Hon. Jimi Benson, the young, brilliant and dedicated Ikorodu son who came into political limelight about five years ago is no more a green horn in governance. He is today a big news maker in Ikorodu, Lagos State and the national assembly where he represents Ikorodu division in the lower house at Abuja.
Unlike his predecessors from this area, Hon Jimi Benson was rich before he came into this office and has used his family wealth and the resources he got from Abuja to better the lot of his people back home. He has effectively deployed his personal wealth and constituency allowances from the national assembly to greatly empower the people of his constituency.
This highly intelligent politician in his 40’s did something unique recently which stood him out as a master strategist.
It is a widely known fact that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikorodu division is fractured into several factions.
When Jimi decided to flag off his 2nd term campaign at the playground opposite Post Office along Ita-Elewa road, some were afraid that the fractionalization of the party will affect him. They wondered which faction would support him or which one he will lean on.
But Jimi surprised everyone because he had been neutral in the party’s squabbles, as he preaches to unite all the factions.
No wonder on that day, all the feuding factions were present to support him and made the campaign rally humongous, massive and highly successful.
It was an incredible sight to behold as Jimi became a unifying force/factor in Ikorodu politics and Lagos State.
On that day Saturday, January 12, 2019, all the adjoining streets – Oriwu road Ireshe road, Owolowo road, etc. were suffocated with cars, buses, and human traffic. With different attires, banners, posters, T- shirts, musical groups, and dance groups, Ita Elewa vicinity up to Redeem Church exploded with campaign fever.
Jimi suddenly became the hero of APC politics in his environment as warring factions came together and buried their differences for his sake.
Everyone agreed that this has become a litmus test for Lagos state to learn from because it was like a presidential campaign rally. The crowd was unbelievable. The event was crowded by hundreds of supporters who hilariously sang Jimi’s praises.
Below is the full report by our correspondent Mufutau Jimoh who was on ground to cover the event.
Residents of Ikorodu division, on Saturday January 12, 2018, demonstrated their love and support for their performing and beloved representative at the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Babajimi Banson, as they trooped out enmasse to the official flag off of his re-election campaign.
Hon. Benson is seeking to return to the lower chamber of the National Assembly for the second term on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The event, which was held of the Ikorodu Local Government open ground, located opposite the Post Office, Ikorodu, recorded a record crowd of APC Chieftains and elected lawmakers at National and State Assemblies, traditional rulers and Chiefs as well as residents among others.
There was also huge representation from the six councils across Ikorodu division at the event as the council chairmen led party chairmen, leaders and members from their respective councils to drum support for Jimi Benson.
Also at the event to support the lawmaker were members of the Babajide Sanwoolu Campaign Group led by the Director General, Mr. Tayo Ayinde.
The venue of the historic flag off event was massively crowded with an unprecedented crowd of APC members and Hon. Benson’s supporters most of whom were smartly dressed in customized orange T-Shirts and Vests which carry the inscription, “JB …….. Lekan sii”.
The venue was also bombarded with scores of colourful banners of different sizes which carry the pictures and messages of support for Hon. Benson, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, APC Lagos Guber candidate, and other APC candidates in the division.
As expected, the event featured several speeches by APC chieftains, candidates and members who took their turns one after the other to address the exciting crowd. In unison, they all vowed to give the party unprecedented votes in the coming general elections.
The event also featured the official presentation of the party’s flag to Hon. Benson as a flagbearer of the party in the coming general elections by Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, the Vice Chairman, APC, Lagos East Senatorial District and intermittent performances by the duo of Valentine Olorin-Oba, a fuji musician, and Salawa, a Waka artiste, both of whom entertained the crowd with dedicated songs for various APC candidates which got the entire gathering dancing all through.
Meanwhile, Mr. Deen Sanwoola, the Director-General, “I Care Movement which is the operational platform of Hon. Benson, while declaring the event open with an opening address, stated that the 2019 elections would be unprecedented in the history of Ikorodu political history.
He thanked the crowd for their support and for turning out in large number to honour Hon. Benson.
While stating that the coming general elections would surpass all elections held in the past in Ikorodu division, Sanwoola stressed that the division must improve on its 4th position recorded in 2015 general elections while also urging the residents to vote massively for APC in order to emerge number one in Lagos State.
He also urged the residents to ensure that Hon. Benson and other APC candidates win with landslide votes across the division.
Mr. Tayo Ayinde, Director-General, Babajide Sanwoolu Campaign Group, in his own address, described Hon. Benson as a responsible and responsive lawmaker who must be re-elected.
“Hon. Babajimi Benson is a responsible and responsive lawmaker whom Ikorodu must re-elect
“People are happy with him because of his good and quality representation. He is not like those that will forget the electorate after being voted into office.
“Despite his own campaign, Hon. Benson is massively supporting our incoming governor’s (Sanwoolu) campaign financially. He has donated many campaign materials that are in many places.”
He also appealed to the people of Ikorodu to vote for other APC candidates in the coming general elections, while imploring party members to embark on house to house campaign.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, the Majority Leader, Federal House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, described Hon. Benson as a resourceful lawmaker who deserved to be re-elected by his people, adding that he has been in the House for close to twenty year but has not seen a lawmaker as outstanding as Hon. Benson.
“I have been in the House for close to twenty years and I have seen lawmakers come and gone but Hon. Benson is an outstanding lawmaker.
