NOMINEES FROM THE SOUTH-WEST
•Dr Kayode Fayemi – Ekiti
•Babatunde Fashola – Lagos
•Mrs Kemi Adeosun – Ogun
•Mr Adebayo Shittu – Oyo
•Prof Isaac Adewole – Osun
•Prof Omoyele Daramola – Ondo
The South West is the only group, who because they’re looking for offices in President Buhari’s government, are resorting to what Yoruba people call; “If you can catch him kill him; if you cannot get to kill him, demobilise him.”
We are at each other’s jugular raising irrelevances about ourselves, destroying ourselves before President Buhari. Have you heard such about other people in other parts of the country? It is unfortunate, we should go back to Ogunde’s “Yoruba ronu.” Let’s put our thinking caps on. Enough of self destruction.
— Chief Olusegun Osoba
By Dapo Akinrefon
AFTER four months of waiting, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally released the names of ministerial nominees expected to form the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
Before the announcement of the nominees, expectations were high that the successful candidates would assist Buhari in actualising the ‘CHANGE’ promised by the All Progressives Congress, APC.
With the backing of the 1999 Constitution, the president has ensured that the federal character principle is followed to the letter with each state of the federation being represented at FEC.
The Nigerian Constitution requires at least one minister to be named from each of the 36 states of the federation.
The eventual list, no doubt, was greeted with mixed reactions with Nigerians having their reservations.
Some members the APC are also not comfortable, with murmurings and grumblings trailing the nominees.
Members of the APC in the South-West have also expressed their misgivings over the list as some leaders, reportedly are at loggerheads over the successful candidates that made the list.
Interestingly, the South-West parades men and women, who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of expertise.
Perhaps, the successful nominees were picked based on the profound changes they have effected in various capacities.
The nominees from the South-West are Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti State; former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola; a former commissioner for finance in Ogun State, Kemi Adeosun; former governorship candidate of CPC in Oyo state, Adebayo Shittu.
Also from the zone, are a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole from Osun State and a professor of sociology, Professor Claudius Omoyele Daramola from Ondo State.
Of all the nominees, the South-West parades two former governors, who would work closely with the president.
Messrs Fashola and Fayemi, alongside other nominees from the zone, have been known to display a high level of dexterity in their previous respective capacities.
Controversy trailing the list
There is no doubt that divergent views trailed the list submitted by President Buhari in some states within the zone.
Shittu enjoys support of Oke Ogun
In Oyo State, for instance, the debate over the choice of Adebayo Shittu continues to garner heat.
It was gathered that Shittu, a governorship candidate of the defunct CPC in Oyo State, was not the choice of Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
From the onset, Gov. Ajimobi had opposed Shittu’s nomination.
Perhaps sensing the nudge to throw his weight behind Shittu’s nomination, the governor said he has forgiven him.
Ajimobi said he would never oppose Shittu’s nomination since it was the choice of the president.
“It is the president’s prerogative to select or nominate his ministers but the practice has always been in consultation with the state,” he said.
He, however, said Buhari was the leader of the party and had told members to allow him select those who would work with him.
“Shittu himself has come to me and has apologised. He knew he was always against me and the party. He campaigned against us. To forgive is divine. If we all pray to God to forgive us our sins, then we should learn to forgive others. A leader must learn to accommodate and forgive. I have forgiven him,” he said.
The legal practitioner is, however, said to enjoy support from Oke-Ogun, his hometown.
The Oyo State Coalition group reminded the Senate of many years of neglect and marginalization that the zone had suffered at the hands of successive governments in the state.
The group comprises trade groups, professionals, artisans, the elderly and the youths.
Described as a grassroot politician, Shittu is said to be a team player with an ardent desire to bring rapid development to the community.
Fayose rallies NASS support for Fayemi
During the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State, Governor Ayodele Fayose trounced his predecessor, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Remarkably, Fayemi conceded defeat after the election as a means of dousing the already tensed atmosphere in the state.
Perhaps as pay back time, Fayose has directed lawmakers representing the state at the National Assembly to ensure Fayemi has a hitch-free screening by the Senate.
No hassle for Adeosun in Ogun
In Ogun State, the nomination of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun did not come as a surprise as was expected.
Adeosun’s nomination was as a result of the closeness of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the president, both of whom were in the defunct All Nigeria’s Peoples Party, ANPP.
As a matter of fact, Adeosun’s name was penciled down to return as commissioner, having served as the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State.
Also, the Ogun Grassroots Development Awareness Forum, described her as an innovation-driven go getter that Nigeria needs in her march to a new culture of governance that is based on integrity and performance.
Aregbesola at a loss?
The Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and a leader of the party, were reported to be at each other’s throats over the nomination and submission of ministerial candidates for the state.
Though the state chapter of the APC has refuted the claims, but the two leaders struggled to ensure their nominees made the list.
The name of a former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola was touted to be on the list but eventually, Professor Adewole ended up taking the Osun State slot.
Ondo APC in waiting game
Prior the announcement of the second batch of the ministerial nominees, APC leaders in Ondo State, were sharply divided over who would represent the state at the FEC.
In fact, an atmosphere of anxiety and tension pervaded the state chapter of the party over its non inclusion in the first list forwarded to the Senate by the President.
Tongues were wagging by party loyalists as to why none of the over 15 contenders in the state made the first batch.
The three nominees said to be in the fore front include the former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria ACN in the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), the Vice Chairman of the APC in the South West, Chief Pius Akinyelure, and a female politician from Ose Local Council of the state, Mrs Oredola.
At the end of the day, the president settled for a sociologist, Professor Daramola to fill the Ondo State slot.
For Fashola, its transformation all the way
The nomination of former governor of Lagos State, Mr Fashola did not come easy.
Resistance from his home state was put up to ensure his name was dropped by President Buhari.
In fact, an allegation of corruption and financial impropriety was leveled against him in a quest to cast him in a bad light.
A petition, purportedly aimed at smearing the former governor’s name was sent to the president.
However, at the end of the day, the president turned deaf ears to all the allegations and sent his name to the Senate for screening.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Fashola provided a developmental template which was adopted by many states across the federation.
During his eight year tenure, Fashola approached his work as Lagos State governor with unusual fervor; he felt challenged and inspired by the examples of global transformational leaders.
It is expected that his input would have far reaching impact in the Buhari administration.