Oshiomhole disengages four commissioners from govt
• Gov pivotal to choice of successor, says aide • House wades into council crisis
EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday terminated dropped four commissioners from the State Executive Council, citing the need to strengthen the system towards optimal performance.
A statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Prince Kassim Afegbua said those affected in the exercise, “which is in line with government’s commitment to strengthen the system towards optimal performance are: Chief Lucky James, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Mrs. Blessing Maigida, Commissioner for Women Affairs; Mr. Patrick Aguinede, Commissioner for Basic Education and Mr. Chris Ebare, Commissioner for Energy and Water Resources.
The affected officials were directed to hand over all government property in their possession to the permanent secretaries in their ministries.
“The Comrade Governor expresses his appreciation to the former Commissioners for their services to the state and wishes them well in their future endeavours. The termination is with immediate effect,” the statement added.
Though no reason was given for their disengament, The Guardian however, gathered that the move may not be unconnected with next year’s governorship election in the state as the governor is seen to be positioning his loyalists to ensure a smooth ride for whoever he ‘endorses.’
It is believed that some of the sacked commissioners were becoming too close to one of top contenders for the gubernatorial seat.
It was further learnt that one of them had even indicated interest to run as deputy governor, a move the governor’s loyalists were said to be upset with.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Politics, Charles Idahosa, was crucial to picking his successor when his tenure expires next year.
He spoke in Benin City to counter reports of alleged gang-up by a section of the Binis to foist their preferred candidate on the governor.
Addressing journalists as part of activities to mark his 62nd birthday, Idahosa also said Oshiomhole had promised to zone the position to Edo South for the support he got from the Binis.
He said the governor’s achievements would be what the party will campaign with just as he foreclosed the chances of the PDP in the 2016 governorship election in the state.
“The governor told us publicly many times that he owes the Binis a lot for the support they gave him and that he will try as much as possible to make the issue of a Benin man to become the governor and we are very happy,” the aide stated.
In a related development, the state’s House of Assembly has waded into the crisis rocking Ovia South-West Local Council, advising the legislative arm of the council to stay action in the suspension of the chairman, Morrison Ogunrobo-Ovia “and let the status quo ante remain pending the intervention of this Honourable house please.”
A letter signed by its Deputy Clerk, James Omoataman which copy it was gathered was served on the council chairman, the legislative arm and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, also said the “provisions of Section 19 of the Local Government Law 2000 as amended is instructive in this regard.”
The council had been in crisis for sometime now over the purported suspension of the chairman.