By Suleiman Adewale
A recent survey carried out has ranked Rt Hon Prince Matthew Kolawole representing Kabba/Bunu State Constituency and the current Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, as the best candidate to occupy the Speakership seat in the soon-to-be inaugurated 7th Assembly in the State.
The survey, conducted over the last five weeks, in which respondents and stakeholders totaling over 5000 were sampled and surveyed across Kogi State particularly the West Senatorial District of the state to ascertain, among others, who their choice for the position of the Speakership would be, said Matthew Kolawole, is “the best material with the requisite political experience, parliamentary exposure and administrative expertise.”
Majority of the respondents also said the lawmaker has “inter-governmental competencies and composure, shown in the way and manner he calmed the often tension-soaked relationship between the Executive and the Legislature in the state immediately he assumed duty as the number 3 citizen, capacity to build most fruitful relations between the arms and tested professional prowess as well as the needed global exposure, having serve as the Majority Leader of the same house for a period of two years, two months before fate beckoned on him and he was elected the 12th speaker.
The survey was conducted by a Kogi West based Youths groups known as the Global Youth for Good Governance with representatives drawn from the 7 local government areas, namely, Lokoja, Kogi, Kabba/Bunu, Ijumu, Mopamuro, Yagba East, Yagba West respectively.
To arrive at the result, focused group discussions were conducted in the affected local government areas and random samplings of stakeholders and respondents were carried out in the seven local government.
The subject matters provided for in the questionnaire include, competence, needed skills, bridge-building, parliamentary capacity, administrative experience, knowledge of the state and expertise in parliamentary matters.
The limitation of the survey to the zone, according to the report, is informed by the fact that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has zoned the position of the Speakership to the West Senatorial District since the other districts still maintain the Governor and Deputy Governor slots respectively.
Rt Hon Prince Matthew Kolawole preference was overwhelming as over 85 percent of the respondents listed him as the best material to represent Kogi West for the position, noting that he remain the first speaker to appoint his aides from across the 7 local government areas that made up the district.
The respondents also confirmed that Matthew Kolawole had over 120 people he pay monthly stipend as empowerment to support them.
The report also revealed that he has sponsored over 155 trainees in skills acquisition in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) wherein he gave equipments to each trainee in accordance with skills acquired during the six months training.
In the area of education, over 350 students benefited from his Education Support Programme aside over 500 students who are on his regular scholarship scheme.
He also initiated and sponsored an inter secondary school quiz and debate competition in Kabba/Bunu Local Government Areas which have ran for two consecutive years.
However, it is good to note that in all these, beneficiaries are drawn from the fifteen wards in Kabba/Bunu and different non-indigenous communities like Ebira, Igala, Hausa, Kakanda, Yoruba, Tiv, Bassa resident within his constituency.
The reports further revealed that Matthew Kolawole has met with the Okun Traditional rulers in Kabba on two occasions in 2017 and 2018.
Most of the respondents particularly said his choice “would help maintain the existing robust and mutually beneficial relationships between the Executive and the Legislature while maintaining Parliamentary independence.”
Described by his admirers as “a very brilliant and strong parliamentarian and an international business mogul and administrator per excellence who is now a two-time member, they contended that if he continue to sits on the plum seat, Matthew Kolawole “would bring a lot of experience and brilliance to bear on that role.”
He is also described as a detribalize individual “well experienced,” as he had served as Personal Assistance to two First Ladies of Nigeria, Mrs Fati Abubakar and Late Mrs Stella Obasanjo, and later because of his meekness and spirit to serve his people, he accepted to serve as a Supervisory Councillor in charge of Agric in Kabba/Bunu Local Government before winning a seat at the Kogi State House of Assembly in 2015.
Based on the above facts, Prince Matthew Kolawole ranked the best to occupy the position of the Speakership in the 7th Assembly of the Kogi State House of Assembly