•As IKERE May Produce 1st Speaker
It’s no longer news that the All Progressive’ Congress (APC) in Ekiti state won all the state House of Assembly seats in the recent polls. What is news, however, indicates that Ikere Ekiti is set to make history as it may produce the speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly for the first time as the 9th Assembly will be inaugurated in June 2019. The speaker is the third in rank in the state’s political setting. Mostly, the seat is occupied by a party that has majority members in the House. The Ekiti State House of Assembly came into existence after the creation of Ekiti State in October 1996. Its main plenary functions are to enact, amend and repeal laws, while statutory and standing committees are on hand for oversight functions of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government in the State. The First Assembly of the state was formally inaugurated on 4th June 1999, with Barrister Adekola Adefemi of the then Alliance for Democracy (AD) as the pioneer Speaker. Today, the Assembly has had 12 substantive Speakers, two Acting Speakers and twelve Deputy Speakers. The speaker and his/her deputy are addressed as Rt. Honourable Speaker.
ON ZONING ARRANGEMENT
The speaker is the number one legislative officer in the state House of Assembly. The office is zoned. If the Governor emerges from the South Senatorial district and the deputy is from the North. Automatically, the speaker will emerge from the central senatorial district. The incumbent Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, is from the North senatorial district, while his deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, is from Central senatorial district. If zoning is upheld the next speaker would emerge from the Southern senatorial district. It is, however, on record that the Southern Senatorial district has also produced Speaker since 1999 till date.
The two other districts have also held the position between them Ekiti South Senatorial districts which comprise six local government areas has Gbonyin local government area, Ekiti South West local government area, Ikere local government area, Ise/Orun local government area. Ekiti west local government area. Out of the six local government areas, 4 local governments have produced Ekiti state House of Assembly speaker, while Ikere local government area and Ekiti South West local government area are yet to produce any. Also in Ekiti North Senatorial district, which comprises Oye local government area, Ido –Osi local government area, Moba local government area, Ikole local government area and Ilejemeje local government area 3 local government area out of the five local government areas have produced speaker, while two local government areas are yet to take their turn. As the governor is from the North senatorial district and the deputy governor is from the central senatorial district, the speaker is expected to come from south senatorial.
MEET THE PAST AND PRESENT SPEAKERS OF EKITI STATE
Hon. Kola Adefemi, representing Emure Constituency, was the pioneer speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, while Hon. Oladapo Karounwi, representing Efon Constituency, was the deputy speaker between 1999 and 2003. Between 2003 and 2007, Ekiti State House of Assembly had three speakers. They are Hon. Sola Ajigbolamu, representing Ikole Constituency I (2003-2004),
Hon. Aderemi Friday, representing Ido/Osi Constituency (2004-2006) and Hon. Tope Ademiluyi, who represented Ekiti West Constituency I all served as Ekiti speaker with Hon. Omolayo Ojo from Ikole Constituency II as the deputy speaker (2003-2007). He was later made the Acting Speaker. During the third Assembly, Hon. Olufemi Bamisile, representing Ekiti West II, was elected in 2007 to 2008, while Hon. Adebayo Morakinyo, representing Ikole Constituency I, was the deputy speaker. The deputy speaker was impeached and the late Hon. Saliu Adeoti Moba Constituency II was made the deputy speaker (2007-2010). Bamisile was impeached and Hon. Tunji Odeyemi, representing Gbonyin constituency, was elected speaker between 2008-2011 and along the line, Tunji Odeyemi was made acting governor and the Late Saliu Adeoti became the acting speaker for 3 months. In the same year, Hon. Olabode Odebunmi of Ekiti East Constituency I was made the deputy speaker from 2010 to 2011. In 2011, Hon Adewale Omirin from Gbonyin constituency was made the speaker of the fourth Assembly, while Hon Taiwo Orisalade was the Deputy Speaker. On the 20th November 2014, Hon Dele Olugbemi, representing Ikole 2, was the speaker and Hon Olayinka Modupe Abeni from Ado Constituency 2 was the deputy. In 2015, Hon Kolawole Oluwawole from Moba Constituency 2 became the speaker and Hon Segun Adewunmi from Ekiti West Constituency 1 was his deputy. He was later impeached and Hon Sina Animasaun Ekiti West Constituency 2 replaced him. The incumbent speaker of the House is Hon. Ebenezer Alagbada, representing Ise/Orun Constituency as the new speaker and the House subsequently reinstated the former deputy speaker, Segun Adewumi Ekiti West Constituency I, who was impeached in 2018 and Hon Olaposi Omodara (Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 1) became the new Deputy Speaker.
Going by the above details on local government areas that have produced speaker in Ekiti South Senatorial district, it has been revealed that Ikere Ekiti and Ekiti South West local governments areas are yet to produce a Speaker. The 2 local governments made up of 4 state constituencies represented by Hon Yemisi Ayokunle Ekiti South West 1, Hon Olatunji Joseph Ekiti South West 2, Hon Afuye Fuminiyi Ebenezer Ikere 1 and Hon Babatunde Lawrance Idowu Ikere 2 and they are all qualified to be the speaker. The south senatorial district lawmakers- elect are ready to work in the interest of the party, they might concede the speakership ticket to Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, representing Ikere Constituency 1. He was a core member of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, before he sought without success to represent Ikere Constituency 1 in the Ekiti State House of Assembly in the 2003 general elections on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He, however, won the Assembly seat in 2007, when he contested on the platform of the Action Congress (AC). Afuye has garnered a considerable experience as a politician. He had the privilege of serving as an AC Leader and later as the Majority Leader of the House. He also served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary when he used his experience as a lawyer to initiate Bills that gave the people of Ekiti access to justice. This Ikere-Ekiti- born politician, lawyer and political scientist served as Commissioner for Information and later Commissioner for Integration and Intergovernmental Affairs during Gov. Fayemi’s first term. His experience in both legislative and executive arms has prepared him for the task ahead of him in the state if he becomes the speaker of the 9th Ekiti House of Assembly.