After the completion of the elections into elective positions in the Lagos State House of Assembly in the year 2015, eight lawmakers emerged under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). At the time, 32 lawmakers were voted for under the All Progressives Congress (APC) which automatically handed majority control of the Assembly to the party.
However, following recent events in the House, five members of the PDP have defected to the APC. The lawmakers are; Hon. Fatai Oluwa (Ajeromi-Ifelodun Constituency II), Hon. Akeem Bello (Amuwo-Odofin Consituency II), Hon. Mosunmola Sangodara (Surulere Constituency II), Hon. Dayo Famakinwa (Ajeromi-Ifelodun Constituency I), and Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi-Isolo Constituency II).
The defection of the lawmakers was approved after a House seating on February 16, 2017, after their letters were all read by the acting clerk of the House, Mr. Sanni Azeez.
In an exclusive interview with InsideMainland, the PDP lawmaker representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency I, Hon. Dipo Olorunrinu, expressed his thoughts on the cross-carpeting colleagues: “Their defection is demoralizing, derailing, and appalling because it is not good in the ears of people who stood out for you. These are not the minority. They are the majority people in their constituents who stood out for them and it is not good to look at them in the face and tell them ‘I don’t know you again’. I still can’t comprehend why, how or whatever reason that is responsible for their defection,” he said.
Several days after the five lawmakers changed party, there are talks that more lawmakers would soon join the train. When queried if he would consider defecting, the lawmaker said “with all I have said, you should know I would never do such. The state is doing good and I must commend that. But the state still stands under the same party with the one at the Federal level and so far, we can all see the result of the policies at that level. People can barely feed or have a living because of the standards. Is that the party you asked I would be going to? It is actually outside anything I would consider doing and you still can go to those that defected to find out why they did so. It was a shocker for me during the Assembly seating when they presented their letters of defection.
“In politics, we talk about people and not individual interest or business. Politics deals with public standards and people who are voted to be at the service of those that elected them into office.”
On his thoughts about the lawmakers handing over their mandates to the PDP, Hon. Olorunrinu said “the party’s interest is their representatives. I don’t blame them if they are asking for mandates. I am not the party. I am only an individual who is part of the party. So it is the responsibility of the party leaders because that is what they expect from the people. It is their pride to know that their representatives are there in the Assembly.”
He continued that “the lawmakers that defected have obviously gone against the interest of the party. That is why you can see that the party is asking for their mandate. Everyone can clearly see the way the party is agitating because the party feels they got elected via its platform and the least they could have done is to help solve the issues in the party if they consider that there was any rather than giving reasons that because of leadership they needed to move. The leadership of the party does not affect their positions or having nothing to do with their development or growth of their direct constituents. That is not an excuse.”
Commenting on his trust in the leadership of the Lagos Assembly, Hon. Olorunrinu swiftly replied, “I don’t see their hearts. I just know they are doing what they are supposed to do and they are good at it.”
Reacting to the bill he is currently pursuing and its current status, he said “at the moment, you are not allowed to push a bill in the House of Assembly. You look at every bill irrespective of the party its coming from. An example is the recently passed Neighbourhood Watch Bill. It was from a group of lawmakers from different parties. Hon. Victor Akande from Badagry was part of the group and even the Land Grabbers Bill, I was part of it. In the Assembly, you are not statutory to push for a bill but the general House look at what you need to bring to the table.”
He however stressed that he is not under any form of pressure from the opposition party who now have an even astounding majority control of the Assembly with 37 out of 40 members.