Tinubu wades into Lagos House Speaker’s tussle, postpones 8th Assembly inauguration
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has waded into the battle over who becomes the next Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Tinubu, it was gathered, yesterday summoned the sitting lawmakers and APC stalwarts to a meeting on Thursday — the date Eighth Assembly was due to be inaugurated.
Sources at the Assembly, however, confirmed that the Inauguration date has been postponed till Monday, June 8, 2015, to allow the party and lawmakers resolve the all-important issue of a consensus candidate for Speaker.
The national leader’s directive was on the heels of a caucus meeting by some APC stalwarts late Tuesday, Mudashiru Obasa, Agege I Constituency as the next Speaker. Some lawmakers who spoke to The Guardian on condition of anonymity Wednesday recounted that the selection process that produced Obasa was far from transparent and not satisfactory.
Another source close to Tinubu disclosed that the national leader received reports of bribery and arm-twisting by a self-acclaimed king maker and lawmaker in the House, who is allegedly fronting for Obasa.
“He is not happy with the reports at all, and feared that if the situation is not carefully managed, it will plunge the House into a big crisis. Asiwaju has told them to come and meet him as soon as he is back,” the source said.
The contest for who becomes the next Speaker had dragged on for several weeks with six candidates, but now two: Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru and House Committee Chairman on Budget and Appropriation, Obasa. Efforts by the outgoing Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his deputy, Taiwo Kolawole, to resolve the division and present a candidate worsened the situation on Tuesday as they went in opposite direction too.
Kolawole called a meeting of the old members in his Assembly Complex office but about the same time it was going on, Ikuforiji was meeting with another set of lawmakers in his official residence at Joel Ogunnaike Street, GRA, Ikeja.
The Guardian learnt that the outgoing Speaker was rooting for Abiru to succeed him. Kolawole, popularly called Methuselah of the House has preference for Obasa to succeed Ikuforiji.