Following the conclusion of the House of Assembly primaries by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, the permutations about who is likely to return to the chamber next year are easy, given that politics in the state is dominated by the party.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) primary for the Lagos State House of Assembly aspirants has come and gone. After all the controversies surrounding the outcome of the elections, there is now a clearer picture about who may come back and those who may not make it back to the chamber after the 2019 election.
Though the candidates still have to face the voters who have the final say about their fate at the 2019 general elections, based on the usual trend of elections outcome in Lagos, one can infer that majority of the candidates running on the ticket of the party will make it back to the House after the elections; Lagos being mainly an APC state.
It is, however, not certain the impact the acrimony and anger of some aspirants, who felt short-changed because of allegations of injustice and imposition in the final list of candidates will have on the performance of some of the candidates at the election.
Will there be protest votes in such constituencies? Will the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and others capitalize on such grievances to spring surprises in the election? Is the opposition capable of re-enacting the kind of victories it recorded in eight constituencies during the last general elections? Or are there going to be more opposition members in the 9th Lagos Assembly? Only the 2019 general elections can answer all these questions.
However, while it is not possible to say for now how many of the current members are coming back, one can say categorically how many of the current members are not coming back or will not be part of the 9th Assembly after the primary election and the release of the candidates for the election into the state House of Assembly.
It is very certain that nine out of the current 40 members in the house will not be part of the 9th Assembly. They will not be coming back, because of their ambition to move higher to the National Assembly. While some of such members succeeded in securing the party’s ticket for the race, others lost the primary election for the National Assembly ticket. Yet, there are those who lost in their bid to come back or won the primary but for reasons best known to the party leadership their names were dropped from the final list and substituted with other names.
In the category of those moving higher is the lawmaker currently representing Kosofe 1 constituency, Adebayo Osinowo. He has secured the party’s ticket for the Senate, after doing four terms at the Lagos Assembly.
In a different category is Olanrewaju Ogunyemi, who represents Ojo 2 in the house. He has served two terms and was seeking to move to the House of Representatives. He succeeded in the primary, but because of internal party arrangement and balancing within his constituency he had to step down for another candidate. So, he is not coming back to the assembly.
Funmilayo Tejuoso is another lawmaker that will not make it back to the house. Tejuoso who is serving her fourth term in the house contested the primary to return to the lawmaking chamber, after dropping her initial aspiration to vie for the House of Representatives seat. The member representing Mushin 1 constituency she lost at the primary and, so, will not be part of the 9th Assembly as well.
The case of the current Deputy Whip, Ms. Omotayo Oduntan who represents Alimosho 2, is slightly different. Oduntan who is currently doing the third term also wanted to go to the House of Representatives but lost at the primary. So, she will not be part of the 9th Assembly.
Also not returning to the house is Oludayo Fafunmi who represents Ifako/Ijaye 1 constituency and Olusegun Olulade who represents Epe 2 constituency. Fafunmi who is currently doing the third term and Olulade, currently serving his second term, both picked the forms to vie for a seat in the House of Representatives, but they lost at the primary. As a result, they will not be coming back to the house at the expiration of the 8th Assembly in May next year.
The remaining three lawmakers who are not coming back to the assembly and will thus not be part of the 9th Assembly are Ibrahim Layode who represents Badagry 1 constituency, Olusola Giwa who represents Lagos Island 11 constituency and Adedayo Famakinwa who represents Ajeromi/Ifelodun 1 constituency. They were all defeated at the primary election and would not come back after May next year.
At the onset of the 8th Assembly, there were 18 first-termers, but this increased to 19 through a by-election that was held to fill the vacancy created by the death of the representative of Eti-Osa 1 constituency, Alimi Kazeem. The late Kazeem was replaced by Noheem Adams.
Of the 19 first-termers in the outgoing 8th Assembly only two could not secure return ticket for the second term; Famakinwa and Giwa who was mentioned earlier.
At the beginning of the 8th Assembly, there were eight opposition members from the PDP in the house, but seven of them later defected to the ruling APC, leaving the PDP with just one lawmaker in the person of Dipo Olorunrinu. The PDP lawmaker represents Amuwo/Odofin 1 constituency. He remains the PDP candidate in his constituency, having won the party primary election in his constituency.
However, of the seven that defected to the APC, only six got return tickets for the second term. The seventh member, Famakinwa, could not make it through the primary.
Sources at the assembly say they were all promised automatic return tickets before they defected. Thus, though some of them actually lost at the primary, they were still compensated by the party, like others who actually won the election were sacrificed for them. It is however not clear why Famakinwa’s case is different.
But, unconfirmed reports as at press time have it that he has been given a second term ticket by the party, though his name was yet to appear on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) list of candidates.
The six defectors who are returning for a second term are: Fatai Oluwa (Ajeromi/Ifelodun 11); Bello Akeem (Amuwo/Odofin 11); Victor Akande (Ojo 1); Olushola Sokunle (Oshodi/Isolo 1); Jude Idimogun (Oshodi/Isolo 11) and Mrs. Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere 11).
How many will make it after the general election in 2019, only time will tell.