Drama as Lagos Assembly suspends screening of Ambode’s 73-year-old nominee
LAGOS State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s nominees for the Civil Service Commission on Tuesday visited the Lagos State House of Assembly for screening but in a dramatic fashion, it was stalled. Ambode had in a letter penultimate Monday sent the list of five nominees for screening and confirmation. The nominees are: Mrs. Taiwo Oyemade (Chairman); Mr. Santai Arerilesere (member); Alh Wasiu A. Odeyemi (member); Pastor Israel Alagbe (member) and O.O. Osinowo (member).
Invitation of Osinowo apparently rang a bell in the ears of some of the lawmakers. Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who called out the names, had in his concluding remarks said he hoped the nominee was not in anyway related to a sitting member, Bayo Osinowo – a revered power broker in the House.
Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade, primed for some banters, quickly informed that the Osinowo dynasty was one in Africa, reputable in character and would not be out of place to do the nominee a honour of “take a bow and go” in line with espirit de corps.
Bayo Osinowo, popularly known as ‘Agba egbe’ (party elder), rose to inform the House that the nominee in question was actually his elder brother. It was thought that the nominee would have an easy ride until the Deputy Majority Leader, Wahab Jimoh, decided to play a fast one with a question that rocked the boat.
Jimoh said: “Sir, you’re 73 years old. Do you think you still have the strength for such an appointment and what can you still contribute to the progress of our state at your age?”
It was a twist that didn’t augur well with other lawmakers, including the younger Osinowo, who quickly replied that age was no longer a factor, saying “after all, our president is over 70.”
Speaker of the House, Obasa acknowledged that though the House had agreed that Jimoh had made a valid point on the issue of age.
“We are always saying leaders of tomorrow, but when will they (younger ones) lead, when the old ones don’t want to leave ,” Obasa said.
The nominee, who had served in the last five years, argued in his response that experience always count in all matters. Obasa later ruled that the House should suspend confirmation till another date.