Former Minority Leader of Oyo State House of Assembly, Joshua Olagunju Ojo (representing Orire State Constituency), has been elected Speaker.
Ojo had also served as Deputy Speaker in the Fourth Assembly (1999-2003) on the platform of defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD).
The speakership election became imperative following the death of former Speaker Michael Adeyemo on April 27.
Three groups in the Assembly showed interest in the position and a faction backed one of the candidates.
Ojo, 67, was unopposed after his nomination by Joshua Oyebamiji (APC/Akinyele I) and seconded by Gbenga Oyekola (LP/Atiba).
Also, Ademola Ige (Accord/Ibadan South East II) was elected Minority Leader when the seat was declared vacant following the election of the new Speaker.
Ige was nominated by Kayode Akande (Ogbomosho South) and seconded by Oyatokun Oyeleke.
Ojo pledged to unite the members and sustain the leadership legacies of peace and harmony the late Adeyemo achieved until his death.
He urged the Abiola Ajimobi-led Executive arm to consider naming any monument, institution or infrastructure after the late Speaker as well as complete the road to Lanlate from Ibadan.
The new Speaker noted that this would gladden the hearts of lawmakers and residents of the area.
There was a heavy security presence as early as 8 a.m in the Assembly.
Every entry and exit into the complex was manned by armed security personnel, including the police and the Directorate of State Services (DSS).
Only accredited officials of the Assembly and reporters were allowed into the chamber to monitor the plenary while visitors and aides to the lawmakers were denied entry into the Assembly complex while the sitting lasted.
When the call for nomination was made, Ojo was the only candidate nominated and seconded. He was declared new Speaker after a voice vote.
The Speaker won election into the current Eighth Assembly on the platform of Labour Party (LP) and was among party leaders and members who defected last year to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at an elaborate event at Mapo Hall in Ibadan, the state capital.
Ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala led the group of defectors but the new speaker was yet to formally make the same declaration known on the floor of the state House of Assembly, which accounted for the reason he still retained his position as a principal officer of the House.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Joshua Oyebamiji (Akinyele I) told reporters after plenary that four things were considered by the Assembly before deliberating on its speakership.
He noted that aside from political zoning, which considered Ogbomosho as the third largest region in the state, political experience, age and religious balance worked in favour of Ojo to become the Speaker.
Meanwhile, Governor Ajimobi has congratulated members of the Oyo State House of Assembly on the rancour-free election of a new Speaker, Olagunju Ojo.
The governor also felicitated with the new Speaker for being found worthy by his colleagues to occupy the exalted position.
A statement Tuesday in Ibadan, the state capital, by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, said Ajimobi pledged the full support of the Executive to the new Speaker.
The governor urged Ojo to sustain existing legacy of peace, cooperation and bridge-building between the Executive and the Legislature.
He noted that the support of the legislature was critical to the consolidation of the achievements of his administration in the last seven years.
The Speaker’s seat became vacant following the death of Adeyemo on April 27.
The late Adeyemo’s deputy, Abdulwasiu Musa, retains his position.
The governor prayed that the Almighty will continue to comfort and sustain the family of the late speaker.