If the track records of lawmakers are relevant in Nigeria and the laws correctly enforced, Hon Lasun would have been either in the farm or motor park at the time he was contesting for the position of lawmaker. An official report released had shown that out of the 360 members in the 7th National Assembly, 191 of them did not sponsor a single bill in their four years stay in the house. The official report was tagged “Status of Bills, Petitions and Other Legislative Measures,” and it had some high profile names like the current deputy speaker of the House, Yusuff Lasun (Osun, APC). People from his constituency were against him for the fact he could not move a single motion or sponsor any bill during the 7th National Assembly. It showed, perhaps he may be largely and not equal to the task of law making. The national assembly is also full of individuals who are after their own selfish interests. Hon Lasun does not understand the importance of courtesy and decorum. The way he has been screaming, making statements and lately campaigning across Osun State adds to the embarrassment that he has brought to Osun. This is one of the sources of the challenges that Nigeria faces. People like Hon Lasun who should be receiving counselling and psychological supports have been elevated to run politics and policies.
The people of Osun State are worried over several unguarded statements and allegations made by Hon Lasun Yusuff which have attracted national spotlight on the need for stricter psychological background investigations of federal lawmakers, but less attention has been paid to the question of whether Hon Lasun’s psychological screening should have determined him unsuitable for the job, even before he was elected. The point behind this psychological evaluations isn’t solely to determine whether Hon Lasun is fit and proper because of his recent reckless statements, but also to flag other lawmakers whose personality types and behavior are unsuited for the job in which sound judgment – including the ability to make quick decisions – is key, as emotional stability in tense situations as we approach Osun 2018 election. It’s a determination that plays a substantial role in controlling over-zealous lawmakers.
HON. YUSUF Sulaiman-Lasun represents Irepodun/Olorunda/Orolu/Osogbo Federal Constituency of Osun State in the House of Representatives. He was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He emerged the Deputy Speaker in an election on June 9, 2015. Lasun was a member of the 7th Assembly (2011-2015) also on APC platform. He was the deputy chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources. The hitherto little known politician from Osun State came to the limelight when he joined the race for the Speakership two weeks to the inauguration of the Assembly. Many believed he was out to play the role of a“spoiler” because his aspiration was not in tune with the South West APC’s which resolved to present the former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as sole candidate. Lasun’s move became suspect when he held meetings with Hon. Yakubu Dogara from Bauchi State. He later stepped down for Dogora who eventually emerged as Speaker. The intrigue finally played out when Lasun was nominated for the post of Deputy Speaker by the “Eighth Assembly Consolidation Group” loyal to Dogara.
“Lasun may not realise the implication of what he did but it will certainly affect his political career in future. His loyalty to the party is questionable. It is true that he was close to Governor Aregbesola. In fact it was the governor’s intervention that won him the party’s ticket for second term. The people in his constituency had wanted to drop him for lack of effective representation but for the governor’s grace, he was returned to the House. All his four years in the House, he didn’t sponsor a motion let alone a bill.
The Deputy Speaker drew the ire of the public when he defended the N150 billion budgetary allocation for the National Assembly. Reacting to public criticism on the salaries and allowances of senators and members of the House of Representatives, Lasun argued that the N150 billion received by the National Assembly yearly is only 2.67 per cent of the national budget. To him, there is nothing wrong in the National Assembly getting more allocations than other strategic sectors of the economy like Agriculture that was allocated 1.47 per cent in the 2015 budget.
