By OLUSESAN LAOYE
President Muhammadu Buhari sent the much awaited ministers list to the Senate for confirmation last week but some of the nominees for ministerial positions from the south west zone of the country have been criticized as recycled people and mere political patronage and reward for contribution to his election. Out of the 43 names sent to the Senate seven of them are from the South West Region of Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos with one nominee from each state except Lagos which has two.
Since the list of the ministers came out, it has generated so much controversy as it was believed that the president only, again paraded old recycled politicians who may not have fresh ideas to drive his government at this critical period when he needs fresh initiatives from younger and vibrant people. For this reason it was argued that he should have injected much younger people to his cabinet this time around.
It was further argued that there was no need for the president to have taken such a long time to come out with the list when he knew that he would still parade old recycled politicians as he did in his first term, when he took six months to announce his cabinet.
It was argued that what he has done showed that he was short of ideas and that the nation should not expect something better than what was experienced in his first term.
Just as the rest of the country was worried, the people of the South west are feeling the same with the list which people say ought to have excluded some non performing ministers while some of the new names who are controversial..
It was argued that some of those picked from the region are recycled politicians who may not have much to offer in this dispensation of Buhari’s government. Of all in the south west, only one of them seem not to have been in the political circle and public glare and that is the nominee from Oyo State.
Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, from Ekiti state was the first governor of Ekiti state from 1999 to 2003, and had been chairman of several boards and Deputy National Chairman of the All progressives Congress (APC) South. He is one of the strong allies of The national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, whom they served together as the Alliance for Democracy governors from1999 to 2003. Since then, they have been together.
It was argued that Otunba Adebayo who is highly respected should remained independent instead risking the slippery banana peels of this regime already losing much of public confidence and trust.
As people in the state said, he should have given the slot to a much younger politician; however it was learnt that he was only doing the bidding of his ally, Tinubu, who may be nursing presidential ambition. The nomination was also meant to compensate him for losing the governorship to Fayemi in September 2018.
One of the strong member of ADC in Ekiti Mr Adeniji Oguntade said that with the political clout of the former governor, he should have nominated someone and remain a leader at the background as he used to do in the past, when he was seen as father figure in the politics of Ekiti and the south west. But the governor of the state has congratulated him and believed that he would use his wealth 9f experience to help the President move the county forward.
Also, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, who is now a senate from the state, said that the country needs the kind of Otunba Adebayo at this moment of the nation’s political history. He therefore said that he has no doubt, his brother would do well. Some people however said that Adebayo’s nomination was nothing more than political patronage.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola from Osun state is another close associate of Bola Tinubu and he is regarded as the most controversial of all the seven appointees from the South west. As governor, his state has always produced the highest votes for Buhari in the region. Also, there has been insinuations that he had wanted to go to the federal level after his tenure preferably as senator; it was alleged that Ambode’s refusal to facilitate his ambition was the source of his troubles.
He worked with Tinubu as commissioner for works for eight years. He was a strong political figure in Lagos before he governed Osun state for eight years where his tenure was enmeshed in several controversies. It is generally believed that he made a complete mess of governing the state as he left it almost run down and debt ridden.
The opposition believed that his appointment as a minister amounts to an aberration with the way he ran Osun into a debtor state and that his tenure as a minister would not change anything. It was said that he would not perform and that he may end up messing the whole thing up with his arrogance and brashness.
The chairman of the PDP in Osun State, Mr. Soji Adagunodo said that “Aregbesola is an aberration with the way he ruled Osun state plunging it to serious debt, wasteful spending with the rascality he ran the state aground and his behavior as a dictator, saying people with such temperament are not needed at the federal level where it would be dangerous to implement project and policies that affects over 200 million people irrationally as he operated in Osun.”
Adagunodo argued that the people of Osun would not forget Aregbesola as the first governor to introduce half salary to workers. The governor of the state through his press secretary Niyi Adesina congratulated him, saying that they were happy for his appointment. But a member of the APC confided in BusinessHallmark that
Governor Oyetola has every reasons to be happy because the ministerial job would not give him time to delve into the affairs of his government as a godfather.
