The leadership of the 8th Oyo State House of Assembly has emerged but contrary to expectations, Accord with the second highest members failed to clinch the minority leadership . Rotimi Agboluaje in Ibadan examines the power play and horse trading that led to the emergence of a member of labour party as a minority leader.
After predictions and permutations by numerous analysts, both arm chair and realistic, the Eighth oyo state House of Assembly eventually elected its Speaker and other principal officers on June l0, 20l5. Honourable Michael Adeyemo from Ibarapa East state constituency emerged as the speaker. Though the University of Ibadan trained legal luminary was not given much media hype, those who know the inner working of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were very emphatic that the Baptist Church youth pas- tor would clinch the number three post in the Pacesetter State.
Hon. Adeyemo (Ibarapa East), who is serving his second term was nominated by Hon. Kehinde Subair( APC, Ibadan South West ll).
In the same vein, the House also elected Hon. Musa Abdulwasiu (Saki West) as its deputy speaker.
Also elected on Wednesday was Hon. Kehinde Subair (APC, Ibadan South-West 1) as Majority leader, Hon. OlusegunAjanaku (APC, Ibadan South West ll) as Chairman, Parliamentary Caucus.
At the first sitting, members also elected Prince Wasiu Olafisoye Akinmoyede (APC Lagelu) as Chief Whip.
However, when it was the turn of electing the minority leader there was a mild drama which nearly resulted into an open confrontation between opposing lawmakers.
The House was thrown into confusion when Hon. Muideen Olagunju (Accord, Oyo East/ Oyo West) moved against a motion to elect Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo (Labour Party, Oorire).
Olagunju, in his argument noted that un- der normal circumstances, his party, Accord, which has eight members as against Labour Party with six members is supposed to produce the minority leader. The ruling APC had 18 members in the 32-member House.
His party men, including Hon. Ademo- laIge (Accord, Ibadan South East 1), Hon. Adeniyi Adeoye (Accord, Ibadan North East 2) and Hon. Olusegun Olaleye (APC, Ibadan North 2), supported Olagunju supported him. Olaleye cited one of the House rules as he warned the speaker not to start his regime with crisis.
Another Accord member also urged the speaker and his colleagues to search their conscience, pointing out that Accord ought to produce the minority leader and accused the APC of wanting to shortchange the largest opposition party in the state.
After much argument and counter argument, the Speaker displayed uncanny mettle and leadership abilities by calling for voting among the legislators to resolve the impasse.
The suggestion saved the House from starting on a shaky platform.
The aftermath of the election which saw Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo garnering 21 votes as against his rival Hon. Muideen Olagunju who got 9 votes. At the end, Hon. Joshua OlagunjuOjo (Labour party, Oorire) emerged as the minority leader.
Expectedly, electing a minority leader from the Labour Party did not go down well with Accord. This made the party to pick holes in the constitution of the eighth assembly.
In a statement made available to The UNION by the of Director General,Ladoja Campaign Organization, Adeleke Abra- ham Adeolu in Ibadan,the party said it is illegal and unconstitutional to ‘give’ the minority leader post to the LP with just six members in the House.
According to the party,”Our attention has been drawn to the elections of the Principal Officers in the Oyo State House of Assembly which took place on the 10th of June, 2015 in particular, the election of the minority leader which could be described to be illegal and unconstitutional.
“We noted with dismay the overnight change of the rule of the House in order to pave the way for the Labour Party with six members in the House to take the position of the minority leader against Accord which has eight members in the House of Assembly.
“Both law and common sense dictate that the party that is next to the party with the majority members in the House always present or nominate a member for the position of the minority leader. While in this case, APC has 18 members; Accord has eight members while Labour Party has six members.
“We are aware that a leader in the Labour Party collaborated with the State Governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi to perpetrate illegality in the House of Assembly as a result of financial and political patronage coupled with the promise to withdraw the EFCC case against the said Labour Party leader, who always derives joys in betraying trust . We are not surprised with the action of the APC led government to perpetrate illegality since the same government came into existence through fraud and malpractices”.
The party said the purported victory of the APC both in the State and House of As- sembly is transient and ephemeral as Accord as a party will use the instrumentality of law to retrieve its stolen mandates.
It used the medium to dispel the rumours that Sen. RashidiLadoja has withdrawn his petition from the Tribunal, saying :”The pe- tition of Sen. Rashidi Ladoja is pending at the Oyo State Electoral Tribunal”.
The party emphasized that Ladoja should not betray the trust and confidence of the good people of Oyo State who overwhelmingly voted for him as he remains the only hope of the state.
The party advised ,”the State Governor, Sen. AbiolaAjimobi to be concerned with the sufferings of the people of the state rather than hiring over eight Senior Advocates to defend his questionable mandate.
Spending huge sum of money from the state coffers to defend his stolen mandate while civil servants are owned several months’ salaries, and pensioners groaning under severe hardship, it’s a mark of a government that has lost all sense of responsibility to the people. We urge him to tend to the peoples need instead of looking for ways to make himself as an emperor”.
Though it may be difficult to predict the outcome of the plan of Accord to seek redress through the courts, what appear certain for now is the fact that the preelection battle between the ruling ACP and Senator Rashidi Ladoja led Accord still have an axe to grind, more so when the latter has filed a case in the election tribunal to challenge the victory of Governor Ajumobi.