As the inauguration of the ninth Ondo State House of Assembly draws near, the people of Akure, the state capital, have demanded that the community be allowed to produce the next speaker of the House.
The people under the aegis of Akure Rebirth Group (ARG), lamented that the state capital had not had her fair share in the political configuration of the state despite its ever increasing population and voting strength at every election.
In a statement by its coordinator, Fanibuyan Olamide, the group said since the return to democracy in 1999, Akure had continually clamored for a fair dealing and treatment in the sharing of major political positions both at the Federal and State levels.
ARG argued that it was a matter of fairness and social justice to allow an indigene of the ancient city to become the next speaker of the Assembly.
“Few weeks to the take-off of the 9th Assembly, there is no need to play ethnic card but to come to term with realities and qualities of what it deserves.
“It is expedient to state that the entire Akure community is resolute in her bid to support Hon. Sunday Olajide to clinch the position of the speaker which is zoned to the central senatorial district.
“The Akure community recognizes the selection of a speaker as an exclusive business of the Honorable members which should be devoid of any external interference.
“It is however imperative for the community to call the attention of the Honorable members to what is just, equitable, fair and of good quality, which will further enhance and prompt good representation and a purpose-driven Assembly,” the group said.
It said Akure was interested in the speakership of the Assembly and had not conceded it to the incumbent speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, as claimed by a group in some media reports.
Describing the claim of the group as a mere wishful thinking, ARG declared that Akure community was resolute in presenting one of her best and finest with an intimidating and impressive records to lead the Assembly.
According to ARG, the elders, leaders and youths of Akure were solidly behind Olajide’s bid to emerge as the next speaker.
The group said: “It is worthy to set the record straight that the position of Akure on this matter was well articulated by the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, during a thank you visit by the Governor to the good people of Akure at the St. Thomas’s event centre.
“The Deji did not mince words in his speech before the large gathering which had Traditional Rulers, Chiefs, Religious Leaders, Opinion and community leaders as well as party faithfuls in attendance.
“It is therefore illogical and ridiculous for anyone to go against the collective interest of Akure people for selfish reasons and pecuniary gain just like the biblical Esau.”
The group countered the argument that Akure could not produce the next speaker because of the position of Secretary to the State Government (SSG) being occupied by one of her indigenes.
Saying it was laughable and a height of hypocrisy to use such as a yard stick for who emerges as the speaker, the group added that the SSG was an appointee of the governor.
“The prerogative of the Governor in this wise has nothing to do with the election of principal officers at the Assembly,” the group said.
No fewer than six persons are currently jostling for the position which has been zoned to the central senatorial district of the state.
Among the top contenders are Oloyelogun who comes from Ifedore Local Government Area and Olajide from Akure South.
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