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Osinowo’s family, friends absent at Lagos Assembly’s Special Plenary Session

Close family and friends of the late Sen. Bayo Osinowo, on Tuesday, were conspicuously absent at the Special Plenary Session held by the Lagos State House of Assembly in his honour.

A credible source that this development was due to the rift between the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, and the late senator before his death.

The source said that the family of the deceased senator shunned the session as they were displeased with the Speaker and the role he played in the rift.

Osinowo, popularly known as ‘Pepper’ by his close friends and associates, died on June 15 from COVID-19 complications.

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Before his sojourn to the National Assembly in 2019, he was a four-term member of the Lagos House of Assembly and was instrumental to the emergence of Obasa as Speaker of the House in 2015 and 2019.

But things went frosty between the duo over Obasa’s perceived highhandedness in running the affairs of the House and the recent suspension of some lawmakers who opposed him.

The source said the absence of the late Senator’s family and close friends at the Special Session held at the Chambers of the Lagos State House of Assembly Complex in Alausa was therefore not a surprise.

“It was not a secret that there was no love lost between the Speaker and the late senator.

“In fact, the family (Osinowo’s) is not happy with the Speaker because of the way and manner he died. There were obvious differences which had between them, which the family felt might have affected his health.

“That was why it took the Speaker about a week to visit the family to pay his condolences and when he did, he went with about 20 policemen and some of his colleagues in the House. He only spent a few minutes there,” the source said.

At the plenary session, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said members of the State Executive Council held a special session for the late Senator during Council Meeting, on Monday.

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He said the late senator contributed immensely to the development of the State.

In the words of Governor Sanwo-Olu, “He was a very witty and jovial person. We enjoyed a high-level of comradeship.

“He was a different person to different people. He has lived a fulfilled man, a respected Nigerian, a respected husband and father.

“How do we want to be remembered when we are gone? If we missed him, we must learn something from him. Let us know that our time will come and what will people say about us.

“On behalf of the people and government of Lagos State, I thank the House of Assembly for the session. I thank you and I want us to know that our time on earth is limited,” the governor said.

Speaking via Zoom, Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that many people have heard about the late Senator and that there was no way one could talk about Lagos State and the House of Assembly as well as the Senate without mentioning Sen. Bayo Osinowo.

“He would be remembered with fond memories. Let us remember those good times we had with him, his jovial ways, and anecdotes. He was a welder who welded different forces together. He was close to the Speaker of the House of Assembly; I know you would miss him. May his soul rest in peace,” Gbajabiamila said.

A former Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, in his remarks, said that he never knew that after five years and three weeks of exiting the House, his next speech at the chambers again would be a valedictory one for Sen. Bayo Osinowo.

“Most of the old members and senior members of the APC know that Senator Sikiru Osinowo was a close associate of mine. I spent 12 years in the House 10 of which I led the House, but we were close all through.

“When someone passes on in our clime, we don’t say bad things about him or her. Pepper, as I knew him, was a human being. He was an extra ordinary human being,” he said.

Obasa, his colleagues and some party chieftains also took turns to eulogise the late senator.