- Makinde shuns inauguration
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Virtually all nooks and crannies of Osun State erupted in wild jubilation and celebration on Sunday as Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Osun State amid a litany of promises to the people of the state.
Adeleke’s inauguration was held at the Osogbo City Stadium where the Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, conducted the swearing-in on Adeleke.
Justice Ojo administered the oath of allegiance and oath of office on Adeleke at about 11:50 am, while the Deputy Governor, Prince Kola Adewusi, followed suit about 10 minutes after.
In his inaugural speech, Governor Adeleke reiterated his commitment to the welfare, peace and security of the state and said his inauguration marked the beginning of a new era in the state and promised to correct the injustice of past administrations in the state.
Making his first executive orders immediately after he was sworn in, Adeleke announced the reversal of all appointments made by his predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola, between July 17, after he lost the July 16 election and November 26, 2022.
The former lawmaker also ordered that all bank accounts of the state be frozen. Adeleke also reversed the state name from ‘State of Osun’ to ‘Osun State’, saying the former was alien to the constitution.
Adeleke, in his speech delivered at the inauguration, alleged that Oyetola carried out some actions “maliciously” after he (Adeleke) won the election, including “hurried” employment without provisions to sustain them.
He claimed these actions were roadblocks channeled at making things difficult for his administration.
Noting that there might be challenges ahead of his government, the new governor said his determination and sense of purpose would see him through.
He said: “Today, I stand on the podium of history with a sacred pledge to God and the good people of Osun State that my intellect, passion and strength will be devoted to nothing but the welfare, peace and security of our people.
“As I accept the mantle of leadership entrusted upon me by the people of our dear State, I am conscious of the enormous challenges and responsibilities ahead of me and will beginning from this hour work day and night with deep sense of purpose to be a servant to you all,” added.
Reeling out his executive orders, he said, “My good people of Osun, since you elected me as your Governor on the 16th of July 2022, which the INEC announced on July 17th, 2022, the former Governor, Alh Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola maliciously started putting road blocks to make things difficult and almost impossible for the new administration to serve you.
“Mass employment were carried out without budgetary provisions for salary payments for the new employees; even when the state was struggling to pay salaries and deliver other services. Various hurried and criminally backdated Contracts were awarded and again without budgetary provisions.
“Appointments of several Obas were hurriedly done without following due process, just to mention a few. All efforts to get the Governor set up a Transition Committee and submit hand-over notes in line with best practices proved abortive.
“It is therefore my desire to ask for your patience and understanding to give my administration a few weeks to review and sort out all the actions and malicious confusions which the immediate past administration has created since July 17th 2022. Those actions were indeed vindictive measures against the people of Osun State for voting them out of office.
“Consequently, I hereby issue the following directives which will be backed up with appropriate Executive orders:
Immediate freezing of all government accounts in banks and other financial institutions
“Immediate establishment of a panel to carry out an inventory and recover all government assets. An immediate establishment of a panel to review all appointments and major decisions of the immediate past administration taken after the 17th July, 2022
“An immediate reversal to the constitutionally recognised name of our state, Osun State. All government insignia, correspondences and signages should henceforth reflect Osun State rather than State of Osun which is unknown to the Nigerian constitution.”
Governor Adeleke also called on all citizens and residents of the state to join hands with him to build a stronger, better and more virile economy for the state.
He said with the co-operation of all including the legislature and judiciary, every expectation would be met and all legitimate interests of every segment of the state would be adequately served.
The Governor later inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Nigeria Police amidst loud cheers from the crowd of spectators.
Dignitaries who witnessed the inauguration included Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Aminu Tambuwal of Kano and Douye Diri of Bayelsa.
Others were PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, his wife Titi, PDP National Chairman, Iyiorcha Ayu, former Senate President, Olusola Saraki, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, former Ekiti governor, Ayodele Fayose, the Nigerian singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, nephew to the new governor and many others.
But the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, was conspicuously absent. The swearing in of Governor Adeleke brings to two the number of states under the PDP in the South West
Meanwhile, erstwhile Governor Oyetola has disclosed that his administration left behind for the incoming government a total sum of N14billion cash in the state’s coffers.
Oyetola also revealed that his government had successfully paid N97billion from the total debt inherited in 2018 when he assumed office.
He disclosed that his administration didn’t borrow a dime anywhere in the world to finance the economy of the state, saying he successfully kept faith and maintained fidelity with his electoral promises since the assumption of office.
Oyetola, who reiterated his desire to return to power as the state governor, made the disclosures in his farewell statement to the people of the state.
He averred that his administration has put Osun’s economy on a surer footing through the myriad people-centred and masses-focused projects timely and promptly implemented to make life worthwhile for the people of the state.
According to him, Osun under his watch was stable economically as manifested in the astronomical increment in the GDP of the state since he assumed office.
The former governor, who was absent at the inauguration ceremony, affirmed that Osun is more stable economically than he met it in 2018, saying despite all the visible socio-economic challenges confronting the State with its attendant effects, he was able to take care of the fears and evil of fiscal indiscipline and lack of implementation, which hamper projects and services in the nation’s public service.
The absence of Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State at the inauguration has shown that all is not well between the governor and Adeleke.
Rather than lead others to Osun to receive guests, being the only governor on the platform of the PDP in the South West, Makinde excused himself from the exercise while other governors from other states attended.
However, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin was at the ceremony.