Furore in Osun over appointment of ‘Commissioner for Governor’s Office’

Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State.
Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State.

Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s appointment of a “Commissioner for Governor’s Office” has sparked a controversy in Osun State.

After eleven months in office, Mr Oyetola on Thursday finally inaugurated his cabinet. 

PREMIUM TIMES in August reported how he was running the state with supervisors he appointed only to ministries he considered very important.

The supervisors were for the ministries of works, finance, agriculture, home affairs, education and information.

A month after this newspaper’s report, the governor submitted a list of commissioner-designates to the state House of Assembly, ten months after he was sworn in on November 27, 2018.

On Thursday, the 35 names cleared by the lawmakers for appointment as commissioners and special advisers were given their respective portfolios. Among them was Giwa Lateefat who was named ‘Commissioner for Governor’s Office’.

Critics of the government and public affairs analysts have tagged the appointment as “wastage of public funds.”

Waste of Public Fund

Jide Ojo, a public affairs analysts and a Punch newspaper columnist, told our correspondent that such appointment has controverted the claim by Mr Oyetola that the state has no money.

“He has Chief of Staff, Secretary to the State Government and all sort of persons to support him, yet he created Commissioner for Governor’s office,” he said.

“It is simply part of the wasteful system that we run. It took the governor about a year to make the appointments and then the next thing to do this!

“What is the reason for the delay in the first place? What is the commissioner supposed to do? We run a system that just rewards people that help them win election and the government end up having overlap. It is an aberration. I’ve never heard of such before… A mere creation of unnecessary portfolios.”

Human right lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, also criticised Mr Oyetola’s decision. He said the government simply created an “avenue to siphon public funds which must quickly be rejected.”

The appointment of Chief of Staff and others simply means there is no need for office of Commissioner for Governor’s Office,” he said.

Another public affairs analyst, Ademola Owolabi, shared the views of the critics of the appointment.

“There is a huge degree of sadness about the degree of irregularities in government. It is simply wastage of resources. My fear now is that states in Nigeria are competing on who is most wasteful. The danger is that some other governors will copy him. Oyetola has done damage to his liberty of appointment.”

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Governor Defends Appointment

Mr Oyetola told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday morning that the appointment is necessary. He spoke to this newspaper through this spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan.

Mr Omipidan said the Commissioner for Governor’s office “will be in charge of the state’s social protection programmes like OYES, Omeal, YESo in addition to any assignments by the government.”

When asked if a ministry will be created for the office, he simply told PREMIUM TIMES that “there is no ministry…”

He said the government meant well with the appointment.


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