MEET OUR ASPIRANTS by Progressives e-group
….truly in support of good governance
MEET (RT) HON. DR.
NAJEEM FOLASAYO SALAAM (PHD)
In the Yoruba belief system, it is believed that a child of destiny is different from his peers who also came to the world to fulfil another mission which may be significantly demanded, but certainly not for leadership, and that such a destiny child would have been endowed with sprawling gift to deliver his mission.
However, a Marxist like late Comrade Ola Oni in line with the argument of Karl Marx submits that suffering and success are organically linked; for one must suffer to succeed. While the belief system of a race cannot be rubbished without foundation in fool-proof fact; experience has shown that life is a mixture of both, for the destiny of a child can only be fulfilled if such an individual engages the nature on the given and asserts his best in any given situation.
Born on August 8, 1965, Najeem Folasayo Salaam hails from Ejigbo. There was no peculiar circumstance to his birth, though he lost his mother at age of two and his father whilst he was ten; his mother elder sister fondly called iya agba raised him and his younger sister with utmost care and he had a promising childhood. What defined his childhood was that he courted so many friends as a young man, he has the habit of
offering his ration of food for others to share. So, he seemed to have exhibited the traits of generosity and love for others, live and let live” from the threshold of his life.
Najeem Salaam attended Ansar ul Deen primary school, Ejigbo; Baptist High School, Ola-Ejigbo; Baptist High School, Ejigbo and proceeded to the then Oyo State School of Science and Arts, Ile-Ife for his ‘A’ level, before he was admitted to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
where he obtained B. Sc Political Science, M. Sc Political Science and he recently bagged his P. hD in Political Science program at the same university.
Najeem Salaam joined politics in 1995. He started as a follower from the grassroots; he enrolled himself under the political tendency of progressive leaning, under the leadership of Tayo Ilueju who also stocked himself in the Obafemi Awolowo’s school of politics. He signified intention to vie for House of Assembly in 1999, but was persuaded to stand down his ambition for another aspirant on a political calculation, but was later appointed as the Supervisory Councillor for Health, Ejigbo Local Government. By 2003, he won the ticket of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to stand for election as Chairman of Ejigbo Local Government, but failed to make it, due to the hostility of the then ruling party to the opposition. However, he won election to the Osun State House of Assembly in 2007.
By 2009, his election was voided by the Court of Appeal which held in Ibadan upon the petition filed a candidate of Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) who claimed that her party logo was not included in the ballot paper used for 2007 legislative election in Ejigbo state constituency. The court called for rerun election but the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) brought “war” and glaring compromise to Ejigbo and Najeem Salaam became a victim.
Against all odds, he was re-nominated for 2011 election and won with moonslide.
MANTLE OF LEADERSHIP
By 2011, Hon. Najeem Salaam returned to the state House of Assembly and he was elected Speaker unanimously. By 2012, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam was selected by the 35 Speakers of the state Houses of Assembly in Nigeria to lead Conference of Speakers and midwife the conference into a democratic structure, which he did with finesse within six months.
Speaker Najeem Salaam was returned again in 2015 and he was re-elected as the Speaker as well. He has since become a honest broker, stabilizing the state with his go-between among disputing parties and House of Assembly under his watch has been able to fix broken system in so many respects. Under his watch, the House of Assembly has passed over 50 laws, over 45 resolutions and four public hearings coupled with interventions in different areas.
WHAT DEFINES RT. HON. NAJEEM SALAAM?
A leader is made when an ordinary human being weathers through a storm that perishes dreams and shatters aspirations, because life is a raft of survival of the fittest. Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam seems to have gone through rough edges of life; he had failed, he had suffered and he had won many of his battles. In pleasure and principalities, he has been able to maintain dignified humility and humanitarian principle he has chosen to live.
He is a man of many first- for the first time, Ejigbo where he hails puts forward a candidate for three elections; he broke the glass ceiling with his all inclusive approach to politics. For the first time, Osun Assembly has a rancour free session in two dispensations. For the first time, Osun is witnessing a legislature with highest numbers of laws under the watch of a Speaker. For the first time, Osun witnesses unprecedented infrastructural development approved by the state legislature under the leadership of a Speaker who appears to have conquered his greed and for the first time, Osun Assembly complex is witnessing unprecedented infrastructural sprig-up: e-library, state of art chamber, upgraded House of Assembly service commission office, befitting event garden and attractive religious outlets; making the complex to become a tourist site.
Despite the fact that he is endowed with intimidating physique and academic credentials, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam possesses unparalleled disarming humility, sprawling native wisdom and rare generosity; virtues that have made him tick as a politician with a difference. He is a colourful humanist whose stock in trade is to make people around smile in all situations, even in the face of daunting challenges. The aforementioned virtues made his friends and associates to call him IWALOYE- good character is royalty.
Besides, Rt. Hon. Najeem Folasayo Salaam has made critical interventions on local, national and international debates and issues: 2012: GOVERNANCE AS SOCIAL ENGINEERING at Presidential Merit Award of National Engineering Conference, Ilorin, Kwara state; THIS DEMOCRACY
MUST NOT FAIL at the inauguration of elected officials of Conference of Speakers of State legislature, Abuja; LET THE HARVEST OF DIVIDENDS PROCEED at the 2013 budget presentation on the floor of Osun State House of Assembly; RESTORING CREDIBILITY OF JOURNALISM at the 2014
Special lecture and Award organized by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kwara state council; CHANGE PROJECT: ENDING CORRUPTION, ENSURING PROSPERITY, 2015; LET’S REWORK OUR MATHEMATICS at the inauguration of
the sixth Assembly 2015; THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTARIAN IN NATION
BUILDING, 2016; DON’T BE NEUTRAL ON EDUCATION-at reunion of OAU alumni
international 2017; OUR PATH IS STILL SOLID, an open letter to people of Osun after the rerun election of Senatorial west of Osun state; MIGRANT SMUGGLING AND CHILD LABOUR, at the 2017 Nigeria Immigration Service, Osun State Command, et al.
OFFICIAL TRIPS, LEGISLATIVE EXPERIENCES AND ASSIGNMENT
Rt. Hon. Salaam has visited many cities of the Western world for legislative exchange and assignments- He attended a brief legislative class at London School of Economics and Political Science; he had
undertaken a study-tour at United Kingdom Parliament, Westminster, London; he had attended legislative assignment in Tanzania, Brazil, United States of America, Ghana, Malaysia, United Arab Emirate to mention but few.
Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam is a man of many accolades, he garners 65 awards from educational institutions of Higher Learning; he earns 50 leadership awards across social organizations and groups, he was honoured by religious institutions across board ranging from Baptist
Church, Ansar ul Deen mosque et al; he is the Asiwaju Adeen of Ejigboland and as prophet who is honoured at home, Alumni
International of his alma mata, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 2013 bestowed on him- Grand Commander of Great Ife (GCI) among other accolades.