By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Legislature is believed to be the engine room of democracy and the closest arm of government to the people.
However, the peaceful conduct of the election of the Principal Officers and transition of power of the Ondo State House of Assembly from the 9th to the 10th Assembly that took place in the hallowed chamber at the weekend was contrary to some people’s expectations.
This specifically owns to the tension on Friday about rumoured of impeachment, purported resignation letter of the immediate past Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, heavy Security men at the Assembly gate and speculations about who will lead the 10th Assembly.
Therefore, everyone within and outside the State House of Assembly was anxious and at alert, but turned out to be a peaceful dissolution and colourful inauguration devoid of rancour or crisis. This really shows that politicians in the State, especially the political leaders have come of age.
It was a carnival-like event at the State House of Assembly as family, friends, loyalists of political parties and well wishers dressed in colourful attires and gathered to show solidarity with the new lawmakers in the State.
The Clerk of the House, Jaiyeola Benjamin read the proclamation of the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the first session of the 10th Assembly to begin in line with the constitution.
The 10th Ondo State House of Assembly was inaugurated on Saturday and Olamide Oladiji from Ondo East Constituency was elected and affirmed as the Speaker of the new Assembly.
Oladiji is a second-term lawmaker in the Assembly and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has the Majority of Members of the Assembly.
Also, Prince Abayomi Babatunde Akinruntan from Ilaje State Constituency -1 who is a third-term Lawmaker emerged as the Deputy Speaker of the House.
There are 22 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC), in the new Assembly, while the remaining Four are from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, representing Owo 1 who was the Majority leader in the recently dissolved 9th Assembly was re- elected and affirmed as the Majority Leader of the Assembly, while Princess Tosin Ogunlowo-Ajirotutu from Idanre Constituency, a first-time lawmaker, was elected and affirmed as the Deputy Majority Leader.
Tunde Fasonu from Odigbo constituency 2 is the Chief Whip, Toyin Japheth from Akoko North East is the Deputy Chief Whip, Moyinlorun Ogunwumiju, from Ondo West Constituency 1, parliamentary Secretary and Ololade Gbegudu from Okitipupa constituency 2 is the Deputy Parliamentary Secretary.
Also, Olajide Oguntodu from Akure South I of PDP was elected and affirmed as the Minority Leader of the Assembly, while Oluwatoyin Daodu from Akoko South West 1 constituency also from the PDP Party is the Deputy Minority Leader.
Addressing the 10th Assembly, the new Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, appreciated his colleagues for the confidence reposed in him.
While welcoming the Honorable members, both returning and newly elected, he appreciated Governor Akeredolu for his strong leadership and for providing an enabling environment that made this day possible.
He thanked the APC Chairman, Ade Adetimehin and other party leaders and members, for their doggedness and support.
“To my colleagues, this victory is for all of us, by electing me as the Speaker, you have demonstrated to the world that our Legislators are living up to the dreams and aspiration. I pledge to you my colleagues that there will be a smooth relationship between the legislative and the executive arms of government in order for us to achieve success”.
Meanwhile, the newly inaugurated Lawmakers of the State House of Assembly have assured not to disappoint the people they are representing, but add values to their constituencies.
In separate interviews, they promised to bring positive changes to legislative business as well as ensuring the people of their constituents enjoy the dividend of democracy.
A Lawmaker representing Owo Constituency 1, Oluwole Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi who is the Majority leader of the House said he will not disappoint the people that voted him in for the second term to represent them, but to expect more positive impact in his constituency.
Ogunmolasuyi affirmed that the 10th Assembly with the Calibre of people to legislate will strengthen the system, saying that more good things will be happening in the State.
He expressed confidence in the new Speaker, Olamide Oladiji to perform effectively with his experience as one of the leading principal officers in the recently dissolved 9th Assembly coupled with his background.
He pledged to give the Speaker necessary and adequate support at all time as a Majority leader.
Also, a Member representing Ilaje constituency 2, Mrs Olawunmi Fayemi promised a better representation through engagement, empowerment and inclusion across board.
She said she will be holding town hall meetings from time to time , carried her people along and project their voices on the floor of the chamber.
A Member from Akoko South West 2, Felix Afe promised to represent his people beyond expectation, saying that he will not betrayed their trust.
Also Temitope Akomolafe from Ifedore constituency informed that he is in the chamber to ensure more progress and development in his constituency and will not fail to deliver.
Others assured of legislating properly and effectively, with a view to promoting good governance and development for the overall benefit of the people.
They stressed that as trustees of the entire State, the decision of their constituents to elect them as representatives is a big testimony of the confidence reposed in them and will not let them down.
The 26 newly inaugurated Lawmakers are: Oluwole Emmanuel Ogunmolasuyi Owo I, Oladiji Olamide Ondo East, Ololade Gbegudu Okitipupa II, Abayomi Akinruntan Ilaje I, Morenike Witherspoon Owo II, Olawunmi Fayemi Ilaje II, Princess Tosin Ogunlowo Ajirotutu, Idanre, Chris Ayebusiwa, Okitipupa I , Olatunji Ifabiyi, Odigbo I, Stephen Abitogun, Akure II, Temitope Akokolafe, Ifedore, Moyinolorun Ogunwumiju, Ondo West I, Dr. Christopher Ogunlana, Irele, Mrs Morenike Witherspoon, Owo II, Oladapo John Biola, Ondo West II, Messiah Allen, Ese-Odo, Oluwarotimi Fasonu, Odigbo II, Oshatti Olatunji Emmanuel, Ose; Murtala Suleiman, Akoko South East; Fatai Tiamiyu Atere, Akoko North West 1; Victor Japhet, Akoko North East, Kolawole Ologede, Akure North Oguntodu Olajide, Akure I, Oluwatoyin Daodu, Akoko Southwest I, Tope Agbulu, Akoko Southwest II, and Felix Afe, Akoko Northwest II.
As the 10th Assembly has been inaugurated, embarked on a six weeks recess and adjourned sitting to July 17,2023, the expectation of the people are high that the Honourable Members who are mostly professionals and young representatives, mandated to better the lives of the people will perform effectively and efficiently for the overall development of State.