For Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, this may be his best chance to end his long wait to become Lagos State governor.
Just as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is running from pillar to post to salvage his already damaged relationship with core party members, Hamzat might feel it’s time to take advantage of the incumbent’s mistakes.
So far, Ambode and party members’ favourite Babajide Sanwo-Olu are the leading candidates for the party’s sole governorship slot ahead of the 2019 election.
Hamzat, who has been waiting on the sidelines for long, has joined in the race by declaring his ambition to direct the affairs of the state. It is not the first time he would aim to become governor, as he tested his popularity among Epe indigenes against Ambode in the lead up to the 2015 poll.
Who is Femi Hamzat?
Hamzat was born 53 years ago on September 19.
His father, Olatunji Hamzat, was well known and respected in Lagos politics, serving as a Commissioner for Transportation in the state between 1979 and 1983. His mother, Alhaja Amudalat Kehinde Hamzat, died in June 2016, aged 75.
Hamzat prides himself on being a qualified Engineer.
He obtained a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Ibadan in 1986. He would later obtain an MSc. in Crop Processing Engineering in 1988 and a Ph.D. in System Process Engineering 1992.
He has worked with a host of international companies including RTP Consulting Services, Columbia University, Merrill Lynch Inc, Morgan Stanley and Oando Plc.
Public Office Experience
Like his running mates, Hamzat is not new to politics in the state.
He was, in August 2005, appointed Commissioner for Science and Technology during the tenure of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He then served in the same capacity during former governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration.
During this time, Hamzat was lauded for enforcing the application of modern technology in the state’s ministries. The move was said to have positively impacted the state’s ability to keep data and record of important events and people.
He was later saddled with the office of the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure during Fashola’s second term in office.
Hamzat has been duly recognised for his contributions to the state’s development. He was voted winner of the fifth edition of the Lagos State Man of the Year Awards in September 2013.
A discord between Ambode and Tinubu which has dominated headlines in recent weeks appears to have thrust Sanwo-Olu at the forefront of the race, especially as he has been reported to have the backing of the APC leader, but Hamzat will be hoping to gain key party members’ support.
In the lead up to the 2015 poll, he had sought, albeit controversially, to represent the Epe constituency. And as it becomes increasingly uncertain that Ambode would be given the mandate for a second term, Hamzat could make a case for himself for the party to allow the constituency complete its 8-year term.
This post was first published on Newsroom.ng