There were protests on Monday afternoon at the Lagos State House of Assembly as a ranking member of the House and former Deputy Speaker, Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, rejected the chairmanship of a committee given her by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.
Though she openly rejected the chairmanship of the committee by making the announcement at the chamber, it was learnt that she is not alone in this protest.
The drama happened after the Majority Leader of the House had called for an adjournment till next week Monday because of the town hall meeting which all lawmakers would be holding with their constituents starting from Tuesday.
Just before he rose from his seat, the Speaker brought out a jotter in which the committees and the chairmen had been listed.
After reminding the lawmakers that he recently announced committees, Obasa emphasised the importance of oversight functions being part of the duties of the Assembly.
He disclosed that he was announcing the chairmen of the committees but advised that “the committees should be used in the interest of the government, the people, the state and the House and not for pecuniary reasons.”
He listed the committees and chairmen as follows:
•Selection Committee to be chaired by Speaker Obasa Mudashiru Ajayi
•Business Rules and Standing Orders chaired by Majority Leader Sanai Agunbiade
•Ethics, Protocols and Privileges to be chaired by Rotimi Abiru
•House Service to be chaired by Rasheed Makinde
•Public Accounts (State) to be chaired by Moshood Oshun
•Public Accounts (Local) to be chaired by Bisi Yusuff
•Agriculture to be chaired by Kazeem Raheem
•Economic Planning and Budget to b e chaired by Rotimi Olowo
•Education to be chaired by Lanre Ogunyemi
•Science and Technology to be chaired by Nurudeen Solaja
•Establishment, Training and Pension to be chaired by Adedayo Famakinwa
•Energy and Mineral Resources to be chaired by Folajimi Mohammed
•Waterfront Infrastructure Development to be chaired by Gbolahan Yishawu
•Physical Planning and Urban Development to be chaired by Setonji Davide
•Transportation to be chaired by Fatai Mojeed
•Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives to be chaired by Oladele Adekanye
•Women Affairs and Poverty alleviation to be chaired by Moji Lawal
•Works and Infrastructure to be chaired by Tobun Abiodun
•Wealth Creation and Employment to be chaired by Sola Giwa
•Finance to be chaired by Yinka Ogundimu
•Health to be chaired by Segun Olulade
•Home Affairs to be chaired by Olayiwola Olawale
•Tourism, Arts and Culture to be chaired by Desmond Olusola Elliot
•Youths and Social Development to be chaired by Kasunmu Adedamola
•Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions, LASIEC to be chaired by Adefunmilayo Tejuoso.
•Lands to be chaired by Bayo Oshinowo
•Housing to be chaired by Ibrahim Layode
•Information and Strategy to be chaired by Tunde Buraimoh
•Central Business District to be chaired by Victor Akande
•Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations to be chaired by Sokunle Hakeem
•Local Government and Community Affairs to be chaired by Kazeem Alimi
After the announcement, the Speaker said: “these are the committees. Once again, I thank you all. I rise”
However, as he made attempt to rise, Tejuosho quickly took to the microphone saying: “Mr. Speaker, before you rise, I need to let you know this; I want to turn down that Committee on Judiciary.
“I feel that there is no regard for me in this House. And I will not be victimised.”
While she said this, Obasa walked pass her and others out of the chamber.
Our correspondent noted that while some of the lawmakers were excited, some others, especially the old lawmakers are not happy as some of them got committees considered less juicy.
“Can you imagine that 14 new lawmakers got committees out of the 32 committees and some of these committees are very important while some of us got nothing but shock?”
“I know in the coming days, some of my colleagues would reject theirs too even though the Speaker has told us that the list arose from a meeting with stakeholders,” one of the grieving members told our correspondent.