Why Lagos Lawmakers ARE Angry With Gov. Sanwo-Olu

The recent decision by the Lagos State Lawmakers to throw out some of the names suggested to it for Commissionership by Gov. Sanwo-Olu came as a big shock to a few people. It was unexpected. It ran counter to the spirit of understanding between the 2 arms of government.

It also suggested that all may not be well between Gov. Sanwo-Olu and the Lagos Speaker. The Lawmakers dropped former Health Commissioner, Abayomi, Egube, Omotoso, 13 others whilst they cleared Wahab, Pedro, Olusanya, Idris Aregbe & 18 others.

There are those who trace the genesis of the recent crisis to the cold war between Speaker Obasa and Sanwo-Olu over the race for the Speakership position. Sanwo-Olu was said to have supported Hon. Abiodun Tobun against Obasa. After several intervention, Obasa scaled through.

Part of the issue that made the House reject 17 cabinet nominees is because these nominees have no political base or grassroot affliations. They simply described them as friends of the governor. The 22 names passed all have political affliations. The allegation is that during the campaigns many of those disqualified were not on ground to help. They also did not found the campaign. They were said to have travelled out of the state during the governorship elections and did not campaign and participate. The Assembly saw this as unfortunate.

And the fact that some of them did poorly during the screening was an issue.

But surprinsingly, many saw it coming because City People gathered that the Governor had been fore warned not to return as Commissioners some of his old cabinet members who didn’t work for his return during the campaign. Many party chieftains explained that it was because they didn’t consult party elders that the Gov. failed to do his homework well. They also said it is because appointments were not evenly distributed.

They cited names of a few of his former Commissioners who did not provide funds to actualise the campaign at a time when Emefiele created cash crunch to ensure that the APC did not win the elections.

There are some Lagosians who are unhappy with the Governor, over the exclusion of some sections of the state from his list of commissioners. From the Muslim community to indigenes of Eti Osa local government etc.

They have all expressed their grievances towards him concerning their exclusion from the list. First to express their displeasure were members of the state house of assembly. Recall that the governor had on 28 July sent 39 names to the state lawmakers but the lawmakers fumed over the fact that government loyalists and ruling party members deserve to be nominated as much as the technocrats named in the list.

They expressed their unhappiness over the fact that party members from his commissioner-nominee list sent to them for screening and confirmation were conspicuously missing. The members are of the opinion that some of the party members who worked assiduously for the return of Sanwo-Olu for a second term when it looked like the odds were against him, needed to be rewarded with some slots in the commissioners list.

The lawmakers lamented the exclusion of some local government areas and constituencies from the list. They argued that those who sacrificed their ambitions for the party or lost during the last elections should also have been nominated as commissioners and special advisers, as they could still serve the people in other capacities.

Similarly, indigenes of Eti-Osa local government which comprised of community chiefs, religious leaders, political stakeholders, students etc protested the alleged exclusion of their indigenes in Sanwo-Olu’s government. They alleged that outsiders had been listed as indigenes of their local government among the 39 commissioner-nominees and special advisers sent to the Lagos State House of Assembly for screening and confirmation.

This they consider as an anomaly. They therefore called on the governor to redress the same as a matter of political and constitutional imperative by ensuring that Eti-Osa indigenes are adequately represented. Also, the Muslim community in the state equally expressed their grievances. Unlike the lawmakers and the indigenes of Eti-Osa, their grievances stemmed from the fact that there are more Christians in the list than there are Muslims.

There are eight Muslims and 31 Christians in the list but the Muslim community claims it’s unfair discrimination and religious bigotry against the Muslims. They accused Sanwo-Olu of violating the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution, particularly Sections 14(4) and 192(2). They claim the list is unfair to those practising the Islamic faith in the state and are therefore demanding a review. But Sanwo-Olu seems to have ignored the various complaints as the House of Assembly has already commenced the screening of the nominees.


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