At 11:20am on Tuesday, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu proclaimed the first session of the 10th House of Assembly, following the inauguration of 40 members-elect of the State legislature by the clerk.
The ceremony, Sanwo-Olu said, symbolised the continuity of the State’s democratic journey, stressing the role of legislature, as indispensable pillar of democracy, was vital in exercising the power of the people in a system of governance.
The Governor said the legislative arm embodied the hopes and aspirations of the State’s residents, who elected representatives to work in partnership with other arms of the Government in the quest for good governance and prosperity of Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu, who described Lagos as a citadel of resilience and dynamism, noted that the rancour-free transition from the Ninth Assembly to the 10th parliament further demonstrated the sustenance of culture of legislative vibrancy entrenched in the State’s parliament. This, he said, confirmed Lagos’ journey on the path of innovation, development and cultural diversity.
He said: “Today, we come together for the proclamation of the 10th Lagos State House of Assembly. The ceremony symbolises not just the continuity of our democratic journey, but also the vital role of legislative power in our system of governance. The legislature, an indispensable pillar of our democracy, plays an essential role in the journey we have embarked upon. It is the embodiment of the hopes and aspirations of our people, a crucial partner in the quest for good governance, and a custodian of our shared democratic values.
“The independent atmosphere under which the House of Assembly operates is a testament to the strength of our democracy and the commitment of Lagosians to the pursuit of excellence. Lagos has always been a citadel of resilience and dynamism, leading the path in innovation, development, and cultural diversity. As we embark on this new journey, we are reminded of our shared commitment to bolster the prosperity of Lagos and improve the lives of every Lagosian.”
Sanwo-Olu, who maintained neutrality in the process that led to selection of the Assembly’s principal officers, said his interest lay in how the executive and the legislature could work in collaboration to fulfil shared responsibilities to the people.
The Governor urged the legislators to bring their unique value and perspective to bear in the debates of issues and policies in the assembly, stressing that the Government would achieve extraordinary results through collective efforts and cooperation.
Sanwo-Olu thanked members of the Ninth Assembly, whom he said worked with his Government to ensure dividends of good governance were reaped by the people. He charged members of the 10th Assembly to meet and outperform the record set by the expired Assembly in legislative activities.
He said: “As we look to the future, let us remind ourselves of the importance of cooperation, dialogue, and mutual respect. The Executive and the Legislature are partners in this democratic journey. Our shared goal is to create a Lagos where everyone thrives, where opportunities abound, and where our cultural diversity propels us forward.
“I stand ready to work with the 10th Assembly, collaborating to drive impactful policies, and fostering an environment where the hopes and dreams of every Lagosian can be realised. I believe the 10th Assembly will meet the expectations of Lagosians and surpass the record set by the Ninth Assembly.”
Clerk of the House, Barr. Bunyamin Onafeko, rated the Ninth Assembly high in legislative achievements, noting that the House, in four years, passed 46 bills into law and approved over 120 resolutions, touching range of issues, relating to welfare of the people, settlement of dues, and other socio-economic issues.
Onafeko disclosed that 20 legislators from the previous Assembly returned, while 20 members were newly elected into the House. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) retained the majority in the Assembly with 38 members, while Labour Party has two members.
“Legislature is the only arm of Government composed of elected representatives of the people across constituencies with statutory mandate to aggregate the concerns of the people and present their interests for implementation by the executive arm. The legislature has oversight power on other arms of Government through which it ensures transparency and accountability in allocation of public resources,” Onafeko said.
Sanwo-Olu, in pursuant of Section 105(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, transmitted a letter to proclaim the holding of the first session of the 10th Assembly.
Upon confirming the Governor’s letter, Onafeko, citing Section 92 of the Constitution and Order 2 and Rule 4 of the House, called for the nomination of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Temitope Adewale, representing Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency 1, nominated member representing Agege Constituency 1, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, to take the chair of the Speaker.
Obasa, who is returning to the House for the record sixth term, led the Eight and Ninth Assemblies as Speaker.
Hon. Ogunkelu Sylvester from Epe Constituency II seconded Obasa’s nomination to return as Speaker.
With no other nomination for the position, the Clerk returned Obasa as Speaker of the 10th Assembly.
Hon. Desmond Elliot of Surulere Constituency 1 nominated Hon. Mojisola Lasbat Meranda, of Apapa Constituency 1, to take the seat of Deputy Speaker.
Meranda was elected after her nomination was seconded by Hon. Tijani Surajudeen of Ojo Constituency 2.
Upon assumption of duty as Speaker, Obasa said members’ elections were a testament to avowed commitment to sustaining and upholding democratic values and principles through effective policy formulation, implementation and evaluation.
The Speaker thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for according respect to this House and maintaining neutrality in the internal affairs of the Assembly. Obasa also appreciated the Governor for what the Speaker described as his defence of the legislature from external forces and manipulations.
He said: “The 10th Assembly has been proclaimed today. To achieve our goals, we will need to work hard, be innovative and stay united. We must abstain from being purveyors and sponsors of negative publicity about this House and publications that do no one any good, but destroy the image and reputation of the parliament as well as its leadership.
“As we begin a new chapter in the history of this Assembly, I want to affirm my commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance. My goal is to ensure that every member of this Assembly is respected and valued, and that we work together to provide effective representation for the people of Lagos state.”
Other principal officers constituted on the first session are Majority Leader, Hon. Noheem Adam, of Eti Osa Constituency 1; Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Damola Kasumu of Ikeja Constituency II; Chief Whip, Hon. Mojeed Fatai of Ibeju Lekki Constituency 1, and Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. David Setonji of Badagry Constituency II.