Lagos Speakership: How Funmi Tejuoso, Oshun, Eshilokun, Lost Out

imageOrdinarily, if the principle of zoning was followed, Moshood Oshun, the most ranking member from Lagos Central Senatorial zone would have had a major advantage over other contenders for the position of Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly from the zone.

Mudashiru Obasa, a fourth term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and representative of Agege Constituency 1, was elected Speaker on Monday.

Oshun, an experienced lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland Constituency 2 at the House, was until today the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs.

The third term lawmaker became a victim of infighting and confusion among the leaders of the All Progressives Congress in the zone on who to actually present as their sole candidate.

While some of the leaders supported him, others supported Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, a former local government chairman, who served the House between 1999 and 2003.

Apart from these factors, another member of the House, Gbolahan Yishawu, jostled for the position.

In the midst of the confusion, Oshun was first reportedly endorsed by leaders of the party in the zone while Yishawu reportedly stepped down for him.

Hours later, however, Yishawu revived his ambition, further polarising the the zone.

When it became clear that Mudashiru Obasa had been finally picked as the Speaker, Oshun was again nominated as Deputy Speaker last Wednesday.

Hours after the meeting, the inauguration of the House fixed for last Thursday was postponed to Monday within which Eshilokun-Sanni emerged as the Deputy Speaker following the alleged intervention of some top party members with the argument that Oshun is not an original Lagosian just like the new Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.

Surprisingly, on Monday, Oshun was the lawmaker who nominated Obasa as the new Speaker.

Another lawmaker who lost out is Adefuunmilayo Tejuosho, a representative from Lagos West.

Tejuosho, a former Deputy Speaker of the House and until Monday, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, fought to be the first female Speaker of the House and became most prominent among them as she was constantly in the news.

However, the issues against her involved her alleged closeness to a chieftain of the party, considered as by some as uncontrollable.

This apart, some of Tejuosho’s colleagues are said to have continued to raise issues involving her activities as Deputy Speaker and her impeachment even though she was later absolved of all the allegations that led to the impeachment.

Many Lagosians who attended the inauguration had expected to see some surprises, but the House was calm while the inauguration held.

Rotimi Abiru, the only surviving principal officer from the last Assembly, also lost his bid to be the Speaker.

Abiru, who was the Deputy Whip of the House, also lost following arguments that he is from the Lagos East Senatorial District which produced the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.

Some of the lawmakers were also said not to be comfortable with some of the party leaders who backed him for the position.

Abiru, who possesses requisite qualities to lead the House, got a principal office that was yet to be named at the time of this report.

Mudashiru Obasa, who was finally elected after weeks of intense lobbying and campaigns, said it was the pinnacle of his legislative practice.

He pleaded for support from his colleagues and reminded them that they had to work for the state.

“Our people do not listen to excuses, but they want to see a Lagos that is working,” he said while also urging the state governor to collaborate with the House to succeed.

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