AS you are reading this, Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, the member representing Agege Constituency I, in Lagos House of Assembly would have been proclaimed the Speaker of the 8th Legislative Session of the Lagos House of Assembly.
Hon. Obasa emerged through consensus between the leadership of the House of Assembly and leadership of the party (APC), when both met on Friday, June 5, 2015, in Abuja. The leadership of the House was represented at the meeting by Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the outgoing Speaker, Rt. Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, the outgoing Deputy Speaker and Hon. Sikiru Adebayo Osinowo a.k.a Pepper. While the leadership of the party was led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader.
The meeting, according to our reliable and impeccable source, lasted till 4.00 a.m of Saturday, June 6, 2015. From the meeting also emerged other principal officers of the Assembly. They are Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni from Lagos Isladn Constituency I, who became the Deputy Speaker designate. Hon. Sanai Agunbiade from Ikorodu Constituency I, became the Majority Leader designate; Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh from Apapa Constituency II who became the Deputy Majority Leader designate; Hon. Rotimi Abiru from Somolu Constituency II, became the Chief Whip and Hon. Tayo Oduntan, the Deputy Chief Whip designate.
HOW OBASA EMERGED
Prior to the emergence of Hon. Mudashiru Obasa as the Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly that Friday, June 5, 2015, there were four other of his colleagues that were jostling for the same position. They were Hon. Funmi Tejuosho from Mushin Constituency I, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni from Lagos Island Constituency, Hon. Rotimi Abiru from Shomolu Constituency II and Hon. Moshood Olanrewaju Oshuwa, from Lagos Mainland Constituency.
The leadership of the House of Assembly led by Hon. Bayo Osinowo was said to have favoured Obasa to emerge the Speaker. He was said to be supported by Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, the outgoing Deputy Speaker.
Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji was said to be behind the candidature of Hon. Rotimi Abiru. Hon. Funmi Tejuosho was said to be supported by Mr. Muiz Banire, the National Legal Adviser of the party, while Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, was said to be supported by Chief Tajudeen Olusi, the Vice Chairman of the party in the state, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi.
By Monday, June 1, 2015, it became clear that Hon. Obasa maybe the next Speaker. This was because most of the 20 returning members were rooting for him. Hon. Bayo Osinowo impressed it on the returning members that Obasa should be their choice. But this did not go down well with Rt. Hon. Ikuforiji who was backing Hon. Abiru, and Hon. Tejuosho who believed she is more qualified than other aspirants.
Hon. Tejuosho specifically called for voting on the floor of the Assembly to determine who the next Speaker would be.
Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni was also said to have called for voting on the floor of the Assembly on the proclamation day to determine who the Speaker should be.
If election had been conducted, many believed that Hon. Eshinlokun-Sanni would have won because he already had 16 out of the 20 new members rooting for him. While the four other candidates would have shared the votes of the remaining 24 members.
ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that Hon. Osinowo prevailed on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the Speakership of Eshinlokun-Sanni will not last if elected. That such situation would create instability in the House of Assembly. He, therefore, appealed to Asiwaju Tinubu to let them resolve the issue among themselves (members).
Asiwaju, therefore, gave Hon. Osinowo the go ahead to resolve the issue. This was the reason the Thursday, June 4, 2015 schedule proclamation of the 8th session, House of Assembly was postponed to Monday, June 8, 2015.
By Thursday, June 4, 2015, Rt. Hon. Ikuforiji and Hon. Osinowo have resolved their differences. Ikuforiji now queued behind Obasa.
The trio – Rt. Hon. Ikuforiji, Rt. Hon. Taiwo and Bayo Osinowo – paid a courtesy visit to the Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to intimate him of the resolution of the House. By Friday, June 5, 2015 evening, the trio left Lagos for Abuja to meet with Asiwaju Tinubu.
On the same Friday, June 5, we gathered that Oba Saheed Elegushi went to Abuja to meet Asiwaju Tinubu on behalf of Hon. Tejuosho. Hon. Tejuosho, we also gathered, got in touch with the Vice President, Mr. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to speak on her behalf with Asiwaju Tinubu. All these emissaries did not impress Asiwaju who told them to allow the House of Assembly resolve their leadership tussle themselves.
It was, therefore, the trio of Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Rt. Hon. Kolawole Taiwo and Hon. Bayo Osinowo with the leadership of the party led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that came up with the list of the new principal officers of the 8th Legislative Session of Lagos House of Assembly.
WHY IKUFORIJI DID
NOT SUPPORT OBASA
It is a well known fact within the Lagos House of Assembly that Hon. Obasa is regarded as one of Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji’s boys (euphemism for his kitchen cabinet members).
It was, therefore, surprising when Ikuforiji pitched his tent with Hon. Abiru and not Hon. Obasa as his successor.
ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that Hon. Ikuforiji did not forgive Obasa for dumping him at the last minute during his governorship ambition. Obasa and Osinowo were said to have prevailed on Rt. Hon. Ikuforiji to step down for Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, when they learnt that the leadership of the party was behind him (Ambode).
Although he (Ikuforiji) did not step down, he went ahead with the primary, where he came third. But he never forgave Obasa for ditching him at the last minute.
Hon. Sikiru Adebayo Osinowo, one of the highest ranking members of the Assembly (others are Hon. Obasa and Tejuosho) is certainly the most influential member of the Assembly since 2003. This is on account of his closeness to Asiwaju Tinubu. He has also been a stability factor within the Assembly since he has been a member.
Before the general elections of April 11, 2015, the arrangement was that Hon. Kolawole Taiwo would be the next Speaker after Ikuforiji, while Hon. Obasa and Hon. Rotimi Abiru would be Deputy Speaker and Majority Leader respectively.
But Hon. Taiwo lost in the election. Automatically, the leadership of the Assembly believed that Obasa who initially agreed with the leadership to step down for Kolawole Taiwo to become Speaker should be the next Speaker, while Rotimi Abiru should be the Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Osinowo was, therefore, taken aback when Abiru insisted he was going for the Speakership despite what he had agreed with. It took a personal visit to Osinowo by Abiru to ask for forgiveness before he was considered for the Chief Whip. If not, he wouldn’t have been given anything.
THE CASE AGAINST
Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho is a high ranking member of the Assembly. She is the only female member who has been in the Assembly since 2003. She is more than qualified to hold a principal office in the House of Assembly. Aside the fact that she is a lawyer (currently pursuing her Ph.D in Law), she is very articulate on the floor of the Assembly. But her albatross was her haughtiness. Many members believed that though she is good on the floor of the Assembly but at the committee level, she is not that effective.
– TOLANI ABATTI