Showdown as Tobun challenges Obasa for Lagos Speakership seat

….GAC backs Tobun- APC Chieftain
….we await directive from party- New members-elect

The retention of the Lagos Speakership seat by the incumbent, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa is under threat with the lawmaker representing Epe 1, Hon. Abiodun Tobun entering the race for the position.

Tobun, it was learnt, declared his intention to vie for the position at the induction programme held recently at a popular hotel in GRA, Ikeja, for elected lawmakers.

Obasa, who has been in the House since 2003, became the Speaker in 2015 and retained the seat till date with the support of the members.

It would be important to point out that Obasa, before becoming the Speaker had chaired very strategic standing committees, including the Budget and Economic Planning, making him versatile in the operations and workings of the House.

His clear understanding of legislative business and strategic importance of autonomous legislature to good governace helped him to raise the bar of state legislature in Nigeria. This also helped in the running of the House since 2015.

He commands high respect among his colleagues and changed the face of the institution in Lagos.

However, the declaration by Tobun to challenge Obasa’s stay as Speaker in the 10th Assembly had changed the dynamics and also the political mood of the House.

Tobun has been in the House since 2011 and chaired strategic standing Committees including Committee on Works and Infrastructure.

Initially, many had believed that with Obasa returning for the sixth term, it would be a smooth ride for him to retain the seat as he would be the most ranking among the lawmakers in the 10th Assembly.

A member of the highest decision making body in the Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governance Advisory Council (GAC), confided in WesternPost that Tobun’s declaration for the seat has the backing of the party elders, most especially those from Lagos East and Lagos Central.

He noted that the elders would soon meet to make their stand known to the stakeholders.

The GAC member explained that there was no factor that could be considered to stop the shift of the Speakership position to Lagos East, saying that it was the reason the elders were backing Tobun’s aspiration.

“Tobun is not just declaring for the Speakership seat by himself. Some members of the GAC are with him on this, most especially those from Lagos East and Central Senatorial districts and we shall make our position known before the proclamation of the 10th Assembly.

“We know how we go about this situation and it will be done for the purpose of continuity of good governance and fairness. We know how we did it in 2015, 2019 and we will step in when it is time to do so this time around. No cause for alarm in Lagos APC,” the GAC member said.

One of the new members-elect who spoke with WesternPost testified to the declaration made by Tobun at the induction programme, saying he was not surprised because he had been hearing of his intention to challenge Obasa for the seat.

The new member-elect, who did not want his name mentioned, disclosed that the choice of who becomes the Speaker between the two will be decided by party elders, saying that virtually all new members were product of party supremacy.

“You understand that virtually all of us came through our leaders. Issues like this would be determined by the elders whom we hold in high esteem. For instance, my leader in my constituency is in GAC and so it is what he directs me to do I will do and the issue of Speakership is no exception.

“That is how it is for all of us. We have leaders who we will yield to his directive because we don’t get into this office by ourselves.

“The party is supreme and it will be so,” he said.

He explained that although Obasa had built a good relationship with them and that they were comfortable with how he had received them but that the party’s directive would determine their decision on who becomes the Speaker.

The 10th Assembly will have 21 new members and 19 ranking members.

It was learnt that Obasa has been reaching out to some critical leaders of the party who could speak for him at the highest level of decision making.

It was also gathered that there are some GAC members who still have soft mind for the Speaker and want him to retain the seat.

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