AGGRIEVED members of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, from the 33 local government areas of Oyo State, on 4th August, 2011, stormed the government secretariat to protest the list of Commissioners and Special Advisers, SAs, sent to the House of Assembly by Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The protesters who paralysed activities at the Secretariat, claimed they were not rewarded for their labour during the election campaigns.
The four gates leading to the complex were however locked and manned by security agents to prevent the aggrieved party members from taking laws into their hands.
Ajimobi had sent a list of nominees, which insiders said was dominated by professionals, to the House for approval as commissioners and SAs.
The list included former Speaker, Mr. Adeolu Adeleke and one other persons who are believed to be candidates of former Governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja.
Many of the aggrieved party members said they would not stand idle and watch those who did not work for the party’s victory enjoy their labour.
One of them who preferred anonymity, said, “We were only interested in winning the election without weighing all the attendant consequences. Now, we have won, but the reality is now staring us in the face. Some of us knew this kind of thing would happen but there was nothing we could do about it. God will give him the necessary wisdom to tackle the knotty issue”.
Reacting to the protest, Ajimobi, through his Senior Special Adviser on Public Communications, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said he would not succumb to the protesters who want us “to return to the Alao-Akala government era where the norm was to have funny characters in the cabinet, whose only qualification was their political party tag and who were more of liabilities than contributors to the upliftment of Oyo State. We do not want to recycle such drift. That was why arriving at this list took some time.” Party speaks When Vanguard contacted the State Party Secretary, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, he declined comments, saying the Chairman of the party; Chief Akin Oke would be in the best position to react to the issue.
Reacting to the issue, Chief Oke said he had not seen the list. He said the party had sent its own list of nominees to the governor, but still waiting for it to be sent back to the party. To him, it would be premature for him to make any comment since he had not seen it.
Akala reacts Immediate past governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, reacting to the protest through his aide, Prince Dotun Oyelade, distanced himself from the protest that greeted the commissioner- nominees’ list. He said, “while we have no business with the protestation in the heels of Governor Ajimobi’s nominees list, we take exception to the unnecessary dragging of former Governor Akala’s name into an internal mismanagement that spurred the protest. “