By Shina Abubakar & John Alechenu
OSOGBO—IT is a new dawn in Osun State and a new Sherriff is in town. Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was sworn-in, yesterday, as governor and he immediately hit the ground with tough decisions.
First he directed that a panel of inquiry be set up to probe last minutes appointments and placements ordered by his predecessor, Adegboyega Oyetola. He also ordered reversal of the state nomenclature from State of Osun to Osun State and froze all state accounts with immediate effect.
Senator Adeleke officially took over as Governor of Osun State after taking his oath of office at 11.45 a.m..
The oath of office was administered on the Governor by the State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo.
The Governor arrived at the Osogbo Stadium venue around 11:20am after which his deputy, Prince Kola Adewusi, mounted the podium to take his oath before Adeleke took his turn.
Upon entering the venue, followed by his nephew, David Adeleke, alias Davido, Governor Adeleke moved round the stadium to acknowledge cheers from the jubilant crowd in the main bowl
Adeleke’s first decisive actions
The Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola administration in 2011 changed the state’s name to State of Osun and changed its slogan from State of the Living Spring to State of the Virtue.
However, Adeleke in his inaugural speech after he was sworn-in, as the sixth executive governor of the state, said all injustice perpetrated by his predecessor will be corrected.
His words: “I, hereby, issue the following directives which will be backed up with appropriate Executive orders:
“Immediate freezing of all government accounts in banks and other financial institutions; an immediate reversal to the constitutionally ecognized name of our state, Osun State. All government insignia, correspondences and signages should henceforth reflect Osun State rather than State of Osun, which is unknown to the Nigerian constitution.
To review Oyetola’s appointments
Also, the Governor ordered the establishment of panel of inquiry to study and review appointments and placements of his predecessor from July 17, 2022 till date.
“My Good People of Osun, since you elected me as your Governor on the 16th of July 2022, which the INEC announced on July 17th 2022, the former Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola maliciously started putting road blocks to make things difficult and almost impossible for the new administration to serve you.
“Mass employments were carried out without budgetary provisions for salary payments for the new employees; even when the state was struggling to pay salaries and deliver other services. Various hurried and criminally backdated contracts were awarded and again without budgetary provisions.
“Appointments of several Obas were hurriedly done without following due process, just to mention a few.
“All efforts to get the Governor set up a Transition Committee and submit hand-over notes in line with best practices proved abortive.
“It is, therefore, my desire to ask for your patience and understanding to give my administration a few weeks to review and sort out all the actions and malicious confusions which the immediate past administration has created since July 17, 2022. Those actions were indeed vindictive measures against the people of Osun State for voting them out of office.
“Immediate establishment of a panel to carry out an inventory and recover all government assets; An immediate establishment of a panel to review all appointments and major decisions of the immediate past administration taken after the 17th July, 2022.”
Governor Adeleke pledged that his administration will guarantee local government autonomy in line with Nigeria’s Constitution with a view to making the third tier of government more responsible to the people at the grassroots.
“In line with our campaign manifesto, our government will ensure local government autonomy in line with the provisions of the Nigeria constitution.
“We will restore the lost glory of our local governments in order to make them more responsive to the needs of the people at the grassroots. All policies that are not favourable to the growth of effective local government administration will be reviewed in accordance with the law.
“No form of illegality will be allowed to stand and all acts of impunity committed by the immediate past administration on local government administration will be reversed following due process”, said Adeleke.
I left N14bn in state coffers — Oyetola
Meanwhile, former Governor Oyetola, yesterday, disclosed that his administration left N14billion cash in the state’s coffers for the incoming government.
Oyetola also revealed that his government had successfully paid N97billion from the total debt inherited in 2018 when he assumed office.
He disclosed that his administration didn’t borrow a kobo anywhere in the world to finance the economy of the state, saying he successfully kept faith and maintained fidelity with his electoral promises since his assumption of office.
His words: “For four years, we did not take any bank loan facility. But we benefitted from the N3billion monthly intervention from the Federal Government to all the states for six months to cushion the effect of deductions of budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous administration, just as we have paid N97 billion from the total debt we inherited in 2018.
