The political home front of the National Leader of Nigeria’s ruling party’s, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu is in great turmoil as intra house beefs as escalated into the open.
This development caught Tinubu the strong man of Lagos politics unawares. The Mudashiri Idowu Obasa led Lagos State House of Assembly is the current theater of war, this has revealed that Tinubu is fast losing grip of his boys, who now act as independent men.
The fight for the control of the Lagos House of Assembly is between Senator Bayo Osinowo and the Speaker Rt Hon Obasa whose emergence and re-emergence as Speaker of the assembly in 2015 and 2019 had the imprimatur of Senator Osinowo.
Senator Osinowo himself was a four term member of Lagos House of Assembly, before he was politically promoted to the Nigerian Senate by Tinubu against Senator Gbenga Barehu Ashafa.
The bone of contention is the control of the Lagos legislative house, the control of which Senator Osinowo has continues to exercise from his new base in Abuja. Ably assisted by the Minister Interior Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, Senator Osinowo determined the Speaker and the principal officers of this session of the assembly. He went further to maintain a private office in the complex, even as he is no longer a member of the house.
It was his failure to vacate this office that revealed the schism in the Tinubu’s Lagos political family. Speaker Obasa had gone ahead to complain to Tinubu that Osinowo’s continuing stay in the complex is not only an aberration but also denies spaces for elected members and career officers seconded to the assembly.
Tinubu was said to have ordered Osinowo to immediately vacate the office. This directive is the first time Tinubu has ever countered any move or action of Senator Osinowo, his political ally since their days in the struggle for the realization of the June 12 mandate.
With this directive Speaker Obasa became emboldened and curried the loyalty of members with the acquisition of Prado jeeps for each members of the 40 man house. He also dismissed the House Committee leadership positions submitted to him by Senator Osinowo and appointed his core loyalists into juicy committees to the chagrin of members who were hitherto earmarked for such.
With these three developments politically suave members realized the Speaker, Obasa is the new power base in the House and virtually all fell to his side. Obasa is also working hard to be promoted to the Senate in 2023. Ambitions that will see the fifth term law maker expand his political horizon.
However recalcitrant principal officers and members who were yet loyal to the Osinowo/ Aregbesola block, who took charge during the Lagos State cabinet member nomimees screening were suspended indefinitely and those holding principal officers demoted, not only these those suspended were barred entry into the assembly premises.
The suspended principal officers are the Chief Whip of the House, Rotimi Abiru, and the Deputy House Majority Leader, Olumuyiwa Jimoh.
The suspended floor members are Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland Constituency II) and Kazeem Adewale (Ibeji Lekki Constituency II), these demotions and indefinitely suspensions took place during plenary.
Announcing the suspension of the members, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa stated that the House was the hope of the people and the heartbeat of democracy and that it should be well guided.
He said, “I, hereby, invoke Section 68 and Section 70 4 (a, b) 2 and 3 of the House Rules in respect of gross misconduct, insubordination, and action that can destablise this House, I hereby move that Moshood Oshun and Raheem Adewale be placed on suspension indefinitely.”
The two decisions were supported through voice votes by the members present during plenary.
The request for the removal of the two principals and change in the leadership was contained in a letter read on the floor of the House by the Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni.
Sanni stated that the 26 members that signed the letter wished to notify the House “to change the leadership of the House, including Rotimi Abiru as the Chief Whip and Deputy Chief Whip, Olumuyiwa Jimoh.”
One of those affected Hon. Lanre Oshun was sighted having altercation with security operatives at the gate of the assembly, querying why he should be barred entry, after his effort failed after some minutes without access into the complex he left.
When Oshun was contacted via phone he said he is on his way to the Lagos home of Tinubu, Buordillon road in Ikoyi to seek a redress.
The Deputy Majority leader, Hon Muyiwa Jimoh few minutes after Oshun’s was turned back also showed up at the gate and was also bounced.
However the relieved Chief Whip was spotted within the complex observing the development, information has it that he managed to enter the house in the Deputy Speaker’s vehicle.
Replacements have been announced for the deposed principal officers.
The bickerings, suspensions, demotions were borne out of the need to trim down the influence of Senator Osinowo, with the view to relief him of his grip hold of situations in the legislative house.