As Nigeria prepares for the inauguration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as its next President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the search for a competent Chief of Staff has become a pressing concern. The role of Chief of Staff is pivotal in managing the President’s affairs and ensuring the smooth running of the office of the Presidency. Finding the right person for the job is paramount, and usually marks the difference between a successful or ineffective administration. One name that has emerged as a leading contender for the position is Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives, representing the Surulere Federal Constituency in Lagos State. He has been in office since 2003 and was elected as the Speaker of the House in 2019, a position he has held ever since. With an impressive depth of qualifications and experience, Hon. Gbajabiamila has leaped to the front of the queue for the Chief of Staff position.
Born on June 25, 1962, in Lagos, Femi Gbaja (as he’s popularly called) completed his elementary education at Mainland Preparatory School and his secondary education at Igbobi College in 1973. He then went on to study at King William’s College on the Isle of Man, United Kingdom, for his A-levels. He later attended the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) with honours in 1983. He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1984 and went on to earn a Juris Doctor from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in Georgia, USA. He passed the Georgia State bar exam in 2001.
After working for the law firm Bentley Edu & Co in Lagos, Hon. Gbajabiamila established his own law firm, Femi Gbaja & Co. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the International Bar Association. His legal background will prove a welcome asset to any administration, especially in managing the President’s affairs and ensuring the smooth running of the Presidency.
Hon. Gbajabiamila brings to the table an acknowledged penchant for excellence. He is a man of principles who has consistently demonstrated his commitment to public service. His record of youth empowerment and development, coupled with his reputation as a man of integrity and hard work, makes him the ideal candidate for the role of Chief of Staff.
It is also worth noting that Hon Gbajabiamila has a strong record of achievement in his previous roles. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, he was instrumental in the passage of several landmark legislations, including the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Company and Allied Matters Act as well as deep off-shore Act among others. He has also been a vocal advocate and protector of the welfare of the most vulnerable Nigerians.
Hon Gbajabiamila’s tenure as the Speaker of the House of Representatives has been marked by several notable achievements. He championed the cause of legislative reforms, pushing for greater transparency and accountability in government. He has also been a valuable advocate for the rights of young people, launching several initiatives aimed at empowering and mentoring the next generation of leaders.
One of his most impactful initiatives is the Legislative Mentorship Initiative (LMI), which seeks to build the capacity of young people and help them develop the skills they need to become effective leaders. Under the LMI, young people are paired with experienced lawmakers who mentor them and provide guidance on how to navigate the political landscape. The LMI is a testament to Hon Gbajabiamila’s commitment to youth empowerment and development, which is vital to the development of a serious nation.
A remarkable facet of Hon. Gbajabiamila’s leadership style is his principled and inclusive approach. He is a bridge-builder who has built alliances across party lines and regional divides. His ability to work effectively with different groups and stakeholders is a testament to his political savvy and his commitment to putting Nigeria first. He is also a foremost supporter of gender equality and has pushed for greater representation of women in politics.
Furthermore, Hon. Gbajabiamila’s close relationship with, and unalloyed loyalty to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the incoming President, is probably his greatest selling point. If Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila were to be appointed as the next Chief of Staff, it would undoubtedly prove to be a sagacious decision. His experience and expertise in the political arena, coupled with his track record of success, show the markings of a technocratic instinct, which runs well with the current strain of contemporary progressivism on the Nigerian political scene—as exemplified by the stunning victory of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at the 2023 polls.
It is to his credit, that Hon. Gbajabiamila is widely respected across party lines, and has the necessary skills to navigate the complex and often murky waters of Nigerian politics. This would be required in a political climate that is often fraught with tension and polarization. He has demonstrated his ability to work with people from different backgrounds and ideologies in order to achieve common good. This skill would be particularly useful in the role of Chief of Staff, which requires someone who can build bridges, facilitate communication between different stakeholders, and deliver effective legacy initiatives for an ambitious president.
In summary, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila would make an excellent Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu. His entire personae inspires trust and confidence among everyday Nigerians. Furthermore, his commitment to excellence and integrity would serve him well in a role that requires someone who can help the President move the country forward against all odds. If he is appointed as Chief of Staff, Nigerians can be assured that they will have a dedicated and competent public servant working on their behalf.
Akan Imoh is a PR and Comms Consultant working at the intersection between Politics, Business and Media. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org