By Musbau Rasak
Today, Thursday, 25th December, 2014, marks the 55th birthday of Honourable James Abiodun Faleke, member of the House of Representatives for Ikeja Federal Constituency.
For those who have not had the opportunity of being close to him, Faleke is just one among numerous opportunist politicians who were lucky to get the patronage of godfathers and attain political relevance.
But for those who are closer to him, who have related with and still relate with him at close quarters, this writer inclusive, Faleke is more than a mere opportunist politician.
Faleke is a committed and loyal party man to the core.
He has carefully built his political career on the ideals and objectives of progressive politics anchored on the people-oriented, welfarist politics of the indefatigable leader of progressive politics in Nigeria today, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Right from his sojourn into politics during the days of the Alliance for Democracy (AD); moving on to the Action Congress (AC); and then to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); and now to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the politics of Faleke have remained the same: commitment and development of people’s welfare, total loyalty to the ideals and objectives of the party and determination and will to achieve success in any given endeavour.
When he was elected Chairman of Ojodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA) in 2004, Faleke came in then as a greenhorn politician but left in 2011 not only as the Chairman of Conference 57, umbrella organisation for all council chairmen in Lagos State but also as one whose tenure brought about even rapid development for the grassroots, ranking as one of the best ever council chairman in the history of the state.
As Chairman of Conference 57, Faleke initiated the Conference 57 Annual Colloquium to not only to celebrate the birthday of Asiwaju Tinubu, but also to discuss burning political issues aimed at reshaping the country’s political structure for the better.
It is to Faleke’s credit that the event has now turned out to annual get together for distinguished global personalities to discuss events that shaped Nigeria and the world at large.
Faleke’s role as a stabilising pillar during the turbulent days and difficult period of financial strangulation occasioned by the illegal seizure of funds for Lagos councils by the Obasanjo administration is well documented.
In 2011, he was elected into the House of Representatives after two successful terms as Chairman of Ojodu LCDA.
He was elected to represent Ikeja Federal Constituency thus becoming the representative of his beloved leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the country’s Lower Legislative Chamber.
With his first term in the House of Representatives gradually winding up, Faleke has indeed not disappoint Tinubu and other residents of Ikeja Federal Constituency.
He has been one of the most active and most performing members of the House of Representatives.
He has sponsored and moved motions on his own; joined others in moving motions and has been an active participants at the committees’ level.
One of his major motions was the one that gave official recognition to the nine newly created federal universities by the Federal Government.
It was Faleke’s motion that led to the universities being given official and legal backing.
It was due to his intelligence, diligence and commitment to duty that he was appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Anti-corruption, Ethics and National Values.
Faleke was a member of the Ad-hoc Committee which probed the mismanagement of the fuel subsidy and it is on record that although bribery controversy eventually led to the committe’s demise, Faleke’s image remain intact as he was never indicted or mentioned in the controversy.
When nomination for the 2015 general elections started, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the rest of Ikeja Federal Constituency were unanimous in their choice of representative at the Lower Legislative Chamber.
Faleke was and is still the obvious choice and his APC ticket was returned to him without any opposition, one of only two House of Representatives members who won the APC ticket unopposed.
This speaks much of the acceptability of Faleke and for the humble man, his response speaks highly of his commitment: “I’m happy for this honour by party members and I want to assure every resident of Ikeja Federal Constituency that I will not disappoint, I will work hard as the reward for hardwork is more work”.
As Faleke celebrates his 55th birthday today, Christmas Day, Thursday, 25th December, 2015, we say happy birthday to a man of honour, a committed party man to the core, a loyalist of the highest order.