The race of the Speakership for 10th Oyo state House of Assembly seems to be starting on low level with not much noise about who becomes speaker. The Speakership position is an exalted office which needs to be occupied by someone who can stand firm under campaign, political or any other forms of pressure.
Aptly, exalted personality needs to occupy exalted office. Pressures are meant to be on political office holder but telling a lie while demarketing your principal is something one should not even think while facing pressure.
Elected political offices in Nigeria have ranking, while the Governor is the number one person in the state, the Deputy Governor is the number two person, the Speaker is the number three person and the Deputy Speaker is the number four person. Oyo state has three Senatorial Districts – Oyo North, Oyo South and Oyo Central.
Governor Seyi Makinde is from Oyo South going by his voting point at Iwo road and his earlier contest for Oyo South Senatorial District under the platform of All Nigerian People’s Party, ANPP. Since the Deputy Governor is from Oyo North Senatorial District, Oyo Central Senatorial District should be allowed to produce the next Speaker of the Oyo state House of Assembly to have a balance and equal representation.
The idea of using the 7 Geopolitical zones namely Ibadan Main City, Ibadan Lesser City, Ibarapa, Oke Ogun I, Oke Ogun II, Oyo and Ogbomoso to divide political offices is not favouring some local government areas and towns. This is depriving the best of the best to contribute to the development of their states. Many states in Nigeria use the Senatorial District to decide and divide political offices. With this, they have achieved equitable representation.
Oyo central is not getting the desired chance to occupy the major political offices maybe due to the dominiaring nature of Oyo South. To start with, a chance needs to be given Oyo Central to be the Speaker of the 10th Oyo state House of Assembly. Oyo Central Senatorial District has vocal, highly cerebral, brilliant and wonderful lawmaker who can occupy this office. These lawmakers have demonstrated their leadership skills at various committee levels and have been applauded.
Governor Seyi Makinde said the present 9th Assembly has done well with the support they gave him during Omituntun 1.0. This commendation was made possible with the efforts of these brilliant lawmakers who put in several efforts to achieve this feat. With this, Omituntun 2.0 needs a speaker that can do much more than what has been done.
The sacredness and distinctness of present 9th Assembly was rubished with the in-house battle which was due to the inexperienced and self-centeredness to the Speaker of the house. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission beemed his search light on the House expenditures over alleged misappropriation of fund. This no doubt is a stain to the highly respected House of Assembly. This is one of the atrocities committed the head of the house dragged the highly respected hollow chambers into.
Another complaint of which is of utmost important is the seating time of the 9th Assembly. An Assembly whose leaders often call members to sit in the afternoon against the rule of the house. No wonder, the 9th assembly at all time step down an order to enable them sit. This seating time as much as it’s very inconvenient for staff of legislative service is also not convenient for journalists and the general public.
Also the 9th assembly because of the attitude of its head turned the Oyo state House of Assembly complex to a dark room. Unlike the 8th assembly, the number of hours the generating set of the complex gives light reduced drastically. Sometimes, immediately electricity goes off, the generating set won’t be able to run because of the unavailability of fuel. On many occasions the Assembly held sittings without electricity supply.
Aside this, staff and lawmakers who come to the Assembly complex on days in which there’s no sitting often find it difficult to carry out their function if there’s no electricity supply because the generating set of the complex won’t run. This in a way is affecting the running and function of the legislative arm of government.
So, there’s no way we can rule out a better person and better leadership for the 10th Assembly as a matter of urgent importance.
Gbenga Akinlolu is a public affairs analyst. He writes from Oyo Central Senatorial District.