Against all expectations that Edo Central senatorial district would produce the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku, representing Owan West constituency in Edo North senatorial district, on Friday emerged Speaker of the 8th Assembly, while Maria Edeko (Esan North-East constituency II) was elected deputy speaker of the 24-member legislature. Agbebaku, who was a member of the House between 2007 and 2011, and Edeko, a former commissioner of social development and gender issues, were unchallenged. The governor, Godwin Obaseki, had on Wednesday, issued a proclamation for the inauguration of the House. Agbebaku succeeds Marcus Onobun, who now represents Esan West, Esan Central, and Igueben Constituency in the House of Representatives. The PDP won 14 seats in the March 18, 2023, House of Assembly election, leaving the All Progressives Congress (APC) with nine seats, and Labour Party, (LP) one. Sunny Ojiezele from Edo Central, had reportedly been penciled down for the position of the speaker if the party’s zoning arrangement were to be adhered to in view of the fact that the governor, Godwin Obaseki, is from Edo South, while his deputy, Philip Shaibu, is from Edo North senatorial district. TELL gathered that Ojiezele (Esan South East) was dumped because his loyalty to the governor was allegedly in doubt as his name appeared on both the list of the governor’s camp and that of the national vice chairman, South-south zone of the party, Dan Osi Orbih in the run-up to the election.