Meanwhile the people of the state and the PDP felt disappointed that instead of
appointing Aregbesola the former minister of health professor Isaac Adewole who did well should have been retained but politics was put into play because of his link with former governor of the state prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the former president Olusegun Obasanjo who has been very critical of the present federal government of president Buhari.
Architect Olamilekan Adegbite from Ogun was the former commissioner under Governor Ibikunle Amosun. His nomination has further deepened the crisis between the two factions of the APC in the state especially the Amosun and the Osoba factions
The APC caretaker executive led by Chief Yemi Sanusi indicated that Adegbite was not the party’s candidate and choice, while the people of Yewa too felt that they should have been given the slot since they lost the governorship again to another zone.
Feelers from Ogun indicated that President Buhari used the ministerial appointment to compensate Amosun whose candidate lost the governorship to the Osoba’s camp so that he would not feel totally humiliated politically in Ogun State.
In his own reaction a former Senatorial aspirant and strong politician in Yewa Ogun west said that they deserve the ministerial slot. He said though the president reserved the right to pick who he wants but sometimes it is good to use geographical spread for appointments because the Yewa people have always been marginalised in the scheme of things in Ogun state.
Senator Tayo Alasoadua represented Ondo central in the senate and is said to be the nominee of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu. His nomination is already causing another controversy between the Governor and the other faction of the APC which has been calling for the head of the governor, saying that he must go.
But the governor has congratulated him saying that the state was proud of him. He too has thanked President Buhari for appointing him and called on the people of the state to rally round him, so that he would be able with their support utilise his wealth of experience to work for the good of the country to improve on the economy. He argued that his appointment is another call to national service.
Mr. Sunday Dare from Oyo state, until his nomination was the Executive commissioner, stakeholders management of the Nigerian communication commission and convener of social media Clinic, a media communication technology committed to educating private citizens on IT development and use of Telecom as information tool.
He was the chief IT staff and special adviser media to Tinubu. He improved health coverage with his online health resources centre in Daily Trust to provide critical data on diverse health issues. He was at the voice of America Hausa service and was also at the The News and Tempo magazines as General Editor and Editor.
He is from Ogbomosho in Oyo state and his appointment has come as a surprise to the people of Oyo state because he was least expected. The Oyo APC Reformers said that they were happy that the slot was not given to former Governor Ajimobi or any of his cronies.
Hon. Lawrence Adewole and Engineer Dipo Fawole said God prospered the man with innovations and that his ministerial appointment would be blessings for oyo state
Also Dare stole the show during his screening as the Senators from Oyo state applauded him as a proud son of the state. They also believed that he would do the State proud.
Senator Teslim Folarin who was highly delighted about Dare’s appointment said he was sure he would go places as an innovative communication expert.
Meanwhile the Youth wing of the APC and the Ogbomosho Youth forum have congratulated Dare, saying that with his experience as an expert in IT he would be a better replacement for Adebayo Shitu and that position would prepare him for the task ahead, especially the governorship of Oyo State.
The two representatives from Lagos are Senator Olorunnimbe Adeleke Mamora and Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola have both saved Lagos State in the past as Speaker of the House of Assembly and governor. Fashola served as the minister of three ministries in the first term of Buhari and he was regarded as a non performer.
Mamora was a senator and has been a consistent party man. His tenure in the senate was quite exciting and active and many were surprised that he was denied another term. He was in the campaign team of Buhari in 2015 and 2019 and his appointment is seen as a reward for consistency which he got on his own merit.
People believe that he would perform as a man with lots of ideas. The governor of Lagos state Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu and the Speaker of the state Hon. Mudashiru Obasa have congratulated the two leaders. They said that they have no doubt both of them would do the nation proud just as former governor Fashola did in his first term with president Buhari