RT. Hon. Adeyemi Sabit Ikuforiji
To those who have always known him since he was born some 54 years ago, The RT. Hon. Adeyemi Sabit Ikuforiji’s smooth ascension to the position of influence, power and authority in Nigeria’s political landscape, has really never come to them as a surprise.
Reason is that virtually everyone who knew Yemi’s growing up years in his coastal ancient town of Epe, Epe Division of Lagos State during his primary and secondary school years had reportedly openly beaten their chests that youthful ‘Yemi, as he was fondly called then , was surely destined for greatness In life!
Their unshakable faith in the youthful Yemi’s superb brilliance got hugely vindicated when he wrote his West African Schcool Certificate Examination, way back in 1975. In that examination, he simply confirmed that he was a rare gem as he emerged the sole candidate to record the exclusive Grade One, ( having passed all his Ordinary Level papers in flying colours),out of the total One Hundred and Five Thousand, (105), candidates who sat for the examination, such that he instantly became a celebrity throughout Epe Division, while he automatically became a Lagos State government scholar, as he bagged an automatic Overseas Scholarship from the State government, which enabled his to travel abroad without delay, to pursue his first and second degrees abroad.
That was what took him to Romania’s Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, where he bagged his First Degree. Without waisting time, he soon proceeded to The Academy of Economic Studies , Bucharest , where he obtained his M.Sc Degree in Economic Planning and Cybernetics in September, 1986.
Despite the fact that he had several plum job offers to stay back abroad to work and enjoy the good life over there after the completion of his higher degree, he simply headed home as a proud Nigerian, to contribute to the nation’s development.
On the completion of his one-year National Youth Service Scheme, he joined the then International Bank for West Africw, IBWA, which later changed it’s name to AfriBank, ( now Mainstreet Bank ) . At AfriBank, youthful Adeyemi was the Bank’s Project Coordinator for the financial institution’s Computerisation Project, way back in 1987. And due to his excellent performance, he was automatically made a member of the Bank’s 6-man Strategic Planning Team that worked with the Accounting Firm of Authur Andersen and Co., to draw up the Bank’s Stratefic Plan. And it is on record that that was the very first time in the country that any bank was embarking on such a gigantic developmental project in the country.
By 1992, ‘Yemi, who was in a hurry to make the difference, resigned from AfriBank to float his own Consultancy Firm: Springfield Ventures Limited., and Next Century Systems Limited. A Computer Consulting Firm that developed the very first indigenous and comprehensive banking software package that ws used patronized by many banks I. Nigeria.
Again in 1988, he headed abroad, this time, to the United States of America, U.S.A. On his arrival there, he lectured at the Networking Technology at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Due to his thirst for the higher knowledge,, he attended a number of professional courses and soon became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Aside the Technical Engineering side, he equally attended a number of Executive Courses in internationally acclaimed institutions like the Havard Business School. They included Leadership, Public Financial Management , Global Economic Crisis, Innovation, Science and Technology.
So, on his final return home, he contested to become a Honourable Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2003 and won to Represent his native Epe 1 constituency that year, and won with a landslide victory. Some two years later, he became the Hon. Speaker, Lagos State House of Asembly on the 29, 2005, as he was unanimously elected as the Honourable Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, and the Number Three Citizen of Nigeria’s economic Capital.
With his smooth re-election in 2007 and 2011, The RT. Hon. Adeyemi SAbit Ikuforiji has today made history, not only as the longest serving Hon Speaker of the State House of Assembly, ( having been thrice elected as the Number three Citizen of Lagos ), but one with the most formidable achievements as the Head of the Legislative Arm of government in Nigeria’s most economically viable State and her former capital city !
And from whichever angle that one may look at it today, one can safely conclude that the sterling achievements recorded by the Executive arm of the Lagos , which is both nationally and internationally regarded as indeed the unassailable testimony to the fact that participatory democracy, which was re-established in the country in 1999, after long years under military dictatorship, has been most successful and impactful in Lagos State, one of the world’s Sixth Megacity.
Due to the fact that The Rt Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji was already both a Honourable Member, and later The Hon. speaker of the State House of Assembly during the Second Term tenure of Asiwaju . Bola Ahmed Timubu as the then Executive Governor, he was able to garner enormous skills in purposeful governance.
So, by the time he got re-elected as the Hon. Speaker in 2007, when Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, (SAN), had risen from his former position as Asiwaju Tinubu’s Chief of Staff, to succeed his former boss as Governor, RT. Hon. Ikuforiji was already well versed in the Art and Science of legislating for good governance in all it’s ramifications.
Apart from Ikuforiji’s excellent leadership qualities, which enabled him to effectively carry all his other 39 Honourable members along in their efforts to keep making good laws for the progress and sustainable development of Nigeria’s Most economically viable State of Lagos, his ability to be a compassionate and listening leader of the people has indeed enabled the State to have become a reference point in the delivery of concrete democratic dividends to the people, and indeed, purposeful leadership.
For quite a long time now, even members of Nigeria’s ruling political party, the People’s Democratic Party, P.D.P, both at State and the Federal levels, where leading members of the P.D.P. have constantly hailed the Lagos State Government as the clear leader in the delivery of democratic dividends to the people since the return to popular democracy in 1999.
Apart from members of the opposition parties visiting Lagos to learn the rudiments of good governance enabled by excellent legislations at the State House of Assembly, a number of neighboring West African countries have also come down to Lagos to imbibe the magical feat of good governance in Lagos, the emerging economic capital of the West African Sub-Region.
Looking at the massive positive transformation of the State of Lagos today, and the accolades that come it’s way from myriads of sources, the whole reason behind such magical transformation is the fact that the legislative arm of the State Government has remained a very visionary legislative assembly, that has always been ready and willing to pass quality and pro-people laws, which make good governance by the Executive arm of governance easy to accomplish.
•Adebayo is the Chief Press Secretary to Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji .