The musician, actor, entrepreneur and now newcomer to the Nigerian political market-square, Olubankole ‘Banky W’ Wellington, has published his legislative agenda for the 9th National Assembly.
Banky is seeking to become the member representing Eti-Osa federal constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. Running on the platform of Modern Democratic Party (MDP), he has christened his campaign ‘Hope 19’ as a nod to the 1993 elections and based on a conviction that hope is the necessary ingredient for bringing about change in individual or public-interest endeavours.
Legislators are fundamentally tasked by the constitution to provide representation for members of their constituencies, make laws, and oversee the Executive. For federal representativies, accomplishing these functions effectively usually requires participation in the activities of the House in plenary as well as committee sessions. For Banky, his mission in Abuja, should he be elected, will be focused around five areas:
- Job Creation
- Gender Equality
- Youth Inclusion
- Affordable and Accessible Healthcare, and
For his constituency, he promises to have an active office within Eti-Osa, where constituents can make requests and inquiries as regards their interests. An ‘Honorable Wellington’ will also hold quarterly town halls, and leverage his networks in the artistic industry to provide a path for new talents to find their place.
Perhaps Nigeria’s wealthiest federal constituency by the financial worth of its residents, Eti-Osa is home to artisans in markets from Balogun to Ajah, company headquarters from Victoria Island to Lekki, and luxury residencies in Ikoyi and Banana Island. However, it is also the headquarters of most of Lagos state’s annual flooding festival, a key problem for which residents are asking their representatives at all levels to come up with solutions.
Banky will be running against the incumbent Hon Akinloye Babjide of the APC. The 50-year old lawyer has served two terms and has chaired the House’s Anti-Corruption committee, having previously served two terms in the Lagos state House of Assembly. Also in the race for the Eti-Osa green seat is 49-year old Tony Bakare who ran on the PDP’s platform for the position in 2015 but lost to Babajide. Sticking with the umbrella, he is hoping for better fortunes this time.
At an event where he was introduced by his wife Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Banky announced his candidacy on November 10. He has since began enlisting door-to-door volunteers for his campaign and announced on Instagram that he has received the donation of a campaign office from a businessman. Amidst a handful of criticism and cynicism of his decision to enter the fray, he has received variants of endorsement and encouragement on social media from friends and industry personalities including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Di’ja, Japheth J. Omojuwa and the former Beat 99.5 FM on-air personality, Dami Elebe.
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