The outpouring of satisfaction and excitement during the last general elections when many political figures from Ikorodu division played prominent roles in the campaign and election of the incumbent governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, may have turned sour following the reactions that followed the composition of the State’s Executive Cabinet.
The inclusion of young political figures like Hon. Babajimi Benson, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (though, THE IMPACT gathered that he excused himself), Mr Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan, Mr Bayo Ajisebutu, Comrade Sesan Daini, Comrade Japheth Odesanya and host others in Sanwo-Olu’s campaign team gave the residents hope that the division would be adequately compensated after the election.
It was gathered that this prompted residents to work and vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates in all the elections.
But, going by the comments and reactions that followed composition of Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, by the residents of Ikorodu, there is no gainsaying that majority of the residents are not satisfied with was allocated to the division that contributed in no small measure to the victory of the APC in the state.
It would also be recalled that many of the aggrieved APC aspirants in the last general elections were also promised “compensation “if they accepted the outcome of the party’s primary elections and work for the success of the party in the general elections.
This ,THE IMPACT gathered , encouraged many of the aggrieved aspirants to accept the party’s position and worked for its success in the general elections last February and March, though, there are unsubstantiated claims that some of them eventually worked against the interest of the party, while others simply sit on the fence.
It was also gathered that the promise to consider major aspirants in the last elections as Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and for board positions and promotions/upgrade for those who are still in service among them prompted the process of submission of letter of interests to party leaders at Ward level in the two Constituencies in the division.
Prominent among those that were promised appointments are Mr Toyin Gafaar, Barr. Lekan Ijelu, Otunba Saheed Ibikunle, Prince Adeola Jokomba, Mr Yinka Majekodunmi, Mr Owolabi Anifowoshe, Mr Lateef Anifowoshe, Hon. Bosun Agoro and Mr Akeju among others.
We gathered that application letters screened at the Wards were passed to the Local Government and from there to Constituencies. Those that made it to the Constituency level were also subjected to further screening in the two constituencies while the final lists were sent to the Apex body where leaders from Ikorodu Constituency I and II further deliberated and came up with recommendations which was sent to the Governor for consideration.
It was also gathered that some were opposed to the final decisions of the leaders which they alleged was shrouded in secrecy.
THE IMPACT gathered that some of the names considered for appointments in Constituency I were Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, the immediate past Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development , who was unanimously picked for one of the Commissionership slots by the leadership of the party in Ikorodu.
It was gathered that the experienced lawyer, journalist and administrator was picked based on his experience and performance in the previous administration. He was also picked based on his commitment to the victory of APC in the last general elections.
A former Senior Special Assistant to the former Governor of Lagos State and former Secretary to the Ikorodu Local Government, Otunba Saheed Ibikunle, THE IMPACT gathered also made the list as Commissioner nominee.
Ibikunle who is an educationist, socialite and mentor to many young residents is a strong force as far as Ikorodu politics is concerned.
Another lawyer, Barr. Lekan Ijelu , who has been a veteran in the contest for the Assembly seat ,we gathered, also made the list as Commissionership nominee from Ikorodu, while Gbolahan Ogunleye, former Sole Administrator of Ikorodu Local Government and son of former Deputy Governor of the State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye , was also recommended for the Special Adviser position.
Also nominated for Commissioner on the Ikorodu Constituency list is the former Executive Secretary, Surulere LG, Mr Munir Ajisebutu.
Mr F.O. Lasisi, who is from Imota and the Chairman, Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group, topped the Ikorodu Constituency II list as nominee for Commissionership position, and Mr Hameed Aroyewun,a promising , vibrant young man, was the other nominee on the list while Busola Olusanya and Ganiyu Ishola Agbaje are the two persons recommended for the position of Special Advisers.
It was also gathered that the former member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Gbenga Oshin, Henry Olowu, son of the APC Chieftian in Igbogbo, Chief Dele Olowu, former House of Representatives aspirant, Mr Owolabi Anifowoshe, former Leader, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Hon. Bosun Agoro and others were recommended for the position of Senior Special Assistants.
There were also others who were nominated for board appointments.
However, aside the agreed list from the two Constituencies which were ratified by the Apex body of the ruling party in the division, other political interests within the party’s leadership also sent other lists since their interests were not considered in the two lists forwarded to the governor.
Some of the aspirants in the last elections and others seeking political appointments against the party leaders’ directive also ventured outside the division to lobby other leaders of the party for consideration in the Sanwo-Olu’s cabinet.
