THE caretaker management committee appointments made by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola have been generating hues and cries in majority of Local Governments in the State of Osun.
Governor Oyetola had last week Thursday sent the names of the appointed Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Secretaries and members of the caretaker committees in each of the Local Governments, Local Council Development Areas and Areas Offices to the Osun State House of Assembly for confirmation.
While some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who felt cheated in the appointments resorted to protests by occupying the Osun State House of Assembly and houses of some of the APC leaders, others were grumbling and threatening to fold their arms when the party needs their services.
The grounds of discontentment in some of the local governments is that Oyetola failed to follow their conventional political arrangements, favoured only the IleriOluwa caucus of the party at the expense of committee party members, imposition, lack of considerations for religious interests and leanings in the grassroots communities, among others.
However, OSUN DEFENDER noted that all the party members could not be appointed at the same time, as available political offices could not spread across.
The APC members in Boripe, Ede, Egbedore, Egbedore South, Ejigbo West, Ife Central, Ife East, Iwo, Iwo East, Iwo West, Obokun, Odo Otin South, Ola-Oluwa, Olorunda, Irepodun, Ifelodun, among other local governments, have begun protests on Sunday, demanding a reversal of the appointments in their various areas.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that members of the APC in Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government of the state, staged a peaceful protest to the country home of Governor Oyetola on Sunday, where leaders of the party were holding a meeting.
The APC members in Ward 02 of the local government decried what they described as lopsidedness in the caretaker appointments, saying that the government had been favouring the Ojomu Arugba Unit of the ward since 2011, while neglecting other polling units.
Speaking at the Governor’s house, Mr. Wasiu Adeyemi, who led the protest said: “We are here to protest the caretaker appointments in our Ward 03. The government has been cheating other units to favour Unit 02 all this while.
“During Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration, Unit 2 produced the caretaker appointee for five years. During the 2018 local government elections, the same Unit 2 produced a parliamentarian. Now, Governor Oyetola appointed an elderly person from that Unit 2 again to represent our ward in the caretaker appointment. This is unacceptable.
“The man that is appointed has not been active in our ward meetings and political activities. He lives in Osogbo. He is also aged. Why would the Governor want to cheat us, the committed APC members in other units in Ward 02? We want the Governor to reconsider his choice.”
The protesters were addressed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transports, Mr. Olatoke Olaniyan.
In Ede, members of the party APC were grumbling over the appointments of Chairmen for Ede South and Ede North Local Governments, Mr. Deji Agboola and Mr. Adeyemi Elliot Sesan respectively, who are Christians.
According to the aggrieved members of the party, it is politically wrong for the Governor to have appointed Christians for the mother councils in Ede, which is predominantly a Muslim community.
Though the APC members did not stage protests, their displeasure over the caretaker appointments, hinged majorly on religious bias and lopsidedness, was very pronounced.
However, a leader of the party in Ede, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity, said religion should not be the bases for appointments, saying that what is important is whether the appointed people deserved the appointments or whether or not such appointments were based on merit and political participation.
In Egbedore South Local Council Development Area, the APC members accused Governor Oyetola of jettisoning the extant zoning arrangement in the area by returning chairmanship of the council to Ido-Osun, saying that Ofatedo was to produce the Chairman.
According to the APC member, Hon. Kola Ajao, the immediate past Chairman of the Local Government will be serving a third term with his current appointment as Caretaker Chairman, which is not supposed to be.
The APC members stated that the political arrangement is that chairmanship will be rotated between Ofatedo and Ido-Osun, but the latter has held on to it since.
OSUN DEFENDER learnt that Governor Oyetola decided to return Ajao to honour his father, Alhaji Gbadebo Ajao.
Also, there is disquiet in Egbedore Local Government over the appointment of Mr. Kazeem Faleye as the Secretary of the Caretaker Committee.
The APC members said Faleye was neither living nor voting in the local government, questioning the rationale behind his choice by the Governor.
“The appointment of Mr. Kazeem Faleye as the Secretary of Egbedore Local Government Council is a slap on our face. The only thing we can trace to him is that he is an indigene of the local government but he does not live here and he is not voting here, he is voting in Dagbolu, Olorunda LCDA”, they said.
In Iwo, members of the APC in Iwo, Iwo East and Iwo West Local Government Councils stormed the State House of Assembly on Monday to protest against the caretaker appointments, saying that the lists of the candidates nominated by the party leaders in the areas were changed.
