Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh is 41 and serving his second term in the Assembly, representing the good people of Apapa Constituency II since 2011. A Human rights activist turned politician, he was once a Special Assistant to the Chairman of Apapa/Iganmu (LCDA) on Media. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from University of Ibadan and Masters’ degree in Philosophy from University of Lagos, Akoka. He is presently the Deputy Majority Leader of Lagos House of Assembly.
How has it been in one year that you’ve been the Deputy Majority Leader of Lagos House of Assembly?
It has been tasking and interesting, especially with my position vis-à-vis the Majority Leader. We work on the business rules of the house, which is the engine of the entire activities of Legislature. We have been working on bills, motions, resolutions and making sure they get to the appropriate quarters. It has been tasking and educative as well. It has been very interesting too.
What does the work of a Deputy Majority Leader entail?
Apparently, from the nomenclature, it is to deputize for the Majority Leader in the Selection Committee, in the standing Committee of the House. We are in charge of the business activities of the House.
The Business Rules, the House rules are the major work of the Majority Leader. The Majority Leader is like the heart beat of any parliament.
What would you describe as the most exciting moment of your one year as the Deputy Majority Leader?
Apparently, everyday should be an excitement to me. As the Deputy Majority Leader.
In your capacity as Deputy Majority Leader, what have you done in one year that brought you greatest joy?
There are so many things that I have done that brought me excitement and happiness. In the most recent time, it’s the motion that I brought to the floor of the House about the outstanding debt the Federal Government is owing Lagos State.
The Federal Government is to pay N52 billion back to the coffers of Lagos state for services and road reconstruction that Lagos State has expended on Federal roads in Lagos. The response of the Federal Government showed that they know they are indebted to Lagos state. I am gratified by the positive response of the Federal Government even if they have not paid the money.
What would you say has been the most challenging in your duty as the Deputy Majority Leader in one year?
Every day was challenging. Life is about challenges. I cannot specifically say there was any day that was not challenging. Is it in marrying legislative activities with constituency activities or to power political meetings with legislative activities and the yearnings and demands of constituency? But as a trained cadre, we need to balance everything pari passu.
Did your appointment as Deputy Majority Leader come to you as a surprise or something expected?
I was not expecting it. It is the leadership that dictates. I didn’t vie for it. I never discussed with anybody that I was interested in any post. I did not jostle for one position or the other. It is the leadership of the party who, in their wisdom, decided that they want me there.
What would you say informed the leadership of the party choosing you as the Deputy Majority Leader?
Probably, they noticed some of my activities and they thought me fit for the position of Deputy Majority Leader.
I thank the leadership of the party for giving me such prerogative to serve as a principal in the 8th Assembly.
Could it be because you belong to the right caucus?
I don’t know of any caucus, I am in the caucus of God.
What exactly differentiates the principal officers from any other member of the House of Assembly?
The distinction is not much. The Principal Officers are basically those in charge of the day-to-day activities of the House.
For instance, it is my responsibility to be here (Assembly) every day, whether the House is in session or not except otherwise I travel. The principal officers are administrative officers of the legislature. It is purely administrative.
Are there no privileges that are attached to being principal officers?
We are like a circle. In a circle, nobody comes first. There are some non-principal officers that even enjoy some privileges that principal officers don’t enjoy.
Your primary responsibility is representing the people of your constituency. How easy has it been for you to combine that with your position as Deputy Majority Leader?
I have coped very well in one year. It is part of the challenges that we encounter in the process of juggling these responsibilities. Initially, it was tough but we are getting our bearing. We come very early to office and we leave very late.
What would you say is the secret of the cordial relationship between the Lagos House of Assembly and the executive arm of government in the state?
Lagos has been blessed with good and visionary leaders, particularly from 1999 up till present time.
Lagos has always been the yardstick to measure our emerging democracy. We have been blessed with leaders like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his successors, who are also in the progressive camp.
Two, the essence of government is not to be vociferous and antagonistic to the executive or the executive to be antagonistic to the legislature. It is the people that will suffer. There must be interdependence relationship, which we are exhibiting.