By Femi Olugbemi – Lokoja
Current Member and Member Elect representing Kabba/Bunu State Constituency and Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Prince Matthew Kolawole has broken yet another record with his reelection to the State House for a second term under the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC), a feat no representative in the past has been able to achieve.
Kolawole who was born over 5 decades ago into the family of Pa and Mrs Otitolaiye Kolawole of Gbeleko in Kabba district of Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State, North Central Nigeria has continued to break records as a member of the house.
Kolawole who commenced his humble political journey in 2003 and contested for the Kogi State House of Assembly in 2007 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) despite his popularity and general acceptance by the majority of his party members then, the leadership of the party led by late Dr Stephen Olorunfemi thought otherwise and asked him to step down for Hon. Jethro Funsho Oni aka Chop and Chop.
Prince Kolawole despite the huge investment he has put into the project, without hesitation gladly accepted the position of the leaders to join hand and work for the success of the candidature of Hon Jethro Funsho Oni; though painful but he took the decision in good faith.
By 2008, he was appointed the Supervisory Councilor for Agriculture under the administration of Hon Nathaniel Ojo Taiwo in Kabba/Bunu Local Government as Executive Chairman, a position he held till 2011.
Being an industrious and astute entrepreneur, he went back to his business as a Consultant with reputable organizations both within and outside Nigeria.
In 2013, he built a 4 star Hotel, Golden Grand Royale Hotel, Kabba; an edifice that added color and glamour to Kabba metropolis.
His humble disposition is one of the key factors that attracted men of goodwill to buy into his political ambition and aspiration to represent his people in 2015.
He is a committed Christian and even an ordained Pastor with the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC). His activities in supporting the church, associations, communities and individuals made people to love him irrespective of their tribe, religion, color and political difference.
It is on record that he won the party primary in 2015 outside the decision of the party leadership that endorsed Hon Nathaniel Ojo Taiwo’s second term bid.
However, despite the political sentiment in the constituency then, he was victorious as he earned majority votes of the electorates before he decamped into the governing All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2017.
Being a destiny child, the Sixth Assembly was inaugurated on the 4th of June, 2015 and for the first time in the history of Kabba/Bunu State Constituency, he emerged the Majority Leader of the House, a feat none of his predecessors were able to achieve.
This position he held for 2 years, 2 months despite the crisis that engulfed the house before fate beckoned on him and for the first time again, he emerged the 12th Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly on the 3rd day of August, 2017.
Considering his leadership acumen and his ability to bring peace to the crisis ridden chamber, in October, 2017, he was appointed as Executive Committee Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, (CPA) African Region to represent North Central Nigeria.
As that was not enough, in February, 2018 he was elected as the Financial Secretary of the Conference of Speakers of States Legislature in Nigeria at their annual conference held in Lagos, where the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudasiru Obasa emerged the Conference Chairman.
Meanwhile, the cordial working relationship between the Legislative and Executive arms of government in the state is not without his concerted efforts at bringing peace into the chamber.
Under his watch, the House has passed more than 35 bills into law both executive and private member’s bill, aside the Constitution Amendment Bill with 15 alterations sent to the States Houses of Assembly. 15 other bills are at various stages of legislative scrutiny, several motions raised and resolutions passed and majority of the resolutions are been attended to by the executive with barely one year, seven months.
It is also good to note that the State House of Assembly Autonomy was part of the alteration bill duly passed by Kogi State House of Assembly and assented to by Governor Yahaya Bello with the Commission already in operation.
These efforts are not without the maximum cooperation and support of the Executive Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the entire new direction team.
While in the area of Constituency projects, the Speaker has also written his name in gold, as many of his constituents confirmed that no state representative has been able to record such achievements in four years.
In the area of empowerment, he in collaboration with National Directorate of Employment (NDE) trained and graduated 155 youths in different skills and vocations. He also empowered them with the tools and equipments of the skills they acquired.
Over 2000 of his constituents have also benefited from his other empowerment programs at different times.
Aside the ongoing construction of two cottage hospitals, one in Ayede Bunu and Gbeleko in Kabba district, he has given out more than 30 vehicles and 60 motorcycles to different people.
In 2018 alone, more than 350 students benefited from his education support scheme aside the regular scholarship program where over 300 students are on the list.
Aside other numerous achievements across all sectors of the constituency.
His love and respect for the traditional institutions knows no band as he worked assiduously with relevant agency of government that is saddle with the responsibility to upgrade some traditional stools in the Local Government aside the smooth and colorful emergence of the new Obaro of Kabba and Chairman, Okun Area Traditional Council, His Royal Majesty, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi.
No wonder he was given an overwhelming support by his constituents considering the number of votes he garnered in the just concluded State Assembly Election, where he emerged victorious with 17248 votes to beat his closely rival, PDP candidate, Hon. Alfred Bello who polled 9437 votes
The 2019 – 2023 dispensation will usher in more tangible developments in the constituency.
By Femi Olugbemi – Lokoja