Opinion- Lasun Yusuf: Between Logic And Common SenseArticles/Opinion, Latest News Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
By. Eleshin Lawal – For having the gut to offer himself for service and balance the power equation in the House of Representatives, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yusuf has been vilified, called many names and in fact, almost being ostracised quite, in a rather twisted negative irony, by the southwest people especially those from Osun State, whose interest he had sought to protect by his ambition and consequent election as the Deputy Speaker of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.
The major bone of contention here is that Rt. Hon. Yusuf stabbed his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the back by alligning with the Yakubu Dogara group in the run off to the election of the House of Representatives Speaker against the position of the party. To this school of thought, Lasun has shown total disregard for the party’s directive that Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila should be supported for the seat of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The question to ask is in the first instance: Did Lasun Yusuf disobeyed the party’s directive? Far from it. The current Deputy Speaker in fact deserves praise for showing commitment and obedience to the directive of the party. He deserves commendation for employing his common sense backed by logic to bring about balance of power in the House and ensured that the southwest did not lose out in power structure of the National Assembly.
Perhaps many did not know, the primary objective of Lasun Yusuf was to become the Speaker of the 8th Assembly of the House of Representatives. And of course, nobody can begrudge him such ambition because he is more than qualified to hold the office. He is a ranking officer of the House and a member of the ruling party at the centre,the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party with the majority members in the House. Added to this is the fact that he has the necessary education qualification to back up his ambition.
Because he has the needed qualifications to back up his ambition, Lasun Yusuf officially indicated his intention to run for the seat of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
However, a loyal party man he is, when the leadership of the APC cast their lot with Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila as the annointed candidate for the office of the Speaker and Honourable Monguno as the Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuf quietly withdrew his ambition in deference to the party’s position. What loyalty and obedience to party supremacy can be more than this?
For those criticising the emergence of Lasun Yusuf as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, perhaps they were oblivious of the events that took place on the day of the election in the Green Chamber of the National Assembly.
In the first instance, the election in the House of Representatives which produced Yakubu Dogara as the Speaker of the House was not only transparent but it was also the most keenly contested ever in the history of the House. The fact that Dogara won the election with only a difference of eight votes spoke volume of the intensity of the contest. Dogara polled 182 votes; his opponent, Gbakabiamila polled 174 votes.
The transparency of the voting pattern prompted Gbajabiamila to accept defeat and congratulate Dogara. What happened in the House was a clear departure from the event in the Senate earlier in the day where Senator Bukola Saraki became the Senate President in controversial manner.
Perhaps many did not know, in the spirit of sportsmanship, Dogara had a long discussion with Gbajabiamila in the full glare of the camera on the possibility of him going for the Deputy Speakership position for which the four-term lawmaker bluntly rejected.
Not many had pondered on the implication of Gbajabiamila’s rejection of the offer.
Dogara is from the northeast and if Monguno has been elected the Deputy Speaker like the Gbajabiamila camp desired, it means northeast will take the two top positions in the Green Chamber. Where then will the southwest be in the political structure of the National Assembly if that happened with the Senate President coming from northcentral and his Deputy from southeast?
It took the courage of Lasun Yusuf to correct this and save the southwest from being relegated to the background. He indicated his intention to run for the Deputy Speaker seat, he was duly nominated and the majority members of the House duly voted for him and he became the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The voting pattern of the election in the House should enlighten us further that even more members of the House desired Lasun to be Deputy Speaker than they desired Dogara to be Speaker. Dogara scored 182 votes, his opponent, Gbajabiamila scored 174 votes for the Speakership seat. In the Deputy Speaker race, Lasun Yusuf scored 203 votes while his opponent, Monguno scored 153 votes. The indication of this is that all along, more members of the House and especially more APC members desired Lasun Yusuf to be Deputy Speaker than they desired Dogara to be Speaker. One is left to imagine what could have happened if he had not sacrificed his ambition to be Speaker on the alta of the supremacy of the party. The question we ask therefore is: does this kind of loyal party member deserves all the brickbats being thrown at him? Certainly not.
Lasun Yusuf’s critics should just sit down and contemplate a House where the Speaker and his Deputy will come from the northeast and the implication not only on the events in the House but also on the political fortune of the southwest in the legislative arm of government bearing in mind that the Senate President in from northcentral and his Deputy from southeast.
Lasun Yusuf deserves our praise not the rubbish being thrown at him. With logic and common sense, he has uphold the dignity of the southwest, gives more recognition to the State of Osun and ensured the balance of power in the House of Representatives in particular and the National Assembly in general.
Therefore, for those who have been asking Lasun Yusuf to resign, it is not only beyond reasoning level, it is also nonsensical!
Thank God, the nonsense request has finally been laid to rest with the southwest emerging victorious with two major principal offices in the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly, can we now rise and applaud Lasun Yusuf for his steadfastness?
The storm is over, let serious legislative business begins.
Lawal writes in from Lagos
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