EROMOSELE EBHOMELE & KAZEEM UGBODAGA
Fourth term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and representative of Agege Constituency 1, Mudashiru Obasa, was on Monday elected as the Speaker for the eighth session of the State Assembly.
His election confirmed an earlier report last week by PMNEWS that Obasa had been endorsed for the position at a meeting of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and members-elect of the House.
Surprisingly, Obasa was proposed as the Speaker by one of his major contenders, Moshood Oshun, representing Lagos Mainland Constituency 2.
Oshun’s motion was seconded by Sola Giwa, a fresh lawmaker for the Lagos Island Constituency 2.
Obasa accepted the nomination at exactly 11:15am Monday.
Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni was nominated and approved for the position of Deputy Speaker of the House by another lawmaker, Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa Constituency 2.
Eshilokun-Sanni, who has a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy and was a member of the House between 1999 and 2003, returned to the House 12 years after taking up various political offices including as Local Government chairman in Lagos State.
Minutes before the election of principal officers, the House was inaugurated by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who said he was doing so as required of him by the Nigerian constitution.
In a short address to inaugurate the House, Ambode congratulated the members on their election and charged them to be good ambassadors of their various constituencies.
“We have a great task, not only in the complexities of governance, but in sustaining the high standard that has been set by both the immediate past legislative and executive arms of government. As you settle down to commence your legislative duties, I seek your support.
“On my part, I am committed to ensuring that all policies of government are legitimized in this hallowed chambers. I will work and collaborate with you and also respect your views and opinions irrespectively of the party that you represent.
“While we must recognise the principle of separation of powers, a cornerstone of the presidential system of government, it is significant to also recognise the imperatives of interdependence among the three arms of government.
“We shall have our moments of deferring opinion and views, however, when such occur, it must always be resolved quickly and in the best interest of our people.”
The governor added: “Distinguished members, this brings me to a very important issue of putting Lagosians at the centre of all our actions.
“As their servants, their opinions must always count. It is in this regard that I urge you to maintain close relationship with your constituencies.
“This is the only way that their aspirations can be gauged and harmonised into laws and policies.
“A great opportunity beckons on our state and our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), providing leadership at the centre.”
Noting that President Muhammadu Buhari, during his campaign tour in Lagos, promised the collaboration and support of the Federal Government in ensuring that Lagos remains a viable commercial hub, Ambode said he would take advantage of that opportunity and also engage the Federal Government “on very pertinent issues that have valuable interest to the ordinary people of Lagos State.
“Dear members, our time is already counting, we need to get down to work and give our people the very best service we can offer. The people of Lagos deserve no less.
“Finally, in line with the provisions of Section 105, Subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Amended in 2010, I have issued and handed over to the Clerk of the House of Assembly, a proclamation for the commencement for the Eighth Assembly of the Lagos State House of Assembly on this 8th Day of June, 2015.
“I wish you all a successful legislative time.”
Other principal officers of the House elected today are: Majority Leader: Sanai Agunbiade; Deputy Leader: Olumuyiwa Jimoh; Chief Whip: Rotimi Abiru and Deputy Whip: Omotayo Oduntan.
The positions of Minority Leader and Deputy Minority Leader would be filled at the next sitting of the House.
Profile of the new speaker
Born 11 November, 1972, Obasa started life as a businessman. He was later elected into the Agege Local Government Council as a councillor between 1999 and 2002.
At the council, he was elected Deputy Leader of the Legislative arm.
After a term as councillor, Obasa became a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2003 to represent Agege Constituency 1
From then, he rose to become the chairman of the Budget Committee of the House.
He also acquired a law degree from Lagos State University, LASU.
Soft spoken and selective in his choice of words, Obasa cracks jokes a lot in the House.
He has two wives and children.
Some of his colleagues agreed that he is expected to learn on the job and catch up fast to fit into the shoes left behind by Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the immediate past Speaker.