Like in other states of the country, scheming and lobbying for the sole substantive ministerial slot of Oyo State in the next federal cabinet has begun and will ascend to a crescendo as May 29 approaches. No fewer than six members of the All Progressives (APC) in the state are touted to be in the contest and have begun speaking to persons who are believed to have the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2015, the president defied the odds and lobbying to pick Adebayo Shittu as the state’s ministerial candidate. As against the candidate (s) pushed forward by leader of the party in the state, Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Buhari had insisted on his choice of Shittu, citing their relationship which dated back to their membership of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). While Ajimobi had rooted for a principal partner with KPMG, Mr Joseph Tegbe, the Oyo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had also kicked against Shittu’s nomination, pointing to his alleged lapses, including failure to be a team player, cantankerous and an uncooperative attitude with the party and its leadership.
The president however stuck to his guns. Once Shittu scaled through a tortuous screening at the Senate and was confirmed, Ajimobi subsequently said he had forgiven Shittu whose nomination he said was God’s will. However, the frosty relationship between Ajimobi and Shittu, who became the Minister of Communications, has remained evident in the crisis that ravaged the Oyo APC and the roles played by the two of them in the run-up to the 2019 elections.
The crisis did result in the emergence of a breakaway faction known as “Unity Forum” that had Shittu as one of its leaders. Though the party won eight House of Representatives and two senatorial seats, many are wont to say that the crisis led to the failure of party to win the governorship and presidential election in the state. The development would, as a matter of fact, be of concern to the president in choosing a minister from the state.
Though Shittu has been keen and very vocal about his desire to be returned as minister, the odds against him may have been exemplified by his disqualification from the 2019 governorship race by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) and his unhidden disenchantment against the manner in which Ajimobi is leading the party in the state. With the crisis that rocked the party prior to the election and now assuming opposition role from May 29 onwards, having lost the governorship and the majority in the House of Assembly to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the president and the APC national leadership will undoubtedly be interested in picking a ministerial nominee who could mend broken fences in the Oyo APC as part of the efforts towards reclaiming the state in 2023.
In from Olumide Olaoluwa. Confident that he is on the list of ministerial nominees as Oyo State candidate, Barr Adebayo Shittu, has commenced moves to. The immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi has said he prefers going to the Senate than becoming a I don’t want ministerial position, I prefer to be senator, says ex-Gov. The immediate-past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said he prefers going to the Senate than becoming a minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s expected cabinet. Ajimobi, in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday, explained that the ministerial appointment should go to younger members of the party in Oyo State. The names of the ministerial nominees, 43 in number, were read on the floor of the upper chamber by the president of the senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan. Mr Dare is the Oyo State nominee on the just released ministerial list. And he is said to have made the list courtesy machination of former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Oyo apc: battle over ministerial slot begins Posted on April 26, 2019 April 26, 2019 Author admin Like in other states of the country, scheming and lobbying for the sole substantive ministerial slot of Oyo State in the next federal cabinet has begun and will ascend to a crescendo as May 29 approaches.
Beyond the task of repositioning the party ahead 2023, it is expected that Buhari may also want to appoint an individual who can key into his economic growth recovery plan. Such a person, many analysts believe, must be incorruptible, respected and experienced and exposed.
Meanwhile, the APC NWC has also put a ceiling for the president on the would-be nominee, asking him to appoint loyal party men, and not just technocrat. Apart from Shittu, other potential ministerial nominees from Oyo State are the outgoing Governor Ajimobi; Mr Joseph Tegbe (a governorship aspirant in the 2019 elections); the party’s governorship candidate in the election, Chief Adebayo Adelabu; renowned legal practitioner and governorship aspirant in the election, Mr Niyi Akintola; and Dr Olusola Ayandele, who was also an aspirant in the same governorship election.
Among others, the chances of Ajimobi to be the state’s ministerial nominee look brightest. Having reversed on his earlier stance not to vie for any political position, and eventually lost out in his bid to return to the Senate, Ajimobi has since then turned his attention to be minister so as to maintain and advance his political relevance in the affairs of the state. Feelers are that the governor has begun to speak with some northern governors known to be close to President Buhari as well as some national leaders of the party to lobby the president to look his way.
Backers of Ajimobi hold that, being the leader of the party, he has identified the cracks in the Oyo APC and would thus be in the best position to correct the errors that might have been made. Having being governor for eight years, Ajimobi is seen as an intelligent, smart and experienced administrator to lead a federal ministry. In fact, some sources hold that if Ajimobi’s nomination is confirmed, he may be found fit for the Ministry of Information and Culture.
However, those against Ajimobi’s nomination argue that he should take the back seat in the efforts at repositioning the Oyo APC because of reservations about his personality, the fact of his failure to ensure that the party has the highest number of votes in the presidential election and his failed senatorial bid as well as his inability to ensure that the party wins the governorship election.
As noted earlier, but for Buhari’s insistence on Shittu, back then in 2015, Joseph Tegbe would have been made a minister. Tegbe was top in Ajimobi’s list of nominees for ministerial appointment from the state. This time, Tegbe may have to contend with Ajimobi who nominated him about four years ago for the same position. Like Ajimobi, Tegbe is also close to the corridors of power, especially the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. As a partner and head of the technology advisory practice of KPMG in Nigeria, he has deep experience providing management and technology advisory, public sector management, institutional diagnostic review, business strategy and transformation advisory, accounting and financial management system design for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal and state governments.
After years in the corporate world, Tegbe ventured into the political landscape and was a governorship aspirant of the party in the state in the 2019 election. During the electioneering, the manner in which his name rocked the length and breadth of Oyo State within three months was epochal, even some hold that the campaign set the tone for an eventful political career.
