OrderPaperToday– This week, we take a look at the performance of Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP, Ekiti South), whose name has been etched on Nigeria’s history as the first female minority leader in the male dominated Senate.
From Omuo-Ekiti, Olujimi was born on 25th of December, 1958. Her education took off in our Lady of Apostles, Ibadan, Oyo State, after which she obtained a diploma in Journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, then got a degree in Political Science and a postgraduate degree in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Abuja.
She also holds a certificate in IT with emphasis on Web Development from Michigan State University.
Starting off her career as a journalist, she worked in Nigerian Tribune, Nigerian Television Authority, the Delta Steel Company, Ovwian Aladja, Reflex Concept and DBN Television.
Moving to the political scene in 1997, she served as the national publicity secretary of the now-defunct National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN). Upon the dissolution of NCPN, Biodun joined the All Peoples Congress and eventually became the national publicity secretary.
She left APC to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2002 and was appointed special assistant to the executive governor of Ekiti State in 2003.
In that year, she got elected into the House of Representatives and later became the deputy governor to Ayo Fayose in his first tenure. She was also the director of women affairs of the Goodluck-Sambo Campaign Organisation during the 2011 general election.
In the 2015 elections, she contested for the Ekiti South Senatorial District and won under the platform of the PDP.
While in the 8th Senate, she moved some notable motions, including one on growing sexual harassment in tertiary institutions using the case of Monica Osagie from Obafemi Awolowo University, whose accused was thereafter sentenced to two years in jail.
An outcome of another motion she sponsored was the summoning of security chiefs over the abducted Chibok and Dapchi girls by Boko Haram terrorists.
In the 8th assembly, she sponsored 13 bills and two passed third reading in the Senate. They are Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, 2016 and Federal College of Education, Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti State (Est, etc) Bill, 2018.
Others bills she sponsored include Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, 2015; Equal Opportunity Commission (Est, etc) Bill, 2015; National Library Act (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Prevention and Punishment of Torture Bill, 2015; Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Science and Technology Development Fund (establishment, etc) Bill, 2016 and Existing Vacancies (Publication) Bill, 2016.
Others are Control of Delegated Legislation Bill, 2015; Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill, 2015; Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, 2016 and National Consumer Credit Regulatory Commission Bill, 2017.
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Olujimi was arguably the most vocal female lawmaker in the chamber in the 8th Assembly. In one instance, she called out the group managing director and executive director of Finance of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for spending $3.5 billion budget recovery fund without appropriation; and in another, strongly tackled President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominee who had a controversial certificate.
The Ekiti senator then raised an allegation of vote-buying against the Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC). She alleged that the government was using the Trader Moni social intervention programme as a ploy to harvest Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) of the electorate ahead of the general elections. The allegation which was strongly denied by the government and caused a row in the polity for a while.
In another motion, Olujimi blamed the present administration for hiding details on the death of soldiers mauled down by boko aram.
Following the defection from PDP and consequent resignation of Sen. Godswill Akpabio as minority leader, she was upgraded to sit with the ‘big boys’ in the Red Chamber, taking over from him as the opposition leader.
She made her way back to the 9th Assembly after the Ekiti Elections Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna, based on her petition, nullified the election victory of former Senate spokesman, Adedayo Adeyeye.