On March 11 of 2023, Osun’s eligible voters trooped out in large numbers to cast ballots for their preferred candidates for assembly seats.
This happened just nine months after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, won the Osun governor’s race, according to the declaration of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the state, there are 26 assembly seats. The incumbent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took home 25 of the 26 seats, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) only managed to win the Boripe/Boluwaduro seat. The PDP last enjoyed a decisive advantage when Adejare Bello served as speaker of the house from 2007 to 2011. For 12 years, the APC controlled the assembly.
Just four weeks after the election, the competition for the speakership and other top leadership positions in the assembly has already begun. There have been attempts by various people, organizations, and interests to elect their preferred leaders.
Only four members-elect, all ranking members of the House of Assembly, were taken into consideration for the poll, according to Osun Situation Room.
The foundation specifically highlighted “Election of Presiding Officers” in Part III of the Standing Orders and Rules of the Osun State House of Assembly.
In accordance with Section 4a of that Part III, “A Member-elect shall propose, addressing the Clerk, a ranking Member-elect from the Majority Party that such Member-elect do take, “Do take the Chair of the House as Speaker of the House of Assembly,” provided such a nomination shall be seconded by another Member-elect.”
As the struggle for leadership intensifies, WITHIN NIGERIA has named the four highest-ranking members of the Osun State House of Assembly: Hon. Adewumi Adeyemi (Obokun State Constituency), Hon. Tajudeen Adeyemi (Ifelodun State Constituency), Hon. Babajide Kofoworola (Ede North State Constituency), and Hon. Olaide Ajibola (Olorunda State Constituency).
Four of the Osun State House of Assembly’s top ranking members’ brief biographies.
Hon. Tajudeen Adeyemi
Under the speakership of Rt. Hon. Adejare Bello, he served as the majority leader of the house. He served as the House representative for Ifelodun State Constituency from 2007 to 2011. He was born and raised in Ikirun, the seat of the Ifelodun Local Government.
He has several years of experience at the Bar and is a licensed attorney. Alhaji Teslim Igbalaye, the Secretary of State for Government, lives in the same senatorial district as him.
As of the time this report was submitted, there was no online information available regarding his engagements and activities while serving as the majority leader of the house.
Hon. Olaide Ajibola
He served as a representative for the Olorunda State Constituency while Rt. Hon. Adejare Bello was speaker. From 2007 until 2011, he was a member of the Osun State House of Assembly.
There was no online information available concerning his schooling, occupation, engagements, or actions when he was a member of the Osun State House of Assembly as of the time this report was filed.
Although attempts to elicit information from friends or party members proved fruitless, dependable sources told WITHIN NIGERIA that he is a conventional politician and businessman.
Conventional politicians are those who entered politics with non-existing or clear professional history.
Hon. Adewumi Adeyemi
The 37-year-old politician is currently in the 7th Assembly’s 7th Assembly, where Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye is the speaker. He was born in Ibokun, the seat of the Obokun Local Government. Prince Adewusi, the state’s vice governor, and he both reside in the Osun East Senatorial District.
He was one of the three assembly members elected in 2019 on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket.
Adewumi Adeyemi is a Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) architecture graduate and a former leader of the student union. He founded a state-registered construction company Light Space Consult Limited and is a successful architect.
As an active member of the 7th Assembly and first timer, he sponsored four bills Osun State Disability Protection Bill (2020), Osun State Local Content Bill (2020), Osun State Community Social Responsibility Bill (2020) and Osun State COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Bill (2020).
Hon. Babajide Kofoworola
Under the speakership of Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye, he is currently the minority leader of the 7th Assembly. He represents the Ede North State Constituency and is an Edeland native.
Babajide shares same local government and senatorial district with the governor, denying him the opportunity to become speaker to avert concentration of powers. Nonetheless, he’s one of the four ranking members in the assembly.
Although there was no information about his schooling or profession online at the time this report was filed, a source who claimed to be close to him informed the reporter that he is mostly involved in the importing and exportation of products.
However, a Google search turned up projects and obligations he took part in while in government. He is also a conventional politician, according to a source who spoke to WITHIN NIGERIA. Those who entered politics without a proven track record in their fields.
Many analysts, including civil societies have urged and appealed to Senator Ademola Adeleke’s not to intervene in the process after recent interactions with elected assembly members.
Reliable sources told WITHIN NIGERIA that the governor of Osun State recently met with assembly members who were elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform. He sampled their opinions and urged them to follow the party’s directive and the administration he is in charge of.
Senator Ademola Adeleke has not revealed publicly which one he prefers as of the time this report was filed. The Governor’s close aides’ social media accounts were monitored by WITHIN NIGERIA, but nothing about his favorite appeared to be available to the general public.
State governors attempt to choose their favorite among the ranking members of the assembly every four years to head leadership posts of the assembly, despite the fact that many experts have denounced this practice as being abused and condemned it.
All hands on deck, though, as state residents eagerly anticipate learning which of the four ranking senators is Senator Ademola Adeleke’s favorite.