Lagos Assembly Speaker alleges threat over rejected nominees

Sharon EboesomiAugust 29, 20234 min

Hon. Obasa insisted that its decision to reject the nominees was in accordance with the constitution, adding that it would not yield to threats or intimidation.

nominees

Following the rejection of some nominees sent in by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, by the Lagos State House of Assembly, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, has alleged threats against him and other members of the Assembly over the decision.

The speaker revealed this during Monday’s plenary, stating that he had received multiple calls threatening to assault him.

Obasa insisted that the decision of the House to reject some of the nominees was not an attack on the governor or the executive arm, as some individuals would believe.

“Before today, I had been reliably informed of plans to attack the Speaker based on the decision of the House concerning the nominees of the Governor, particularly the rejected ones.

“There is this erroneous belief that we are waging war against the Governor. There is no basis for me and the House to fight the Governor. I will continue to say that the Governor is a brother and colleague in the Lagos project and service to the people of our State.

READ ALSO: Farmers/herders clash: A threat to Nigeria’s attainment of food security – Speaker Abbas

“The Governor and I have been around in the system for a long time. While he was SA to the former Deputy Governor, Femi Pedro, I was in this House as chairman, Committee on Rural Development. He was SA on Establishment and Pensions and I was chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts (Local Governments).

“While he was heading LSDPC, I was chairman, Committee on Economic Planning and Budget. Then, I became the Speaker and when he became the Governor, I remained the Speaker. So it’s been a long journey together.

“But I wonder why each time the House says no to a particular request of the Governor, it is taken by some people to mean there is a fight with the Governor. This House has passed so many resolutions that the executive arm refused to carry out, but people don’t see that as something to talk about and the House does not raise eyebrows. So I don’t know what brings the erroneous belief that the House is fighting the Governor, who is our brother and who we will continue to work with.”

The House, however, asserted that its decision about the nominees was made in accordance with the constitution, which sets forth its obligations, adding that it would not yield to threats or intimidation, including sponsored rallies planned for the future and research by some civil society organisations and activists.

Additionally, it stated that it had held back on disclosing everything it had learned while screening the nominees and issued a caution that “those who live in glass houses should be conscious not to throw stones.”

“However, we have a constitutional responsibility. Just as the Governor has the responsibility to inform the House about his nominees, the House has the responsibility to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ which we have exercised by confirming some and denying some and we have our reasons for saying ‘no’ to some of the nominees.

“The House, as a body, has refrained itself from exposing what it discovered during the screening exercise and we are not going to be forced to spill to the public.

Before Prof. Abayomi, there was Leke Pitan, Dr. Jide Idris, and others. COVID-19 was an isolated case that was considered. Before COVID-19, we had Ebola which was also taken care of under Babatunde Fashola.

“Beyond all these, we are the representatives of the people, their mouthpieces, eyes, and ears. The health sector of Lagos is not just about COVID-19. We have general hospitals and other healthcare centres around the State. What can be said about them?

“Before Engineer Aramide Adeyoye, we also had Engineer Ganiyu Johnson and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as Commissioner for Works and under whom the Ikoyi-Victoria Island link bridge was built while Babatunde Fashola was Governor. Under Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as Governor, there was massive infrastructural development too.

So we must stop making allusions concerning some things we do not understand. They mentioned the former Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotosho and his experience. But how about actions in office?” Obasa asked.

The speaker further said, “The civil society that is threatening to protest should do so because it is a constitutional right. But we are not going to be threatened or intimidated. We have said no, but if there is a convincing or germane reason for us to reverse our decision, we will, but not by threats.

“It is because we are successful as politicians that is why the technocrats are being appointed. And to our own estimation, if they have not done well, we have right to say no and we have said no.

“We don’t want instigations and conflicts, the executive and the House are working together; we are brothers and colleagues; we will continue to work together but we need to caution fourth columnists not to instigate crisis. And those that are living in glass houses need to be careful,” Obasa stated.

Sharon Eboesomi

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