Second term: Abiodun aloof as politicians ‘battle’ for appointments in Ogun

Ahead of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s second term, members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ogun State have commenced lobbying for appointments in his cabinet.

Saga Gist reports that Abiodun won his second term bid, defeating Ladi Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a keenly contested election.

On May 29, Gov Abiodun would be sworn in for another term of four years, which ends in May 2027.

It is expected that the governor would soon dissolve his current cabinet to signal the termination of his first administration.

With a new law signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Abiodun has 60 days to appoint his cabinet members, including commissioners and others.

Consequently, current political office holders, candidates/aspirants who lost out in the elections and other party members are already stategising on ways to secure juicy appointments for themselves in Abiodun’s cabinet.

Our correspondent reliably gathered that members of the current cabinet are doing all they could to retain their seats when Abiodun begins his second term.

But, others who have been waiting for the past four years are also leaving no stone unturned to wriggle their ways into the appointment list.

To some, the only way the governor could reward their enormous contributions towards his slim margin of win is to make them members of his cabinet.

Also, those who lost the tickets during the primaries and those who eventually lost at the polls are also waiting to be compensated by the Governor, especially to recover the money spent during the elections.

It was also gathered that leaders of some opposition parties who entered into an alignment with the governor are also eyeing positions in his government.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that interested persons vying for various positions are already on their toes, engaging in different surreptitious moves to outsmart their contemporaries.

Many of the ‘newcomers’ are warning that the Governor should not try to retain his current crop of appointees as such a step would rob them of the political rewards they deserve as members of the ruling APC.

Likewise, rumours that the Governor is interested in appointing technocrats to ‘spice up’ his cabinet for quality delivery of the dividends of democracy is also being contested by politicians, who suggested he should look inwards and pick qualified hands among them.

In all of these, Abiodun seems not ready for the discussions about who gets what in his second term. Since after the election, the Governor has not been consistently available for the shenanigans of lobbyists seeking political favour.

It was learnt that Gov Abiodun has been travelling for different reasons within and outside the country.

The Governor has also been getting closer to the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, a step many said was aimed at building trust and returning to his good book.

Our correspondent reports that the unavailability of the Governor for those who want to lobby him has indirectly turned some of his so-called right-hand men into ‘demigods’. Appointment seekers now worship these set of individuals with the hope that they would plead their cause before the Governor when it is time to nominate new appointees.

“The choice of who to hire and fire remains that of the Governor. He has the sole responsibility to appoint whoever he likes without consulting anybody.

“We only wish he rewards those who worked tirelessly to make him win his second term. God will guide him through,” an APC member told our correspondent anonymously in Abeokuta.

Another party loyalist from Ogun East asked the Governor to consider those who delivered their polling units and wards during the March 18 election; but a party member objected, recalling that the Governor himself lost his ward and local government, while he won with five votes in his polling unit.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State election tribunal will soon commence sitting to hear the petitions filed by Adebutu and his party, the PDP.

The PDP candidate, who is challenging the outcome of the election on four grounds, asked the tribunal to declare him winner of the election or order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a rerun in polling units where elections were cancelled.

According to the opposition party, “any cabinet formed by Gov Abiodun after May 29 would last as long as the election petitions are concluded.”

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