Sunmi’s Re – Emergence As APC State Scribe, His Political Reckoning, Relevance

Kunle Adelabu

Hon. Olanrewaju Sunmi Odesanya, State APC Scribe

Just like a cat with nine lives, Hon. Olanrewaju Sunmi Odesanya, last year, returned from his political wilderness to limelight as the State Scribe of the All Progressives Congress (APC); proving that he is still very much relevant in the political reckoning in Ikorodu Division and Lagos State at large.

With his emergence as the Scribe of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Sunmi has shown that aside being a favoured figure, he is also strategic and understands the dynamism of politics contrary to what some thought.

He was elected last year from the lots, which included other bigwigs that also showed interest in the position.

The APC Scribe, who was a former representative of the Ikorodu Constituency I and later Commissioner 1, Lagos State House of Assembly Commission, was officially sworn into office and inaugurated with other state executive members on Monday, March 14, 2020.

Sunmi is following in the footsteps of another Ikorodu man and the State Chairman of SWAGA, Primate Charles Odugbesi who was at various times State Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy, Action Congress, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the second person to occupy such enviable position from Ikorodu Division.

With his present status, Sunmi is moving closer not only to the apex of the party’s decision making organ, but more importantly, to the national leader of the ruling party in Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is a major figure that determines who gets what within the party.

He has proven that he is loyal to the party’s hierarchy and can be trusted with positions and power which was what accounted for his present position as the APC State Secretary, which is a very sensitive and strategic position.

In addition, his membership of the APC Apex leadership has also advanced as his opinion will now count on all issues. He now joins the ranks and file of the elected and appointed representatives at national and state levels as go – between for Ikorodu Division and the power base at the state level, and of course, at the federal level, depending on issues.

Sunmi’s background as a student of journalism, lawyer and a lawmaker (legislatively and administratively) as well  as his civil, political and community engagement over the years, have prepared him for the task ahead. These, coupled with his Street Credibility (apologies to the ace ‘Gongo Aso’ crooner, 9ice) as ‘Olubi’ Don and ‘Roadside’ Chieftain.

More than any position he had held, his present position as the State Scribe places him in a better position to influence things, especially the party policies and actions. It is also an opportunity to engrave his name on the rock as a Super Scribe; one which APC has never seen before.

It is also an opportunity for him to influence many things to his immediate constituency and position himself for a higher position of responsibilities and authority. Though, some have opined that Sunmi is not such a political figure that attaches too much importance to power. His critics said that he is always lackadaisical with power pointing out his inability to be re – elected after his four years at the Lagos State House of Assembly between 2003 and 2007 and again, some years back when he was denied re – appointment as a Commissioner in the Lagos State House of Assembly Commission, few years back.

To actually put the record straight, initially, Sunmi did not attempt to go for the second term in 2007, but was interested in unseating Hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa who was then representing the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, but the party decided otherwise, and there was an attempt to go back to the Lagos Assembly which did not succeed. That now belongs to political history.

Though, his inability to return as a Commissioner is still unexplainable till today, but that is more of a divisional failure by Ikorodu Division than personal one to Sunmi.

But another School of Thought is of the opinion that the versatile lawmaker and articulate speaker has come of age with the capacity to look at issues better and handle situations with more political experience, purpose and greater power behind him.

What APC now has at its Scribe is a Sunmi who is a legislator, legislative administrator, lawyer, grassroots mobiliser and an embodiment of party organization since the beginning of this Republic.

 Sunmi’s Profile

Sunmi, as he is fondly called by friends and admirers, was elected in 2003 as the Representative of the Ikorodu Constituency I and completed his term in 2007, before seeking to represent the Ikorodu Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. However, aspiration did not materialise.

While at the Lagos Assembly, Hon. Sunmi served as Chairman and member of many important committees due to the trust the leadership of the Assembly had in his capacity and ability to deliver on any assignment given to him.

He was Chairman, House Committee on Human Rights and Public Petitions (2003 -2004), Chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Human Right & Public Petitions; Chairman, House Service Committee (2005-2006) and Chairman, House Committee on Human Rights and Public Petitions (2006-2007).

Hon. Sunmi was also Member, House Committee on Education (2003 – 2005), Member, House Committee on Information & Strategy (2003 – 2005), Member, House Committee on Physical Planning (2003 – 2005), Member, House Committee on judiciary (2003 – 2004), Member, House Committee on Finance (2006 – 2007), Member, House Committee on Commerce & Industry (2006 – 2007), Member, House Committee on Housing (2006 – 2007) and Member, House Committee on Mineral Resources (2006 – 2007).

He served as Commissioner I, Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission, between 2012 and 2017.

As someone who is interested in the development of the legislature, Sunmi aspired to represent the Lagos East Senatorial District following the death of Senator Adebayo Osinowo in 2020, but he did not get the nod of his party.

The young Parliamentarian was called to Bar in Bwari, Abuja (between 2001 and 2002) where he bagged Bachelor of Law (BL) after he studied Law at the prestigious University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, between 1992 and 2000 and was awarded LLB.

He is a Senior Associate, Lords  & Temple (Attorneys, Solicitors, Arbitrators), 2018 till date and Principal Partner, Odesanya & Odesanya (Legal Practitioners).

Hon. Sunmi was a Legal Practitioner and Partner in Dada Odesanya & Co. (2007-2013), Yaba-Lagos.

As a lawyer, Hon. Sunmi is a Member, Nigerian Bar Association and International Bar Association.

He was still at the Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba-Ikeja, (between 1992 -1993) which is regarded as one of the foremost schools of Journalism in the country, when he received an admission to study law at UNILAG.

The former legislator is an alumni of the premier college in Ikorodu Division, Oriwu College which is one of the top rated secondary schools in the country. He was a student at the school between 1980 and 1985 and also had his West African Examination Certificate and was awarded SSCE in the same school.

He attended the Local Government primary school, Ikorodu, for his first School Leaving Certificate between 1974 and 1980.

Hon. Sunmi Odesanya, who is a member of the Apex Body of the All Progressives Congress (APC), lkorodu division, was at various times, Member, Youth Wing, Social Democracy Party (1991-1993), Ward A1, Ikorodu Local Government Area and Secretary, Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organization (BATCO), Ikorodu Local Government Area (1998-2002).

He had also served as Member, Local Organization Committee (LOC), Ikorodu, and was a member of the Intelligence and Research Directorate, Babajide Olushola Sanwo – Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), while he also served as the agent of the current Governor of the State, Mr  Babajide Sanwolu, during the Gubernatorial Primaries in Isele ward, Ikorodu.

Hon. Sunmi was the Legal Adviser, Eko Legislators Forum and Member, Ikorodu Local Government Advisory Council.

As an activist during the dark days of the military in the country, Hon. Sunmi, through his membership of Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR) and Campaign for Democracy (CD), joined others to dislodge the military to achieve the current democratic dispensation.

He also maintains strong ties with his alma mata as members of the Oriwu College Old Student Association of Nigeria (OCOSAN) and University of Lagos Alumni Association.

He is a recipient of the The Factors Community Builders’ Awards and Bibire Leadership Awards in 2016.

Hon. Sunmi has attended several seminars, workshops, trainings and conferences on Governance, Legislation, Public Administration and Public Relations within and outside the country.

A committed democrat, progressive and loyal party man, Sunmi has been with the progressive party since the days of the  Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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