From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The lawmaker representing Ikole Constituency 2 in the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeoye Stephen Aribasoye was on Tuesday elected the new speaker of the 7th Assembly while Mrs. Bolaji Adediwura Egbeyemi-Olagbaju from Ado Constituency 2 was elected as the deputy speaker
Egbeyemi-Olagbaju is the daughter of late former deputy governor of the state, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi.
The Seventh House of Assembly (2023-2027) was inaugurated through a proclamation letter forwarded by the state Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji and read by the Clerk of the House Mr. Tola Esan, amidst cheers at the hallowed chamber.
The new legislators took their oath of office to exercise their mandate for the next four years.
The Sixth Ekiti Assembly was dissolved on Monday, 5th June after the legislators led by their Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba, held their valedictory session in the hallowed chamber.
The new legislators were joined by their family members, supporters and people from their constituencies to attend the ceremony at the Assembly complex.
Former members of the Assembly, traditional rulers, party leaders and other invited guests from all parts of the state and beyond also attended the ceremony.
Until his election as Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aribasoye served as the Chief Whip of the Sixth Assembly and also as the Chairman of House Committee on Media and Public Affairs (official spokesman of the House).
Rt. Hon. Egbeyemi-Olagbaju’s last appointment in government was as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Women Empowerment during the administration of the immediate past Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi before she resigned to contest for the Assembly seat for her Constituency.
The Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Esan, who oversaw the election of the two presiding officers also administered the oath of membership, the oath of allegiance on them and the oath as Speaker and Deputy Speaker on the duo.
The motion nominating Rt. Hon. Aribasoye for the position of Speaker was moved by the re-elected member representing Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 1, Hon. Femi Akindele and was seconded by the re-elected member representing Ekiti East Constituency 2, Hon. Lateef Akanle.
The motion nominating Rt. Hon. Egbeyemi-Olagbaju for the seat of Deputy Speaker was moved by the re-elected member representing Gbonyin Constituency, Hon. Adeteju Okuyiga and was seconded by the re-elected member representing Ido/Osi Constituency 1, Hon. Abiodun Fawekun.
In his acceptance speech, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aribasoye pledged that “the Seventh Assembly’s actions would be in the best interest of the people of Ekiti State” urging “the support of all stakeholders including the civil societies, traditional rulers, the media, the bureaucracy and the constituents to achieve success in the stewardship.
The Speaker promised that his leadership “would work with the two other arms of government -the executive and the judiciary – to work in harmony for the prosperity of Ekiti State and promote the state’s economic development by enacting laws that would enhance job creation and better the standard of living of the people”.
Rt. Hon. Aribasoye assured that “the legislature would work with Governor Biodun Oyebanji to help him achieve his vision for the development of the state and keep Ekiti working towards Shared Prosperity agenda encapsulated in his Six Pillars for Ekiti Development”.
He also paid tributes to all his predecessors in office and all former leaders and members of the Assembly, promising to build on the solid foundation they had laid to make the state realize its full potentials as a vibrant state.
The new Assembly adjourned sine die (indefinitely) after the inaugural session.
Meanwhile the seventh Assembly has nominated principal officers in the respective political parties.
The majority party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has twenty four (24) members while the minority party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has two (2) members in the 26-member State Parliament.
Shortly after taking his seat and banged the gavel for the first time, the new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, read the letters received from the two parties nominating their choices for the positions of principal officers.
The APC nominated Hon. Michael Tolulope Ige from Ekiti Southwest Constituency 2 (Ogotun and Igbara Odo) as the new Majority Leader while the position of the Deputy Majority Leader went to Hon. Oluyomi Ebenezer Ayorinde from Ido/Osi Constituency 2.
The new member representing Efon Constituency, Hon. Bosede Olowookere emerged as the Chief Whip while her counterpart from Emure Constituency, Hon. Maryam Ogunlade got the position of the Deputy Chief Whip.
Apart from the Speaker, Majority Leader and Deputy Majority Leader, other legislators nominated for the principal officers’ positions by the APC are women (Egbeyemi-Olagbaju, Olowookere and Ogunlade).
The only legislator nominated for the position of a principal officer by the SDP was the member representing Ekiti East Constituency 1, Hon. Dele Ogunsakin who emerged as the new Minority Leader.
The Speaker explained that the SDP could only produce one principal officer because the party, with just two legislators, scored less than 25 per cent of the total membership strength of the Assembly (26 seats).
Apart from the Speaker, other principal officers are first timers in the Assembly.
The Seventh Assembly has nine (9) returning members who were all produced by the APC.