“We are leaving behind cash of over N14 billion. In addition to the N14 billion cash, another N8 billion is being expected between December and January from our performance in SFTAS and the IGR. Also, another Seventy-Two million Dollars will come to the State soon from RAMP 3, NG-CARES, Nigeria for Women Project and Ease of Doing Business. These are earned based on performance.”
Atiku, Okowa, Obaseki, Udom, Tambuwal, Ooni, Ataoja Timi, others at swearing-in
Many dignitaries including politicians and traditional rulers stormed Osogbo to witness Adeleke’s inauguration.
The political class was led by the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu; the party’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; his wife, Titi; and PDP’s Vice Presidential Candidate, and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
Also present were PDP Governors Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa-Ibom).
Others are former Governors Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun), Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki; and Tony Elumelu among others.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi led traditional rulers, including the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji; Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal; Orangun Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun; and Orangun Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin among many others to the colourful ceremony.
G5 Governors absent
However, the G5 PDP Governors were absent at the event. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the Only PDP Governor in the South-West did not come along with his colleagues, Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Hoodlums attack Amotekun, police, NURTW members
Meanwhile, while the swearing-in programme was ongoing, some hoodlums inside the venue assaulted some Amotekun corps personnel. The hoodlums wielding sticks descended on two personnel of the corps.
Amotekum Field Commandant in the state, Mr Amitolu Shittu, confirmed that five of his personnel were attacked at the venue
Shittu said: “We are aware of the fact that five of my personnel were beaten at the venue by hoodlums for doing their job.”
Also, some hoodlums attacked policemen stationed around old Coca cola area over attempt to take over control of the National Union of Road Transport Workers’ Union unit around the place.
We’ll support you —Atiku, PDP govs
Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity, the PDP Presidential Candidate and members of the PDP Governors Forum, yesterday, congratulated Senator Adeleke on his inauguration as Governor of Osun State.
They both welcomed the Osun State Governor and pledged their support towards making his tenure a successful one.
Director General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Mr C.I.D. Maduabum, in a statement in Abuja, said forum, under the leadership of Governor Aminu Tambuwal was delighted to have Governor Adeleke within its ranks.
He said: “The forum notes that his July 2022 victory at the polls was a testimony to the gallant efforts, hard-work, teamwork, skillful campaigns, efficient resource allocation, openness and humility exhibited by His Excellency over the years.
“At the campaigns, he concentrated on issues that mattered most to Osun people and they in turn responded in kind with their votes, bestowing on him and the PDP an earth-shaking victory of historic proportions. This proves once again that God’s time is the best. He chooses the time and the place.
“This mandate has all the trapping of the love and prayers of the people. The PDP – GF looks forward to a very engaging and prosperous first tenure for Governor Adeleke and enjoin all the people of the state to continue to pray for him, support him with their undiluted loyalty, as his heart is full of love and concern for their wellbeing.
“Today (yesterday), the path has been cleared and light of progress is shinning on Osun State. It is now time for the “Peoples governor, a man so much loved by the people, to settle down to develop a roadmap for the rapid development of Osun State. The state deserves the best.
“Your colleagues, Governors of the PDP and our great party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP pray for divine wisdom and favour, good health and protection as you lead the state as Governor.
“They also assure you of their unalloyed support and brotherly advice always. We welcome him to the PDP Governors’ Forum.”
It’s beginning of a better life for Osun people
Speaking in a similar vein, the Atiku/Okowa Campaign said Adeleke’s inauguration marks the beginning of a better life for the people of Osun State.
Spokesperson for the campaign, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said: “His inauguration sets the stage for the streak of victory of the PDP which will climax on May 29, 2023 when its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will be sworn into office too.
“The people of Osun State are the first beneficiary of the better life which the PDP will be berthing at the national level with effect from May 29, 2023.
“Our campaign commends the People of Osun State for their perseverance in the last four years of pains during which their collectively hard-earned fortunes were ferried to Bourdillon by the ‘Ajele’.
“We celebrate the people of Osun State for asserting themselves and liberating their state from the yoke of anguish, misrule and accompanying pains which the All Progressives Congress, APC, has come to represent in our nation.”
“We urge Nigerians to reinforce the feat achieved by the people of Osun State by remaining steadfast in their resolve to vote in Atiku Abubakar in the February 2023 Presidential election.”