Ikorodu’s hope was further brightened when the governor announced former aspirant for the Lagos State House of Assembly and owner of the Bolowotan Football Club, Mr Toyin Gafaar ‘Bolowotan’ ,as the Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, however, when the two lists were sent to the Lagos State House of Assembly for consideration, only very few others were picked for appointments.
In Ikorodu Constituency I, out of the four names recommended for Commissioner and Special Advisers’ positions, only one person, Bisola Olusanya, made the list sent to the Assembly. The 38 year old lady, many have argued , was considered because she is the daughter of Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, an APC Chieftain and the State Vice Chairman of the party in Lagos East Senatorial District and an ally of the national leader of the ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In the new cabinet, Bisola Olusanya ,who was said to be occupying her father’s slot , was assigned the position of a Special Adviser on Agriculture.
Many were also of the opinion that Oladeinde, son of the former Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, who has been appointed as the Commissioner for Transportation, was not picked from the Ikorodu list for the appointment.
Many also believed that Oladeinde is a technocrat like many others in the cabinet who were considered on merit.
Before now, the new commissioner for Transportation is the Head of Corporate and Investment Planning Department of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) which he joined in 2008 as Technical Adviser and head of Transport Planning.
He holds a Ph. D. degree in Transport Planning from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in the United Kingdom.
He began his career as a transport consultant in Oscar Faber Consulting in London, United Kingdom , before joining the Department for Transport, UK ,as a Senior Transport Planning Adviser where he was responsible for advising the British government on the impact of various transport policies.
Before the composition of the cabinet, residents of Ikorodu had also battled with the issue of Mr Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to the Governor , who was allegedly picked to fill Ikorodu’s slot.
This issue polarized the division as a section was of the opinion that Ayinde is not only an indigene of Ikorodu but also a resident of the town.
Following that was the alleged claim by Joe Igbokwe, Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources , that he’s a resident of Ikorodu and the allegation that he was considered for the appointment based on that fact.
Although, this has been denounced as figment of the online writer’s imagination but many were still of the opinion that the leadership of the party in the division has not been firm and coordinated enough to get deserving recognition for Ikorodu in the present administration in the state.
The leaders have also been accused of only interested in protecting the interest of their families and that once that is achieved, they care less about what happens to others.
They have also been condemned by many for considering their sons, daughters and other family members for Commissioner, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and board positions while many that worked for the success of the party were neglected despite the promise that they would be compensated for their loyalty and efforts.
As it stands, only Mr Toyin Gafaar, the DG, Lagos State Sports Commission , is presently occupying political position among the aggrieved aspirants in the last general elections.
His appointment , many have also argued , was based on personal efforts and recommendation from the division.
Prominent residents in the division have openly criticized the political leaders’ recommendations of their family members which they claimed derailed Ikorodu division’s chances in getting competent and deserving hands to represent her.
Chief among these chieftains and prominent individuals are Otunba Ayodele Elesho, former Commissioner for Information, Lagos State and the Agbaakin of Ikorodu, who recently spoke at the Adeboruwa palace where he warned political leaders not to incur the electorate’s wrath.
Also, former Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) ,Ikorodu chapter, and former aspirant for the Federal House of Representatives, Barr. Saheed O. Kolawole Shillings, in his piece ,titled, “The workers and their masters” , did not only blame political leaders for what he described as decline in Ikorodu’s political fortune but also the followers.
He accused the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for planning to neutralize indigenous Lagosians while adding that Ikorodu is at the centre of his plans.
“I saw it coming, though. The master plan of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to neutralize indigenous Lagosians to foster his political fiefdom is clear for all to see. And Ikorodu is the main target” ,Shillings alleged.
He advanced his reasons further stating that:
“In preparation for the elections, Ikorodu dominated the Campaign Teams for the guber. The end shows that Ikorodus are mere labourers. Labourers in the decimation of their State.
“Before 1999, 2 substantive commissioners for Ikorodu was a given. Now, Tinubu’s formula is a descending relevance with blames and sinful allegations against our hapless leaders as justification.
“Now, we have only a Special Adviser albeit, there are a couple of Commissioners; one representing Ikeja and another representing special interest who are indigenes of the Division. Prince Lanre Sanusi , who migrated to his motherland in search of golden fleece and who ,by his antecedents , could have been a blessing was disqualified.
“The politics is simple. The Mandate Group and Justice Forum are the mainstream camps. For sometime now, the leadership of TMG have been used to undermine the collective leadership who are frontliners of JF.
