Connect with us


Non Appointment of Commissioners, Special Advisers Worsens Osun Economic Quagmire




By Abdulrafiu Agboola

Twenty-one-month after he was sworn-in as the Governor of Osun State for his second term, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, has refused to appoint Commissioners and Special Advisers for the State Executive Council. Aregbesola won his second term election on August 9, 2014 and he was swore-in on November 26, 2014.

The political appointments made so far by the governor, as far as the state executive is concerned, are Secretary to the Government of the state, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.

In his first term, Aregbesola appointed members of his cabinet 10 months after he assumed office. Majority of the cabinet members were not ‘home-based’, (they were not resident of the state) until their appointments.

Some of the former Commissioners

Some of the former Commissioners

Investigation by CityMirrorNews has revealed that the non-appointment of the state executives is hardening the economic woes of the state and makes it a peculiar case with the half salary being paid to the workers in a state regarded as a civil service state.

The absence of commissioners, special advisers and other political appointment has subjected members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their relatives to serious financial predicament, according to investigation.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) of the government have been disserted due to non presence of political appointees.

It was observed that eighty percent of visitors to the ministry and parastatals are politicians, and they are visiting to meet politicians who will either give them money or use his influence to solve their problems.

Since Aregbesola began his second term in office, the ministries have been witnessing low patronage of people, and this is having adverse effect on the civil servants who also rely on the peanuts being given to them by some of the politicians as well running cost.

CityMirrorNews learnt that economic challenges facing the state would have been significantly cushioned had the governor made political appointments.

The commissioners and SAs do have Personal Assistants who receive salaries from which other people get stipends. The flow of money in the political appointees’ circles will automatically reflect on their families and from there to the economy with attendant trickle down flow to the masses.

According to findings, the untold hardship on the people of the state would not have been so bad had Aregbesola appointed the commissioners and SAs.

The governor had claimed to be saving money with the non appointment of the cabinet members, a system that some people described as ‘penny wise pounds foolish’.

A financial analyst and Chartered Accountant, Alhaji Lateef Bakare, in an interview with CityMirrorNews on Monday said Aregbesola was culpable on the economic quagmire of the state, stating that the governor did nothing to improve the economy of the state.

Bakare argued that in spite of the national economic recession which is making life difficult for the people, the non appointment of commissioners, Special Advisers, other political appointments makes Osun State exceptional in the economic hardship.

The Ilesa born economist, said: “Aregbesola has refused to appoint commissioners, special advisers and other political appointments. Under political dispensation, we have what we called constituency which politicians are responsible to.

‘If Aregbesola had appointed commissioners and SAs, they would earn salaries and allowances, even if it is half. Their Personal Assistants would also earn salaries. Money will flow from these people to their constituencies, which make the society. The economy of the state will boom because people will have purchasing power.

“But the problem we also had during the first term of Aregbesola was that majority of the commissioners, SAs and other political appointees were from Lagos, they did not reside in Osun, their families are in Lagos or elsewhere.

“When those people received salaries, they spend it in Lagos. The money that was supposed to come into the Osun economy was flown to Lagos. That is part of the economic problem we are still facing in the state. So, Aregbesola is culpable on the economic quagmire of the state.”

CityMirrorNews investigation reviewed that as a result of the above, the critics of Aregbesola accuse his administration of deliberate capital flight from Osun to Lagos, and they argued that the capital projects or contracts in the state are all handled by his political friends and allies’ based in Lagos and in view other metropolis.

To the chagrin of Muslim faithful who usually get fasting gifts from government during Ramadan fasting, absence of political appointees in the state, most of who sponsored programmes and dole out gifts to fasting Muslims, made things to stand still and eventually left many in total bewilderment.

As Eid-il-kabir festival gets closer, CityMirrorNews can authoritatively revealed that the usual distribution of rams by the state government might fail as political appointees through which most Muslims get the ram have not been appointed. Apart from the fact that the government could not for a long time sponsor any pilgrim to the Holy land, many politicians that usually help in that regard are also lamenting hard situation since the government dissolved the executives.

Many questions are being asked daily without any answer on:  “will Governor Aregbesola appoint any Commissioners or Special Assistants throughout his second term? Is he not turning himself to a Sole Administrator or an autocrat? Can the economy pick up without anybody manning expected political offices? What becomes the fate of their offices left unoccupied for long? Would there be no infrastructural decay? What is the cost of maintaining the political appointee in response to the socio-political effects on the State and its citizenry?