Abbas, Chinda, Jaha, among 24 lawmakers to watch in 2024

Beloved JohnJanuary 26, 202419 min

The year 2024 holds high expectations of the National Assembly of Nigeria just as the lawmakers will be out and about their duties to deliver on the mandate of law-making, representation and oversight  

A few days ago, OrderPaper focused on 12 senators in the first part of the signature series, 24 lawmakers to watch out for in 2024. In this sequel and presented in no particular order, the spotlight is on 12 lawmakers from the House of Representatives who are likely to make headlines and impact in the new year. 

  • Tajudeen Abbas
Abbas, one of 12 lawmakers to watch in 2024
Rep. Abbas

Speaker Tajudeen Abbas (APC, Kaduna) first joined the House of Representatives in 2011. He was subsequently re-elected to the 8th and 9th assemblies in 2015 and 2019 respectively. He has maintained an outstanding record in the sponsorship of bills, especially in the 9th assembly, where he sponsored the most number of bills.  He served in more than seven parliamentary committees between 2015 to 2019. 

Following his nomination by the ruling party, he won the speakership election for the 10th assembly with a wide margin of 353 votes, defeating the immediate past deputy speaker and another member who refused to back down from then race. Under his speakership, the House has witnsessed some notable progress, including the adoption of a legislative agenda and unveiling of some reforms around streamlined legislative interventions and a populist move on the student loans scheme. In 2024, Nigerians would expect to see consistency in his quiet but steady vibrancy and his level of effectiveness as the speaker of the House. 

  • Rep Ahmadu Jaha
Jaha is one of 24 lawmakers to watch in 2024
Rep Jaha

Rep. Ahmadu Jaha (APC, Borno) is a 2nd term lawmaker representing the Damboa / Gwoza /Chibok Federal Constituency, Borno State. He first served in the Borno state assembly for 9 years and was appointed the state commissioner for higher education at some point. 

He has been very vocal in the House, particularly on issues related to insecurity, terrorism, and violence in the northeast region of the country. Jaha once demanded the resignation of all service chiefs owing to their failure to decimate boko haram terrorists. He also called out the failure of the military to protect his constituency from violent attacks despite the huge amount of money budgeted for security. The lawmaker, who currently chairs the House Committee on Insurance and Actuarial Matters, is one of the lawmakers who pushed for the House to revisit and review the report of the 9th assembly special committee on national security. As the 10th House resumes in January, a report on the review will be a subject of concern, and the lawmaker is expected to remain involved in the process and outspoken on Nigeria’s security issues as violence continues to thrive in the country. 

  • Yusuf Adamu Gagdi
a lawmaker to wtach in 2024
Rep Gagdi

Rep. Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau) has worked in the political space for over a decade, serving first as a legislative aide to the Deputy Speaker at the Plateau State House of Assembly and then as a lawmaker in the state assembly, representing Kanam constituency, and was elected deputy speaker between 2003 and 2006. 

He joined the House of Representatives in 2019 and was re-elected in 2023. Rep. Gagdi was a familiar face in the 9th assembly, as he spoke frequently on the floor of the parliament, contributing to discourse, moving motions and bills as well. According to OrderPaper’s Performance Scorecard for members of the 9th National Assembly between 2019 and 2022, he sponsored twenty-one bills — the 3rd highest from a lawmaker in his state.

In the previous assembly, Rep Gagdi spoke significantly on security issues and headed the House Committee on Navy. The 43-year-old vied to preside over the 10th assembly but stepped down for the incumbent following pressures from the APC. Given his track record, he is expected to be a lawmaker of interest in 2024. 

  • Benjamin Kalu
one of 12 lawmakers to watch in the House in2024
Deputy Speaker Kalu

Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) is the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th assembly. Born in 1971, Rep Kalu joined politics at the young age of 21 when he served as the National President of the PDP Diaspora chapter. Then, he served as a Senior Special Adviser on local government and chieftaincy affairs in 2007-2009 to the then Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu. 

