AYOOLA AGBOOLA examines the race to the Lagos House of Assembly number one position as the 8th assembly begins in a couple of weeks.
Since 1999, the Lagos State House of Assembly has continued to maintained its frontline position among the 36 Houses of Assembly. It has remained the pride and reference point of other legislative Houses in the country. The House has remained decisive and categorical in its pronouncements and resolutions. The credit for these notable and remarkable archievements must be given to the leadership.
However, particular reference must be made to the spectacular archievements of the Sixth and the current Seventh Assembly under Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji who has distinguished himself as an accomplished administrator by setting an uncommon standard, which has now become a template for measuring archievements by other State Assembly. He is leaving behind a legacy that even his political enemies will applaud.
But the people of Ikorodu Division who clamoured for the position of governor in the last election, wants the leadership of the party to concede the position to the area. Several groups from the area in the past few weeks have been making a case for the area to produce the next speaker.
They argued that before the emergence of senatorial zone in the country’s political arrangement, Lagos was operating under five divisions, these are: Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland and Epe called IBILE. They stated that with the governor-elect, Akinwunmi Ambode, from Epe division, Dr Adebule Idiat, as Deputy Governor (Badagry Division), and the senatorial seat of Lagos East occupied by an indigene of Epe Division – Senator Bareehu Ashafa, justice demands that Ikorodu Division should be given the necessary support to occupy the number three position in the state.
Mr. Rotimi Erogbogbo, Chairman, Ikorodu Division Solution Alliance (IDSA), said that the people of Ikorodu are supporting Hon. Sanai Agunbiade to become the next speaker of Lagos state House of Assembly because of his sterling qualities as a lawmaker. Erogbogbo contended that the people of Ikorodu believe that Agunbiade who has been in the House of Assembly since 2007 has represented the people very well and should be given the best support to lead the house as speaker.
“We are not clamouring or agitating for the position of speakership but making case for Agunbiade because he has the best quality to lead the house in 2015.”
When the League of Ikorodu Journalists paid a victory visit to the member, House of Assembly representing Ikorodu 1 constituency, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, in Ikorodu, they did not hide their feelings when they told him that judging by the way he has represented the people of Ikorodu Constituency 1 in the House for the past two terms, he is capable of becoming the next Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly.
Though Agunbiade did not doubt his competence in handling the office, he said he never schemed for any position in his life. He declared that his interest is to ensure that a competent person who can surpass the achievement of the outgoing speaker, Rt. Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, emerges as the next speaker of the state House of Assembly.
“It is a glaring fact that Hon S.O.B Agunbiade of Ikorodu Constituency 1 is capable of steering the leadership of Lagos State House of Assembly,” the group stated.
Looking at the performance of Ikorodu division in the last general elections, where the division came fourth among the 20 local government areas in terms of total votes cast for APC, former Secretary to Lagos State Government during the administration of Lateef Jakande as governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, said the party has done well and believe the leadership of the party will not overlook when it comes to distribution of political appointments in the state.
Many indigenes of Ikorodu have expressed concern over the inability of the area to have its sons and daughters in prominent positions since the return of democracy in 1999 despite the fact that the area has produced many first and landmark achievers like the Bensons, Awojobi, Onafowokan, Allinson, AOK Noah, Ajetunmobi, Gbadamosi, Comrade Ayodele Elesho, Reuben Olorunfunmi Bashorun, Davies Sunmonu, Olowoshago, Sanni-Mudashiru, Ola Animashaun, Alogba, Anibaba, Abike Dabiri, Adeniran Ogunsanya and many more.
Ikuforiji is the longest speaker having served between December, 2005 till date, a period of 10 years. As his tenure winds down. Lagosians are looking forward to the continuation of the legislative excellence of which the House has been known for.
As Lagosians were hoping for this continuity, especially when a fresh character will be at the top of the executive arm of government, this, therefore, has made having not only an experienced member of the House, but one who had been part of the architects of various archievements recorded by the House in recent times at the top level of the House and who had remained a creative member of the think-thank caucus that has offered the best leadership to the House to which Lagosians has become the ultimate beneficiaries inevitable in the next Assembly.
Aspirants for the positions include Mrs Funmi Tejuoso (Mushin), Eshinlokun Sanni (Lagos Mainland) and Hon. Rotimi Lateef Abiru the Shomolu Constituency II. Abiru, the only member of the top caucus, the principal and management officers of the House that was re-elected. This may naturally place on his shoulder the responsibility of overseing the tradition of continuity in the House.