Disquiet in Lagos Assembly, APC over plan to deny Obasa Speakership

Posted by Temidayo Akinsuyi | 1 April 2019 | 710 times

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 There is anxiety in the Lagos State House of Assembly and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over moves by some power-brokers in the state to ensure that Mudashiru Obasa, the incumbent Speaker, does not retain his position in the ninth Assembly, Daily Independent has gathered.

The move, it was gathered, is allegedly being bankrolled by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, lawmaker representing Lagos Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly and wife of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos and National Leader of the APC.

Obasa, who has been re-elected for a fifth term to represent Agege Constituency 1, was elected speaker in June 2015.

His election as speaker in 2015 raised a lot of dust owing to the zoning arrangement.

Since the outgoing governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, hails from Epe in Lagos East Senatorial District, and his deputy, Idiat Adebule, comes from Lagos West in Ojo axis, some expected that the speaker would emerge from Lagos Central Senatorial District, thus balancing the political equation in the state.

Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, the current Deputy Speaker, who is representing Lagos Island constituency 1, was being touted as the number three man in the state.

However, against all odds, Obasa who hails from Lagos West emerged the speaker while Eshilokun became his deputy.

With the elections over and both Obasa and Eshilokun-Sanni re-elected, many have assumed that Obasa will retain his position but the opposing forces allegedly believe that Obasa’s return as speaker could pose a threat to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor-elect of the state.

Our source, a member of the Governors’ Advisory Council (GAC), also said Senator Oluremi Tinubu is rooting for Eshilokun-Sanni’s emergence as the next speaker.

“The plot is real. They are plotting to remove Obasa as speaker and the move is being bankrolled by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who is seriously working to install Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni as speaker.

“If you recall, Eshilokun-Sanni contested against Obasa in 2015 but was prevented from becoming the speaker. Those behind the move are afraid that Eshilokun is closer to Ambode and that was why he was denied speakership in 2015.

“But this time around, there is a serious move to ensure that Obasa is not returned as speaker. They believe his remaining speaker won’t favour Sanwo-Olu, the governor-elect.

“Remi Tinubu was a key factor in how Sanwo-Olu emerged and she believes Eshilokun-Sanni will give the incoming governor all the cooperation he deserves.

“In the last few days, there have been petitions written against the speaker to Asiwaju Tinubu, all to paint him black and to discredit him so that Tinubu will not support his return,” our source said.

Speaking to our correspondent, one of the aides of Obasa, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were aware of the plot against the speaker but added that they were confident that he would be returned because he performed creditably well, and also enjoys the support of his colleagues, majority of whom have been re-elected to the House.

He added that Obasa, who is currently out of the country, is not losing sleep over the development.

“To be frank with you, let me not deny the fact that we have heard about the plot, but I can assure you that we are not in anyway ruffled.

“We are confident that the speaker has performed well enough to be re-elected by his colleagues in the next political dispensation.

“This is a man who initiated the Constituency Stakeholders’ meeting every year which provides opportunity for the constituents to interact with their representatives. The reports from these meetings form part of what is used in the budget.

“When you talk of the bills he initiated, he initiated the Neighbourhood Watch Bill; he is also the initiator of the Anti-Kidnapping Bill, as well as the promotion of Yoruba Language in public schools in Lagos State.

“For the first time ever, the plenary session of the House is being streamed live. There is no parliament where that is done in Nigeria.

“Under Obasa’s purposeful leadership, the Lagos Assembly is only second to South Africa in the whole of Africa.

“Don’t also forget, when the 8th Assembly was inaugurated in June 2015, we had eight PDP lawmakers, but now we have just one.

“Obasa ensured the defection of the remaining seven lawmakers to APC. If you listen to the seven lawmakers, they said they decided to join the APC because of Obasa’s leadership qualities.

“His colleagues from the 36 states of the federation also elected him as their chairman. That goes to show you how popular and acceptable Obasa is, not only among his colleagues but also all over the country.”

 “There is no cause for alarm. We will cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.

Sourced from a Daily Independent report


Source: News Express

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