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Ondo inaugurates 10th Assembly today, Lagos, Benue wind down

Forum 3 months ago

The Lagos, Ondo and Benue states Houses of Assembly were dissolved on Friday.

Meanwhile, indications emerged on Friday that the 10th Assembly in Ondo State will be inaugurated today. The Assembly’s Information Officer, Kehinde Adeleye, confirmed this to journalists, saying all was set for the exercise.

Ahead of the inauguration, which will be preceded by the proclamation by the governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), there had been intrigues over the emergence of the next leaders of the House.

Out of 26 lawmakers that would be inaugurated, 22 are members of the governing All Progressives Congress while the remaining four are members of the Peoples Democratic Party. Meanwhile, only four out of the current 26 members are returning while 22 are new members.

Our correspondent gathered that the next Speaker would emerge from among the old members, a development that was said to have caused high-level lobbying among interested members. A source in the Assembly told Saturday PUNCH that the APC leadership in the state was involved in the matter.

The source said, “There is a strong power play going on over who becomes the next Speaker and other principal officers. Lawmakers are lobbying their godfathers to get one position or the other.

“The governor and other party leaders have influence on who becomes the leader of the Assembly, which is why a meeting would be held before the inauguration, where the leadership positions would be decided on by the party leaders.”

It was gathered that the four returning lawmakers, one of whom might be elected as the speaker are, Mr Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi from Owo Constituency 1; Mr Ololade Gbegudu from Okitipupa Constituency 2; Mr Abayomi Akinruntan representing Ilaje 1; and Oladiji Olamide who represents Ondo East Constituency.

Meanwhile, the outgoing speaker, Mr Bamidele Oloyeloogun, denied rumours that he resigned on Friday, as he described it as a rumour and the handiwork of fifth columnists bent on throwing the state into anarchy.

In Lagos State, some returning and new lawmakers on Friday declared their support for the incumbent Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, to remain as Speaker.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr Eromosele Ebhomele, the lawmakers-elect, who were physically present at the sitting, spoke with journalists immediately after the valedictory session presided over by Obasa.

According to the statement, the immediate past Chief Whip of the House, Mojisola Meranda, who spoke on behalf of the returning lawmakers, stated that Obasa would return as the Speaker because of his experience and leadership skills.

She said, “I give it to the Rt. Hon. Speaker Obasa for being able to coordinate 40 members from different backgrounds, religions and even tribes. Obasa is the best man for the job. The experience, capacity and leadership skills are there and I don’t see anybody matching him.”

The statement also quoted the immediate past Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts (local), Mojeed Fatai, as saying, “Mudashiru Obasa is going to speak again in the 10th Assembly. He is a man we have all resolved would lead us. When we started four years ago, all of us were elected from the APC and it was because of his efforts and the way he handled the House. We want him to continue.”

Also, speaking on behalf of the 20 first-term lawmakers-elect, Oladipo Olayinka Ajomale, who will represent Oshodi Isolo 2, stated that he and his colleagues had resolved to support Obasa as Speaker.

Earlier, the Speaker commended the ninth Assembly lawmakers for their support which led to the passing of 46 bills, over 120 resolutions and several regulations. He also presented certificates of meritorious service to the members.

In Benue State, the Assembly was dissolved following the dissolution order issued and read by the Clerk of the House, Bernard Nule.

Nule read the dissolution order of the house during the valedictory session held by members.

The clerk said the dissolution was in accordance with the Benue State House of Assembly dissolution order, section 105 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended), which confers powers on the governor to dissolve the Assembly to pave way for a new leadership.

The speaker of the ninth Assembly, Titus Uba, lauded the performance of members with the procession of 60 bills with 54 passed into law for assent and six expired bills.

Uba explained that 53 motions were taken, out of which 121 resolutions were made to address issues of state and welfare of citizens. He added that 66 reports were received and debated exhaustively with resolutions taken from them.

Members took turns to offer eulogies for the ninth Assembly.

The former Majority Leader, Damian Cheme, said the Assembly was the most productive and peaceful across the country as he appreciated the privilege to serve.

Also, the Minority leader, Bem Mngutyo, called for financial autonomy for the legislature for it to function without interference from the executive.

He commended the Speaker for his leadership skills, which he said united members.

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