The ninth term of the Lagos State House of Assembly concluded on Friday, characterized by drama and a sense of discord as preparations for the tenth term commence. The valedictory plenary, which is typically a celebratory event filled with camaraderie, was devoid of its usual spirit as Speaker Mudashiru Obasa limited members’ time to share their views, an unprecedented move.
Notably, several key figures from the previous assembly were absent, reportedly due to last-minute notice. The sudden change in plans disrupted lawmakers who were preparing for a seminar in Ogun State. The absence of key players, including Deputy Speaker Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, Majority Leader Sanai Agunbiade, and others, was evident.
Observers noted that Speaker Obasa, who initially attempted to present an image of unity, faltered when he refused to present a plaque of meritorious service to fellow lawmaker Hon. Abiodun Tobun, who openly declared his intention to contest for the Speakership position. As the ninth assembly comes to a close, political maneuvering is expected to intensify, with the final decision ultimately resting with the party.
Speaker Obasa, if re-elected for a third term, would achieve a remarkable feat as the only speaker to hold the position for three terms. However, critics point to his repressive and authoritarian tendencies towards fellow lawmakers, leading to demotions and mistreatment of those who dared to challenge him.
During the plenary, Speaker Obasa highlighted the achievements of the ninth assembly, including the passage of 46 bills and 120 resolutions. He emphasized the legislative improvement and service delivery these measures brought to Lagos State. Obasa also mentioned his plans to establish an Institute for Legislative Studies and Research to enhance capacity building for members and staff.
As the ninth assembly concludes, Speaker Obasa expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for their support, urging a smooth transition for those not returning and encouraging returning members to share their experiences and wisdom with new colleagues. He presented the Award of Meritorious Service to 38 lawmakers as a testament to their contributions during the term.