Ekiti Ministerial Slot: Oni Rushes To Yar’Adua

The last has still not been heard about the cabinet reshuffle of President Umar Yar’adua, as the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Segun Oni has reportedly consulted the President over the state ministerial nominee.

The former Minister of State for Energy (Gas) Mr. Olatunde Odusina, who hails from the state was among the 20 ministers dropped by Yar’adua last week.

Since the sanction of the Minister, opinions have differed within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over who fills the slot.

It was gathered on Wednesday that Governor Oni left for Abuja on Sunday shortly after attending a church dedication service and launch of an endowment fund in Oke-Imesi Ekiti held by the family of Chief Akin Osuntokun, former Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Chairman of the state chapter of the PDP, Mr. Bola Olu-Ojo, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital said the party was shocked by what he called “sudden and dramatic removal” of Odusina.

He said the governor had gone to Abuja to consult with Yar’Adua on nomination of Odusina’s replacement.

He said: “We are very shocked in Ekiti with the dropping of Odusina who was one of the most hardworking ministers that served President Yar’Adua.

“We were also surprised because we did not agitate for his replacement because we are satisfied with his performance. I can confirm to you that Mr. Governor has gone to Abuja to seek an audience with Mr. President over the nomination of a new person to replace the former minister and I want to say categorically that neither the governor nor the party has nominated any body yet.

“Those speculating on the nomination of the governor’s Chief of Staff only want to cause disaffection within the party, as there is no final word on the nomination, until all the necessary consultations by the stakeholders are completed.”

Olu-Ojo denied the reported factionalization of the party, saying the Shuaib Oyedokun-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee had resolved the differences among party members.

He added that the party’s Elders’ Consultative Forum was building on the achievements of the Oyedokun panel by ensuring the equitable sharing of state and federal board appointments.

Olu-Ojo said the 18 federal positions given to the state were shared among the five power blocs in the party, adding that arrangements were on to bring more aggrieved members into the fold ahead of the local government elections.