Unease in Ondo House of Assembly

By Temitope Adedeji in Akure

Notwithstanding the election of Mr. Malachi Coker as the new Speaker and the withdrawal of the case instituted against the assembly by the former Speaker Jumoke Akindele, there is unease in the Ondo State House of Assembly, the WESTERN POST can reveal.

The reason for the unease is based on the election of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his deputy Agboola Ajayi. Their emergence has called for a tinkering of the sharing of political offices in the state and this further calls for political realignment.

Coker who emerged the Speaker of the House after the suspension of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s ally, Akindele, hails from Ondo South like the Deputy Governor. Governor Akeredolu is from Owo in Ondo North.

According to sources, the Speakership should go to Ondo Central, which though has just produced the Secretary to the State Government in the person of former member of the House of Representatives from Akure, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde alias Abena).

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With this situation, Governor Akeredolu has begun a behind-the-scene negotiation with the state House of Assembly members over the appointment of a new Speaker.

The need for this realignment, according to WESTERN POST sources, is partly responsible for the delay in the appointment of Commissioners and Special Advisers by Governor Akeredolu. He needs the House to be settled in order to confirm his nominees for Commissionership and Special Advisers.

Akindele of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was suspended from office over allegation of N15 million fraud.

The suspension, which took place during an emergency plenary at the assembly complex in Akure, was executed by 14 lawmakers, including five All Progressives Congress (APC) and nine PDP members.

In her place, Coker, member representing Ilaje 2 constituency, was appointed and sworn-in on January 27 by the clerk as the acting Speaker following the suspension of the former Speaker, Hon. Akindele.

But the need first to realign political offices in the state may have rendered Coker’s position as Speaker untenable.

Akindele, who initially dragged the House to court, has since withdrawn the case.

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