There is anxiety in Ogun State House of Assembly Complex, Oke – Mosan, Abeokuta, over who becomes the Speaker for the 9th Legislative Assembly to be inaugurated in less than two hours by Governor Adedapo Abiodun.
The eight Legislative Assembly headed by Speaker Suraj Adekunbi from Ogun West Senatorial district, ended its tenure last Friday.
The race for his successor hots up this morning as intense horse trading, alliance building and fence mending thickened at the Assembly complex.
Former members of the House were sighted subtly making last minutes strategies to ensure the candidates of their respective choices between the duo of Kunle Oluomo, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House representing Ifo State Constituency and Daisy Elemide, representing Odeda State constituency, who happened to be the known and major contenders.
It could only be a late hour shock if another candidate surfaced from the blue to indicate interest in the Speakership position at the eleventh hour.
The seat, expectedly, had been zoned to Ogun Central since Ogun East has the Governor while the Ogun West has the Deputy Governor.
The atmosphere remained tense at the Assembly complex on Monday morning as hundreds of supporters of both contenders filed and milled in different directions and discussing.
Police Ordinance (Anti – bomb Squad) stationed at the Assembly entrance gate and other sister – security agencies screened visitors thoroughly before allowing them access.
Honourable Kunle Oluomo, a robust contender, has eight years of legislative experience on his side. He is a grass root politician, and mobiliser and often rated as the grand master of Ifo politics by supporters and is expected to spring surprises.
In the last eight years, Oluomo, an activist, has been running people – centric and welfarist representation for his Ifo 1 state constituency, providing free school shuttle buses that convey pupils and students to and fro schools in Ifo town and surrounding communities.
He is making his third appearance at the Ogun Assembly where of the 26 – member legislators, about a dozen of them are making their first appearances.
He was an Amosun loyalist to the core, dating back to the time of the All Nigerian Peoples Party(ANPP). He was first elected a lawmaker on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), 2011 when he followed Amosun to the party, got re-elected on the ticket of APC 2015 and now in 2019 on the strength of same party.
He, however, fell out with Amosun when his former boss denied him ticket and had to align with Dapo Abiodun and Osoba camp to get the ticket to run.
Oluomo is banking on the likely support of colleagues – past and present, who would be returning to the House to clinch the Speakership position and The Nation gathered that they are living no stone unturned to accomplish the goal.
The odds against him is his connection with the Amosun, and even when the relationship between them had taken different directions, political expediency and need for healthy and stable forthcoming Ogun Assembly may make the choice of Oluomo a difficult one but not insurmountable.
He is well loved by fellow lawmakers who are rallying round him and wooing the first timer legislators to his side and should Governor Abiodun and the All Progressives Congress decide to significantly allow the legislators their independency, Oluomo may floor Elemide during voting session because of his perceived popularity.
Elemide is a warhorse, intelligent and calm politician. He was in the House before during the time of former Governor Aremo Segun Osoba and remained his loyalist.
He was with Osoba when they moved to the Social Democratic Party(SDP) in 2015 and also joined the camp to successfully fight their way back to APC.
Elemide enjoys the trust of the party chieftains, his constituency and has charisma for the office but how these pans out to help his ambition remained to be seen about an hour away to the inauguration of the Ogun State 9th Legislative Assembly but he is quite hopeful of becoming the Speaker.