A former speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola, has disclosed how he and his other colleagues rejected the nomination of Dr. Ahmed Ayinla as late former governor Lamidi Adesina’s commissioner nominees.
Ayinla, who hails from Igbeti, headquarters of Olorunsogo local government area of Oyo State, is the chairman of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in the state.
According to Ayoola who represented Oyo East / West state constituency between 1999 and 2003, this was despite the fact that Ayinla was known to majority of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, members in the Assembly, prior to our election.
In a tribute written one year after the demise of late Lam in 2013, Ayinla, said that the House found out that Ayinla could not convincingly demonstrate his knowledge of the profession he claimed to have studied in school.
Ayoola who is now the national financial secretary of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, added that if it were to be today’s Nigeria, the present day lawmakers would have asked him to bow and go.
LAM ADESINA, HIS COMMISSIONERS AND THE OYO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:
Today is the anniversary of the transition of Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina, Governor of Oyo State between 1999 and 2003.
In June 1999, Gov Lam, in a correspondence to the House, sent the following names to be considered as Commissioners in the Oyo State government:
1. Chief Pekun Adesokan
2. Mr Mufutau Salawu
3. Mrs Adebola Oni (nee Alayande)
4. Dr Gbola Adetunji
5. Mr Olaniyi Babalola
6. Alhaji Ganiyu Akande
7. Dr Adeniyi Adelakun
8. Mr Caleb Ayanniyi
9. Barrister Bayo Lawal
10. Dr Morounkola Ambaliyu Thomas
11. Prof. Bayo Olateju and
12. Alhaji Ahmed Ayinla
Upon receipt of this list, the House resolved into a Screening Committee with my humble self as Chairman. Each of the nominees was subjected to intense scrutiny as we were of the conviction that only the best was good enough for Oyo State that was then coming out of another round of military interregnum. We scrutinised the nominees’ educational background, experience, contributions to the pro-democracy agitations that birthed that republic, integrity, professional as well as political track records et cete ra.
The House did all these for about a week. Not for once did we turn it into a perfunctory, drab and non-querulous television circus show arrangee that screening of commissioners have become these days. There was no single ‘bow and go’ even though we had some prominent party leaders and ex-legislators among them. Example was Chief Pekun Adesokan who was Deputy Speaker between 1979 and 1983. At the conclusion of the exercise 11 were found to be worthy in learning and character and were therefore passed fit to be appointed as Commissioners in Oyo State of 1999. That means one person had his nomination rejected by that honourable House. His name: Alhaji Ahmed Ayinla.
Alhaji Ayinla was known to majority of our members prior to our election. He was the Admin Secretary of our party and in that position he handled sensitive administrative matters especially the documentation of the AD candidates into various elective posts including our honourable selves and Gov Lam himself.
In other words, he was the kind of person that, were it to be today, he would have been asked to simply bow and go. I would not want to go into the specific details of what he did wrong that prompted his rejection but suffice it to say that the House found out that he could not convincingly demonstrate his knowledge of the profession he claimed to have studied in school.
So, after the House communicated this development to the Governor, Alhaji Lam sought audience with me and asked what Ayinla did not in order to armtwist the House but according to him, to find out if he could re-present the man’s name. I said no, the House would rather prefer he nominate a replacement.
Which was what he did in the person of Mr Razak Ayanlola Raji, a classroom teacher who never knew he was to be made a commissioner until he got to Parliament Building. He was so afraid and nervous when he appeared before the Committee that at the suggestion of Hon Mojeed Olaoya (member for Ibadan Southeast 2 and the current APC Secretary in Oyo State), I had to order that cold tea be prepared for him to cool his nerves down. Mr Ayanlola Raji is today a member of Oyo State SUBEB Governing Board.
So, Lam complied with the wishes of the House – the representatives of the people. This compliance was to mark his relationship with the House throughout the 4 years he was Governor.
As we mark his passing on, one year to the day, I pray that God will grant our leaders the grace to be humble in accepting the will of the people in any matter.
The Bible says that “the memory of the just is blessed but the memory of the wicked will rot”.
May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!!!! ….Hon. Kehinde Ayoola JP 11, NOV 2013