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Edo House of Assembly new Speaker, Adjoto: The king maker who became king

By Nelson Dafe, Benin City on 18/08/2017

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•Edo’s new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Kabiru Adjoto
•Edo’s new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Kabiru Adjoto

 Those following Edo State House of Assembly politics over the years since 1999 would be fascinated by the many number of leadership crises that have engulfed the state's law making arm of government. Impeachments of House of Assembly Speakers is as many as, if not far more than, any notable law the Assembly has made since 1999.

On Monday August 14, yet another chapter of a Speaker being overthrown by fellow assemblymen played itself out at the House floor located in the city centre of Benin, capital of Edo State.

Erstwhile Speaker Justin Okhonobor had barely begun addressing the House when one of the legislators began reading out his impeachment. What followed has been a much viewed spectacle on YouTube as the Speaker’s chair was forcefully taking from under him by a member representing Etsako 11 Constituency, Silvanus Eruaga, who, after exchanging blows with a resisting Okhonobor faithful, sat as Speaker pro tempore.

A little later, Kabiru Adjoto (APC), member representing Akoko Edo 1 constituency, was elected Speaker by the 19 members who pushed Okonoboh out.

The allegation against Okhonobor by the 19 legislators who ousted him bothered on gross abuse of office, just as other impeached Speakers of the House were accused of.

Since the APC gained majority control of the American Edo's legislature just after they won the state from rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through the immediate past Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, one name that has been a recurring decimal in Edo House of Assembly crisis is Kabiru Adjoto.

The Edo north-born Muslim, popularly called Kabiyesi by colleagues in the House has always been at the forefront of either displacing a Speaker or making sure that one is not displaced as observed when the PDP was hell bent on removing former Speaker, Uyi Igbe in 2014, a move that was widely viewed in the state then, as a precursor to the impeachment and removal of then Governor Oshiomhole.

Just last year, former Speaker, Victor Edoror (APC) was kicked out and Adjoto was the voice of those that overthrew him, making announcements on Edoror’s alleged misdemeanours.

Tall, lanky and fair complexioned, Adjoto appears on TV cameras fighting verbally, involved in physical brawls and arguing out his points during the numerous crises that engulfed the House in the past. He’s hard to miss when there’s a big fight in the Assembly. In fact, he’s never been known to have lost out on a big struggle within the legislature. Such is his perceived political clout in Edo State.

An otherwise quiet fellow, Adjoto is noted for his firmness of character. He is said to loathe ostentatious behaviour. Speaking about why Okhonobor was removed as Speaker, Adjoto cited the former Speaker’s disregard for the sanctity of the Speaker’s position.

“In June and July we went on holidays for six weeks without any reason; In July ending in August, another holiday for two weeks. Now, we went for holidays for three weeks just because his son graduated from Covenant University and he wanted to be there to celebrate with his son.

“Secondly, we are 24 members in the Edo State House of Assembly. Any decision we take in the House, the wife who is the 25th member will vet it before it becomes law. He now raised a memo. They travelled for a party in America for their son that graduated from Covenant University; they were using the Speaker’s vehicle in convoy within Edo State and outside the state. The children who are home were using his serene with full Speaker’s regalia.

“So we need somebody who will respect the sanctity of the office of the Speaker, somebody who will think Edo people first, who will make laws for the people of the state and I know that I will not disappoint our people,” Adjoto said.

So now, the kingmaker has become king. But will he stay for long in the throne himself given the oft-unstable nature of the House?

Already there are rumours making the rounds that Adjoto’s ascension to the speakership of the house is just a stop gap to returning the position to Victor Edoror, an Esan man from Edo central, a geographical part of the state where the position of Speaker is said to have been zoned to by the APC.

So, will the kingmaker who has become king relinquish his throne and become kingmaker soon again?

KABIRU ADJOTO: A brief profile 

Hon. Kabiru M. Adjoto was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Rabiyu Adjoto in Ikakumo Village of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.

He had his secondary education at G.S.S Koton Karfi, Kogi State and Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto for a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography.

He was elected on the platform of the ACN for a second term,

Hon. Adjoto was re-elected in 2015 on the platform of the APC for a third term. He was elected by the House as Deputy Whip on 8th June, 2015.

When the leadership of the House was change on 3rd May, 2016 he was elected by the House as the Chief Whp.

He has chaired different committees such as the House Committee on Information, Youth and Sports, Appropriation, etc. He is married with children.

 

Source News Express

Posted 18/08/2017 11:14:52 AM

 

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