A titanic battle of wits and politricking is currently going in the Lagos State House of Assembly in particular and the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over who replaces the incumbent Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sabit Adeyemi Ikuforiji.
At the centre of the titanic battle are: the most experienced lawmaker ever in the history of the state and current Deputy Speaker, Honourable Musbau Kolawole Taiwo, Ajeromi-Ifelodun State Constituency 1; former Deputy Speaker and most experienced female lawmaker in Lagos State history, Princess Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, Mushin State Constituency 1; another experienced lawmaker and Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Honourable Mudasiru Obasa, Agege State Constituency 1; the Assembly Chief Whip, Honourable Rasaq Balogun, Surulere State Constituency 2; and Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Health, Honourable Suuru Avoseh, Badagry State Constituency 2.
The current Speaker, Rt. Hon. Sabit Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has signified his intention to go for the governorship seat of the state paving the way for a new Speaker to emerge in the coming 8th Assembly.
Of all the aforementioned contestants, only Balogun from Surulere State Constituency 2, is from the Lagos Central Senatorial District while the res are from the largest single senatorial district in the country, the Lagos West Senatorial District.
For Balogun, thegazellenews.com learnt that his aspiration is being championed by the leadership of the APC in the Lagos Central Senatorial District, allegedly spearheaded by the State Vice Chairman of the party for the senatorial district, Honourable Fouad Oki.
The arguement here is that if the governorship seat is zoned to the Lagos East Senatorial District and the Lagos West gets the Deputy Governorship slot, the Speaker should be zoned to the Lagos Central Senatorial District. And Rasaq Balogun being the most experienced state lawmaker from the district, naturally qualifies for the job.
Balogun is the current Chief Whip of the Assembly, a post he is occupying for the second time having been the Assembly’s Deputy Majority Leader in his first term between 2003 and 2007. He is currently on his third term in the Assembly.
Current Deputy Speaker, Honourable Kolawole Taiwo is the most experienced state lawmaker in Lagos history having been in the Assembly since the commencement of the current democratic dispensation in 1999.
Between then and now, he has served as the Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Education, has been the Majority Leader twice and now current Deputy Speaker. Today, Taiwo is arguably the most influential lawmaker in the Assembly after the Speaker and is well known and respected for his loyalty and commitment to the ideals and rules.
Taiwo’s supporters have launched a serious campaign for him and their slogan is ‘Let Ajeromi Speak For Lagos’.
Mudasiru Ajayi Obasa from Agege State Constituency 1 and a third term lawmaker is one of the most vocal, flambuoyant and influential lawmaker in the state.
He has experience and loyalty at his beck and call. Obasa was chairman of the Assembly Committee on Public Accounts (Local Government) for eight years and currently chairs the Committee on Budget and Economic Planning.
For Obasa’s supporters, Agege where he comes from deserves the position of Speaker and since he is the most experienced state lawmaker from the area, he should naturally be given the position.
Princess Adefunmilayo Tejuoso serving her third term in office is most experienced female state lawmaker in Lagos history, thus, Tejuoso has exprience going for her.
She was the Deputy Speaker dduring her first term and is currently the Chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Finance.
The argument in her favour is that Lagos is ripe to have a female Speaker and being the most experienced, and having once been the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, deserves to be the next Speaker of the Assembly.
For Suuru Avoseh, Badagry deserves Speaker since the area has not really benefited from the state.
There are reports also that the current Deputy Whip of the Assembly, Honourable Rotimi Abiru, Somolu State Constituency 1, is also eyeing the coveted seat. However, his ambition might ended up being still born because he is from Lagos East Senatorial District which has the governorship ticket already.
The positive of the aspiration of these lawmakers is the fact that they relate well with one another, throwing jokes and banters all the time.
However, their ambition may be scuttled by alleged decision of the party leadership not to allow elected political office holders who have served two terms or more not to seek re-election.