Exclusive! Abiodun To Axe Top Commissioners In New Cabinet Shake Up - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Exclusive! Abiodun To Axe Top Commissioners In New Cabinet Shake Up

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji

ABEOKUTA - Barring any last-minute change of mind, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State may relieve some of his cabinet members of their duties any moment from now, THE ENCOUNTER NEWS reliably gathered.

Feelers from the governor's inner circle revealed that the governor is not impressed with the performance of some of the commissioners in the last two years of his administration.

This may not be unconnected to political aspiration of many of the governor's appointees eyeing elective offices in 2023, causing silent war between appointees who sees each other as threats to their political ambitions. This blind ambition is already affecting governance and productivity.

Except for commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Samson Adeola Odedina, Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, Works, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Jamiu Omoniyi Jagunmolu, Commissioner for Finance who is also dubbed as the 'defacto Governor,' Dapo Okubadejo, others who may escape the ax are; Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Funmi Efuwape, Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Industry, Kikelomo Longe, Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan.

Also, their counterparts in the ministries of Forestry, Cooperative and Community Development, Arts and Culture, have been given clean bill of health.

However, information reaching our reporter hinted that the governor had concluded plans to sack the Commissioners over poor management and abuse of office.

According to impeccable sources, the likes of Engr. Gbenga Dairo who is the Commissioner for Transport in the state might be redeployed to another ministry while his counterpart in the ministry of Special duties, Femi Ogunbanwo might also be redeployed to another ministry.

Interestingly, Hon. Moruf Afolabi Afuape who many thought is one of the kitchen members of Governor Abiodun's cabinet may not be lucky after all, following many allegations and petitions against him over the alleged imposition of Obaship candidates in some villages and towns.

The sources further disclosed that some paramount rulers in the state have written to the governor over Mr. Afuape's overriding interest in the traditional selection of Obaship candidates.

Another reason, the Governor is having a second thought over Afuape who is the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs was his alleged bribe-taking from some local government chairmen and councillorship aspirants in the last local government elections in the state. This, we heard, did not go down well with Mr. Governor.

Prominent among the 'outgoing' commissioners is the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Waheed Odusile.

Odusile, since assumption of office six months ago, has performed poorly when it comes to information management of the state government.

Apart from the recent leaked video of the governor's Democracy Day broadcast message wherein the governor was correcting a supposed speech edited by the Commissioner, Mr. Odusile has poor media relations both within and outside the state.

In the leaked video which ostensibly embarrassed the governor, saw the governor himself questioning the Information Commissioner of his input in the speech.

Away from that, another albatross of Mr. Odusile is his direct involvement in the Ogun NUJ crisis, which according to the source, the Governor is not comfortable with him as image-maker of the government who is supposed to remain neutral or perhaps broker peace among the warring factions as a former national leader of the union.

Some journalists who shared their experiences with THE ENCOUNTER NEWS noted that since he assumed his new position, he has refused to visit the popular Iwe-Irohin house, the secretariat for all journalists in the state to fraternize with his immediate constituency. This and other alleged financial misappropriation are the major reason the governor is not considering his long stay in office. Sadly, Odusile did not know any of the 'core journalists' except his familiar foes while in active unionism, let alone has any influence among the journalists in the state. The governor's meeting with the journalists will confirm this.

Another Commissioner who is not in the good book of the Governor and hated by some power brokers within the inner circle of the governor is Dr. Kehinde Oluwadare, the Sports Commissioner.

After his famous public outburst against a former governor of the state and political leader of the governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Dr. Kehinde Oluwadare has refused to retain his relationship with the governor.

It would be recalled that the sports commissioner was suspended for three months by the governor for that act, but ever since, he has not been able to redeem his image with the governor. Despite the intervention of Chief Osoba and some powers that-be from Abuja to reinstate him, we reliably gathered his relationship with the governor has gone sore.

Another source who confided in our reporter maintained that he has been systematically pushed aside. The source explained that he was never recognized during the State Executive Council meeting neither his file get treated by the governor.

The source said each time he wanted to see the governor, he is always directed to the Chief of Staff or Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

To buttress her claim, the informant hinted that, among all the Commissioners, Dr. Oluwadare remains the only one without an official car except for his 2007 Toyota Highlander personal vehicle he cruises about.

Another allegation working against him is the recent lease of government property within the stadium to private business owners without proper remittance to the coffers of the State Government. 

Some said since assuming office 19 months ago, Dr. Oluwadare did not initiate any sporting events except for private sponsored sports activities.

The next person on the list of the outgoing commissioners is the embattled Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Abiodun Abudu-Balogun.

Hon. Abudu-Balogun lost out the favour of the Governor since his famous rape allegation of a 16-year-old girl, Barakat seven months ago which warranted his indefinite suspension as a Commissioner. Although, he is usually seen around the Governor's Office at Oke-Mosan which raises doubt whether he has been reinstated through the backdoor since the Governor is yet to announce a new commissioner for that ministry.

But rumour miffed that, he might be replaced by in the next cabinet shakeup.

Taiwo Oludotun Twinny. The popular politician from Abeokuta North local government of the state is not happy with his current predicament. Information carrier told THE ENCOUNTER NEWS that the Commissioner for Rural Development has been deprived of the functionality of the office.

In fact, a top source in the ministry hinted that the major responsibility of the Commissioner is for rural-urban renewal through distribution of transformers to rural communities and provision of water supply, but that has been taken off his table. 

According to the source, Hon. Oludotun is just lying fallow as a figurehead in the ministry while someone else is doing his job in the government.

Meanwhile, political observers in the state may begin to see new faces in the Ogun State executive cabinet.

This development according to different sources was to compensate those who lost out in the last local government elections in the state and to pacify some power blocs.

We learnt that top on the list penciled down for consideration is the immediate Caretaker Chairman, Abeokuta south local government, Hon. Ayodeji Michael Shomide, Tajudeen Ishola in Abeokuta North, Engr. Gbenga Olugbile, Ijebu-Ode, Mr. Fola Salami from Ifo, Alhaji Jamiu Ashimiyu from Ikenne, Alhaja Sonola, and Chief Olowopele from Ilisan-Remo.

The cabinet shakeup may likely take effect immediately after the governor's father's burial in September or towards the end of the year.

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