Real Reasons Lagos Assembly Members Failed To Screen Commissioner-Nominees3 min read
The Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode hoped to swear in members of his cabinet on the 5th of October, 2015, believing that members of the state’s House of Assembly would have screened the nominated men and women whom he wished to work with. But these hope were dashed on Tuesday as the honourable members of the Lagos State House of Assembly adjourned sitting till 13th of October, 2015. Last Monday, the governor sent a list of commissioner-nominees and special advisers to the house for screening. A statement from the state government confirmed the list of the nominees and stated that the governor was expected to swear in the would-have-been screened commissioners and special advisers on 5th October with the anticipation that the nominees would have been screened immediately after the Sallah celebration.
Information gathered by our correspondent attests that the Assembly members are not really happy with the way and manner the governor is acting. They insist that he plays a demi-god and behaves as if the state belongs to him alone, not involving them in the running of the state’s affairs, but, we can scoop that what really is causing the brouhaha in the state is the lack of money disbursement to the MHAs and this move is actually infuriating them.
According to a statement obtained by the media, “The screening of the list is expected to commence immediately after the Sallah holidays while cleared cabinet members would likely be sworn in to resume the task of governance by Monday, October 5, 2015”. But on the floor of the assembly on Tuesday, the house simply set up a 15-member ad-hoc committee to secretly screen the nominees and make recommendations to the general house. Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, immediately after setting up the committee, explained to shocked guests and journalists at the gallery that the decision to set up the committee, which was not the norm, was collectively taken by the lawmakers during parliamentary meeting.
While the ad-hoc committee to screen the nominees is headed by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, other members include Deputy Majority Leader Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Chief Whip Rotimi Abiru, Deputy Chief Whip Omotayo Oduntan, Minority Leader Akeem Bello.
Others are Victor Akande, Lanre Ogunyemi, Rotimi Olowo, Yinka Ogundimu, Mohammed Folajimi, Bisi Yusuf, Oladele Adekanye, Ibrahim Layode, Segun Olulade, and Dayo Fafunmi. Obasa said the committee would first screen the nominees before presenting its report to the House when it reconvenes on 13 October. The speaker said the decision to first screen the nominees before they would face another screening by the general house was because the house permits the lawmakers to work at their convenience.
However, some lawmakers, who spoke to the media even before the sitting had said the screening would not take place because the members had some grudges against the governor especially as it seemed the governor was dictating the pace at which they should work. One of the lawmakers said the screening would be delayed to send a signal to the governor not to give the impression that the house is a rubber stamp. When contacted, Olulade, who served the seventh assembly as chairman of the Committee on Information and Publicity, said the screening committee was to enable proper screening of the nominees. “It will give the House the opportunity to do its job. The committee will have the opportunity to go deeper,” he said. He explained further that it would be tiring screening all the 37 nominees on the floor of the house since it would get to a stage where members would simply begin to ask nominees to ‘take a bow and leave’ but another staff of the assembly informed this magazine secretly that it’s all about the governor playing ball into the net of the lawmakers though he also noted that it’s a party affair which will be settled in family way.
But few days back they were screened secretly and subsequently sworn in days after