Rotimi Agboluaje in Ibadan looks into the subtle and discreet jostle among elected lawmakers to succeed incumbent speaker of the state House of Assembly
As the 7th Oyo State House of Assembly winds up sin a week’s time, the battle to succeed the incumbent Speaker, Monsurat Sunmonu, has begun discreetly.
Though elections have come and gone, won and lost; now questions in the lips of many political observers and residents of the Pacesetter of Oyo is :Who will be the next Speaker of the eighth assembly? Comprising five zones of Ibadan,Ibarapa, Ogbomoso,Oke-Ogun and Oyo, Oyo State operates a 32-member House of Assembly.
With the All Progressives Congress (APC) winning l8 seats ,a convincing majority ,leaving Accord with 8 and Labour Party with 6 seats, obviously, the party will produce the principal officers of the house of assembly.
With Ibadan zone producing the governor and Oke-Ogun zone already clinched the deputy governor seat, many analyst are of the view that in the name of justice and equity,the two zones are out of the permutation while the remaining three zones are to slug it out with one another for the position of the number two citizen in the state, that of the Speaker. Unfortunately ,the ruling APC had poor showing in Ogbomoso while its performance in Oyo zone was not too impressive. This, coupled with lack of ranking parliamentarians in the zones and poor outing, apparently, they are out of the contest.
Barring any change occasioned by court,the ranking officers in the eighth assembly are Abimbola Akeem from Ibadan North West,Olusegun Olaleye from Ibadan North ll,Kehinde Subair from Ibadan South West l, Olusegun Ajanakun from Ibadan South West ll and Michael Adeyemi from Ibarapa East. However,out of the five ranking members four are from the Ibadan zone,leaving Ibarapa with one, Michael Adeyemo.
Going by the feelers in the state,three returning parliamentarians :Micheal Adeyemo, Olusegun Olaleye and Kehinde Subair are touted as front line candidates to succeed Honourable Sunmonu Monsurat as Speaker of the incoming House of Assembly.
The candidates, who are high ranking members of the outgoing house which was inaugurated on June 9, 2011. Adeyemo,is favoured by zoning arrangement has been an active member of the outgoing house.
Many who are in support of his candidacy assert that since the governor represents Ibadan zone, and deputy governor represents Oke-Ogun zone, it is right that the Speaker emerges from Ibarapa to ensure an appropriate representation drawn across the state. Adeyemo who is the Deputy Chief Whip does not deny his interest in the Speakership position. He holds that the overriding interest of the people they represent should be supreme, beyond party affiliation.
However, Olaleye, ,popularly called Radical who is a former president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is the Chairman, Oyo House Committee on Public Finance and Appropriation.
Regarded as a vocal and vibrant member of the house, Olaleye assured the state of a vibrant parliament that will have a constructive voice. However,Olaleye is from Ibadan,the same zone where the governor comes from.
The former student leader who does not see his Ibadan citizenship as an obstacle recently said competence and merit should not be thrown overboard in the name of zoning. He added that it is duty of the party to look for the best. Speaking on his vision for the eighth assembly, Olaleye said he wanted a house that would constructively partner and engage the executive arm of government.
Maintaining that the house that will strengthen the programmes of the executive arm of government through the instrumentality of the legislative activities is what he envisioned. Kehinde Subair, the Deputy Majority Leader is also another high ranking member of the House and an active member of House Committees.
He is expected to enjoy the support of members from the Ibadan axis of the state when the ships are down. As the count down begins for the swearing-in of the state governor, the lobbying for the speakership position will intensify as all eyes will be for the next inauguration of the House in the first week in June.