Agboola: What you missed about swearing-in of PDP candidate

Last week Tuesday, the Kwara State House of Assembly finally bowed to the order of the Appeal Court to swear-in the sole opposition candidate, Hon Jimoh Raheem Agboola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Acting Editor, Mumini AbdulKareem captures the moment and activities that led to the event.

Last Tuesday, the ambiance of the Kwara State House of Assembly wore a different garb. Unlike the serenity and quietude that usually characterized legislative business when the house is in session, the opposite was the case this time around and the reason was not farfetched. The house was agog by the activities of supporters of Hon Jimoh Raheem Agboola, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and party members who stormed the legislature with fanfare amidst singing, drumming and dancing to witnessed the eventual swearing-in ceremony of the lawmaker after a fourteen months hiatus since the election tribunal declared him the winner of the polls in 2019.
Although the House was originally expected to sit at 10:00am according to a release by the Clerk of the House, Hajia Halimah Jummai Kperogi, the lawmakers began proceedings about one hour later following the arrival of the Speaker, Engr Danladi Yakubi Saliu around 11:04am. But the much anticipated ceremony did not commenced until past 12:00 noon when Agboola was ushered into the chamber by a motion by the House Leader, Hon Magaji Olawoyin.
At the gallery were top members of the PDP who accompanied Agboola to the occasion which include the party’s state chairman, Engr Kola Shittu, immediate past Deputy Speaker, Hon Matthew Okedare, Kwara Central PDP senatorial chairman, Alhaji Jimoh Adesina, former Deputy Chief of Staff, Christopher Ayeni, Ahmed Dembo and the PDP state woman leader, Hajia Oganija Rahmat Oganija among other top leaders of the opposition who filled the gallery for the swearing-in ceremony.
For some supporters of Agboola and members of the PDP who had expected the swearing-in to be the sole event of the legislature that day, the House deliberation on the presentation and debate of the report of the need for speedy completion of Ekiti and Baruteen campuses of the Kwara State University, Malete, Moro Local Government Area was an anti climax to their expectation. But they have to endure the session amidst groaning that later snowballed into growling and ecstasy when the speaker returned to the gallery to perform the ceremony now dressed in a ceremonial garb around past 12pm after adjourning for about 10 minutes.
Speaker’s fence mending move
While the House witnessed relative peace while the process of the swearing in lasted, the friendship and camaraderie that existed cannot be divorced from the romantic moves of the speaker a day leading to the ceremony for two of the frontline gladiators among the lawmakers to leave the arena with their arms wrapped around their shoulders and thus sheath their swords in the process. Due to the “fireworks” between Hon Saheed Popoola and his estrange ally for his botched speakership ambition, Hon Razaq Owolabi that led to the verbal attack by the latter during plenary, some people including opposition members had expected that the swearing-in ceremony will be a continuation of that episode. It was however gathered that a day before the ceremony, Speaker Danladi Yakubu-Salihu invited both lawmakers to his office and especially pleaded with Hon Popoola over the need to stop further escalation of the issue. It was that intervention that played out on the floor of the House that disappointed those who had expected different scenario.
Sacked lawmaker moved belongings
A day prior the swearing in ceremony, the sacked lawmaker, Hon Azeez Hassan Elewu (Oluwanilo) was at the House of Assembly to remove some of his belongings and paraphernalia of office like almanac and other personal files in preparatory for the occupation of the office by his successor. Although “Nilo” as he’s popularly known was not part of the swearing-in ceremony, his fate as regards what will happen to his collected remuneration while his tenure lasted dominated discussion.
Popoola’s “escape”
While the ceremony lasted, one of the names that attracted praises from the lips of many of those in the gallery who came to witness the event was that of Hon Saheed Popoola. The lawmaker’s popularity among guest at the plenary further soared when he approached Hon Jimoh Raheem Agboola to congratulate him over the development, openly embracing and taking photographs with him in the process publicly. After the conclusion of the ceremony, Popoola smartly avoided many of the opposition supporters who were waiting outside of the hallowed chambers dancing and singing victory songs with Hon Agboola and “escaped” through the walk way that led to his office from inside the plenary over fears and anticipation that he might be mobbed and even raised shoulder high by the joyous PDP supporters who have continuously hailed him while the session lasted.
