Abike Kafayat Oluwatoyin Dabiri-Erewa, is one of the very popular journalists in Nigeria that successfully took up a political career. She was among the best hands that worked at Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in the 1990s. She was born in Jos, Plateau State. She is a politician and former member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Constituency in Lagos State. She was the Chairman of the House Committee on Media & Publicity. Abike was also the former Chair of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs. She was elected for the first time in 2003, and re-elected in 2007 and 2011
In 2015 She was appointed as the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora
Abike had an outstanding career as a media professional that spanned years before she joined the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) where she worked for fifteen years. Before joining the NTA where she grew in popularity and rating among television audiences in Nigeria, she had worked at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Benin (1984), Bendel Television (1984-1985), Prime Television Lagos (1987-1988). She joined NTA in 1988 where she worked until 2003 when she was elected into the House of Representatives. At NTA, she was popular as anchor of the weekly NTA Newsline programme and taking a particular interest in poverty and social justice issues. She retired from her position at NTA to stand for election in the House of Representatives, winning with a substantial majority. She was among the House of Representatives members that stood against the third term bid of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. She was very vibrant in the House.
Abike attended Maryland Private School, Maryland, Ikeja for her primary school education, and St. Teresa’s College, Ibadan for her secondary education. She obtained her first degree in English Language from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU) Ile – Ife. She obtained a post graduate diploma (PGD) in mass communication and also a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Lagos, Akoka. She also studied in the United States at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Abike was very vibrant in the House of Representatives. She sponsored a number of significant bills that were passed by Parliament. Among these bills are as follows:
The Freedom of Information Bill:
A bill for an act to ensure full integration of Nigerians with physical disabilities and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them.
The Nigerian Infant Health Welfare Bill:(ensuring every child under five receives free medical care)
Nigerian Diaspora Commission Bill:
A bill to repeal Nigerian Press Council Bill and replace it with the Nigerian Press and Journalism Council Bill (strengthening the NPC and promote responsible journalism and protect the welfare of journalists in Nigeria).
Journalism Bill Controversy:
In 2009, Dabiri-Erewa sponsored a bill before the Nigerian National House of Assembly that would grant the freedom to practice journalism only after obtaining certain qualifications. The bill received public criticism, and was seen as an attempt to gag the media. There was a concern that the change would serve to enable tyranny and nepotism since most of the board appointments would be made by the President and/or Government executive members.
In a morning TV program aired on November 30, 2009, Abike denied aiding corruption and hindering media freedom, stating that the bill would serve to professionalise journalism in Nigeria.
Abike was born to the family of Alhaji and Alhaja Ashafa Erogbogbo of Ikorodu. Her father, Alhaji Ashafa Erogbogbo is one of the children of late Alh. Sule Erogbogbo of Adegorunsen Compound, Ajina square, Ita – Agbodo, Ikorodu. Her paternal grandmother, Alhaja Alimotu Erobogbo is from Bello Solebo family of Ita – Elewa Square, Ikorodu. She is married to Segun Erewa. After her first marriage to Dr. Kola Dabiri crashed, she later married Mr. Segun Dabiri-Erewa in 2007.
Abike is an outstanding media practitioner and role model. In 2015 she was listed among the top most influential women in the world.