• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Is Obasa really in ‘battle of wits’ against Sanwo-Olu?

The feud between Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa took another turn last week after seventeen commissioner- nominees were rejected by the Assembly.

The House on Wednesday confirmed 22 out of the 39 cabinet nominees sent recently by Governor Sanwo-Olu for screening.

The confirmation was done through a voice vote as Obasa mentioned the name of each of the nominees.

However, the lawmakers rejected 17 of the nominees.

This came following a series of lobbying and horse-trading by various interest groups to have their candidate nominated.

Since then there have been divergent views over the rejection of the 17 commissioner-nominees by Lagosians and Nigerians at large.

Weeks ago, when the names of the commissioner-nominees were presented at the plenary, some members of the state House of Assembly, expressed dissatisfaction over the apparent exclusion of their councils and party faithful in the list.

The lawmakers had lamented the exclusion of some parts of the state in the nomination.

While some urged the House to take another look at the list, others said that the nominees’ local government areas should be attached to the list.

However, Obasa asked the lawmakers to understand that all local government areas in the state could not produce a commissioner.

The speaker agreed that the list of nominees needed to also include the LGA they come from for the benefit of the state in particular and the general public.

But after some names were rejected last week, party loyalists said part of the reason the commissioner-nominees were rejected by the Lagos Assembly was because they are not known in their constituencies and had zero contribution to the success of the party at the poll.

They further stated that they have technocrats who are party loyalists who should form the list, and that was why the party formed the All Progressives Congress (APC) professionals in politics with members being experts in different fields.

However, observers say the reason the commissioner-nominees were dropped may just be a personal feud between the political actors in Lagos State.

After the 2023 general election, in the build up to the election of the Assembly Speaker, the Governor was said to have thrown his weight behind another candidate against Obasa.

Several moves by Obasa to get the support of the Governor for him to retain the seat allegedly failed.

All efforts by Obasa to secure the express approval of Sanwo-Olu failed, which made him go to Abuja to convince his political godfather, President Bola Tinubu.

Fortunately for Obasa, he got the approval and support of the Governors’ Advisory Council (GAC) for him to retain his seat.

Observers say the rejection of the seventeen commissioners’ nominees by may just be a way Obasa wants to show Governor Sanwo-Olu that he is still in charge despite his plot against his emergence.

After the election, it is expected that governance would be the focus, but unfortunately, everything to them is politics.

Many Nigerians wonder why politicians always sacrifice good governance on the altar of party politics?

They further noted that after the election, it is expected that governance would be the focus, but unfortunately, everything to them is politics.

Political analysts said the rejection of 17 out of 39 commissioner-nominees sent to the Lagos State House of Assembly for screening is quite unfortunate, and embarrassing.

Analysts say some of the names rejected by the House of Assembly are technocrats who performed excellently well in the last tenure, noting that it was obvious their rejection was pure politics.

“Unfortunately, there is the sense that most of those rejected by the House are the technocrats among them who are not so much into party politics.

“People like Prof Akin Abayomi, we saw his role during the COVID-19 pandemic as the then Lagos commissioner for health?

“Look at Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, do you not know that woman’s efforts at transforming Lagos public schools to what parents are now proud of.

“Same with the former SA to the governor on works, Engr Aramide Adeyoye who spent not less than 15 years with a leading global construction company,” Michael Uwa, a public affairs analyst said.

Jude Ogun, public affairs commentator said the rejection of 17 Commissioners-nominees is unprecedented and requires attention.

“These lists aren’t solely crafted by the governor but involves input from the ruling party. This process contributes to the vitality of democracy, as the House fulfills its role in maintaining democratic tenets.

“But the rejection of such a number of nominees is not ordinary; I think there is much behind it that we don’t know,” Uwa said.

Only recently, both Muslim and Christian groups expressed divergent opinions over the religious composition of Sanwo-Olu’s commissioner and Special Adviser nominees list sent to the state House of Assembly for approval.

Read also: Lagos lawmakers drop 17 nominees from Sanwo-Olu’s list

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had slammed the Lagos State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), over its position on the controversy surrounding the number of Christians nominated as Commissioners by Sanwo-Olu.

MURIC had queried that there were more Christians in the list and should be reviewed by the Governor.

It was gathered that there are 31 Christians and eight Muslims on the nominees’ list.

State chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Stephen Adegbite, had during a media briefing recently, supported the list of commissioners submitted and backed the decision of Sanwo-Olu.