In 2002, Rep Kalu made his first attempt into the House but failed. He contested again in 2011 and 2015 and lost on both occasions. However, he won the election under the platform of the ruling party, APC, in 2019 and was appointed the Spokesperson of the House in his capacity as Committee Chairman on Media and Public Affairs.

Rep Kalu made himself a familiar face on the floor of the parliament, garnering a high number of bills. According to OrderPaper‘s Scorecard, he sponsored 45 different bills. 

On multiple occasions, he has called for an end to the obnoxious Mondays sit-at-home order by IPOB that has crippled economic activities in the south-east part of the country. As the 10th House progresses, one hopes his vibrancy, as seen in the 9th Assembly, is sustained in his time as the deputy speaker., where he wields the gavel in the absence of the speaker and during committee of the whole sessions. 

  • Julius Ihonvbere
Ihonvbere is a lawmaker to watch in 2024
Rep Ihonvbere

Rep. Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo) is currently the majority leader of the 10th House of Representatives. The lawmaker, who is currently serving his 2nd term, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2019.  He served as the chairman of the committee on basic education and services in which capacity he repeatedly spoke against the condition of Nigeria’s education system, including raising concerns about the high number of out-of-school children 

The former Secretary to the Edo State Government represents the Owan East/Owan west federal constituency of Edo State. The lawmaker actively participated in the previous assembly and sponsored seven bills in that time. Recently, the lawmaker called for a probe into the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) to ensure improved disbursement and utilisation of the funds.

Rep Ihonvbere has been outspoken in the past, and one wonders if the lawmaker will remain so in the 10th assembly. If so, would he remain focused on promoting good education? Or would he become more concerned on other sectors of the country? One thing is for sure though: as leader of the House, he bears the duty of projecting the positions of the executive, including presidential of bills to plenary.   

  • Rep. Okafor Dominic
One of 24 lawmakers to watch in 2024
Rep Okafor

Rep. Okafor Dominic (APGA, Anambra) is a first-term member representing Aguata federal constituency, Anambra State. He was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2023.

During campaigns, Rep. Dominic told members of his constituents that he was not in the race for personal aggrandizement or self-glorification but to change the fortune of the people for good, and after his election, the lawmaker assured Nigerians of quality representation for members of his constituency.

Rep. Dominic asserted that his bid for a seat in the House was inspired by his desire to serve. The lawmaker said he left his comfort zone as a business executive to join politics because of his passion for serving his people. Nigerians need to watch the lawmaker closely to see how well he fulfills his promises in 2024. 

  • Yusuf Galambi
A lawmaker to watch in 2024
Rep Galambi

Another lawmaker of interest is Yusuf Galambi (APC, Jigawa), the member representing Gwaram federal constituency in Jigawa state. He had served as a federal lawmaker in the House from 2007 to 2015 under the PDP. But was succeeded by Yuguda Kila, an APC lawmaker who died mid-way into his 2nd term. It took a bye-election following the tragic incidence for Galambi to bounce back into the House. He is currently serving his first full term in the House under the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). 

In December 2023, Galambi drew public attention to the alleged failure of the president, Bola Tinubu, to present a detailed document of the 2024 proposed budget.  According to him, President Tinubu had presented an ‘empty box’ to the National Assembly. Will he remain audacious in 2024? or would there be changes? We will find out!  

  • Kingsley Chinda
Chinda is a lawmaker to watch in 2024
Rep Chinda

The minority leader of the 10th House, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), is currently serving his 4th term,  as he has been a member of the House since the 7th assembly. 

In the previous assemblies, he was an outspoken lawmaker about critical issues, including environmental pollution, oil bunkering and insecurity in the Niger Delta. He was also one of the lawmakers who called for a review of the report of the 9th House of Representatives Special Committee on National Security, as a way to analyse the root causes of security challenges in the country and propose actionable solutions.

