By the first week of June, 2015, the 8th session of the Lagos State House of Assembly will be inaugurated with new set of principal officers coming on board. A position that seems to be more eye-catching to many of the members is the Speakership position and already some of the members, especially the ranking ones, are already jostling for the position.
With the battle for the position getting hotter and interesting, ranking members of the House of Assembly who are not from the Central Senatorial District have been making their intention to become the next Speaker of the House known. Among the names pushing for the position are former Deputy Speaker of the House, Adefunmilayo Tejuoso from Mushin Constituency (Lagos West); Mudashiru Obasa from Agege Constituency (Lagos West); Olanrewaju Oshun from Lagos Mainland (Lagos Central); Gbolahan Yishawu from Eti-Osa (Lagos Central); Lanre Ogunyemi from Ojo Constituency (Lagos West) and the incumbent Deputy Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru from Shomolu Constituency (Lagos East).Before the just concluded general elections, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos made it clear to all its members that the three major seats will be zoned to the three Senatorial Districts in the state (Lagos Central, East and West).
If the leadership of the APC insists on keeping to the zoning arrangement, then the Speakership slot will obviously go to the Central Senatorial District of the state and the likely contenders include; Oshun, Yishawu and Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, a former Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government and the immediate past Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the APC, who is returning to the House for a second term, though not consecutively.
There have been suggestions that the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has anointed the candidature of Eshinlokun-Sanni as the next Speaker. Also, others, especially those in the Assembly have maintained that there is no iota of truth in the claim that Tinubu has endorsed a particular candidate for the position.
Recently, a group known as the United Action for Equity and Good Governance (UAEGG) called on the APC to respect the principle of zoning, explaining that in the spirit of equity; with the Lagos East Senatorial District having the number one seat in the state, that is, the governorship seat, and the Lagos West Senatorial District having the deputy governor, which is the number two political office in the state, it becomes imperative for the number three seat which is the speakership of the state Assembly to be seeded to the Lagos Central Senatorial District.
The group in a communiqué issued at the end of its monthly meeting held in Lagos, called on the APC leadership in the state to ensure that the principle of equity prevails in the eventual selection of who becomes the next Speaker of the state.
The communiqué which was signed by the group’s Chairman and Secretary, Hafiz Adelowo and Oluwanifesimi Adenle respectively, stated that it has watched the struggle for who succeeds the incumbent speaker with keen interest, noting that all those jostling for the position are eminently qualified to occupy the position based on their experience, integrity and achievements in the past.
The communique read: “The aspirants are capable men and woman and we have no doubt in their ability to rule. However, we are saying that the position should be seeded to Lagos Central Senatorial District to justify the spirit of equity the APC is noted for. In the incoming Assembly, Lagos Central is blessed with intelligent, experienced ranking officers who have the needed leadership qualities to lead the next Assembly,” the communiqué.
If eventually the slot goes to the Central Senatorial District, Eshinlokun-Sanni stands a chance to clinch the position considering his wealth of political and administrative experience.
Eshinlokun, who holds a bachelor of agriculture ( B.sc Hons) from the Ogun State University, Ago Iwoye, now Olabisi Onabanjo, in 1988, later proceeded to the University of Lagos in the Year 2000, where he obtained a master degree in international law and diplomacy (mild).
In September, 2014, he attended Harvard Law School, USA, where he bagged certificate in Negotiation and Leadership. In 1999, Eshilokun-Sanni was elected a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly to represento Lagos Island Constituency 1
As a member of the House, he held positions such as Chairman – rules committee, saddled with the responsibility of what to be done on daily basis; he was also the Chairman, Committee on Commerce and Industry.
He was the major sponsor of the Constituency Projects Development Bill that was successfully passed into law and is now a model across the country. He is a member of the commonwealth parliamentary association since 2001.
Recognising his sterling qualities and versatility as a member of the House of Assembly, the then governor, Tinubu in 2003, appointed Eshilokun as the Senior Special Assistant on Legislative and Political Matters and in this capacity, he was responsible for reporting and monitoring the activities of the National assembly and the State House of Assembly on behalf of the governor.
In 2008, he was again called to service by the administration of Babatunde Fashola, who appointed him as Executive Secretary of the Lagos state micro finance institution (LASMI). As he was settling in into this position, he was again called upon to serve as the Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government. He served as the council chairman two terms consecutively.
Now returning to the House, it is believed that Eshilokun’s wealth of experience at the legislative arm between 1999 and 2003, and as the chairman of a local government between 2008 and 2014, and also as a party secretary, may count well for him as the next Speaker of the most vibrant legislative House in Nigeria.
Culled from: Daily Independent
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