Lagos Assembly Crisis: Sacked Chief Whip Breaks Silence, Says Obasa Power Drunk

Erstwhile Chief Whip of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Rotimi Abiru has broken his silence on his purported sack by his fellow lawmakers, saying that the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa by the act exhibiting signs of being power drunk.
Describing his sack as unconstitutionally and flawed with irregularities, Abiru who spoke to The Punch said he was shocked by the development, adding that the allegations levelled against him and other three members of the House were untrue.
He explained that some of the members who were said to have signed and approved their sack were not in the country as at the day the announcement was made, adding that the Speaker presented was a previous register of a caucus meeting held sometime ago.
“The Assembly was not designed to have a sole administrator; those who designed the parliament know that there are other functions other than the function of the Speaker that should be performed by some other people.
“But since the beginning of the Assembly, he has acted more like a dictator and even a despotic leader; there’s no gainsaying about this. And that is why he has made many blunders in the process of the removal of both senior officers and even the suspended members,” Abiru said.
He expressed sadness that following the announcement of his sack, the Speaker proceeded to give instruction to seal his office and prevent his staff from accessing the Assembly, while he and other affected lawmakers were removed from the WhatsApp platform of the Assembly by Obasa.
Abiru explained: “We have been denied access to the Assembly and there was no way we could reach him because ever since the purported removal and suspension of members, we have since been removed by the Speaker from the group platform of the 9th Assembly which to me is mostly unnecessary.
“Again, from the day some members were suspended, he has put our offices under lock and key and denied our staff members’ access to the Assembly. All these are unconstitutional. I wonder where he derives such powers from.
“For somebody that we already know, we know he is someone who tries to make a show of power before now and what he has done has revealed his level of intelligence and myopic reasoning and these are some of the things we saw in his leadership style from the outset and we were trying to guide him.”
Noting that the crisis in the House was not unconnected to the 2023 ambition of Obasa to move from the House of Assembly to the Senate, Abiru wondered why the Speaker fingered him as a possible stumbling block, noting that he was not in any way standing against his ambition and being tagged as divisive.
“All I can say is that he has ambition to run for Senate in 2023 and 2023 is a long time from now. I don’t belong to Lagos West senatorial district so I wonder what my concern is.
“I’m not standing in his way for anything. I’m not contesting with him in 2023 as senator so I actually don’t know what he means by that because we know what the parliament means to the party in Lagos State. Many of us, as experienced as we are, will do everything that will stabilise where we all represent so I think it is all in the imagination of Mr Speaker,” he said.
He also wondered why Obasa would make any attempt to severe relationship with Senator Bayo Oshinowo, who he said helped the Speaker to attain the position in 2015 and 2019, noting that Oshinowo, once a member of the House, will continue to enjoy respect from him and his colleagues for the fatherly role he has played over the years.
“From what has emerged in the last few days, it is getting obvious that the Speaker had an ulterior motive against the gentleman leader and brother. There was no need for the Speaker to have created an atmosphere in the House of Assembly whereby he would want to separate himself from the leadership of Senator Osinowo. As for me, he is our leader.
“He has been instrumental to our return. As a matter of fact, nine of the 10 members from the district returned to the House so he is a man who has been standing by us. There is no doubt about that. We don’t have a choice but to have his back too and if the Speaker sees that as a problem, that is his headache,” Abiru said.
On the way forward, Abiru said he was waiting on the hierarchy of the party to wade into the crisis and resolve it, adding that the first step to an amicable solution is for the House leadership to correct the anomaly and reverse the suspension which he said was flawed with irregularities.
He said he had appealed for his constituents in Somolu to remain calm, saying that they were irked by the decision to sack him from his position and were only waiting for the intervention of the party leaders before their next line of action.
“My people are agitated; they are not happy because unfortunately, in the entire Somolu, we do not have a single commissioner or an SA in the cabinet of the governor of Lagos State despite our brilliant contribution to the success of the party in the state. We had the third highest number of votes that brought the government to power.
“This is the only office that the people of Somolu think they have and again the purported taking of the office is reaching them. But we have asked them to be calm since the party has said they are looking into it,” he said

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