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Ogun: Amosun and 11th hour transactions


Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has won many battles in his political career. But he met a brick wall in his fight over who succeeds him at the Oke-Mosan seat of government, with his estranged friend, Dapo Abiodun, eventually emerging winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the Gateway State. 

Less than seven weeks to the end of his tenure, the governor remains undaunted in his rebuilding mission, as he has continued to oversee ongoing road constructions as well as visiting other project sites in the last few weeks.

Amosun also visited the site of the proposed Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology, MAUSTECH, in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state to give reassurances over plans to commence academic work there soonest.

This is even as staff of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, MAPOLY Abeokuta, have alleged that the governor was planning a systemic clampdown on workers of the institution.

They claimed there were feelers that the government was also planning to disband the three unions, operating in the polytechnic and sack all the executive officers of the unions.

Contrastingly, the governor recently approved the appointment of 18 new permanent secretaries from the state civil service as well as the appointments of Mr. Oludiji Akinhanmi and Mr. Festus Kehinde as General Managers of Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation and Ogun State Television, respectively.

These and many other last minute actions of the governor have divided the people of the state and keen political observers.

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While some are favourably disposed to the governor’s ‘late moves’, others, especially those in the Dapo Abiodun’s camp of the All Progressives Congress, APC, alleged that the appointments were politically motivated. They reasoned that Amosun was deliberately creating problems for the governor-elect.

While on an inspection tour of some roads under construction in the Ogun East Senatorial District recently, Governor Amosun described his remaining weeks in office as “the last lap of a long-distance race.”

He described himself as a “national athlete who is representing the country in long-distance races”, noting that his administration was determined and focused with “its eyes on the ball.”

It would be recalled that APC recently warned banks and other financial institutions to ignore the “injury time” loan requests by Amosun, as the incoming administration would not recognise them.

It also alleged that the outgoing governor was moving sensitive government documents out of the office as he prepares to exit the Oke Igbein Government House, promising however that it would probe Amosun’s ill-timed transactions.

The party, in a statement by the Publicity Secretary of its Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, alleged that the outgoing administration had engaged in late awards of contracts, withdrawals from treasury, sales of land and illegal recruitment of Senator Amosun’s cronies into senior positions of the state civil service, ostensibly to tie the hands of its successor.

He said: “It has come to our notice that the outgoing administration of His Excellency, Senator Ibikunle Amosun is busy with last minute awards of contracts, selling and auctioning of government properties, and secret recruitments into the civil service in a way to tie the hands of the incoming Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun.

“While we find these reported last-minute awards of contracts, withdrawals from treasury, sales of land and illegal recruitment of Senator Amosun’s cronies into senior positions of the Ogun State Civil Service, very shocking, our party wishes to warn the members of the general public that such hurried transactions would not necessarily be binding on the incoming administration.

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“We urge Ogun State’s top senior civil servants not to be part of the desperate moves of the departing Governor to undermine socio-economic stability of our State, by engaging in, condoning or being part of any act that breaches or constitute a flagrant abuse of laid-down rules, regulations and due process.

“It is our belief that an administration with less than two months to handover, should, by now, be preparing its handover notes for a smooth transition instead of digging pits for the incoming government.

“May we also reiterate here that all loans, overdraft and financial obligations that do not follow due process, including the approval of the Ogun State House of Assembly, would not be honoured. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

Government sources said the governor remains embittered over his failed bid to have Abiodun Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, succeed him and is doing his best to ensure that the governor-elect inherits more liabilities than assets when he resumes work at the Oke-Mosan Governor’s Office.

A source, who did not want his name mentioned, wondered why the governor had yet to set up a transition committee that would ensure that the incoming administration “go about the business of governance seamlessly.

“What I make of this development is simple really. I feel the governor is still bitter and has yet to move on from the realities of the election. That can only be the reason why he has suddenly become active and making last minute desperate decisions that collectively concern and affect the citizenry.

“If by now, our governor has not set up his own transitional committee like other governors are doing, then one must start asking salient questions of Ibikunle Amosun’s character.

“If truly, it is about the love of the state and the good people he has sworn to serve, then he must set aside this bitterness and do the right thing. In the end, posterity will judge us all for everything we do,” the source said.