Personality Profile: Hon Femi Gbajabiamila
Femi Gbajabiamila was born to the illustrious Gbaja Biamila family of Lagos State on the 25th of June 1962. He’s a Nigerian lawyer and presently a member of All Progressives Congress Leader, and House Leader of Nigeria’s 8th House of Representatives.
Gbaja Biamila began his elementary education in Lagos at the Mainland Preparatory School and proceeded to Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos in 1973 for his secondary education. And later King Williams College Isle of Man, UK for his ‘A Levels’ and exhibited his intellect even then. He returned to Nigeria where he attended University of Lagos as a law student. In 1983, after graduating with honors from the university he went on to the Nigerian Law School where he graduated and was called to Nigerian Bar in 1984.
As a lawyer, the young Femi Gbajabiamila started his career with the prestigious law firm of Bentley, Edu and Co, where he distinguished himself as a brilliant legal practitioner. As adventurous as ever, Femi stepped out on his own and established the law firm, Femi Gbaja and Co. where he was principal partner. Over the years he built the reputation of his law firm , he was even then engaged in politics.
In 1998, Femi went back to school, this time attending John Marshall Law School in Atlanta Georgia, where he graduated at the top of his class, and obtained a Juris Doctorate (JD) Magna Cum Laude in 2001. This signaled the beginning of a new phase in his law practice as he chose to stay back in the United States for a couple of years and educate himself on the legal system.
Having always recognized his political calling, he returned to Nigeria to contest the House of Representatives seat in 2003 on the platform of the then Alliance for Democracy. He won. His first term as a legislator was an eventful and rewarding one for Femi Gbajabiamila.
A believer in true and qualitative representation, he took an active part in debates on the floor of the House and was fast recognized as one of the brilliant minds in the National Assembly. He was always on the side of truth and justice and his view truly reflected the wishes and aspirations of his constituents.
This was especially evident during the “third term debate” when he was chairman of the 2007 movement in the House, a group largely credited for ending the “third term agenda” and machinations of the then President Obasanjo to perpetuate his stay in office. He did this at great risk to his life and welfare of his family. His exceptional record saw him overwhelmingly re-elected in 2007 and elected as AC leader and Minority Whip of the House.
At the end of his second tenure, Gbajabiamila sponsored the highest number of Bills in the National Assembly amongst all the legislators. Amongst his Bills and Motions in the House, Gbajabiamila has been very passionate about the Employee Rights Bill, Local content in Construction Industry Bill, Vocational Schools Bill, The Economic Stimulus Bill, Interest-Free Students Loan and Establishment of Nigeria Education Bank Bill etc.
Gbajabiamila fought tirelessly on the floor of the House through motions to compel the National Assembly to recognize the newly created local governments in Lagos State. He has also successfully sponsored several far reaching amendments to the Nigerian Constitution.
In 2011, Gbajabiamila for the third term contested on the platform of his party, ACN and won. He was once again re-elected ACN leader and leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives. In the short time he has held this position, Femi Gbajabiamila has revived role of the opposition in the House and has continued to maintain a tough stance against the ruling party, PDP. A popular cliché amongst members of the House and particularly the ruling party is that “the fear of Gbajabiamila is the beginning of wisdom” . Such is his stature amongst his colleagues.
Gbajabiamila has received several awards both within and outside Nigeria. Recently, he was nominated for a high ranking National Honors, Officer of the Federal Republic, (OFR). He surprised many Nigerians and received several acclaims when he turned down the award on the grounds that he did not deserve it and that the awards system in Nigeria is no longer achieving its original intent and objective having been abused. By this singular action, Gbajabiamila became 3rd and youngest Nigerian to reject National Honours after Late Chinua Achebe did same.
Femi Gbajabiamila is a lawyer with two law degrees from two jurisdictions, Nigeria and United States, with an LLB and a Juris Doctorate (JD). He has attended several leadership courses in various prestigious universities, including Stanford, Cambridge, Said Business School and University of Oxford.
Femi Gbajabiamila is married with children and enjoy reading, music and traveling.