Why Lagos Assembly rejected 17 Sanwo-Olu's cabinet nominees

Sanwo-Olu and Obasa

Sanwo-Olu and Obasa

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The rejection of 17 cabinet nominees of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu by the State House of Assembly on Wednesday shows that all is not well between the executive and the legislature.

Out of the 39 cabinet nominees presented by Sanwo-Olu to the House for screening, only 17 scaled the hurdles. This has never happened in the history of Lagos. Only 22 nominees were confirmed by the Assembly.

It shows that there is a political war between the governor and the Assembly, which the powers that be at the centre can only resolve.

What led to this and how did this happened?

The genesis of the crisis is traceable to the sour relationship between Obasa and Sanwo-Olu. During the race for the speakership position, it was glaring that Sanwo-Olu was said to have supported Abiodun Tobun against Obasa. After much intervention, Obasa was re-elected speaker. That may be one of the reasons leading to the ‘revenge’ by the Assembly.

Another contributory factor is that almost all those rejected have no political base and grassroots affiliation. Most of them are friends of the governor. For instance, former Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who was rejected, has no political base, he is not a politician. The Assembly swept them aside because of this. If you look at the list of the 22 others confirmed by the Assembly, they have political affiliations. It is either they are sons and daughters of big politicians in Lagos or they are close to the big guns in Lagos.

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For instance, Tobunsun Alake is the son of Dele Alake; Ms. Abisola Ruth Olusanya, is the son of a big politician, Kaoli Olusanya; Hon. Bola Olumegbon is the daughter of the Olumegbons; Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, daughter of a former deputy governor of Ekiti State, among others.

If performance is the yardstick, there is no way Prof. Akin Abayomi will be disqualified, there is no way Gbenga Omotoso will be rejected, there is no way Folasade Adefisayo will be rejected, there is no way Sam Egube will be turned down, among others.

Another factor that worked against those disqualified is that some of them travelled out of the State during the presidential and governorship elections and did not participate. The Assembly saw this a cheating on behalf of those who were around and took part in the election.

Some of them did not also perform well during the screening at the House of Assembly. For instance, the former Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye was said to have performed poorly during the screening. The House embarrassed her during that screening.

Asides this, Adeyoye is said to be the architect of her misfortune. As the special adviser on Works and Infrastructure during the first term of Sanwo-Olu, she was supposed to report to the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Hamzat. She was said to have by-passed him and report directly to the governor. She only reported to the deputy governor after certain decisions have been taken. This did not go down well with Hamzat, who is not happy about the development. This made her case special and there was no way she could have scaled the screening as many forces were against her.

The religion factor is another reason many nominees were dropped. About 15 of those dropped by the Assembly are Christians. Some Muslim groups had raised dusts that of the 39 Sanwo-Olu nominees, only nine of them were Muslims. This might not be unconnected to why about 15 Christians were rejected by the Assembly.


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