Crisis Loom Over Fashola's Cabinet Composition
LAGOS, June 14, (THEWILL) - The move by Osun State Governor, Engr. Rauf Aregbesola to bring his loyalists into the cabinet of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has been causing crises amongst some highly influential Lagosians who believe Aregbesola has no business interfering in the affairs of the state.
The final list of cabinet members has been subjected to various interplay of political forces as influential godfathers maneuver to get their key men into the Lagos State executive council.
However, a credible source within the camp of the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, revealed to THEWILL that the ongoing political struggle to determine who gets a cabinet position may throw up “dramatic changes.”
As it stands, it appears that Aregbesola is the overbearing power with a long list of favoured candidates, which will deprive other camps of their expectations to clinch one or two positions. In the same camp with Aregbesola, our source revealed, is the immediate past commissioner for environment in the state, Muiz Banire, and this alliance has pitched them against party chieftains, traditional rulers, and stakeholders in the business community.
Other power brokers said to be in Aregbesola’s camp are the Vice Chairman of the Lagos ACN Chapter, Chief James Odunmbaku and Chairman of Conference of Local Government Chairmen, Hon. James Faleke.
It was learnt that the four of them, at a meeting held in Banire’s law office had already drawn up a list, which is now being bandied around as Asiwaju Tinubu’s approved list.
Our source however confirmed that Aregbesola’s plan is to “prevail upon Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to accept his list of cabinet nominees.”
This plan, THEWILL gathered is already brewing acrimony within the ranks of the party, including the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, who reportedly is angry at Aregbesola’s unwieldy influence in the state’s polity, despite facing a big task of governance in Osun State.
“This plan will likely cause crisis in Lagos ACN. Aregbesola, who has not been able to nominate people for Osun State cabinet after seven months in office, now wants to dictate who serves on Fashola’s cabinet,” the source said.
Some of the people being touted for juicy cabinet position included Banire. THEWILL learnt he has been nominated for the post of Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, a post considered as Aregbesola’s birthright in Lagos; although Banire at a recent press briefing disclosed that he will not be part of the new administration of Governor Fashola.
Other names flying around as potential cabinet members are: the former Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Adetoun Adeniran, former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation under the Tinubu Administration, Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson, a party stalwart in Somolu, Mr. Bosun Jeje, House of Assembly aspirant in Surulere, Mr. Adetokunbo Odutola and Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area Chairperson, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke among others.
Meanwhile some former cabinet members, who THEWILL learnt will also return to be part of the new administration include: Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Olasupo Shasore, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, former commissioners as Mr. Rotimi Oyekan of Finance, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu of Establishment, Pensions & Training; Revd Ben Akabueze of Budget and Economic Planning; Dr. Obafemi Hamzat of Science & Technology; Special Adviser on Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa; Special Adviser on Commerce & Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu; and Special on Revenue and Taxation, Mr. Adeola Rahman Ipaye.
THEWILL gathered that the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Fashola on Media, Alhaji Hakeem Bello would also be elevated to the cabinet position, perhaps to occupy the Office of the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy.
The former cabinet members who will not return are according to THEWILL checks include: Prince Adeniyi Oyemade of Commerce & Industry; Mr. Dele Onabokun of Housing; Chief Enock K. Ajiboso of Agriculture; Special Adviser on Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Ifemade Olalekan; Special Adviser on Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson; Special Adviser on Housing, Mr. Jimoh Ajao, as well as Special Adviser on Education, Dr. Adewale Elijah.