Lagos Speaker,Obasa in Trouble as Removal Plot Thickens
…Suspended Members weigh Legal Action
…As Embattled Speaker Seeks Amicable Resolution
There might be no end in sight to the cold war brewing in the Lagos State House of Assembly as the grand plot to unseat the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa appears to be gathering momentum.
Thepledge.ng had exclusively reported on Tuesday that meetings were currently ongoing by top echelons in the ruling party in the State to clip Obasa’s wings, following allegations of highhandedness and hush spending from the Assembly coffers.
A reliable source told our reporter that the crisis seems to have shattered the impregnable unity that once existed among the 40 lawmakers of the Assembly, all elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to the source, Obasa’s days may be numbered owing to his inordinate ambition and excessive lust for wealth; hence feelers are that any chance of settlement talks will only lead to the peace of the graveyard.
“He (Obasa) has used money and juicy committees to bring few old and new members to his side. He had perfected the strategy from the beginning of this 9th Assembly Most of those who support him are newly elected members in the House,” the source said.
The exit of a former strong man of the Assembly, Senator Bayo Oshinowo, popularly known as “Pepper” seems to have ignited the crisis, as he had hoped to continue his control over the levers of power in the house but Obasa would have none of that.
Oshinowo, an Italian trained dredging expert was the power broker and kingmaker of the house for sixteen years before his elevation to the Senate and was instrumental to Obasa emerging Speaker both in 2015 and 2019.
But Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshinlokun, ousted Chief Whip, Rotimi Abiru and ex-Majority Leader, Muyiwa Jimoh and other principal officers of the House and several senior members are presently disgruntled with Obasa’s style of leadership and had accused him of cornering all funds of the house to himself and his cronies.
Obasa’s major sin that his accusers are nailing him for is his unilateral decisions on the N2.4billion purchase of motor vehicles for the assembly members. He was also accused of not coming out clean in the way the billions of Naira collected by the House for running cost and capital expenditure are being spent.
According to sources, the disgruntled lawmakers have vowed to table their grievances before the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), if he (Obasa) does not retrace his steps.
Obasa, however, the source said, may have bought more time for himself with the suspension of Abiru and Jimoh, as well as the suspension of Moshood Oshun (Lagos Mainland Constituency II) and Kazeem Raheem Adewale (Ibeju Lekki Constituency II).
On Tuesday, staff of Hon. Abiru and Hon. Jimoh were prevented from gaining access into the assembly, while the offices of the two lawmakers were sealed.
The development, the source said, was a clear indication of Obasa’s ploy to frustrate any plot that his adversaries might be scheming against him.
“Obasa is hoping to destabilize and deny his opponents the required numbers to carry out his impeachment. As things stand now the anti -Obasa members have at least eighteen confirmed of the forty members and are hoping to woo the remaining numbers to make up the constitutional requirement of two-thirds which is 26 members.
“Time will tell if they can succeed in their plot and maneuvering as Obasa’s camp has boasted that they have the numbers and being a loyal and effective member of the National leader’s team, he cannot be removed,” the source said.
The source also disclosed that lawmakers not disposed to Obasa’s antics are gearing up to challenge the suspension of two of their members in Court.
However, the source also said that there are spirited moves by party elders and big wigs including the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola to resolve the issues amicably.
“The mood is divided right now in the House. But you can be sure that the Speaker will fight to retain his seat. He has the resources which he believes he can use to influence the outcome of the current attempt to unseat him”, the source added.
Source: The Pledge