Rather than focusing on his immediate task of making laws and good governance, Hon Lasun Yusuf has been more preoccupied witch-hunting Governor Aregbesola in the name of sending Aregbesola back to Lagos and raising false alarm on threat to his life. Perhaps, someone should help us tell Hon Lasun to stop all this attention-seeking tactics and focus on the more serious business of governance. Is he so bent on outshining his bosses, Governor Aregbesola inclusive? Why trying to make the Governor look inadequate? That still reminds me, why is it every time Hon Lasuni does something no matter how negligible, he beckons to the press to show off? Are we as a people now celebrating mediocrity in the name of performance? I don’t know why Mr Lasun Yussuff and his co travellers will be using the death of Asiwaju of Ede, Sen Isiaka Adeleke (MAY HIS GENTLE SOUL REST IN PEACE) as an avenue for political selfish interest of his. That they have descended to this level is indicative of their desperation for relevance, even if it means dancing on the grave of our notable leader, whose contributions to the development of the State is worthy of emulation
At a time when Nigerians are demanding greater accountability and transparency from their leaders, it is ridiculous that Hon Lasun is among the federal lawmakers who are seeking to provide immunity for themselves under the guise that the executive branch enjoys same. If they listen carefully to the people, they will be shocked to discover that many Nigerians do not want immunity for anyone — whether in the executive, legislature or judiciary. I have been campaigning against immunity all my life and I will never relent. Our leaders want to enjoy all the benefits of office without shouldering the responsibility that comes with it. Outrageous. It appears that the intention of Mr. Lasun is to gain cheap popularity by laying claims to the building of the Eid ground. If that is not the case, why did he wait till the unfortunate demise of Senator Adeleke to whip up unnecessary sentiments? If the account in the press report is correct, was the incident reported to the police? At least Oke Baale police station is not even up to a stone throw to the Eid prayer ground and the case should have been reported immediately to the Police for necessary actions.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Lasun Yusuf, January paid a private visit to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital where he later spoke with some journalists on the state of the nation as published in Vanguard Newspaper of 9th January, 2017 pages 38 and 39..One of the questions Hon Lasun responded to was: What is your message to the people of Osun in 2017? Hon Lasun responded that they have my sympathy; I know workers there have not been earning their regular salaries, and when they do, it is only in Osun that I hear people are earning half salaries. I am not so familiar with it now, I have been out of that system for about one and a half years, I cannot specifically say certain things but I know that people have not been earning their full salaries, and when such salaries come, they come in trickles. My message, first and foremost, is to workers, that they should know that things are going to get better and that it’s a lesson for all of us that when an economy is struggling, paid employment is the one that suffers most. Those who have to change the face of the economy are likely to use the money that is supposed to be used in paying salaries. So, they have my sympathy. I want to again generally touch on the people of Osun, I know that they are resilient, I know they are hard working but they should have hope that things are going to get better-Hon Lasun Yusuf.
Hon Lasun was behind a statement credited to Alhaji Fatai Oyedele that we will send Aregbesola back to Lagos as reported by the Punch Newspaper of 27th February, 2017 page12. A short-sighted and misguided statement that lacks dignity and respect for the truth in Osun State. One of the prominent chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Osun State, Alhaji Fatai Oyedele, has said that he and other people within the party will resist Governor Rauf Aregbesola ahead of the 2018 governorship election in the state. Although Aregbesola is not going to contest the governorship poll, the party leaders said his group would not allow him to impose his stooge as the candidate of the party in the 2018 poll. Oyedele made that statement in Osogbo at the empowerment programme which the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yussuff, organised for 350 youths and women. The deputy speaker gave out kilns for smoking fish, plantain suckers and cash to mushroom growers and other beneficiaries. Oyedele, said anybody, who wanted to contest governorship election must be courageous, saying the contest was not for the weak.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon. Lasun Yusuff has alleged a threat to his life since he has expressed his interest to run for the governorship race of Osun State. Addressing a press conference on the 28th of April, 2017 on behalf of the Lawmaker on Saturday, the head of the Constituency Relations Office of the Deputy Speaker in Osogbo, Hon. Niyi Ogunsola said Yusuff has continued to receive series of threats in the recent past, that have put his life in danger. Ogunsola noted that the latest of the series of threats were the ones from some members of All Progressive Congress(APC) Osun caucus in the House of Representatives, including Hon. Jibola Famurewa, Hon. Mojeed Alabi, Hon. Ayo Omidiran among others. ” In the press statement made after the tributes on Late Senator Isiaka Adeleke at the plenary on the floor of the house, the said caucus members categorically said that the expression of fear of danger on the life of Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuff was built on emotion.
Hon Lasun Yusuf needs psychological evaluation because he is a deputy speaker that sees nothing wrong in increasing the number of House Committees from 84 to 95 in the face of a dwindling revenue and their talks about ‘the need to cut cost of governance’ is hypocrisy of the highest order. The sad thing is that these guys are not doing anything for us. How is it that no member of the National Assembly has been recalled by his constituency beats me. What can 95 committees do that 20 can’t? How many members constitute a committee? Are we going to have one person in several committees? Well, I guess yes, and no wonder they have been scrambling for “plum committees”. Plum? Isn’t that a word for milking the treasury? Are we supposed to have anything ‘plum’ in the House? With the amount of committees, then every member will definitely be a chairman of one committee or the other. Hon Lasun needs psychological evaluation because he can raise a motion in the House of Representatives calling for the declaration of of state of emergency in Osun State before the 2018 election if steps are not taken to recall him.
Inwalomhe Donald, public affairs analyst, Benin City, [email protected]