowo Road, Ikorodu was top on the list of those presented by the House and that was how they started the rehabilitation of the road in phases. The three-phase rehabilitation of Awolowo Road was thus completed and is now one of the best roads in the entire Ikorodu Division.
I called severally for the rehabilitation of Ikorodu-Itoikin and Ikorodu-Sagamu Roads which are federal roads. It was only palliative efforts that were being carried out on the roads. Being federal roads, only the Federal Government can carry out repairs on them unless they were ceded to the state government. When Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, was Governor of Lagos State, I raised about two or three motions calling for the rehabilitation of the roads. Fortunately now, he is the Minister of Housing, Power and Works.
When the issue of the roads were tabled before him through the agitations of state and federal lawmakers representing this division, the Federal Government has commenced full rehabilitation of the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road.