By Eric Elezuo
Many have described him as very humble and humane. Some others believe that he is a force to reckon with in the business of lawmaking. Those are facts. He is the exalted Deputy Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, representing Lagos Island 1. In this brief chat, the soft-spoken lawmaker explains the business of lawmaking, his future aspirations and many more. Excerpts:
Kindly introduce yourself sir
I am Honourable Wasiu Eshilokun, the Deputy Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly.
What has it been like, being a deputy speaker, particularly and then a law maker in a state as voluminous as Lagos?
I think it’s an honour done to me by my colleagues and our party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). First and foremost, we are representatives of the people, and then we’re lawmakers. The deputy speakership position is like an icing on the cake, and it’s an honour. For that, I am most grateful to my colleagues and the party. It has been challenging but it has been very productive.
Talking about challenge, can you just, for the benefit of the hindsight itemize the challenges that come with being the deputy speaker?
The challenge lies in managing the expectations of the people, your constituents, your colleagues and even family members. You know, when you’re deputy speaker, you are actually the number four man in the state, and that means that so many people have diverse expectations of what you can do and what your capacity is. So managing these expectations can be challenging and trying to let your constituency feel the impact and the presence of the deputy speaker in that constituency. But all along, we thank God that we’ve been able to manage.
How far have you been able to meet the expectation of your immediate constituency in your capacity?
The expectation is simple; it lies in the provision of good governance in the state, demonstration of functional democracy to the people I’m representing, and so far so good we’ve been able to do all of that.
There is always this little fracas between the executive and the legislature. Infact, we’re experiencing a larger one on a very large scale in the national assembly. How has Lagos State House being able to manage a cordial relationship with the executive?
Well, it is about a conscious effort by the two arms of government; the executive and the legislature. They need to acknowledge the fact that both of them are not in competition. We are to complement each other and serve the people of Lagos State rather than our own personal ego and aggrandizement. Another good thing working for us in Lagos State is that we have experienced legislators in the House in addition to having professionals who can also manage us outside the legislative house.
You are a deputy speaker today. What does the future hold politically?
My political future is in the hands of God and to some extent, in the hands of our political leaders.
Tell me sir, how do you relax considering that the job of lawmaking is so…
Well, I work during the week, and attend social functions if any during the weekend, especially if they are about my constituents or long standing friends. And of course, there is the need to honour some wedding invitations. To me, that is a form of relaxation. I hardly go to clubs or the likes.
Do you have a favorite food or favorite sports?
No, I don’t.
With the kind of job you do, how do you manage family? I know you travel a lot – always somewhere doing something.
Honestly, that is in the hands of God. There’s a lot of challenge there and that is where a very strong family, a strong wife come in. with a strong at the homefront, family is in good hands while I do my job.
Can you rate the performance of Lagos state administration under Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode today?
As far as I’m concerned and from what people are saying, I think it’s about ninety something percent.
More than A1, A1+ (laughs)
Thank you very much honourable,
Thank you very much.