Honourable Wahab Adewale Alawiye-King is a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Lagos Island State Constituency 2. An experienced and one of the most active lawmakers in the Assembly, Alawiye-King is a second term legislator having represented Lagos Island State Constituency 1 during his first term.
In this interview with thegazellenews.com‘s JUMUAH ABIODUN DAWUD, he speaks on his experience in the Assembly and other major issues. Excerpts;
The Lagos Assembly conducts the plenary session of the House in your mother tongue, Yoruba Language on Thursdays, how has this helped in improving the performance of lawmakers?
It has helped tremendously. It has also sent good signals to people around the world that, culture is very important. We have all witnessed the effect of technology and civilization on our culture particularly our language, hence the need to stem the tide informed our decision to strengthen our culture through our local language.
How would you rate the leadership of Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji?
He is a person who does his work with a lot of zeal and energy. He knows his onions and is very focused, efficient and determined. He has transformed the Lagos State House of assembly into a world standard. Members have undergone several local and international trainings which have not only made us more cultivated but also improved our dealings with the executive arm.
What have been your contributions to the achievements of the House of Assembly?
We do not take personal credit when it comes to the issue of legislative assignment. We lobby one another to arrive at an amicable position. We work as a team. When Bills come to the floor of the House, we work together as one to review and pass them. At any level of legislative consideration for any bill, collaborative effort is required. Being a good team player has assisted me to make robust and meaningful contributions to the development of the legislature.
Have you sponsored or co-sponsored any Bill and what impact has it had on the people
I have been involved actively in the passage of many motions and bills into law. But I will mention two notable ones that have to do with Education, Science and Technology, although both are Executive Bills. Firstly, the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) Bill, whose main aim is to identify and register Lagos State Residence for efficient planning and allocation of resources. In other words, the Bill was passed into law to allow government among other things determine the overall resources required to formulate and implement policies, projects and programmes, once the number of the people in the state is known. Most importantly, it aids the service delivery strategy of Lagos State. Secondly, The Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) Bill, whose objective is to stimulate and encourage vocational and general technical education, not only as a basis for creating early technological awareness, but also to provide suitable orientation for further learning, entrepreneurship and employment, also to ensure and collaborate with a wide range of partners and stakeholder to attract additional resources, information, and investment so as to improve the quality of technical and vocational education in the State. As we can see, both laws have a tremendous impact on the lives of our people in Lagos.
As an experienced lawmaker, how would you describe Legislative assignment?
It is very interesting because it widens your knowledge and broadens your horizon. In a nutshell, it makes you a well- rounded individual. It makes one knows something about everything.
What have been your contributions to your constituency and how have they been able to reap the dividends of democracy from your representation?
I have done many things for my constituents. For example, I have facilitated many road rehabilitation projects into my constituency. Also, I have assisted in bringing electricity transformers into my constituency. I have organised periodic empowerment programmes for my constituents where various items were distributed. In addition, I have provided various financial and medical assistance to many of my constituents. I have organised yearly holiday coaching for my constituents in both primary and secondary schools category. I have also facilitated the rehabilitation of Primary, junior High and secondary Schools in my constituency. I have organised computer skill acquisition programmes for youths in my constituency. In the area of sport, I have organised and sponsored football competitions in my constituency. I have assisted many constituents gain employment into the teaching service in the state. I have also assisted in facilitating state funded scholarship award to deserving constituents.
I have personally sponsored the winner of 2013 Lagos State Individual Debate Competition who is my constituent and his teacher on a trip to Dubai. Also, I have given out personal scholarship to the winner of 2013 Lagos State Inter School Quranic Recitation Competition who is also my constituent.
I have assisted many qualified students to gain admission into various educational institutions in the state.
Lagos State has been the yardstick for good governance in Nigeria, how has the House impacted on that good governance in the state?
We have been able to create effective laws which have helped the Executive with the implementations of various projects, programmes and policies and these in turn have assisted the state to function efficiently. We believe to govern is to make law.
Do you believe that the Legislative arm has been given its due recognition for the success story of the Fashola Administration?
The political culture in this part of the world does not really help the Legislature. But we are getting there, we are here to work with the Executive to improve the living conditions of the people and we have been doing that on a regular basis. Although, we are not accorded our rightful place in the scheme of things, probably because the Legislature is relatively new, unlike the Judiciary and the Executive which have been in existence, even during the military era. There is a need to re-orientate our people on the importance of the legislature for the development of a nation.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Honourable Wahab Olawale Alawiye-King. I was born 50 years ago at Ita Balogun in Olowogbowo area of Lagos Island. (Agbole Alawiye). I am a descendant of Obanikoro Chieftaincy Family of Lagos Island. Shadeko is my lineage.
I attended Talim-ul-Islamiyyah Ahmadiyah Primary School (now Anwar Islam Primary School) Elegbata, Lagos Island. Also, I attended St. Timothy’s College, Onike-Iwaya, Yaba, Lagos for my secondary education.
I worked with the defunct Savannah Bank of Nigeria Limited for five years, before I moved to the United States of America where I bagged an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, from Olive-Harvey College of the City Colleges of Chicago, IIIinois, USA, a Bachelor Degree in Finance (Financial Economics), a Masters Degree in Economics and another Masters Degree in Political Science with concentration in Urban Policy and Administration, all from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, New York, USA.
I worked with the City of New York, Department of Social Services, Office of Revenue and Investigation before coming back to Nigeria where I worked with Lagos State University, LASU, School of Part time Studies (SPTS) as an associate lecturer, before going into politics, I vied for the chairmanship position of the Lagos Island Local Government which I lost. I was the General Secretary of the PCRC (Police Community Relations Committee) Lion Building Division for many years.
In 2007, I was elected a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Lagos Island State Constituency I.
In 2011, I was re-elected member of the, Lagos State House of Assembly representing Lagos Island State Constituency II.
Tell us about your family
I am happily married with two beautiful daughters expecting more.
Will you be coming back to the House in 2015?
I believe I can serve in any capacity with the support of my people and the party. However, not coming back to the House of Assembly would mean a waste of resources, energy and time for all the trainings that I have undergone over the years through the tax payers hard earned money. I think I can continue contributing to the development of Lagos State through my meaningful contributions on the floor of the house. God’s willing.