“In in his first term, he mastered our operations to the extent that I am all learning from him.
“He is a wonderful person and I have to attend his campaign flag-off despite the fact that we are also having campaign in my area.
“He is a progressive, wonderful and true legislator. He is a quality man who holds Ikorodu division and Lagos State dear to himself and has moved many bills and motions to champion the cause of the state.”
While urging the people of Ikorodu division to massively vote for Hon. Benson, the federal lawmaker also charged them to vote for Present Buhari, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu as governor of the state, Hon. Osinowo as Senator, and Hon. S. O. B. Agunbiade and Hon. Nurudeen Solaja as lawmakers at the State Assembly.
Former Deputy Governor of the State and a chieftain of APC, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye in his own brief address, said Hon. Benson deserved to be re-elected because he has performed very well and that he has been carrying both the party and his constituents along in his representation by briefing them regularly on the happenings at the National Assembly.
He affirmed that people of Ikorodu division are feeling the impact of Hon. Benson’s representation and expressed confidence that he will not disappoint them if given another opportunity to serve while also stating that his good and exemplary representation accounted for the massive turnout at the campaign flag off event.
Another APC chieftain, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Bashorun, in his own remarks, stated that Hon. Benson is a popular candidate that needs no campaign to be re-elected while also urging the residents to get their PVCs to enable them vote for the APC candidates.
He pleaded with the aggrieved party members to sheath their swords and consider the fact that the party is supreme.
“Any aggrieved member should think about the party first. You are not going to vote for any individual but our party. It is the party’s symbol (broom) that you will see on the ballot paper.”
While sparing some thought for the opposition, Asiwaju Bashorun state that, “Our opponents have nothing to campaign with except abuse and we are going to win all available positions in the elections.”
Also, Mrs. Jumoke Benson, the beautiful wife of Hon. Benson, who was also at the event to support her husband, thanked APC members and the generality of the people of Ikorodu division for their love and support for her husband and urged them to continue to support the party by voting for all its candidates at the poll.
The Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and the representative of the Ikorodu Constituency I, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade, while also briefly addressing the gathering, said that APC remains one indivisible entity and expressed confidence that the party would win in all the elections as a team while his constituency II counterpart, Hon. Nurudeen Solaja, called for support for all the party’s candidates.
In the same vein, the six council chairmen in the division in their separate short speeches, solicited for support for APC and all its candidates while also promising to deliver votes in their respective councils to the party.
Asipa Kaoli Olusanya while speaking, said that people are pleased with Hon. Benson’s exemplary representation and his contributions to the development of Ikorodu particularly in the award of contract for the rehabilitation of the Ikorodu – Shagamu road.
He promised the lawmaker would continue to do more if re-elected, he urged residents across Ikorodu division to vote massively for him and other APC candidates in the general elections.
He also expressed confidence that the party would record unprecedented votes across the division.
Meanwhile, Hon. Babajimi Benson, in his address shortly after receiving the party’s flag, thanked, party members and Ikorodu people for electing him in 2015 and for giving him their support.
“I thank you all for electing me as your representative. You did not only vote for me massively in 2015, you also gave me votes in senatorial and gubernatorial positions that I did not contest for. Thank you for your supports.
“I owe you gratitude for voting and supporting my representation.
“We are here today to flag off our campaign for 2019 election. I want to care for you more than I have done in my three and half years if elected back into office as your representative.
“In my second term, I promise to reach those that we have not been able to touch.
He appealed to the residents to also come out enmasse during the elections and vote for other APC candidates for the presidential, senatorial and state Assembly positions while also assuring them of more dividends of democracy when his party emerge victorious at the poll.
Other notable dignitaries at the event were: Sekumade of Ipakodo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Aremu Shotonwa; APC chieftain, Chief Dele Olowo; former secretary to the state government, Princess Adenrele Ogunsanya; former acting commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola; Hon. Wasiu Adesina, Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government; Hon. Adebisi Banjo; Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, Hon. (Princess) Ademehin Jimbo, Chairman, Ikorodu West LCDA; Hon. Jimoh Fathiu, Chairman, Imota LCDA; Hon. Sesan Daini Chairman, Igbogbo LCDA; APC Woman Senatorial Leader, Lagos East, Yeye Fausat Gbadebo; former Commissioner for Information, Lagos State, Otunba Ayodele Elesho; former Commissioner for Rural Development, Prince Lanre Balogun; former Chairman, Ikorodu Oga Development Association (IKODASS), Otunba Kunle Oyebola; former Clerk, Lagos State House of Assembly and Senatorial aspirant Otunba Segun Abiru; former Head of Service, Prince Segun Ogunlewe.
Former APC vice chairman, Lagos East, Taiwo Kara, Alhaji Gafaar, former chairman, Ikorodu Resource Development Group Oloye Oye Solebo, former Chairman, Ikorodu Resource Development Group Oloye Oye Solebo, former secretary to the Ikorodu local government, Elder Ajayi Benbe and a chieftain of the party in Ikorodu, Alhaji Omotayo Olufowora, Hon. Gafar Bolowotan, APC aspirant for the Ikorodu Constituency II House of Assembly seat, Hon. Folashade Olabaji-Oba, Vice Chairman, Ikorodu local government, Alhaji Monzor Olowosago, Publisher, Oriwu Sun and Prince Jamiu Saka, former president Oriwu Club, Ikorodu among others