- Awori monarchs seek more inclusion of indigenes
- Assembly may receive another list of 10 nominees
The list of 25 cabinet nominees, which Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu sent to the State House of Assembly about three weeks, has stoked concern among the leaders of Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) and Mandate Movement, two powerful groups that secured Sanwo-Olu’s governorship nomination.
Also, the Council of Obas and Chief in Aworiland has called on the governor to include more indigenes of the Awori descent in the second list of cabinet nominees, which it said, would be forwarded to the legislative arm for screening.
Multiple sources in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) anonymously spoke about the disappointment the cabinet list had generated among the supporters of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat at the weekend.
While the GAC is the highest advisory political organ in Lagos APC, the Mandate Movement is a powerful political machine loyal to the National Leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu and founded by former Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola.
According to a statement by his Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile on July 14, Sanwo-Olu had transmitted a list of 25 cabinet nominees to the legislative arm. The list comprised the names of 17 male and eight female nominees.
The governor had equally noted that the current list “is first batch,” disclosing that consultation was going on with regard “to the complete number of the cabinet members. The new cabinet would be unique, because of its diversity.”
However, a party source told THISDAY that leaders of both GAC and Mandate were not really happy with the cabinet list because their candidates “are not really included,” each of which had been lobbying Tinubu for more inclusion.
Specifically, the source claimed that different leaders of the GAC alone nominated about 200 candidates for the State Executive Council while Mandate compiled its own list of cabinet nominees and submitted it to the APC national leader.
The source added that almost all the candidates nominated by the Mandate Movement, with the exception of former Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, were not included in the cabinet list.
He claimed that most leaders of the Mandate Movement, especially a lawmaker representing Lagos East, Senator Adebayo Oshinowo; his Lagos West counterpart, Senator Olamilekan Solomon and Alhaji Abdullahi Enilolobo, among others, were taken aback at the list.
Another source claimed that Akinbile-Yusuf “is the Mandate nominee from Alimosho. But other candidates the Mandate nominated from other local government areas across the state were not included in the cabinet list. That is why its leaders are not happy.”
The source, also, added that Oshinowo “has already had enough because he singlehandedly nominated the candidate for Kosofe Federal Constituency. Aside, he nominated candidates for two state constituencies in Kosofe.”
Despite disquiet the cabinet list has generated, a 16-man committee, which the Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa set up to screen the nominees, had completed its assignment, though the committee might not be able to submit its report until the assembly resumes on August 19.
THISDAY, however, learnt that the governor might transmit the second cabinet list to the legislative arm immediately they resume on August 19. While some claimed the second batch would only comprise 10 additional nominees, others said the list would be expanded to 15 accommodate more political interests statewide.
Meanwhile, Ojomu of Ajiranland, Oba Adetunji Akinloye alleged marginalisation of Aworis across the state at a news conference he addressed at the secretariat of the Awori Obas within the Igando-Ikotun LCDA Secretariat complex.
Akinloye noted that Awori indigenes were not accorded the rightful position in the governance of Lagos State, adding that only one or two Awori indigenes made the list earlier transmitted to the state assembly.
The monarch said: “We want to use this medium to unequivocally remind the Lagos State Government that Aworis are not happy with the way we are being marginalised in the state despite our population and also for the fact that we are the original settlers in the state.”
He, however, thanked the APC leader for providing direction for the party nationwide, emphasising that right from inception, especially during elections, Awori indigenes had shown support for the ruling party in the state.
Akinloye explained that participation in politics “is anchored on the desire to use it as a route to be appointed and elected to serve the people and bring development to them. As we know, we have many Awori indigenes who are professionals, politicians and technocrats.
“We also have those who worked tirelessly during the electioneering campaign for the success of the party in Lagos State. We are hereby looking forward to see the appointment of another set of Awori indigenes who are young, vibrant and qualified, we are more than what we are getting.”
Akinloye maintained that the entire Aworis “are now waiting and hoping that justice will be done in the second batch of the nominees that will be forwarded to the Lagos State House of Assembly very soon.”