Appraising Leke Abejide and his legislative usefulness

In the complex and dynamic landscape of Nigerian politics, few individuals have made a profound impact and exhibited transformative leadership like Hon. Leke Abejide, the distinguished representative of the Yagba East/West/Mopamuro constituency in the 10th National Assembly.

A retrospective analysis of his journey to the 9th Assembly reveals a remarkable display of courage and dedication, as he chose to affiliate with the African Democratic Congress (ADC), a relatively obscure political party at the time. This bold decision underscored his unwavering commitment to serving his constituents, despite formidable political odds.

Abejide’s path to the green chamber was fraught with challenges, as he faced stiff competition from two dominant political parties, the PDP and APC. Nevertheless, driven by the dire socioeconomic circumstances prevalent in Yagbaland, he remained resolute in his pursuit, aligning himself with the ADC to amplify the voices, concerns, and aspirations of his people in the legislative chamber.

Since his inaugural day in parliament, Hon. Abejide has demonstrated great dedication to serving Yagbaland and Okunland with remarkable vigour and diligence. His multifaceted contributions have encompassed various infrastructure development projects, including road rehabilitation, bridge construction, and potable water provision. He gifted Toyota Highlander SUVs to 53 First Class, Second Class, and Third Class graded Kings across Yagba Federal Constituency in December 2022. That same year, he oversaw the extension of WAEC payment to his Constituency.

In the last five years, he has also provided food items and print wax of 6 yards each to 8,867 widows through his Leke Abejide Foundation, a non-partisan and non-governmental organization dedicated to supporting the less privileged in his community. Furthermore, he built and equipped a 350-seater capacity CBT center in Isanlu, Yagba East LGA, opened up 18 rural roads for access to farms, built a Police Station in Alu, his hometown, and donated it to the NPF, and purchased a Hilux van for the Police in the Station.

Abejide’s commitment to youth development is evident in his mega empowerment program, which has distributed over 100 vehicles to empower youths, 600 grading machines, 750 sewing machines, 120 motorcycles, 400 water pumps, 450 2.5KVA generators, clippers, hair dryers, electrical and mechanical tools, 110 tricycles, 50 units of load carrier tricycles, rice, beans, and more. He has also consistently supported initiatives aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, empowering farmers through resource donations, and contributing significantly to food security in his constituency.

As the Chairman of a fundraising initiative for the development of an Okun Unity House, located in Kabba, the traditional headquarters of Okunland, Abejide made a substantial initial donation of N20 million to the project, exemplifying his commitment to the unity and advancement of his people. His emphasis on teamwork and his assertion that Okunland deserves a central sociocultural hub underscore his visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to the betterment of his constituents.

Beyond his numerous accomplishments, Hon. Abejide has demonstrated exemplary leadership in lawmaking, representation, and oversight, leaving an indelible mark on the legislative landscape. He has championed and sponsored a plethora of bills and initiatives crafted to address the nation’s most pressing concerns, showcasing his unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s betterment.

Hon. Abejide served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Customs and Excise in the 9th Assembly for over three years and also as the Chairman of the Technical Committee where he distinguished himself as a man of integrity, accountability and transparency with the interest of Nigerians at heart. He has consistently exhibited an unshakeable dedication to national development, tirelessly championing progressive legislation with far-reaching implications for the nation’s growth and prosperity. Moreover, he has been at the forefront of oversight activities, zealously ensuring accountability and transparency in government agencies, thereby promoting good governance and scrutiny.

Abejide has continued to head the House Committee on Customs in the 10th Assembly. No surprise. One of his most notable achievements is his sponsorship of the Nigeria Customs and Excise Management Amendment Bill, a landmark legislation aimed at modernizing the country’s customs and excise policies. During a persuasive debate on the House floor, Abejide eloquently argued for the urgent need to overhaul the outdated Customs and Excise legislation, which had remained unchanged since 1958.

In the realm of education and job creation, Hon. Abejide has created numerous job opportunities for the people, contributing significantly to the economic development of the area. His contributions to parliamentary debates reflect a deep-seated commitment to advancing the collective interests of Nigerians, transcending partisan divides and demonstrating his unwavering dedication to the nation’s betterment.

Hon. Abejide’s recent venture into sub-national politics, wherein he contested the governorship of Kogi State under the African Democratic Congress (ADC), exemplified his unwavering commitment to principled governance. Shunning divisive tactics and partisan rhetoric, he instead focused on substantive policy issues, presenting pragmatic solutions to the myriad challenges confronting the state.

Although the outcome of the gubernatorial election did not favour him, Abejide’s dignified campaign underscored his stature as a new-breed politician, driven by an unshakeable desire to serve the people, rather than personal aggrandizement. His ability to navigate complex political landscapes with integrity, grace, and unwavering dedication has earned him widespread admiration across the political spectrum.

His steadfast commitment to addressing the concerns of his constituents, amplifying their voices within the legislative framework, and championing their causes with unbridled passion has positioned him as a formidable ally of the people. By actively engaging with the community, understanding their challenges, and championing their causes within the hallowed halls of parliament, he has emerged as a beacon of hope for those he represents, exemplifying the true essence of representative democracy.

His recent video, in which he raised a point of order, further reinforced his reputation as a genuine political activist and a trailblazing parliamentarian from the North Central region, driven by a passion for service rather than personal financial gain. Hon. Abejide Leke has embodied the quintessence of representative governance, tirelessly striving to address the diverse needs of his constituents with unwavering dedication, unrelenting passion, and visionary leadership.

His impressive achievements serve as a testament to his unshakeable commitment, indefatigable work ethic, and selfless devotion to the betterment of his constituents and the nation at large. His exemplary dedication, perseverance, and allegiance to the people he serves are truly commendable and deserving of accolades. As a genuine political activist and parliamentarian, Abejide is charting a remarkable trajectory, leaving an indelible imprint on Nigeria’s legislative landscape.

Hon. Abejide’s enduring legacy will undoubtedly inspire and motivate future generations of leaders and citizens alike, serving as a beacon of hope and a shining example of effective governance. Through his remarkable stewardship, he continues to redefine the boundaries of representative excellence, cementing his status as a trailblazer in Nigeria’s political annals.

*Olorunfemi writes from Kabba