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Osun 8th Assembly: The Question On The Speakership Seat



Osun 8th Assembly: The Question On The Speakership Seat

By Odediji Solomon

With barely two months to the inauguration of the 8th Assembly in Osun State, there has been increasing question on who will preside over the House as Speaker. These questions have expectedly, drawn divergent positions, and even more, served to the pandering of mischievous elements.

Looking at the composition of the House member-elects, it is very certain that the Speaker of the 8th Assembly in Osun state will be produced by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). What, however, seemed to be in doubt, is who, among the 25 member-elects on the platform of the PDP will take the coveted seat. This appeared to be the basis for the raging debates, including the latest one spurred by a purported opinion poll on the Speakership seat.

But the thing is, many have attempted the question with sentiments and preconceived notions, which may have impeded an objective answer. If the past has shown us anything, it is the fact that emotion is a very poor recruitment mechanism.

So, to answer the question of who should be the 8th Assembly Speaker in Osun state objectively, you need to give serious consideration to two key factors– constitutionality and a sense of equity. How does the Constitution say a Speaker of the House of Assembly should emerge? The answer is readily available in Section 92(1) of the 1999 Constitution which stated thus: “There shall be a Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly who shall be elected by the members of the House from among themselves.”

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The clear inference from the above constitutional provision is that the Speakership seat is open to all the 26 member-elects. The Constitution, being the grundnorm, did not conceive the Speakership seat as a superiority contest, but rather as one among equals to serve the whole House, and in that role, the entire state. What the Constitution anticipated is a leader acceptable to his colleagues, and can work with them to achieve the goal of the House in aiding the growth and development of the state.

Outside this constitutional guidance, is the pressing need for equity. Osun has three senatorial district, and at the moment, Osun West and Osun East senatorial districts had produced the Governor and Deputy Governor respectively. It is natural that Osun Central senatorial district should produce the Speaker of the House to ensure balance of power among the three districts in the state. This technically restrict the contest to the lawmakers from the central senatorial district.

Even at that, a further look at the constituencies in the central senatorial district will leave us with few choice for the coveted seat. Take, for instance, the Senator-elect for the district comes from Ila federal constituency, hence, making it practically impossible for a Speaker to come from that zone. This is the same with Osogbo federal constituency, which has already produced the Secretary to the State Government and House of Representatives-elect.

In short, the PDP is left with limited options on where the Speaker of the 8th Assembly should come from, especially if equity and fairness is put into consideration. And with that, the only place to look at is Odo-Otin local government since Ifelodun already produced the House of Representatives-elect for Odo-Otin/Ifelodun/Boripe federal constituency.

Of a truth, this is the right way to go. And good, the message it impressed is quite persuading, especially to member-elects who are apparently favourable to the choice of Prince Adewale Egbedun as the next Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly. I know this may not easily align with your sentiment but the truth as the task before the upcoming Assembly suggests, is that the Speaker of the 8th Assembly should be the choice of the member-elects and not one forced on them by circumstance or unfair conditions.

Given the impressive showing of Governor Ademola Ademola in governance since taking charge of the Executive arm of government last year, Osun needs a Speaker that is not only accepted by his colleagues but has the energy and desire to pursue legislative agenda that deliver better gains for the people. And this is clearly what Prince Egbedun offers, and no surprising why his aspiration has gained strong footing among his colleagues and party leaders.

Prince Egbedun is young, charismatic and knows how to mobilize his colleagues to join the executive branch of government in finding answers to the many challenges facing the state. Prince Egbedun’s sound academic background and exposure prepared him well enough for the huge responsibility that comes with the Speakership seat and offers him the needed leverage to manage the House in such a way that will serve no other purpose but the good of the Osun people.

In effect, Osun will have a chance to have an Assembly that is driven by the public good and as a result, meaningfully contribute not only to the state’s quest for enviable progress but a future that we will all be proud of. Prince Egbedun is a team player– the type that will be needed in persuading his colleagues to pursue legislative agenda that will bring about benefits for the Osun people, be it in terms of infrastructural upgrades or opening doors of opportunities for young people and women.

Even more persuading about his choice for the Speakership seat, is the fact that Prince Egbedun will put the interest of every Osun people ahead of his own, which is something that will ensure the House deliver to expectations. By every measure, Prince Egbedun has the exposure, the knowledge and zeal needed to manage and guarantees good output from the House of Assembly.

As Speaker of the 8th Assembly, Osun State and its people will benefit immensely from Prince Egbedun’s global networks and passion for service. In addition, Prince Egbedun is a choice that promises to collaborate Governor Adeleke’s good governance efforts, and this means that Osun state will be set on the path of progress and development.

By and large, Prince Egbedun will be the Speaker that delivers great benefits for the Osun people. He will run a people-centric House, drive a purposeful governance, maximize the incredible benefits of the legislative branch of government for the people, and complement the efforts of the Adeleke administration in transforming and building a virile Osun state.

• Odediji Solomon writes from Oke-Eyindi in Ila-Orangun

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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