Unknown to many, Tegbe is close ally of Ajimobi with the duo embarking on several business trips abroad. Actually, Tegbe was Ajimobi’s top nominee for the APC governorship ticket until various other considerations swung the tide in favour of Adebayo Adelabu. Some political observers aver that one of the offers thrown at Tegbe to step down his ambition, less than 24 hours to the APC primaries, was that he would get the ministerial slot of the state. However, with his leader, Ajimobi also a potential nominee, it waits to be seen whether Tegbe’s first class professionalism and closeness to the powers-that-be can give him an edge, even as those who support his nomination argue that he also possesses the freshness needed to drive a new Oyo APC.
Another nominee with a great potential of being chosen as a minister is Mr Niyi Akintola SAN. A renowned legal practitioner, Akintola can boast of being a long standing party man, having worked and fought legal battles for the party for many years. He is a close ally of the APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, counsel to many South-West governors and the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and currently, he is one of the counsels to challenge the suit filed by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP against President Buhari’s reelection.
Akintola was an APC governorship aspirant in the last election and only withdrew from the primary at the last minute, lamenting that he felt cheated that his years of loyalty to the progressives were not rewarded. Akintola also has a grouse with Governor Ajimobi, for allegedly sidelining and not rewarding people like him who worked for his emergence as governor. Though he expressed his grouse, Akintola later demonstrated his being a party man by urging the APC NWC to take steps to correct the party’s faulty reward system.
Those rooting for Akintola’s nomination argue that he boasts of a respected personality, especially as a sound intellectual and also has well-spread connections and the political clout to galvanise the Oyo APC on a revitalisation course. Akintola, said to be a “Tinubu’s boy” may have the factor of the former Lagos governor working in his favour, while his incorruptibility as a legal practitioner over the years will also be put under the microscope. Observers hold that Akintola if nominated and confirmed, may be given the Minister of Justice portfolio.
A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and governorship candidate of the party in the last election, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, is another option for the state. As deputy governor of the CBN, Adelabu was known to have attracted several CBN projects to the state, particularly the first technical university, Ibadan. According to Adelabu, who is a first class accounting graduate from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, his decision to dump the CBN job for politics and vie for the governorship seat was to be in a position to impact upon the lives of a larger number of people of his home state.
Having built a circle of influential persons, managerial and financial clout over the years, Ajimobi supported the candidacy of Adelabu for governor. According to Ajimobi, it was God’s will that Adelabu emerged as the party’s governorship candidate. Though he failed in his bid to be governor, Adelabu has begun to establish himself in the politics of Oyo State.
Meanwhile, Adelabu’s connections both at state and federal levels, remain priceless. Just as they ensured that Adelabu got the governorship ticket, few months after he joined the politics of Oyo State, those influential persons whose tentacles reach the presidency could once again make a case for Adelabu to be the state’s ministerial nominee. Adelabu’s first class brilliance, proven managerial ability and growing political clout may be some of his selling points to the president. However, Adelabu’s nomination would also be hinged on a close scrutiny of his performance and activities as a high ranking official of the CBN, his inability to win the governorship election and whether he truly boasts of a commanding personality and aura.
Dr Olusola Ayandele, a businessman and industrialist, is also said to be interested in being the state’s ministerial nominee. Ayandele is also into energy distribution and is Project Director, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited. He was a governorship aspirant in the last election and was among the final three of Ajimobi’s favourites to emerge as candidate of the party. He preaches the ideals of Chief Obafemi Awolowo: progressivism, welfare of the people, and care for the less-privileged in the society. Ayandele boasts of proven managerial ability, excellence in academics and in the business world, but only began to work himself into the political consciousness of the people in the last election. Ayandele would be relying on his rich business connections and growing political contacts to be spotted by the president for consideration as a minister.
As the president keeps his list of ministers close to his chest, it stands to be seen what would be utmost in his consideration in picking the sole Oyo ministerial nominee. Which would be supreme? Is it loyalty to the party, long standing relationship with him, ability to reposition Oyo APC ahead 2023, integrity, incorruptibility, intellect, managerial experience, proven administrative ability, exposure, exemplary performance in chosen field over the years? The people of the state are waiting with bated breathe.
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a substantive minister for the state in the newly-constituted cabinet, even as he assured the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, of the support of the people of the state.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to his office by the minister, an indigene of the state, the governor recalled that the state had for several years been having junior ministers.
Ajimobi said, “We are indeed very grateful to Mr. President for giving us (Oyo State) the portfolio of a substantial minister after several years that we had been having junior ministers.
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“Now that we have a substantive minister in a strategic ministry, it is our belief that our state will benefit immensely from it. I pledge to give you all necessary support as a worthy ambassador of Oyo State.
Governor Ajimobi stressed that the minister should not be seen as representing Oke-Ogun zone of the state, where he hails from, in the federal cabinet but all other zones that made up the entire state.
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The governor said he was impressed by the courage and carriage exhibited by the minister during his screening by the Senate, stressing that he was able to respond to the various questions raised by the senators to the best of his ability.
Besides, he said that he was equally happy with the disposition espoused by Shittu since his appointment, saying that this had put paid to the antics of the people bent on playing politics with his appointment to cause disaffection between them.
Speaking earlier, Shittu expressed happiness that he was coming home as the representative of the state in the Federal Executive Council.
The minister thanked the governor for his support, disclosing that he had had a longstanding relationship with the governor that predated his current status as the number one citizen of the state.
Shittu said, “I am not unaware that Oyo State needs effective representation at the federal level. I want to assure you that I will serve as your eyes and ears. Whatever this state deserves from the Federal Government, we will get it.
“I promise not to let you down. I promise not let Oyo State down. I promise to always get in touch with you for advice. I will be a good ambassador of this state.”
The minister also said that he would do everything possible to reposition the ministry and make it the nation’s cash cow.