“Every agreement reached on appointment must be thwarted by counter lists. Asiwaju sponsors his cronies to challenge the leadership. It is divide-and-rule. In the end, we get the crumbs.
“Those who complained and wrote an article entitled: ‘The sins of our fathers’ , on the complaint that the leaders only care for their children and wards , have now turned the situation to ‘the Glory of my father’.
“The snag is that the appointments are for ‘technocrats’. And I wondered why the political field of Ikorodu could be seen as bereft of such class even when such persons like Muniru Ajisebutu , who was sent for special education overseas by the overlord, is in the recommendation list not to mention the likes of F. O. Lasisi, Otunba Shaheed Ibikunle, Barr. Ijelu among others.
“Ms Ruth Olusanya was busy in Ghana when she was appointed because her father is a leader. And it is not even important whether she is the only one. And it seems all is well. What a shame of a community!
“Now, the Governor, Deputy Governor, 3 Senators, Speaker House of Assembly, Chief of Staff, important cabinet positions including the one who will decide who become Baales and Obas are non-indigenes. Yet, the youths , whose glories are staked , have taken refuge joining in congratulatory messages for their oppressors.
“Well, perhaps , they are now well represented in line with the not-too-young-to-rule mantra. Deep in my heart, I do believe that those who are truly worried will overcome some day not far”.
Residents’ Reactions To Sanwo-Olu’s Cabinet Appointments
There were reactions on THE IMPACT WhatsApp Chat platform and other social media platforms related to Ikorodu Division following the composition of the State’s cabinet. Below are some of these reactions :
Olaide Balogun, a prominent social media commentator , stated:
“Ikorodu tii sun (Ikorodu has gone to sleep). No single Commissioner from Ikorodu. …. A whole division”.
He claimed that Dr Oladeinde is also using Ikorodu’s slot and added that, “I think we should all stand against this unpleasant situation”.
“Ikorodu political leaders should do something drastic to stop this disheartening condition we find ourselves. I weep for my division”.
Another resident, Mayor Baba ,also decried the situation.
“Mr Joe Igbokwe carted away our slot, our hands are folded. I doubt if he has a piece of land here. It’s very absurd. To make it worse, all he could get was Special Adviser.
“Ms Olusanya , who , by birth, is from Ikorodu , was only able to get a Special Adviser position despite her father’s political doggedness and sagacity. The most painful aspect is that she will still be no inch close to performing” , Olaide added.
“Ikorodu should wake up. Agege got 3 and by standards, we are ahead of them. Let’s wake up to fight this disheartening situation”.
Samson Soneye, a legislative aide to the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly , in his contribution , stated that at no point did Igbokwe claim Ikorodu during his screening at the Assembly.
“From his appearance before the screening committee of the State Assembly to his appearance in the chamber, Joe igbokwe never said anything pertaining to Ikorodu , so, how could he have said he is representing Ikorodu as a nominee?
He described those peddling the rumor as callous and mischievous.
“This is very callous and mischief of you to promote such news on social media.
“You really need to stop dragging Ikorodu into the mud from your wild imaginations and figmentation of mischief.
“This is purely a mischief and a failed attempt to paint Ikorodu Division Bad.
“Awon alale o ni gba fun yin,Ase e”.
Alhaji Taiwo Odumbo, a teacher and party man, although , expressed reservation concerning the appointments for Ikorodu but described the assertion that Igbokwe is using Ikorodu’s slot as untrue.
“Let me say this here that the earlier we stop this fake rumour, the better for us. In as much I have my personal reservation on the appointment of Joe Igbokwe, he never at any point or time said he is from Ikorodu.
“It’s only one junk online media that is saying this rubbish and some of us know the platform such online media represents. If the information is true, why did other media house(s) not reporting it ?” , he queried.
Another resident mockingly stated: “We are contented with what is assigned to us, we are good party faithful.
“Please our party APC decision is supreme, if the party decide not to give us anything , who are we to complain, our loyalty belongs to the party, the more we complain, the more we display our disloyalty to the party.
“Let be contented with what is assigned to us, we are good party faithful” he reinstated jokingly.
However, the assertion that the Governor failed to allocate any Commissionership position to Ikorodu Division was debunked and clarified by others.
Alhaja Funmi Oshinowo Bashorun, a political leader in the division , in her own reaction, also acknowledged that the division is in slumber but expressed firm belief that the party would survive it.
“Congratulations to those who gave us sleeping medicine. A house divided against itself shall fall.
