Minority Leader, Olagunju Ojo, Emerges Oyo Speaker


The Oyo State House of Assembly on Tuesday chose a former Minority Leader of the House, Joshua Ojo, 67, as the new Speaker, to replace the late Michael Adeyemo, who died on April 27, 2018.

The choice of Ojo, who is representing Orire State Constituency, was unanimous after an earlier political power play that threatened to polarise the assembly.

Before his nomination by Joshua Oyebamiji, a member of the All Progressives Congress who is representing Akinyele State Constituency, a call for an election was challenged by Muideen Olagunju, a member of the Accord Party representing Oyo East/Oyo West. Olagunju argued that the Nigerian constitution favoured the deputy occupying the top seat in the absence of the former Speaker.

Citing sections 90, 92, 94 and 95 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olagunju argued that in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker ought to automatically take over the office of the Speaker.

He said, “The section of the constitution makes it clear that an election is unnecessary and also it is clear about the transition to the speakership in case of any absence or vacancy. The constitution clearly states that the Deputy Speaker shall vacate his office and preside over the house.”

Supporting Olagunju’s position, another member of the house, Olusegun Olaleye, argued that the absence of a Speaker could also mean the death of a Speaker. Another member of the house, Solomon Akande, however, opposed the argument, saying that such provision did not apply to the legislative arm even if it was applicable to Presidency and governorship positions.

But Fatai Adeshina, representing Ibadan South-East, cautioned the house, urging the members to allow for a smooth transition in honour of the late Speaker who stood for unity and peace.

The acting Speaker for the session, Musa Abdulwasil, also urged the house not to give room for a crack in order not to fall into the hands of external forces. Although he said an election could cause a division in the house, the assembly later agreed on using an election to fill the vacuum. After Ojo was nominated by Oyebamiji, he was seconded by Gbenga Oyekola, a Labour Party member from Atiba. There was no other nomination which confirmed Ojo as the new Speaker.

The new Speaker was elected on the platform of the LP but defected to the APC along with former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala. He had yet to formalise the defection in the house which gave him the opportunity to retain his position of Minority Leader before his nomination as the new Speaker.

Mr Ojo, a former Deputy Speaker in the fourth assembly (1999-2003), in his acceptance speech, promised to work in harmony with the other lawmakers in honour of the late speaker and in the interest of the people they represent.

“The unavoidable change that has taken place in this hallowed chamber must not be our undoing or source of discord, rather it should strengthen and spur us to continue to work together more than ever before.

“I have no doubt that doing so will be the best way to keep the spirit of our departed leader alive, as he will not have wished that the good works he started suffer any loss.

“I salute the principal officers who not only stood by our late Speaker while alive but also provided good leadership that held together the legislature in the state during the time of our intense mourning and sorrow.

“I therefore charge all of us to continue exhibiting this attitude of cooperation and maximally contribute to steer the affairs of the state. No doubt my predecessor has left an enviable record of performance and goodwill which shall be a beacon for us to follow,” he said.

The new speaker said that the cooperation of all members was crucial and vital to the progress of the legislative arm.

He also urged the lawmakers to be ever mindful of their conduct and actions as they were constantly under public scrutiny.


Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has congratulated members of the Oyo State House of Assembly on the rancor-free election of a new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olagunju Ojo.

The governor also felicitated with the new speaker for being found worthy by his colleagues to occupy the exalted position.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, on Tuesday, said the governor pledged the full support of the executive arm of government to the new speaker.

He said that the peaceful emergence of Ojo had further consolidated the leadership of the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, as an apostle of geo-political balancing in the political configuration of the state.

The statement reads, “The peaceful and successful emergence of the speaker has demonstrated the unity of the APC in the state.

“The rancor-free exercise has further consolidated the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who is an apostle of geo-political balancing in the political configuration of the state.”

The governor also charged the speaker to sustain the legacy of peace, cooperation and bridge-building existing between the executive and the legislature.

Ajimobi stressed that the support of the legislature is critical to the consolidation of the unprecedented achievements of his administration in the last seven years.

The seat of the speaker became vacant following the sudden death of the first Speaker of the eighth Assembly, Rt. Hon. Michael Adeyemo, on April 27.

Ojo was elected by his colleagues during a plenary session, where Adeyemo’s deputy, Hon. Abdulwasi Musa, retained his position.

The governor prayed that the Almighty will continue to comfort and sustain the family of the late speaker.

Ojo is a ranking member of the Assembly, having emerged as deputy speaker from 1999 to 2003, while he was the running mate of the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2007 election.

Communication Team

Governor’s Office


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