Lagos Assembly: New Speaker emerges today

National assembly building

National assembly building

The Lagos Assembly lawmakers and party stalwarts have finally agreed on the Speaker of the Eighth Assembly.

The Assembly, due for inauguration this morning, will have lawmaker representing Agege I Constituency, Mudashiru Obasa, as the new Speaker.

Obasa, who was the House Committee Chairman on Budget and Appropriation in last Assembly, was chosen via a shadow election and endorsed at a caucus meeting chaired by National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Candidates for other principal offices were also agreed at the meeting. Seat of the Deputy Speaker was ceded to Lagos Assembly returnee, Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun, Lagos Island I Constituency. Obasa’s running mate, Rotimi Abiru, Somolu II Constituency, settles for Chief Whip. Deputy Chief Whip will be lawmaker representing Alimoso II Constituency, Omotayo Oduntan.

Lawmaker representing Ikorodu I Constituency, Sanai Agunbiade and his counterpart from Apapa II Constituency, Olumuyiwa Jimoh are the consensus candidates for Majority Leader and Deputy Majority Leader, in that order.

The Guardian gathered that in-house forces fronting for Obasa to succeed Adeyemi Ikuforiji were able to convince Tinubu and other party stalwarts on the ground of zoning formula.

The forces argued that since the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who will inaugurate the House today is already from the Lagos East Senatorial District and his deputy, Dr. Idiat Adebule from Lagos Central, the Speaker should go to Lagos West, which favours Obasa above other contenders.

The national leader, party members and some lawmakers though conceded that Abiru was a better candidate but he would not be Speaker in the interest of political fairness. Abiru was appeased to choose any other principal office, to which he picked seat of the Chief Whip, our sources confirmed.

The position of Deputy Chief Whip was also zoned to the district and in the spirit of gender equality, the member representing Alimoso II Constituency; Oduntan was favoured to be a principal officer in the Eighth Assembly.

At the inauguration today the candidates will formally go for elections to officially confirm their offices. Also billed for contests are the seats of Minority Leader and of its deputy to be contested among eight lawmakers coming on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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