Agboola’s Carnival
Although the security operatives prevented them from gaining entrance into the premises of the House of Assembly, some PDP members and supporters held a carnival of sorts while waiting for Hon Agboola to come outside and met them. Led by Alhaji Isiaka (Igi Jegede), the elated supporters danced to the drum and song of the singer with shout of Oloye, Sai Leader, Saraki our leader among others. Agboola’s presence later amplified the atmosphere he was initially lifted up and later waved to the crowd through the roof top of one of the vehicles that accompanied him to the event acknowledging cheers from the party supporters from where they zoomed off to the party secretariat for a thank you visit.
I’ll not disappoint my people – Hon Agboola: I will first thank Almighty Allah for giving us this unique day in the sense that I am being sworn in as a member of the 9th Kwara State House of Assembly from Ilorin South on the 9th day of February, 2021. I also want to thank the judiciary because I am a product of Rule of Law and this is what I will push and uphold as a member of the House. Due to our patience, we were able to achieve this and nobody has rancor with anybody. My people stayed with me throughout this struggle for almost fourteen months to tell us that the Nigeria of today is different. I want to also thank the leadership of our party especially our leader and former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, party chairman, Engr Kola Shittu and people of Ilorin South constituency who did not lose hope but stood faithfully by me and God. My promise is to stand for the people as they have stood by me.
He should prioritise welfare of his people – Ex Deputy Speaker, Matthew Okedare: Although the event came late, it is better to be late than not to be held as we have been in court for more than a year now. It came to us as a surprise that the House being led by a youth with the people expecting changes to stop the mistake of the past as new breed politicians, but to our dismay, that was not to be. They should have done the needful after the Appeal Court had given judgment. The ceremony is being held today because of the threat or likely consequences of disobedience to judicial pronouncement, if not, we would not be here today. But we thank God that the judiciary is living up to expectation which we are all seeing now. I am using this opportunity to appeal to those coming behind to always emulate and lay good precedent and do away with sentiment, tribalism or party affiliation when it comes to the issue of the legislature. The House belongs to everybody irrespective of tribal or political affiliation and when we are elected as members, we remove out party toga and unite to serve the cause of the people in order not to jeopardize the interest of the state and country in general. My advice for Hon Agboola is for him to know where he is coming from and that he is representing people whose welfare should be his priority. He must regularly be meeting with his people and make himself accessible just like I used to do during my time and always respond to their needs. Agboola should not expect the community to come to him and by so doing, he will be able to know their problems and vice versa especially the challenges and difficulties he is facing representing them. He should not come here and fight anybody as this is not a boxing ground. His people’s welfare should be paramount because that is what they expect from him and on the basis of what they will judge him on.
Event lesson for others – Ex Deputy Chief of Staff, Christopher Ayeni: Although the process is late but eventually the Speaker later did the right thing and that is the most important end product. But he has deprived the people of Ilorin South of enjoying good representation. Democracy is win or lose and election ends at the court which has now decide and there is nothing anyone can do about it. We were here in 1999 we won the election of Oke-Ogun by Hon Alalade of PDP which was contested at the court by Hon Adedoyin. The latter won and we have no choice than to swear him in. This should be a lesson to others that when the court made pronouncement, it has to be obeyed because we have three arms of government each functioning on its own. Agboola was among the five AD members during our time in the House with three PDP and sixteen APP members. He remained in his party throughout the four year and did not decamp. So he is not in a strange environment and he has the necessary experience.
Its victory for women, democracy, judiciary – PDP Woman Leader, Rahmat Oganija: This is a victory we have been expecting and believed it will come because of our faith in God and our party’s leadership. We know that our party has never been a looser, it’s only by the power of almighty Allah that made everything to happen the way we saw it. But we thank God for the victory at last and I and the entire women of Kwara are so glad seeing today. Agboola has been here before and knows the protocol. He’s a man of wisdom and man of himself. Our only advice is that he should see what is on ground and do the needful but should be very conscious of his own party, the PDP in the process.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button