Osun State’s new Governor, Ademola Adeleke is a gifted dancer. Jovial, wealthy and accessible, he effortlessly maneuvres his huge frame to the rhythm of sound. On Sunday 26 November, when he mounted the saddle, his restless dancing steps were a major takeaway from his inauguration in Osogbo.
Beyond the general atmosphere of fiesta, the rhumba steps have turned out as tonic to a tumultuous takeoff. Hardly were the coronation rites over, then Adeleke hit the ground running and commenced the unpleasant task of cleaning the Augean stable. Here is a teaser.
When Adeleke took his oath of office, hoodlums began a macabre dance in parts of the State capital. A riotous band stormed the old garage to effect its forceful takeover from Kazeem Oyewale (aka Asiri Eniba). The riots lasted till Monday when the police quelled it and made arrests. It is instructive that, two other riots were doused, within the first week of Adeleke’s watch. Ire erupted in violence on Thursday, while Ikirun had boiled and burnt earlier.
From his inaugural speech, the Governor left no one in doubt about his readiness to step on big toes, and that new climes were in the offing. “Under my watch as the Governor of Osun State, I will boldly correct all past injustice, corrupt acts or policies by any previous administration which are against the collective interest of our people.
“Let me state here that from the education, health, mining sector, agriculture, road infrastructure and supply of potable water, let it be known to all that it is no longer going to be business as usual. And I repeat, it is no longer business as usual.”
Dancing was not his only skill, it seemed. He could also bite. He foisted his canine on the legacies of his predecessors and shook the state to its foundations, from day one.
After a verbal rendition of his policy direction, the new helmsman announced crucial changes in the situation he met on the ground. He accused his immediate Predecessor Gboyega Oyetola of planting landmines to endanger the administration and make it difficult for it to succeed. He then invoked Executive Orders to effect radical changes.
He ordered immediate reversal to ‘Osun State’ the old cognomen. One of the predecessors and current Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola had preferred and used ‘State of Osun.’ The name had since stuck. “All government insignia, correspondences and signages should henceforth reflect Osun state rather than State of Osun which is unknown to the Nigerian constitution,” Adeleke emphasized.
Earlier the Governor had ordered a review of contract awards, appointments and employment made by the former administration from July 17 when he became Governor-elect.
He directed the immediate freezing of all government accounts in banks and other financial institutions. He also approved the immediate establishment of a panel to carry out an inventory and recover all government assets. Finally, he formed a panel to review all appointments and major decisions of the immediate past administration taken after the election.
Of particular interest was the appointment of 30 Permanent Secretaries and the installation of 12 Traditional Rulers. He put a big question mark on some of the appointments, directing a stay of action in certain cases.
The first two days of the administration were devoted to backing up the directives with instruments of authority. Subsequently, he issued Executive Orders 1,2,3,4 and 5 in quick succession.
Executive Order number five on Chieftaincy Affairs and appointment of traditional rulers states: “All appointments of traditional rulers made by Osun State Government after 17th July 2022, are hereby ordered to be reviewed to ensure there was strict compliance with due process of chieftaincy declarations and native law, custom, and tradition relating to such chieftaincies. In the case of Ikirun, Iree, and Igbajo, to avoid further breakdown of law and order, the appointments of Akinrun of Ikinrun, Aree of Ire and Owa of Igbajo are hereby put on hold pending review. Subsequently, the palaces of Akinrun of Ikirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo should remain unoccupied, while security agencies are hereby ordered to take charge.”
On Wednesday, the Governor alleged mass looting of government property by former public officials and directed them to return them. In a statement, the Governor’s Spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, said the directive was a sequel to the “large scale diversion of government assets by top officials of the immediate past administration.
“Several official vehicles are missing while official records indicated that two third of former state officials left with a fleet of the car in their office.
“Most Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were stripped of operational assets like vehicles, computers and even residential fittings. Residences of some top officials were equally pillaged even to lamp fitting,” the statement added. Rasheed noted that any former official who refuses to comply with the directive will face the full weight of the law
In addition, Adeleke suspended the Chairman and members of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, OSIEC. The Chairman is Segun Olaniran while the members are: Yusuf Oyeniran, Suibat Adubi, Prince Yinka Ajiboye, Abosede Omibeku, Dosu Gidigbi, and Wahab Adewoyin.
The hammer also fell on elective office holders at the Local Government level. Adeleke had on Monday directed the most senior career heads across all the local government council areas, the area offices, LCDAs and ACDAs to take charge of the affairs of their respective councils with immediate effect.
The directive according to the governor complied with the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo that sacked the purportedly elected Chairmen and Councillors.
Some of the Governor’s decisions have not gone well with a section of society. Not surprisingly his predecessor has countered his claims on massive appointments and contract awards.
The Legislative arm of the government has also raised eyebrows about some of the decisions. Speaker of the House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Timothy Owoeye in a statement called for caution on the tenure of LG Chairmen, noting that it is a constitutional matter before the courts.
In a related development, the lawmakers complained about the change. of name by fiat. Chairman of, the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Moshood Akande said the name is a creation of the law in 2012 and any proposed change ought to follow the law.
“While we are aware of a court judgment in effect recognizing “Osun State”, the Assembly, pending the determination and exhaustion of all legal means would not be drawn into this matter.
For the government, it is time to roll up their sleeves for work.