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Ogun cabinet: Abiodun’s silence unsettles former appointees


Expectations are high that Governor Dapo Abiodun would send his list of commissioner nominees to the Ogun State House of Assembly in a couple of days, after which he would set up his cabinet for the second time.

According to the law, the governor has until July 27 to send the list to the lawmakers, whose confirmation he must get before swearing in the would-be commissioners.

Unlike in 2019 when the governor waited for about seven months to have the luxury of time needed to scrutinise the nominees, the law now mandates the President and governors to do this within 60 days of their inauguration.

During a valedictory executive council meeting on May 28, Abiodun dissolved his cabinet, telling the commissioners, advisers and others that some of them might be called again to serve.

With this statement, the governors had hinted that a sizeable number of his former appointees would no longer be needed in the new cabinet.

At the moment, the governor is working on the list of his new cabinet members, but this has been kept a top secret, giving no clue of who would make the list.

DAILY POST reliably gathered that many of the former appointees are on their feet, struggling to return to the offices they vacated or be redeployed to another ministry. To their surprise, Gov Abiodun seems not interested in many of them.

On June 14, Abiodun gave an indication of who his favourite commissioners would be when he appointed seven of them as Special Advisers.

Abiodun appointed the former Commissioner for Finance, Oladapo Okubadejo, as his Chief Economic Adviser. The former Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan, was named the Special Adviser on Budget and Planning; Jagunmolu Jamiu Akande Omoniyi, who was in charge of the Ministry of Housing, was appointed as a Special Adviser in that ministry.

The immediate past Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Adebowale Akinsanya, was appointed as the Special Adviser in the ministry. Also, Olusina Ogungbade and Tomi Coker were appointed as special advisers in the ministries of justice and health. Professor Abayomi Arigbabu was later named a Special Adviser on Education.

The seven, it was learnt, were appointed pending when they would be duly reappointed as Commissioners.

This decision by Abiodun caught some of the former Commissioners by surprise as they now resorted to intense lobbying to win the favour of their principal; but the man is not available for such a ‘chit-chat’.

Our correspondent reports that the former Commissioners now engage in eye services, attending all functions they know the governor would attend. Some of them were seen begging and fighting for seats at Ake palace when President Bola Tinubu visited.

Findings by our correspondent confirm that Abiodun has made up his mind to rejig some ministries and make them more viable and productive in this second term; and this may mean the appointment of more capable individuals.

At the moment, Abiodun has not appointed a Chief Press Secretary or an Adviser or Consultant on Media/Communication.

Within the same media team, our correspondent learnt that politicians are already outsmarting one another in an attempt to take over available positions.

At the Ministry of Agriculture, Abiodun is said not to be convinced about the successes being claimed to have been recorded by the past Commissioner, Adeola Odedina. This is because the helmsman has not seen massive food production that could beat down prices of food items in Ogun State.

Another ministry of interest to Gov Abiodun is that of education. The ministry which supervises the state primary, secondary and tertiary education, is yet to achieve the kind of feat the governor desires in the last four years.

Sources told our correspondent that the Ministry of Youths and Sports should be expecting a new commissioner in the next cabinet.

Dare Kehinde, the former Commissioner had offended the governor in 2020 when he tagged former Governor Olusegun Osoba a failure without a successor, a statement the governor vehemently kicked against.

As preparations for the 2024 National Sports Festival gets underway, Abiodun is on the lookout for a Sports Commissioner.

It was learnt that, in the last four years, Ministries of Forestry, Rural Development, Local Government/Chieftaincy Affairs, Urban/Physical Planning, Commerce and Industry, Transportation, Women Affairs, Special Duties/Inter-governmental Affairs, Environment and Women Affairs/Social Development did not record any remarkable feat to win accolades from the governor; so rejigging might be imminent.

Though political office seekers are intensifying lobbying, the governor, who has the final say, has maintained a dead silence and his body language appears unpredictable.

However, in a couple of days, the cat would be let out of the bag.

Ogun cabinet: Abiodun’s silence unsettles former appointees


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