By Mumini AbdulKareem
Immediate past Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Salman Jawondo and his counterpart in the Finance and Planning Ministry, Mrs. Florence Olasumbo Oyeyemi are among some key former commissioners that may likely return to the cabinet, National Pilot gathered last night.
Others, it was further learnt, include the former Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mrs Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu, her colleague in the Ministry of Water Resources, Hajia Arinola Fatimah Lawal and former Commissioner for Communications, Mrs. Adenike Afolabi-Oshatimehin.
Also said as to be part of the former appointees that may be likely favoured by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in the next cabinet are former Commissioner for Works, Rotimi Iliasu and Hajia Fatimoh Bisola Ahmed who headed the Education and Human Capital Development ministry.
The Governor is likely to announce his next cabinet anytime from now which sources said will comprise “forty five percent of former appointees and fifty-five percent of fresh names”.
According to one of the sources, those that may be reappointed are being considered based on a number of conditions which include but not limited to family ties with the Governor, being strong candidates of his close allies and business associates and some of those said to be candidates of some of the aggrieved party leaders in the state among others.
For Jawondo, apart from his “sensitive” position as the Commissioner for Justice and a top O to ge crusader, the former Attorney-General is said to a strong candidate of former Kwara South Senator, Suleiman Makanjuola Ajadi who is one of the most influential leaders and staunch supporter of the Governor.
The former Commissioner for Water Resources, Lawal apart from being an in-law to Governor Abdulrazaq, is said to have the support of some family members of the Governor and highly speculated to be on her way back to the system despite the recent “gulf” between his younger brother, Akeem and the governor over the leadership crisis rocking the APC in the state.
Her colleague in Education, Hajia Fatimah Bisola Ahmed has not only the support of her father but that of another key allay of the Governor in Ilorin West and pioneer Kwara PDP chairman, Barrister Kunle Suleiman.
Mrs Ahmed is also said to the candidate of the Governor’s elder sibling and “powerful” Senator Khairat Gwadabe haven served as a secretary to one of her (Khairat) grassroots movement in Ilorin.
Although Rotimi’s father is a self-acclaimed leader and vocal supporter of the Governor, the likely return of the younger Iliasu, it was gathered, will be predicated more on the Governor’s relationship with the billionaire owner of BUA Industries, Alhaji Rabiu Samad from whose company he was picked in the first place and the expected investments from such alliance to the state.
Aside from Oshatimehin said to be a candidate of senator Ajadi, the former Commissioner for Communication and her counterpart in Finance, Olasumbo Oyeyemi also have the backing of the Kwara State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Their first appointments, aside from the support of Senator Ajadi, it was further learnt, was also helped by the petition of CAN which petitioned the Governor over the non fulfillment of 40 percent Christians in the cabinet during the campaign.
It was gathered the former Finance Commissioner was recommended by his father-in law, Engr Oyeyemi, initially favoured by the Governor because of his role in the Otoge struggle but was later dropped as a result of age after the Governor gave him the privilege to nominate a female candidate of his choice.
Top sources in Oke-Ero last night confided in National Pilot that Mrs Oyeyemi’s name top the list of the fresh names from Oke-Ero that had been forwarded to the Governor for reappointment as commissioner.
Meanwhile, the new set of appointees to be appointed will comprise supporters of the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and other aggrieved leaders in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A top government source who did not want his name in print yet because of the sensitivity of the matter confided in National Pilot that Governor has concluded arrangement to name the new commissioners and other set of appointees any moment from now.
According to the source, “Barring any last minute change of decision, His Excellency, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is expected to announce a new cabinet any time from now.
“The appointees are expected to be forty-five percent of the team that worked with him the last time before there was dissolved and fifty-five percent of new faces which (may) include politicians as well candidates from aggrieved party leaders and people like Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammad and others are to be represented in the new cabinet”, the source submitted.
It was gathered that the Governor before now had directed leaders of the AA group across the local government to submit three names each for appointment into the coming cabinet in the state.
One of the leaders of the AA faction of the party in Ilorin West who spoke on the issue confirmed that the Governor reached out to them across the local government to submit names and “We have already done so. So we are waiting for him to make the announcement anytime from now in line with the list submitted”.
It was not clear last night whether the Governor will go ahead to name the new commissioners this week as noted by multiple sources but the names of seven Special Advisers were announced last week including Ahmed Yinka Aluko who was returned to the portfolio of Special Duties.
Others are former Controller of News, Channels TV, Bashir Adigun from Ifelodun as Special Adviser, Political Communications, SA Strategy, Saadu Salau, Abdullateef Alakawa (SA Political), Attahiru Ibrahim (Youths and Sports), Brigadier General Saliu Tunde Bello (Retd), Security and Prof Adekunle Dunmade (Health).
By Mumini AbdulKareem