“We never fall sha, we just dey sleep. It’s deeper than most people know! Posterity will judge us all”, she added.
One of the exco members of APC in Ikorodu LG, Ogbeni Wunmi Amusa , also stated:
“Frederic Oladeinde is from Ikorodu”.
Alhaji Odumbo , while also reacting to the appointment of Dr Oladeinde , established that the appointee is a full-fledged Ikorodu man.
“Dr Fredrick Oladeinde is a true Ikorodu blood. His father was the late Chief Samuel Oladeinde , the former Sole Administrator of Ikorodu local government who also fought for the stool of Olisa of Ikorodu after the exit of Chief Keeji. I can also say with high authority that what he got is part of the slots meant for Ikorodu.
“ The information I heard was that he was penciled to revive the transport industry of Lagos State due to his excellent performance as a former Director with LAMATA”.
Otunba Elesho , while commenting on a social media platform, stated that:
“ Dr Oladeinde, Hon Commissioner for Transportation , is an Ikorodu indigene, what I am not sure of is, if he was nominated to represent Ikorodu Division”.
Another contributor, Senator Two (not real name) described Ikorodu division as a puppet in the hands of those determining the political space in the state.
“Ikorodu has always been a puppet in Lagos political game despite being one of the strongest hold of Lagos East Senatorial district. For what gain? No Senator, no Governor, no Deputy Governor, no Commissioner. Instead of addressing that, it’s always internal tussles”.
Contributing on the NotTooYounfToRun WhatsApp platform, a resident described the appointments for the division as individual gains and not collective.
“All appointments are individuals’ effort and not collective, many of us just have to associate with the success but inside of us , it is disappointment.
“We have been cheated, shortchanged and disappointed by the new Lagos Cabinet.
“But the interesting part is that some of the Ikorodu indigenes/politicians will still benefit from the damage”.
Tayo Odesanya, a journalist, social media commentator and political scientist , in his own reaction, stated that the appointments did not give Ikorodu what he described as “sense of relevance”.
“The beauty of politics in our clime to the best of my knowledge is that “sense of relevance” you enjoy as at where and when possible.
“That notion has seemingly been eroded with this latest cabinet. That you have one or two offices to bump into unannounced, and not having to fill any form before the occupants can entertain your purpose of visit in the corridors of Alausa now looks impossible, sadly”, he said while expressing his disappointment .
“I ,for one , don’t think any of our “Ikorodu slots” has the faintest idea of my first, last or nickname, let alone recognize my ugly head on sight.
“Where does that effectively leaves us? Your answer is as good as mine -POLITICAL ORPHANAGE” ,he added.
Meanwhile, congratulatory messages have continued to pour in from many residents for the appointees.
Hon. Babajimi Benson, the two-term Member, Federal House of Representatives, is one of the first set of people to congratulate Dr Frederick Oladeinde amd Ms Olusanya.
“I extend , on behalf of the sons and daughters of Ikorodu, a hearty congratulations to Dr. Frederic Oladeinde on his appointment as the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation. I am confident that with your wealth of experience, the Lagos State Transport sector will witness a new lease of life. This is wishing you God’s guidance in this new assignment.
“Please go and make us proud” , he charged him.
Also extending his congratulations to Ms Olusanya, Hon. Benson wrote:
“It is with great pleasure that I congratulate and wish Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya, a tenure filled with laudable achievements following her appointment as the Special Adviser on Agriculture to the Lagos State Government.
“I have no doubt that she will make us proud and I pray for the Lord’s guidance, wisdom and understanding for her on the job.
“Congratulations once again. Go and excel”.
In a congratulatory message sent to THE IMPACT, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade , identified with the duo and wish them well.
“Hearty Congratulations to you; Dr. Frederic Oladeinde & Ms. Bisola Ruth Olusanya.
“This is to congratulate you both, on behalf of the good people of Ikorodu Division, on your appointments as members of the Lagos state Executive council and as the Commissioner for Transportation & Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture respectively.
“I use this opportunity to affirm my confidence in your capacities to handle your respective portfolios in the affairs of Lagos State and I look forward to witnessing great accomplishments from both of you in the interest of the state and Ikorodu division in particular.
Comrade Samson Bisiriyu, the Executive Director, Ikorodu Division Youths Movement , also congratulated the political appointees on behalf of the division’s youths.
“Congratulations to all the political appointees from Ikorodu Division; Dr Oladeinde (Commissioner for Transportation) , Mrs Benson (Special Adviser, Housing) and Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya (Special Adviser, Agric)”.