OSUN: Time for a youthful speaker is now

By Tiamiyu Olamide.

In a couple of days, the valedictory session for Osun 7th Assembly will take place while the Maiden Plenary for the 8th Assembly will come up and House leaders shall be elected by members. It is not arguable that the ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party will produce the next Speaker in the state among her twenty-five elected members.

One can not rule out scheming among the elected members and even in the party, but there is a need for the ruling party to foster relationships and partnerships between the Elderly and the youth.

The Osun 8th Assembly will surely be an Assembly for the youths because the majority of members elected in the Assembly are between the ages of 27 and 45 years of age. The eldest member-elect is 74 years old and the only member elects on the platform of APC.

This is an indication that youth involvement has moved forward to a very great extent. The Leadership Consciousness among the youth has been awakened and they are no longer sleeping and waiting to become a leader of tomorrow but a leader of today. As a fellow youth, I want the inclusion of youths in governance where their potential would be positively explored on the political, economic, environmental and leadership challenges.

During the Gubernatorial Electioneering campaign, the Incumbent Governor of the State Sen. Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke promised the youth space in his government while he was asking for their support. And the support he garnered from them can not be over-emphasised. It will be good if he can make do with his promise now by supporting youth to become the Speaker of the State Assembly.

Chapter 5. Part 2. Section 92 of the Nigerian Constitution stated that “There shall be a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of a House of Assembly who shall be elected by the members of the House from among themselves”. By this section of the constitution, it shouldn’t be difficult for the predominantly young Honourable-Elect of the House of Assembly to look within and make one of them the Speaker of the 8th Assembly.

Since 1999, Osun State has never produced a young Speaker as we have seen in the 33-year old First timer Hon. Ayuba Abok who emerged as Speaker of the Plateau State of Assembly in 2019 and also in the 31-year-old incumbent Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Debo Ogundoyin.

Some people opined that experience counts in whoever becomes the speaker of any state House of Assembly, however, it is needful to say that no matter the experience, the senior citizens who are a minority among the elected members can not produce the speaker.

Some schools of thought have also posited that we must bid the opprobrium of yesteryears years farewell by allowing the youth to take a front stage in legislative assignments for them to be able to use their energy and bring in new ideas to formulate bills and motions that will move the state forward while they also respect party supremacy.

We should not forget that in 2011, the then Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Sumonu Monsurat from Oyo town was a first-timer and was also the only female Honourable then.

It is pertinent to note that no demography can survive on its own other than inter-dependence on each age bracket to build sustainable growth and maintain a progressive index. The place of experience is not negotiable but the experienced ones should also support the younger ones. The young elected members are positive change-makers. So, I want to admonish the young elected members to disallow mischief-makers from using them as crisis peddlers in the coming assembly.

Conclusively, as party supremacy and loyalty will take the lead in any political party and gathering in any State and even at the National, the door for the Speakership position of the 8th Assembly in Osun State should be left open for the Youth.

Tiamiyu Olamide.

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