Lasun Yussuff: A Man of Uncommon Destiny @ 56
By Wole Oladimeji
The name of Rt. Honourable Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff, which has become a household name in Nigeria today and in the engineering profession circle, will easily ring a bell. The reason is not far-fetched. Lasun, as he is fondly called, has worked diligently to earn the popularity and reputation he currently enjoys.
As a matter of principle, he believes that good name and integrity are golden. In his daily life, he maintains low profile and ensure that his image is intact while his works speak for him.
When Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun was born on October 4, 1960 to the family of Alhaji Amuda Yussuff in a sleepy town of Ilobu in old Oyo State and now in the State of Osun, little did they know that destiny would one day place him in a position of authority that will afford him the privilege of being part of the topmost in the country. Who would have thought that a boy from rural Ilobu would be in a position of responsibility to provide effective representation for his community and the entire State of Osun in general? But as God who makes decided to make him, Lasun defied all odds to become what he is today.
He attended the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and the University of Ibadan, where he studied Mechanical Engineering, bagging a first and second degree.
The Engineer in Lasun Yussuff saw the need for social reengineering in his immediate environment, having seen how his people had been let down by supposed representatives. That urge to change the game and add value to the lives of his people in Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu Federal Constituency of Osun State made him contest for the House of Representatives in 2007. But he lost under controversial circumstances. Determined to provide effective representation to his people at the national level, he contested again in 2011 and won the election, and was re-elected for the second time in 2015, a tenure he is currently serving.
Lasun started displaying leadership qualities and burning desire to create channels for growth way back in his university days. He was known for embarking on tutorial exercise for fresh students in science-oriented subjects in his native town of Ilobu. He is a home-grown man who takes interest in encouraging younger ones to take interest in education, which to him is key to personal development.
As a member of the Federal House of Representatives between 2011 and 2015, he contributed his quota to the legislative business of the Green Chamber and also served as the deputy chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources and ecause his people felt the impactful representation in his first tenure, it was not difficult for him to get a return ticket for the 2015 election, which he eventually won. However on June 9, 2015, a fresh chapter was opened in the anal of history regarding Lasun, as Allah’s ordained destiny for him manifested. On that historic day, he fought and won an electoral battle against all odds. He defeated his sole challenger, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno from Borno State by polling 203 votes as against Monguno’s 153. The exercise, which took place after Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara had emerged as the House Speaker, was not only a huge surprise to political pundits; it was at the same time a divine arrangement.
Although the South-West zone where he comes from was eyeing the speakership position, which the zone lost narrowly to Dogara, Lasun’s calculation, courage and political sagacity eventually saved the zone from total humiliation and possible marginalisation.
Lasun, being a loyal member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), also believes in the independence of the legislature as an arm of government. Though his emergence as the Deputy Speaker ruffled some feathers, his people who saw wisdom in his political calculation quickly embraced him. He is today seen by many as a hero of the 8th Assembly.
As Deputy Speaker, Lasun has been an effective lieutenant to Speaker Yakubu Dogara. He has not only loyal to him but has given him support in the face of daunting task of piloting the affairs of the 8th Assembly.
Back at home, Lasun is well-respected not only in the State of Osun but beyond. His humane disposition and passion for the well-being of the people of the South-West in general has endeared him to the people of the zone. His people in Ilobu see him as the epitome of change that is reshaping the entire landscape of the town and that of Nigeria. In the last one year of being the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff has proved that he has what it takes to lead and since then he has not been found wanting in the discharge of his duties. This was attested to when Speaker Yakubu Dogara described his deputy as a dependable ally who has the heart of a lion to achieve anything. In the last one year and few months, both Dogara and Lasun have harmoniously worked together as presiding officers of the House. The apparent cooperation that existed between the duo is a good testimony that all is well in the House.
Lasun has represented Nigeria very well at various occasions both within and outside the country. At the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, he was given a standing ovation after presenting Nigeria’s position to the union.
It is on record that Rt. Hon. Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff is the only serving Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is equally elected as the 1st Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament. Lasun was given the responsibility at the 44th session of the ECOWAS Parliament in 2015.
As a member of the 7th Assembly in Federal House of Representatives, he facilitated jobs for many people from his federal constituency at different Federal Ministries and Parastatals. His emergence as the Deputy Speaker changed landscape of opportunities political equation in Osogbo/Olorunda/Orolu/Irepodun federal constituency where he represents. As he opened many locked up opportunities, bringing succour to the people by facilitating provision and upgrade of infrastructures such as access to water, electricity and construction of roads, building of schools, and empowering his people through skills acquisition as well as provision of funds to both young and the aged ones to embark on petty trading among others. Through Lasun’s effort, the colonial bridge on Osogbo-Ilobu-Ogbomoso road and the road itself, which is ranked as the worst federal road in South-western Nigeria, have been included in the 2016 budget for construction.
Due to Lasun Yussuff’s sterling leadership qualities, his people have, at various times, honoured him with prestigious traditional titles such as the Ikolaba of Ilobu land, the Agbaakin of Ilare and the Basorun of Obaagun all in Osun State.
For Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff, a man of uncommon destiny, he deserves 56 Gbosas as he turns 56-year-old today.
Wole Oladimeji is Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Abuja.
Powered by Constituency Relations Office of the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Abuja.
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