Osun, probe panels and discredited membership

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By Adebayo Adedeji

Alhaji Gani Olaoluwa’s recent interview was monitored on a popular radio station in Osogbo where he foreclosed the chances of the embattled teachers, recruited by the last administration, to be retained by the current government. Olaoluwa did not mince his words. He did not speak vaguely. He was brutal and frontal. He was direct. He said the cherished appointment letters in the hands of the new teachers have now become worthless— as worthless as the Venezuelan Bolivar. He said employment door had been shot against them until the new government began its fresh recruitment.

In Osun State, Olaoluwa needs little or no introduction. He is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state. He was once the state chairman of the party and its senatorial candidate in Osun Central in 2019. Above all, he is a close ally of Governor Ademola Adeleke. From all indications, Olaoluwa is a big and influential player in the current administration. He has the ears of the governor. In fact, there is hardly any committee set up by the governor that Olaoluwa is not conspicuous there: from Transition Committee, to Inauguration/Swearing-in Committee, Solid Minerals Committee to the new committees inaugurated to audit and probe activities of the last government, including promotions, appointments and employments.

One, therefore, is concerned to hear an influential member of these panels make remarks suggesting that the much touted committees are only for showmanship, and not to address issues stated in their Terms of Reference.

What is the essence of the committees/panels when purpose they are meant to serve are already known and expressed by a friend of the personage that created the teams? Why wasting the scarce resources of the state to engage in adventures with predetermined end?

If one would excuse the sheer discourteousness of Gani Olaoluwa because of his haphazard education and lack of right exposure, would one excuse the irresponsible actions of an assumed enlightened state chairman, Dr Akindele Adekunle, who barely 24 hours after Senator Adeleke inaugurated a committee on solid minerals, declared the rested government of Oyetola as culpable of all the offences the newly inaugurated committee is to investigate.

In his press statement entitled, “APC Colluding with Segilola, Mining Companies to Deprive Osun of Billion of Naira,” Adekunle said his party “expressed shock that the state APC could come out to defend mining companies who are perpetrating large scale fleecing of Osun resources, destroying our environment and corrupting the political process.”

He went further to say that mining companies regularly settle top officials of the APC and its government.

If these crude, malicious and fatuous opinions are what the state chairman of a governing party holds against a former government or business entities whose activities have just been subjected to review or investigation, is it not safe to conclude that the panel is a mere smokescreen to embarrass members of the last government?

Why should the government of the day and his cronies in the investigative and audit panels invite key cabinet members of the last administration when they have already concluded the outcome of their kangaroo investigation?

Why should any member of Oyetola team dignify the biased panels with their presence when it is now obvious that it is only the presence of IleriOluwa men they court to validate their evil machination against a government with huge social capital?

Can a complainant be a judge in his own case? Why should a government which accuses APC of sleaze and pillage of state resources set-up probe panels and load the membership with their chieftains and partisans? How objective would such panels be?

How objective will he be, a character like Ibukun Fadipe (IBK), former Ilesha West Local Government Chairman, who for 15 years now, has unleashed his gun-wielding thugs against members of the opposition?

It is reasoned that when a probe panel of this nature is to be activated, it is always sensible to demonstrate neutrality by naming men of impeccable integrity, high social standing with slim or no political affiliation to drive it to confer broad acceptablity on the engagement. This was what Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola did in 2012 when he set up a commission of inquiry to probe contracts and financial transactions particularly the N18.38b loan obtained by the Oyinlola administration. A national icon and professor of criminology, Femi Odekunle was named to chair the panel while eminent Nigerians like Soji Olowolafe, an Abuja based lawyer, were members of the commission.

So, in the interest of peace, statesmanship and fairness, Governor Adeleke should disband the current probe panels made up of career politicians many of whom are entangled in grievous crimes of kidnapping, thuggery, secret cultism and murder. The dance-loving governor should empanel committees of non-partisans with no tainted credibility to give at least a semblance of truthfulness to his underhand plans to disparage his predecessor. Continue Reading


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