Politics, Seat of Power

Who becomes the next Lagos Speaker

THE issue of who becomes the next Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly has been on even before the Saturday, April 11, 2015 states House of Assembly elections.

Now that the elections has been done with, the picture is becoming clearer who the next Speaker will be.

Historically, the governorship, deputy governorship and the Speakership has always been rotated among the three senatorial districts – Lagos Central, Lagos East and Lagos West senatorial districts.

In 1999, the governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu was from Ikeja in Lagos West senatorial district, the deputy governor, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele was from Eti-Osa in Lagos Central senatorial district (even her successor in 2002 Otunba Femi Pedro was from Lagos Central senatorial district) and the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olorunnimbe Adeleke Mamora was from Lagos East senatorial district.

The situation remained so in 2003, when Mamora, left the House of Assembly for the Senate.  His successor, Rt. Hon. Jokotola Pelumi was from Epe, Lagos East senatorial district.

In 2005, when Pelumi was removed, his successor, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Sabit Ikuforiji also came from Epe in Lagos East senatorial district.

In 2007, when Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) came in from Surulere in Lagos Central senatorial district, the deputy governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, came in from Ojo in Lagos West senatorial district.  The Speakership still held by Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji remains in Epe in Lagos East senatorial district.

In 2011, Fashola remained the governor while Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire became the deputy governor from Alimosho in Lagos West senatorial district.  Of course, the Speaker, who though contested from Ikeja in Lagos West senatorial district was for political expediency.  He was and still operated throughout his tenure from Epe in Lagos East senatorial district.

In 2015, the balancing act by the leadership of the party among the three senatorial districts is certainly not likely to change.

Already, the governor-elect, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode is from Epe in Lagos East senatorial district and the deputy governor-elect, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule is from Ojo in Lagos West senatorial district.

Therefore, we can say unequivocally that the next Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly is coming from Lagos Central senatorial district.  And if feelers we are getting is anything to go by precisely from Lagos Island.

But let us take a look at members of the 8th legislative session of the Assembly, who are from Lagos Central senatorial districts.

From Apapa Local Government Area, we have Lusbat Mojisola Lawal from Constituency I who is a new member.  By the House rule, a new member cannot contest for the Speakership.

There is Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh from Constituency II.  He is a second timer.  But so far he has not indicated interest in the Speakership.

From Eti-Osa Local Government Area, we have Hon. Kazeem Ademola Alli from Constituency I.  He is going for second term but so far he has not indicated interest in the Speakership.

There is Hon. Gbolahan Olusegun Yishawu, from Constituency II.  He is also coming in for the second time.  He has shown interest in the Speakership.  We gathered he has been campaigning underground even before the election.  We doubt it very much if the leadership of the party and most members will support his ambition.

From Lagos Mainland Local Government Area comes Hon. Oladele Adekanye from Constituency I.  He is a new member and not eligible to contest.

Hon. Moshood Olanrewaju Oshun from Constituency II is coming to the House as a third timer.  He is more than qualified and eligible to contest.  He has the pedigree.  His brother, Hon. Wale Oshun, a former House of Representatives member is a prominent leader of the party.  The leadership of the party and the other members will certainly determine his fate.

From Lagos Island Local Government Area comes Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun from Constituency I.  He is a second timer but with a difference.  He was in the House last in 1999-2003. From a reliable source, we gathered that he was specifically instructed by the leadership of the party to drop his pen as the General Secretary of the party (APC), in the state to contest for this House of Assembly election.

He contested the party primary and won.  The hiccup he had before the election which led to litigation was a booby-trap on his way by those who knew what he was coming to do in the Assembly.  Certainly, the leadership of the party is behind him going by the feelers we are getting.  Getting the other APC members to vote for him is herculean task for the leadership of the party now.

If my hunch is anything to go by, he may emerge the next Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly.

There is Shakirudeen Giwa from Lagos Island Constituency II.  He is a new member and so not eligible to contest for the Speakership.

From Surulere Local Government Area, which is the last of the five local government areas in Lagos Central senatorial district, comes Mr. Desmond Elliot from Constituency I.  He is a new member and not eligible to contest.

Mrs. Mosunmola Sangodara-Rotimi will be representing Surulere Constituency II in the Assembly.  Aside the fact she is a new member, she belongs to the opposition party (PDP). She is, therefore, not eligible to contest for the Speakership.

Going by this analogy, the Speakership is among these three, Hon. Gbolahan Olusegun Yishawu, Hon. Moshood Olanrewaju Oshun and Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni.

  TOLANI ABATTI

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