According to the party members, majority of the announced appointees were members of the Social Democratic Party and Peoples Democratic Party, who just defected into the APC.
The protesters, who were armed with placards with inscriptions like “Enough is Enough, “O to gee!”, “APC is Nobody’s Property”, “2022 is Shaking” “Iwo People are Not Slaves”, called the Assembly to reverse the announcement of Ramon Lawal of Iwo East and Babatunde Ologbuuru of Iwo West.
They described Ologburu as a former member of the SDP, who followed Senator Iyiola Omisore into the party, saying his appointment is a slap on the faces of those who worked for the emergence of Oyetola in the area.
They said Lawal also joined the party from PDP recently.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, the protesters said: “The nomination is a slap on all of us in Iwo APC. Two of the three chairmen are not members of our party. They are people who just returned to our party after the Governor had been elected. We are calling on the Assembly to immediately reverse those appointments in the interest of our party.”
In Odo Otin South Local Council Development Area, the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Caretaker Committee were reportedly taken from Inisa alone, a development that has been generating controversies in the area.
Members of the APC in the council area said the three principal officers were chosen in Ward 10 alone, saying such step is against the natural law of justice and fairness.
Also, members of the APC in Olorunda Local Government have expressed displeasure over the appointments of the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Caretaker Committees.
According to the APC members, the local government has been handed over to PDP, arguing that no core member of the progressives was appointed.
The APC members who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity said: “The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary of the Caretaker Committee are all from PDP. They just defected to the party recently. The Chairman and Secretary came directly from PDP to APC while the Vice followed Omisore from PDP to SDP before joining APC.
“The core APC members were left behind in the appointment. How could a politician seeking second term election reason like that? Also, the person that was appointed in Ward 04 is a biological brother of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Rasaq Adeosun.
“This is the injustice we are witnessing in Olorunda Local Government. We urge the governor to retrace his steps before is too late.”
In Ward 03, Ilare, Obokun Local Government of the state, members of the APC rejected the nominated caretaker members, demanding that the Coordinator of IleriOluwa group be appointed.
The APC members stormed the House of Assembly on Monday to protest what they described as ‘wrong nomination’, praying the Parliament to step down the nominee from Ward 03.
Similarly, members of APC in Ilobu, Irepodun Local Government set bonfire in front of the residence of the Chairman of APC Elders’ Council in the state, Engr. Sola Akinwumi, on Monday.
The house, located at Kuelu area of the town, was stormed by the APC members, mostly youths, who were protesting alleged removal from the list of name of the Caretaker Committee Secretary, Ademola Adesina, popular known as Guduobe, on the instruction of Akinwumi.
The House of Assembly had earlier reportedly announced Adesina as Secretary on Thursday along the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Barrister Adegoke Ogunsola and other members. But his name was reportedly removed later, prompting the aggrieved APC members’ protests.
The APC members set up bonfires at the gate of Engr. Akinwumi’s house, chanting different songs and telling the APC leader to rescind his decision on the removal of Adesina’s name.
They also called on the Governor to ensure that Adesina is returned as the Secretary of the Caretaker Committee for the council.
The caretaker appointments also generated controversies in Ifelodun North LCDA, Eweta, Ikirun as members of the APC alleged biases in the selection of principal officers among the appointed members.
According to the members of the APC in Ward 06, the position of Chairman and Secretary was given to the same Ward 08, which negates the spirit of fairness and justice.
The APC members, in a press statement signed by IleriOluwa Coordinator in Ward 06, Olatunji Iyiola, believed that the positions should be distributed evenly among the wards.
According to them, Ward 06 is the second largest ward in Ifelodun North LCDA which needs special recognition and should not be treated in such ways.
The APC members argued that those chosen as Vice-Chairman and Secretary have been in power for the past five years.
However, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye, assured the aggrieved members of the party that the Parliament would look into their complaints.
Also, the caretaker appointments were greeted with protests in Ife Central and Ife East Local Governments as members of the APC rejected the appointees, alleging that the names of the party members compiled by party leaders were not reflected in what was announced.
The APC members accused some politicians in the local government of slotting in the names of their girlfriends into the list at the expense of committed party members.
In Ejigbo West Local Council Development Area, the name of the nominated Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Kolapo Olayanju, was stepped down on the allegation that he was not nominated by the leaders of the party.
The controversy on his appointment was yet to be settled as at the time of filing this report.