No fewer than 35 political appointees of the Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, including the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, Chief of Staff Shuaibu Afolabi Salisu, and political Adviser Samson Egbetokun, have surreptitiously resigned their appointments, Peoples Gazette has learnt.
Some of the other appointees who have resigned, according to sources, are Tunji Akinosi, Commissioner for Forestry, Afolabi Afuape, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo, Special Adviser on Women Affairs, Dapo Okubadejo, Commissioner for Finance/ Economic Adviser to the Governor, and Jgunmolu Omoniyi, Commissioner for Housing.
The Gazette learnt the appointees tendered their resignation in a hushed process managed by the office of the SSG.
Last week, Mr. Talabi’s office released a directive from the governor requiring political appointees wishing to run for office in the 2023 general elections to tender their resignation at a special desk in the SSG’s office.
It is believed that the carefully guarded process was taken to beat the clause in the newly assented Electoral Act 2o22 which provides that political appointees must completely vacate their office for eligibility to participate in party primaries.
Section 84(12) of the new electoral law provides that: ‘’No political appointee at any level at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election’’.
While Messers Salisu, Akiosi, Afuape, Okubadejo, Jagunmolu, and Mrs. Adeleye-Oladapo seek seats in the House of Representatives to represent Abeokuta North/ Obafemi-Owode/ Odeda, Ado-Odo/ Ota, Abeokuta South, Ijebu Central, Yewa South/Ipokia, and Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituencies respectively, Messers Talabi and Egbetokun are believed to be eyeing a seat to represent Ogun East and Ogun Central respectively at the Senate.
The government has, however, refused to make the list of the resignees public. Both Messages Talabi and Salisu turned down The Gazette’s requests seeking confirmation of the appointees’ resignation.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete the clauses because political appointees would be disenfranchised.
‘’Section 84(12)constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at Conventions or Congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election,’’ the President argued.
However, on Monday, the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court stopped President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) Abubakar Malami, and the Senate President Ahmad Lawan from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.
(Culled from Peoples Gazette)