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Disquiet in Ogun APC over commissioners’ appointment

The plan of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun to incorporate opposition political parties in his cabinet has generated disquiet in the ruling All Progressives Congress…

The plan of Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun to incorporate opposition political parties in his cabinet has generated disquiet in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Daily Trust has reliably gathered.

Insiders told our correspondent that party chieftains feared Abiodun’s inclusiveness would block their chances in the yet-to-be constituted cabinet, five months after the governor assumed office.

Aggrieved party leaders said the APC faction led by former Governor Olusegun Osoba had already lost two plumb jobs – ministerial and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Executive Commissioner appointments – to the immediate past governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who openly backed the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, in the 2019 polls.

The Minister of Mines and Steel, Lekan Adegbite, was Amosun’s Commissioner for Works for eight years, while the newly appointed Executive Commissioner at NCC, Leke Adewolu, contested Ifo/Ewekoro Federal constituency on the platform of APM during the elections.

The APC leaders, while noting that Amosun had “cornered” federal appointments, said it would be inconceivable to cede some commissioners’ slot to the opposition at the expense of party leaders who laboured to ensure APC victory at the poll.

Daily Trust recalls that Abiodun had formed last-minute alliances with opposition leaders, including former Governor Gbenga Daniel’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) group, a development which earned him victory over Amosun’s anointed candidate.

The PDP candidate in the election, Senator Buruji Kashamu, also reportedly worked for Abiodun’s victory in the election.

Shortly after the poll, Abiodun set up a transition committee comprising party leaders from the APC, PDP, African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP), apparently setting the tone for his planned government of inclusiveness.

In July, Abiodun told journalists that his party leaders were not favourably disposed to the planned inclusive government.

“They (party members) are not really liking me for this idea of inclusive government. They are like, what manner of inclusiveness is that? But I think everybody should be given a chance to contribute their quota to the development of the state. It is a win-win situation for all of us because we are all working towards making the state great,” Abiodun said.

However, Daily Trust gathered that Abiodun’s recent meeting with Daniel, leaders of the PDP and Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka of ADC over the would-be commissioners had led into growing disquiet in the ruling party as its stalwarts expressed fear of being shut out of the cabinet appointments.

Besides, the governor’s directive to APC leaders to nominate candidates for commissioners across the nine federal constituencies was greeted with complains.

In Ijebu East/Ijebu North/Ogun Waterside federal constituency, there was allegation that party leaders who zeroed in on three candidates out of which the governor would pick one, gave the nomination to the “highest bidders.”

A party leader, who craved anonymity, told Daily Trust that “Certainly, people will disagree with such decision (inclusiveness). So, I can tell you there are dissenting voices here and there. But at the end, the governor would have his way.”

A group of APC youth in Remo had equally raised an alarm over what they called “hijacking of key political appointments in the state by the opposition parties.”

But the Publicity Secretary of APC Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, on Sunday said it was natural for people to feel threatened over such move to include the opposition in the APC-led government.

According to Oladunjoye, inclusive government was part of Abiodun’s campaign promises and it’s honourable for him to fulfill the promise.

“There are more than 1,500 positions in the state; it’s not all about commissioner appointments. Even if the governor appoints commissioners from each local government area (LGA), people will still complain.

“I want to urge all the party leaders and members to trust in the leadership of Governor Abiodun as everybody will get due compensation,” Oladunjoye told Daily Trust.

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