I will soon appoint credible, intelligent, resourceful cabinet, says Abiodun

FILES – (Middle) Governor Dapo Abiodun

Over two months after Prince Dapo Abiodun was sworn-in as the fifth Governor of Ogun State, he is yet to appoint his cabinet, giving room for speculations that he never prepared for governance. During his campaign to be governor, he promised that if elected, he would hit the ground running and many expected, among other things, that he already had in mind those to be appointed into his cabinet.

He has, however, already made some key appointments, such as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Olatokunbo Alabi, the Chief of Staff (COS), Shuaib Falifu and the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Mr. Kunle Somorin.

The Guardian investigation has revealed that the delay is due to some internal political intrigues the governor is contending with. The interest of his political godfathers and that of other politicians who contributed to his victory at the polls as well as his own interest are conflicting with one another and it appears he is confused as to how to satisfy all.

The speculation is that Abiodun, an oil magnate, initially had no interest in becoming the state’s number one citizen. His intention, according to a close associate, who prefers anonymity, was to be a Senator.

The source said, “He (Abiodun) approached the immediate past Governor (Senator Ibikunle Amosun) to give him the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) Ogun East Senatorial seat to contest the 2019 election but Amosun bluntly refused.”

As fate would have it, Abiodun was later had connections the to Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who happens to be Abiodun’s Remo kinsman. After getting the APC’s ticket to contest, Abiodun was confronted with a fierce political battle with Amosun, then seating governor. Amosun then persuaded his supporters to defect to Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and later sponsored Adekunle Akinlade on the APM platform against Abiodun. Abiodun’s sponsors realised that for him to win the election, he needed help across political divides.

He was therefore alleged to have signed secret gentleman’s agreements with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) whose governorship candidate was Rotimi Paseda, African Democratic Congress (ADC), led by Gboyega Nasir Isiaka and former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who all allegedly worked secretly for Abiodun’s victory. Unconfirmed report says even the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) strong man in the state, Senator Buruji Kashamu, also worked for Abiodun during the election. All these political heavyweights are said to have submitted a tall list of their nominees for commissionership.

The APC national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Kashamu allegedly have also sent their list.

The speculation is that Osoba and some APC chieftains in the state are insisting that the commissionership must strictly be APC’s affair since they were the ones who played a major role in electing the governor. This is said to be the major disagreement among APC members and the other interest groups who contributed to the victory, hence the delay.

Amosun’s government had 17 commissioners. Whether the Governor Abiodun will appoint more than that or not is yet to be seen. But it is not unlikely considering the current economic situation, as the state’s purse must also be considered.

President Buhari’s choice of Amosun’s candidate, Lekan Adegbite as Minister-designate from Ogun State as against Abiodun’s nominee is giving the governor a headache. The fear is that Buhari might again ignore the governor’s nominee for federal appointments.

When The Guardian asked the reason for the delay, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Somorin, assured people of the state, especially its well-wishers that there is “Nothing to worry about. The commissioners will soon come. Let us be a little patient. The governor is looking for credible, intelligent and resourceful people, people with track records, and you know, we have many of them in the state.

So, we have to be thorough to bring out the best,” insisting that the absence of commissioners is not affecting governance negatively in any way.

How soon should the people expect the cabinet? His answer: “That is at the discretion of the governor.”

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