By Mike Adeyemi
Mixed reactions from Kwarans have continued to trail the appointment and later withdrawal of Kasora Addeyi, a 24-yr old graduate of the University of Ilorin as a commissioner nominee in the state.
Adeyi’s initial appointment as a commissioner was followed with knocks from critics of the administration who heavily trolled the Governor on social media and many online platforms for the glaring constitutional gaffe in the appointment of an underage to the post of commissioner.
25 years is the stipulated requirement according the country’s laws as the lowest age for such position which is enshrined in the Not-Too-Young-to-Run constitutional provision.
Although the governor was first celebrated for the action by his supporters, the backlash that followed led to the eventual withdrawal of Adeyi as a commissioner nominee and her subsequent announcement as a Senior Special Assistant on Youth Engaging by the Governor.
Adeyi was announced at plenary last week Tuesday as one of the eight nominees whose names were sent by the governor to the state House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioners.
The Speaker of the House, Engr. Danladi Yakubu Salihu who read the letter from the executive, specifically mentioned Adeyi as the commissioner-nominee from Ilorin West.
But the state government, in a statement released on Tuesday evening, announced the appointment of Adeyi as SSA, an appointment that does not require confirmation by the state legislature.
Speaking with National Pilot on the issue, a former member of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Rasaq Taiwo said for the governor to have nominated an under aged before the lawmakers for screening is an affront on the constitution of the country.
According to him, ‘the aim of the founding fathers is that the House of Assembly will correct any anomaly put before it by the executive hence the House should reject the nominee.’
“By presenting the unqualified nominee for screening into the position of commissioner by the Kwara State Governor is a flagrant disobedience of the Nigerian constitution which stipulated and voids any person below 25 years of age for public office.
“It is now incumbent on the House of Assembly to reject that nominee and ask the governor to submit another name, but look at what is happening now”, he said.
In the same vein, Hon. Isiaq Mogaji, another former lawmaker described the action of the governor by presenting an underaged for the position of commissioner before the House of Assembly as a gross disconnect with the laws.
“For Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrasaq to have nominated an under aged for the position of commissioner in the state, it shows he didn’t know what he is doing.
“Before the amendment of the constitution, the qualified age to hold public position was gazetted for 30 years. The age limit for commissioner was later reduced from 30-25 years.
“So for the Governor to have put before the House for screening of under aged, it shows he is not in tune with the constitution he swore to uphold,” Mogaji said.
He added further that what the governor ought to have done in the case was to write another letter to the Speaker notifying him of an error in his nomination rather than a forthright withdrawal.
“What he ought to have done is to write another letter to the Speaker notifying him of an error in the content of his message and mention that the lady is not constitutionally qualified for commissioner in the state. That is what is expected of the governor.
“The second leg was for the governor either exercise patience to allow the house of assembly go on with the screening, and if the house now discovers that she is not qualify, the House will now write back to the governor that it find the lady unqualified in consonant with the constitution.
“The speaker will now ask the governor to re-nominate another person from that local government,” Mogaji added.
Also the issue has continued to generate diverse reaction on twitter in support and against the governor over the development. Some of them are listed below:
@Bryon smalls: I wish her good luck, it’s important she performs. I hope a thorough background check was done to ascertain competence. Age is not a big deal, it becomes a source of concern if underperformance occurs. Mubarock@yumubelek: This is a round peg in a round hole… May Allah support her and guide her steps. Jibri-bilal: where’s the round hole and peg? Do you know her antecedent or just because you heard 24 years old? Oloye Solomon: Gov AA won’t trend because his name isn’t Seyi Makinde. Olusola John: World record? How? Good development though. Congrats to her. Noordhin: He’s making the same mistake again. Micahayodele: Shame on him, is that the solution to all the trouble in is state. cluesless governor. Nonsense. World record for what?
In a related development, Party leaders and elders have of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Moro Local Government Area have petitioned Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq over the reappointment of former Commissioner of Works, Rotimi Iliasu as a nominee of the incoming cabinet.
The leaders in a protest letter to the governor over the issue which was signed by twenty-two of them across all the words in the local government queried why the Governor has continued to empower the father of the nominee and a former lawmaker in the state House of Assembly and staunch member of the AA group with appointments despite his divisive role and working against the interest of the Governor in the party.
While expressing their grievances over the matter, they urged the governor to be aware of the three factions of the APC in Moro which include that of former state chairman, Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa led by Alhaji I. A. Jimoh, AA Support Group, led by Hon. Iliasu Ibrahim and Moro AA Unity Forum, under the Leadership of Chief Wole Oke.
“In response to your Excellency’s wish and desire and in obedience to your directive and demonstration of our absolute loyalty to you, we of the Moro AA Unity Forum have been working hard to ensure proper integration of our Group with the AA Support Group, which is led by Hon. Iliasu Ibrahim.
“However, all our efforts in this noble cause are being thwarted by Hon. Iliasu Ibrahim, in his vaulting ambition, reinforced by self aggrandizement, to make himself the sole Leader in Moro Local Government Area. He has thus frustrated all the righteous efforts we have made.
“Yet, it is this same Iliasu that Your Excellency continued to strengthen, against your primary interest and desires for integration and unity amongst all your Followers and Supporters, by conceding all recent substantial appointments to his miniature Group.
“Our grievances arose from the lopsidedness in the way you have continued to strengthen Iliasu Ibrahim faction, against Your Excellency’s primary interest and desire for unity amongst all the various groups, who claim to be your supporters and loyalists in Moro Local Government, by conceding all Political appointments to his (Iliasu Ibrahim) miniature Group.
Naturally sir, your decision to return Engr. Suleiman Rotimi Iliasu into your new cabinet, despite all the alleged malfeasance and atrocities committed during his earlier membership in the last cabinet emanating from the grapevine, was influenced by the Rt. Hon. Speaker and with support from Sen. Khairat Gwadabe. It is not acceptable to majority of stakeholders in Moro, if for nothing else, at least for his arrogance and egotism, his divisive proclivity, his disdain and disrespect for elders and leaders of the party in Moro and other Local Governments.
From the above narratives, it is apparent that our own group has become peripheralized; we have become a mob that count for nothing in our state; spectators on the sidelines.
For Your Excellency’s information Sir, Hon. Iliasu Ibrahim, in his true characteristics, has resorted to empty boasting that there is nothing we can do because he would always have the Hon Speaker on his side.
As we speak Sir, the TIC Chairman, by his actions and body language so far, is already proving that he is out to serve Iliasu Ibrahim’s group interest, as opposed to the overall interests and benefits of the majority of the people.
In view of the foregoing, Your Excellency Sir, we have no option other than to appeal to you that the present situation does not augur well for the future of the Party in Moro Local Government Area.
“This therefore calls for your urgent intervention, to put right what is obviously going wrong as it is apparent that the Party’s status and image are sliding down the slope in the Local Government”, they added.
By Mike Adeyemi