The political landscape of Osun State is increasingly getting charged ahead of the 2023 general election between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Opposition All the Congress.
The Political Arena which took a sabbatical after the July 16 governorship election has resumed fully since the swearing-in of Sen. Ademola Adeleke as the governor of the state.
Since he assumed office, Adeleke has been trying to reverse most of the appointments made by his predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola, especially, those made after the latter lost the election.
There have also been claims and counter-claims by the two parties on some of the activities of the governor since he took over the state’s helms of affairs.
Also, the state government and the House of Assembly have been at loggerheads with each trying to exact its authority.
The event has turned the Osun people into political analysts. While some were in support of the governor’s actions, telling him to make open, all the atrocities of the past governents, others believed that the governor was being vindictive and was only trying to malign the image of his predecessor.
The situation is getting tense with Pundits, Political Managers, Players and Spectators betting on who will blink first.
Osun Daily takes a look at some of the Major highlights of the first month of Adeleke in office and the impact of the general election on who surrendered first.
In his first official action as governor, Adeleke issued six Executive Orders part of which was the sacking of alleged 12,000 workers employed by his predecessor.
He also deposed three monarchs and reversed the name of the state from “State of Osun” which was adopted by the Aregbesola and Oyetola’s administrations to “Osun State”. He also reversed its appellation from “The State of the Virtues” to “The State of the Living Spring”.
The government also allegedly ordered the withdrawal of the certificate of return of local council chairmen elected under the APC, basing its decision on the judgment of Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, which nullified the council election, citing non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act.
However, the APC and the Osun State House of Assembly chided the governor on the Executive Orders, saying he was yet to have a grip on governance.
The Osun State House of Assembly, frowned at the decision of the state to rename the state from “State of Osun” to Osun State.
The Assembly argued that the anthem, crest and flag of the state was an enactment of a law assented to on December 18, 2012, and no person can exact force to change it.
They condemned the new governor for reversing some appointments and job recruitments made by his predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola.
The people of the state were still debating the Six Executive Orders of the governor when a video alleging the past government of looting the government house surfaced.
In the video, the PDP alleged the past governor and some of his political appointees of looting the government house.
However, the APC debunked the allegation, saying it was indeed the PDP who looted the government house.
Osun people are still eager to know who was the culprit.
Non Remittance of Gold Revenue
There was a war of words between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress over an alleged non-remittance of the revenue due to Osun State through the mining sector, with the PDP accusing the opposition party in the state of collusion with a mining company to deny the state its revenue.
The PDP in a statement by its acting chairman, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, accused the APC of collusion with companies involved in mining in the state to deny Osun its share of the revenue.
Reacting, APC in a statement by its acting chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, berated the state governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, over his claim that 13 percent derivation on revenue from mining was not remitted by the previous administrations.
Carting Away N2.9 Billion Official Vehicles
The past administration was also accused of carting away official government vehicles.
The past governor, Oyetola, his wife and political appointees were accused of going home with their official vehicles.
The Assets Recovery Panel instituted by the Osun State Government to recover government property in possession of private individuals, asked the immediate past governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, to return official vehicles in his possession.
The panel also asked the former governor’s wife, Kafayat, and appointees to also return their official vehicles valued at N2.9bn.
The committee explained that the former officials went away with various models of vehicles without any legal basis for such action.
Ex. Gov, Ex. Deputy Can Go Away With Official Vehicles – Osun Speaker
Interestingly, the Speaker of the Osun House of Assembly, Mr. Timothy Owoeye, said the state law empowers governors, their deputies and some top public officials to go with their official vehicles when they retire from office.
Owoeye said this during plenary, while reacting to the call made by Gov. Ademola Adeleke, asking the former Governor Gboyega Oyetola, his deputy, cabinet members and some public office holders who served under the previous administration, to return the official vehicles in their custody.
The speaker said, according to the State Public Office Holders (payment of pension and severance packages) Bill 2018, signed into law in 2019, the former governor is empowered to go away with his official vehicles.
The Debt Profile of The State
Another saga that took the people of the state by storm was the revelation by the state government that the immediate past governor took an N18 billion Bridge Loan after he lost the election despite the Oyetola saying he didn’t borrow any money throughout his tenure.
Adeleke said the state is owing N407.32 billion in debt.
Briefing traditional rulers at their monthly meeting at the traditional rulers chamber inside the State Government Secretariat on Thursday, Adeleke said his predecessor must explain why the state is owing salaries and pensions to the of tune N76 billion having gotten N50 billion as a bailout for salary.
He said the state owed N331.32 billion while salaries and pensions owed workers amount to N76 billion.
But Oyetola, in a statement by his spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan, insisted that the former governor did not borrow a dime during his four years tenure in office, saying Adeleke needs an expert to tutor him on the workings of government to stop.
Who Blinks First?
Political Analysts were of the opinion that the outcome of the 2023 general election will determine who will blink first between the two heavyweights.
They believed that securing the majority of the Assembly seat currently dominated by the APC will give the governor the upper hand and allow him to flex his muscles.
Another determinant is the person who becomes the number one citizen of the country. The Pundits believed that a PDP president will aid the work of the governor and give him backing.
However, things are likely not to be rossy if the APC retains the majority of the Assembly seats and its presidential candidate win the election.
The people are eager to see who blinks first and as they say “The Winner Takes It All”.