Given his pattern and track record over time, it is expected that the lawmaker actively speaks for the interest of the opposition in the House being the minority leader. All eyes will be on him in 2024

  • Akin Rotimi Jr.
...a lawmaker to watch
Rep Akin Rotimi Jr

Rep. Akin Rotimi Jr. (APC, Ekiti) is another newbie and young lawmaker of interest. The APC member is representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1 in Ekiti State having won the February 25, 2023 election with 25,510 votes, defeating Bimbo Daramola of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and a former Governorship aspirant, Yinka Akerele.

The new lawmaker, serving as the House Committee Chairman on Media and Publicity and the spokesperson for the House, has been involved in its controversies and has tried to clarify misconceptions where the need arises. When the House announced that the National Assembly was set to purchase the official cars for lawmakers, outrage against the assembly was stoked, and the lawmaker attempted to provide clarification by pointing out that the initiative aligned with existing procurement laws and was a customary practice in previous assemblies.

Rep Akin has been vocal and expressive about the plight of the people in his constituency. In December 2023, the lawmaker had raised an alarm over the continued closure of banks in his constituency owing to incessant attacks by hoodlums. The lawmaker seems to have started as an active member of the House, and Nigerians need to watch out for his progress over time. 

  • Kafilat Ogbara
Rep Ogbara

Another newbie lawmaker to look out for in the House is Rep. Kafilat Ogbara (APC, Lagos), a member representing Kosofe federal constituency. She has shown inclinations towards gender rights advocacy. The lawmaker has actively participated in plenary proceedings, drawing attention to critical issues relating to women.

As chairperson, House Committee on Women and Social Development, Rep. Ogbara recently raised concern about the abysmal funding for women’s development and called for improved funding for women and social development. In October 2023, she moved a motion to control the rate of out-of-girls by introducing free and mandatory education for young girls across the country. In 2024, Nigerians can expect more advocacy for gender rights, the protection of minority and vulnerable groups, and other critical issues in the country from her. 

  • Bamidele Salam
a lawmaker to watch in 2024
Rep Salam

Rep. Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun) was first elected into the House in 2019, then reelected in 2023, but this was after he had served long ago as the Chairman of Egbedore Local Government Area of Osun State from 2008 to 2010. Some of his positions on governance issues have clinched headlines and stirred debates both in the House and among citizens. For instance, the lawmaker in 2020 had recommended that the number of lawmakers, which is about 469, be reduced by about two-thirds to cut down the cost of governance. Rep. Salam, who represents Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency, said this can be achieved by reducing the number of senators per state to one from three, while the House of Representatives should be reduced to one-third of its current 360 members. He also suggested that senators should also work on a part-time basis.

At a budget defence session in 2021, Rep. Salam raised alarm over an attempt to rush the passage of the budget and prevent lawmakers who had observations from doing so.

Rep. Salam is the Chairman of the House of Reps Public Accounts Committee and he is currently leading the committee to investigate alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 funded by federal government ministries, departments and agencies. Nigerians are eager to know the outcome of these hearings; will justice be served? Looted funds recovered? Will Rep. Salam’s boldness and ability to speak truth to power influence the outcome of the investigation? 

  • James Abiodun Faleke
Rep Faleke

Rep. James Faleke (APC, Lagos) is currently serving his 4th term in the House. The lawmaker representing Ikeja Federal Constituency was first elected in 2011. He is regarded as one of the most influential lawmakers in the House. 

In the 9th Assembly, the lawmaker sponsored 11 bills and also served as the Committee Chairman on Finance. As a result, he led probes into several cases of mismanagement of funds and corruption. Having been reelected in 2023, the lawmaker retained his position as the chairman of the committee and is currently conducting a probe on the National Lottery Trust Fund’s spending of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). 

In the year 2024, more probes will be conducted on other agencies, and Nigerians need to keep track of this. It is important to look out for the findings of the committee and the next line of action for the lawmaker. 

12 lawmakers in the House that will define 2024

STAR Check: Nigerians can keep tabs on the legislative performance of their lawmakers throughout the 10th NASS here.

Beloved John

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