ONDO EXCO: Meet Akeredolu’s 28 wise men
By Dayo Johnson
AKURE —THE anxiety across Ondo State since Governor Rotimi Akeredolu took over the reins of power as the sixth executive governor, was doused on Wednesday as he finally constituted his cabinet consisting of 28 wise men. They include 18 commissioners and 10 Special Advisers. The people of the sunshine state prayed that the actual change they voted for will have a human face as the executive council members rolled up their sleeves to work for the development of the state.
Surprisingly, as at Wednesday when the commissioners were sworn in, the governor did not name their portfolios. No reason was given by the governor. Many including the new appointees were disturbed by the governor’s action. However, the governor did the same thing on the day of his inauguration as unlike the usual practice, he failed to make the first appointment of both the secretary to government and his chief of staff. He later made the two major appointment over a month later.
Akeredolu, popularly known as Aketi, known not to like to be pushed, took his time before appointing the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Ifedayo Abegunde and his Chief of Staff (CoS) Gbenga Ale. For months, the governor with a pocket of appointees ran the affairs of the state leaving many of his party members and leaders to express concern over his style of governance. Six months after his assumption in office, he forwarded the list of 18 nominees to the state house of assembly for confirmation as commissioners.
Akeredolu himself served as the Commissioner for Justice in the state under the military administration of late Anthony Onyearugbulem. However, with the swearing in on Wednesday, the ship is set to sail. The new cabinet members were carefully selected across the 18 local government areas and three senatorial districts. This was after party leaders kicked against the decision of the governor who initially preferred a compact cabinet.
A perusal of the new appointees showed that they included those that had served at various times as former commissioners under both late Dr. Agagu and the immediate past governor, Mimiko. To many, the present administration is a continuation of the administration of both past leaders who are good friends of Akeredolu. Two of the late Dr. Agagu’s media team during his tenure, Yemi Olowolabi and Donald Ojogo, are now commissioners under Akeredolu.
The commissioner nominees include Yemi Olowolabi, a media guru who hails from Idanre. He was former chief press secretary, CPS, to the late Governor Agagu. He worked as a reporter/senior assistant editor at Tell Communications Limited, Lagos, publishers of Tell Magazine. Olowolabi who was also the editor-in-chief/chief executive officer of Red Carpet Communications Limited, Lagos, coordinated the media and publicity for Akeredolu Campaign Organisation which facilitated victory for Leti.
Prof. Bayonle Ademodi was a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife. As the Chairman of Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, he tackled some loyalists of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Ondo to the side of Akeredolu during the last election. Solagbade Amodeni, hails from Ipesi-Akoko in Akoko Southeast and served as local government chairman of the local government during the administration of late Adebayo Adefarati.
Tink-tank committee members
He equally served as a commissioner under the Olusegun Mimiko administration. He served as one of the tink-tank committee members for Akeredolu Campaign Organisation, ACO.
Hon Taofiq Abdulsalam was a former speaker of the State House of Assembly under the late Agagu and hails from Ikare-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko North-east local government. He mobilised support to ensure victory for Governor Akeredolu during the last year election. He was a formidable PDP leader that joined forces with the APC to sack the immediate administration
Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan is from Ode-Irele, headquarters of Irele local government. Igbasan who is a product of Babcock University and Lagos State University (LASU) is a technocrat and a politician. He is a Pastor in RCCG. Igbasan was a manager with Gladstone Kukoyi and Co before his present appointment.
Wale Akinterinwa is a seasoned accountant and astute politician and a mobiliser. Akinterinwa who hails from Ile-Oluji, served as commissioner for finance under Dr. Mimiko and belongs to APC’s tink-tank that facilitated the victory of Akeredolu and APC in the last year election. Akinterinwa has the experience and is a leader of the ruling party in Ile Oluji/Okeigbo local government.
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