•Commissioners Who May Not Return
By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Fear and apprehension have gripped commissioners and aides of Governor Abiola Ajimobi as the governor prepares to dissolve his cabinet in preparation for his inauguration for a second term in office.
A valedictory session was held for the appointees on Friday night during which the outgoing commissioners and aides presented gifts to the governor.
But WESTERN POST gathered that the cabinet would be formally dissolved on the 28th of this month, a day before his second term inauguration.
Already, his residence at Oluyole Estate in Ibadan has become a Mecca of sort for those seeking one position or the other in the next cabinet.
WP can reveal that the governor has been ruminating about the shape and form of his new cabinet since he was re-elected.
A few weeks ago, he held a closed-door meeting with all the political appointees to prepare their minds for the imminent cabinet reshuffle.
It was learnt, however, that of the 23 commissioners (though some had earlier resigned their appointments), only a few have been pencilled down for re-nomination to the same ministries or new ones, while a few aides would also retain their positions.
Former Commissioner for Local Government Affairs Fatai Buhari has been elected Senator while his former Science and Technology counterpart Dapo Lam-Adesina has also been elected into the House of Representatives.
Farouq, late Aare Arisekola Alao’s son, who resigned as Commissioner for Youth and Sports to contest House of Representatives primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was reinstated after he lost the primary election, but it is not clear yet if he would make the new cabinet.
WP was reliably told that some commissioners would not be retained due to their poor performance in office in the last dispensation.
According to a source who spoke with the newspaper on the condition of anonymity, some of the aides allegedly collected huge sums from the governor for campaign and mobilization during the election, but refused to spend it.
That infuriated the governor who vowed such appointees would not be returned.
The new cabinet, it was learnt, would have some members from the opposition parties who have shown interest to work with the governor.
Prominent among these opposition leaders is former governor of the state and Labour Party candidate in the April 11 governorship poll, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, who may be asked to nominate some persons into the new cabinet.
Though Alao-Akala had denied that he was dumping Labour Party for the APC, WP sources say the former governor would actually be heading to the party soon.
Governor Ajimobi had initially appointed some commissioners from former Governor Rashidi Ladoja’s Accord party while their alliance lasted during Ajimobi’s first term in office.
On the general look of the new cabinet, it was learnt that Governor Ajimobi would be appointing some technocrats as he did in the first term but this time the appointees would comprise more aggressive persons to help shore up Internally Generated Revenue in order to enhance the financial position of the state.
Ajimobi made use of technocrats in his first term to the disappointment of party members who worked tirelessly for his emergence in the first term, thinking that they would be compensated accordingly.
The development made his camp to be divided, as some stalwarts of the APC in the state turned against him.
Furthermore, this made a major stakeholder of the party and also the former Secretary to the State Government during late Lam Adesina’s administration, Chief Micheal Koleoso, to dump the party for Labour Party.
The internal wrangling within the party also made the governor to lose his two senators to the opposition parties.
“Now that Ajimobi has no party leader to dictate terms to him on whom to choose to be in his cabinet, he will be independent to nominate anybody he thinks will fit into his plan for second term,” one source close to the governor said.