Ekiti Assembly Gets First Female Speaker

New Speaker & Ousted Speaker

Members of Ekiti State House of Assembly, today, elected Mrs. Bunmi Adelugba, as their speaker, after the impeachment of Mr. Gboyega Aribisogan, who only spent six days in office.

17 out of the 25 lawmakers in the Assembly, who voted for Aribisogan’s removal, replaced him Adelugba, representing Emure Constituency, who was formerly Chief Whip of the assembly.

Mrs. Adelugba, who became the first female Speaker in the history of the Assembly since the return to democracy in 1999.

By Adelugba’s emergence, Ekiti Assembly has had two Speakers in six days following the death of late Funminiyi Afuye who suffered cardiac arrest.

Aribisogan was elected Speaker last Tuesday during a keenly contested election where he defeated Adelugba with 15 votes against 10.

Following his election, the Assembly has been enmeshed in deep-seated crisis as some of them and leaders of the All Progressive Congress(APC) were said to be favourably disposed to Adelugba.

24 hours after he was sworn in, the Police laid siege on the premise of the Assembly complex over claims that some persons were planning to attack the lawmakers.

Palpable tension rose around the Assembly as all the roads leading to the Chamber were cordoned off by anti-riot squads of the Ekiti Police Command as well as hordes of thugs openly abusing hard drugs and brandishing lethal weapons.

The policemen prevented journalists and staff of the Assembly from entering the complex with not less than 10 Hilux vans and anti-explosive vehicles stationed strategically around the Assembly.

At the emergence plenary held behind closed door presided over by Deputy Speaker, Hakeem Jamiu today, the embattled Aribisogan was suspended indefinitely for allegedly blocking the passage of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

Six other lawmakers were also slammed with suspension for compromising the process of the election that produced Aribisogan as the Speaker among other alleged unpatriotic and unparliamentary conduct capable of threatening the peace of the state.

Aribisogan and the six lawmakers were also barred from vicinity of the House of Assembly Complex within the radius of 1.5km for their actions which, according to their colleagues, offend the provisions of the House Standing Rules and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The six lawmakers suspended and barred alongside the impeached Speaker are: Tajudeen Akingbolu (Ekiti West 1); Tope Ogunleye (Ilejemeje); Ajibade Adeyemi (Moba 1); Adekemi Balogun (Ado 1); Yemi Ayokunle (Ekiti Southwest 1) and Adegoke Olajide (Efon).

After departing the House of Assembly complex, the lawmakers later visited the APC Secretariat along Ado-Ikere to pay homage to the party’s leadership.

Lawmakers present were: Toyin Lucas(Ado 1); Femi Akindele (Irepodun-Ifelodun 1); Hon. Teju Okuyiga(Gbonyin); Ayodeji Ajayi(ise/orun); Lateef Akanle(Ekiti East 2); Arugbo(Moba 2); Babatunde Fawekun(Ido/Osi 1); Hon. Babatunde Joseph(Ekiti Southwest 2); Ademola Ojo(Ijero) and Adeoye Aribasoye(Ikole constituency 2).

Others were; Akin Oso(Ido/Osi 1); Reuben Awoyemi(Oye 2); Tunde Idowu(Ikere 2); Bode Oyekola(Ekiti West 2); Deputy Speaker Hakeem Jamiu; and the new Speaker, Adelugba.

Addressing Journalists during the visit to the party’s Secretariat in Ado Ekiti to introduce the new leadership, Adelugba appreciated the party for not allowing its name to be dragged in the mud despite the tension elicited by the power tussle in the Chamber.

Adelugba said what transpired at the assembly was the indefinite suspension of Aribisogan and six other lawmakers for allegedly sabotaging the passage of the revised 2022 supplementary budget presented by the executive.

The Speaker disclosed that all the standing committees of the House had been dismantled while a new Leader of Government Business, Hon. Bode Oyekola, was elected to pilot the affairs of the House.

“We have also appointed a chairman, House Committee on Appropriation as part of what we did today at the plenary.

“Let me say that the Assembly is ready to pardon as many of them that are ready to join us. This is about the party and not the Assembly. The action we took today had nullified the first election that produced Aribisogan.

“In the last election, Aribisogan claimed that he had 15, but today, I have 17 lawmakers behind me. Many of the lawmakers said they didn’t vote for him, but he compromised the election”.

Speaking further, she said: “I thank our leaders, Biodun Oyebanji, Kayode Fayemi and Adeniyi Adebayo for playing strong leadership role. I want to say that this is the real members of the House of Assembly and we have chosen the real speaker.

“The late speaker was like a father to me. I will continue where he stopped. I want to assure you that you will enjoy the peace you enjoyed under the late Speaker”

Addressing the lawmakers, Ekiti APC Chairman, Hon. Paul Omotoso, denied the accusation that former Governor Fayemi allegedly arm-twisted the lawmakers and imposed Adelugba, adopting a strong-arm tactics.

Omotoso said: “This is the happiest day of the party. We thank you for the way you conducted yourselves. Some believed the end has come to the House, but you were able to manage the crisis effectively. We read many things that people thought would demean our party. But you demonstrated that we can still have a strong House of Assembly after all this.

“Nobody ever imposed anybody on you. You are adults and enlightened people, very robust minds. Today, we are celebrating the return of peace in the House of Assembly. We do not want division. We will continue to play that fatherly role you have placed on our shoulders.

“With understanding, we will continue to resolve whatever crisis that comes to us as a challenge. Please, you have supported the last government and we want you to stretch same to the present government of Biodun Oyebanji.”

The new speaker was the Ekiti state’s pioneer Commissioner for Labour, Productivity and Human capital development, and led the ministry to start the payment of monthly stipends to the elderly in Ekiti. 

Source -: Thenationonline