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Ondo 10th Speakership: Why the North and South Should Stop the Scheming

Ondo 10th Speakership: Why the North and South Should Stop the Scheming As the 9th Assembly in Ondo State rounds off legislative activities and th

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Ondo 10th Speakership: Why the North and South Should Stop the Scheming

As the 9th Assembly in Ondo State rounds off legislative activities and the 10th prepares to take their seats in a matter of days, there have been all sorts of scheming and under-hand orchestrations within the ruling party. The strategic moves are not unexpected in a time like this though, concerns are mounting within the party that the maneuvers are creating sharp divisions in the ranks of legislators.

The ensuing divisions among the newly elected house of assembly members and the bickering trading it have begun to generate ripples, particularly on the question of whether the new speaker should be a returnee or new member of the house. This issue is also been heatedly debated by the public and has generated diverse opinions.

Many have argued that the idea of limiting the choice of speaker or house leadership to returning legislators is not is sacrosanct. It is argued that the idea of restricting the position to the returnees is the creation of the parliament and not a provision under the constitution. Some have also asked what happens in a situation where all the assembly members are new comers or where the zone that should produce the position has no returnee?

As the public watch the ongoing squabble, it is believed that it would be very difficult, if not impossible for returnees to produce the next speaker with only four members while the new members has the overwhelming majority of 22 out of 26 members. There have also been allegations in this regard that the governors’son, Babajide Akeredolu is backing a new member, Tope Komolafe from Ifedore Local Government Area for the speakership position against existing standing rules, against the ambition of the returning members of the house.

As things stand now, questions are being asked as to the magic the returnees would perform with only four returnees, who are Oluwole Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi (Owo 1); Oladiji Olamide (Ondo East); Ololade Gbegudu (Okitipupa II, APC); and Abayomi Akinruntan (Ilaje I). Unless the returnees are able to lobby the new sufficiently and possibly divide their camp, it would be really tough to outwit them on the game as of now since they are not likely to cheaply give up the position to the few old members. Meanwhile, people also ask what becomes of the standing rules if the next speaker happens to be a new member.

However, there is the latest scheming among the returnees which is currently attracting public angst and may cause the group whatever is left of public sympathy, and it is the plan being hatched by Hon Oluwole Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi, member representing Owo constituency 1, to be the Speaker of the 10th Assembly. Ogunmolasuyi, we are reliably informed, plans a joint ticket with Abayomi Akinruntan (Ilaje Constituency 1) as Deputy Speaker, the duo have been reported to be dropping the governor’s name in favour of the new plan. Though people believe that the governor would not possibly support having the speaker from his own senatorial district as alleged. Already, the Governor has declared that he would not interfere in the business of the legislative arm of the government and he is known a man who keeps his words. What remains to be seen in this case is the possibility of having the governor and the speaker of the state from the same community and senatorial district.

On which part of the state should produce the next Speaker of the House?
The people expect and believe that the Central Senatorial District should produce the next Speaker of the Assembly, wether it’s a returnee or new since the north and south discricts currently have the Governor and Deputy Governor, but it is not also untrue that the citizens of the state wants a speaker they can be proud of. It is believed in some quarters that the last Assembly cannot boast of outstanding legislators. Many lost interest in the house long ago because of their lukewarm approach to issues of public interests.

But wether from the old or new camp, the people want a better legislature this time. They crave for competent leadership in the 10th assembly from any part of the Central Senatorial District, but definitely not from the district of the Governor or the Deputy Governor. They are against the repeated foisting of mediocrity on citizens. The intelligence, civility, exposure and capability of the candidate takes greater priority than
sympathies of standing rules, new or ranking excuses and such related pretenses. The people are watching the legislators who are believed to be mentally sound and know their onions, to prove their capability to deliver public expectations.

Abass Emiloju is a public analyst based in Akure.

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