As Governor Akinwunmi Ambode warms up for the swearing-in of his cabinet after the state house of assembly had confirmed his nominees for the positions of commissioners and advisors, some socio-political groups in Agege have kicked against what they describe as ‘a foul treatment’ of the area in the scheme of things.
The governor had sent a list of nominees to the House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioners and Special Advisers which had earlier featured one Kazeem Adeniji believed to have been nominated from Agege, but in a dramatic twist, another member of the party with the same name was confirmed by the lawmakers as a commissioner-designate.
According to statements of reactions released by different groups in the area, there was no proof that the other Kazeem Adeniji, who represents Epe on the list was the one initially meant for the role. They alleged that the Kazeem Adeniji from Agege was shortchanged overnight to favour his name-sake from Epe, by some interests within the party and the assembly.
In its own statement, the ‘REALITY GROUP OF LAGOS’, -a congress of grassroots youth and elite movement, pointed out that the decision of Gov. Ambode to nominate a crop of young Lagosians into his cabinet is enough proof that the Kazeem Adeniji from Agege was the one originally intended for the list because of his age (which is below 50 years like others on the list), while his counterpart from Epe is evidently past that age bracket.
Part of the statement reads: “…we sincerely hope your administration is a lover of youth empowerment initiatives and we believe our hopes would not be dashed if, the efforts of this grassroots mobilize (Kazeem Adeniji from Agege) is encouraged and accommodated in this Change administration”
The statement signed by the group’s spokesperson, Oluwaseun Emmanuel also reminded the APC government in Lagos of Adeniji’s efforts of facilitating the party’s victory during the last elections.
“He is an active member of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organization (BATCO) in Agege between 2003 and 2007, whose political activities at the grassroots transcends beyond the core parts of Agege, spreading to areas like Orile Agege, Ifako-Ijaye, Ojokoro, Egbeda and Alimosho areas. Mr Adeniji contested in 2011 on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for the Federal House of Representatives but lost in the party primaries to Dr. Tunde Adejare but remained steadfast in his support of the party, notwithstanding his failure to clinch the ticket.
“Mr Adeniji Kazeem worked assiduously for the success of all candidates of the APC in the area right from the primaries through o the general elections, in close collaboration with Mr Bunmi Joseph Ariyo” the statement read.
In its own reaction, the AGEGE CONCERNED CITIZENS described the development as “disheartening and worrisome”, while expressing its unhappiness with the alleged swapping of “Adeniji Kazeem from Agege for another Adeniji Kazeem from Epe”.
The statement was signed by the group’s leader, Hon. Haruna Yusuf.
The Agege Concerned Citizens is certain that “the name of Mr Kazeem Adeniji from Agege Local Government who has been nominated for the post of a commissioner or Special Adviser was removed from the list submitted to the House of Assembly to make way for one Barrister Adeniji Kazeem from Epe, who se age does not fall within the promised under-50 category of other nominees.
“We are appealing to the leadership of the party, particularly Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to use their good office to give back to the people of Agege, their rightful mandate”
The statement which was attached with the signatories of the executive members of the APC in the Local Government emphasized that the demand is “a matter of urgency”.
“We don’t believe in aggressive protests but to dialogue with the party in order to achieve our aims” the statement concluded.
According to a member of the APC in the area who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity argued that, there was no way the Kazeem Adeniji from Epe was the one meant for the list because of certain factors.
He said “Our own Adeniji Kazeem has been a very prominent figure in grassroots mobilization for our party and so, we were very happy when we saw his name on the list. He had submitted his resumes and was warming up for the screening when suddenly we heard the Adeniji Kazeem on the list was the one from Epe.
“We are very sure there was a kind of abracadabra in the emergence of the man from Epe. Although, he claims to be a supporter of the party too, but he is obviously beyond the age of 50; which is out of range of the choice of other candidates who are all below 50.
He added: “Besides, every professional on that list has their professional titles attached to their names, but the name ‘Kazeem Adeniji’ had just no title, which means the man from Epe who is a Barrister would have added the prefix of ‘barrister’ to his name, but nothing of sort. That is an indication that, the Adeniji Kazeem is the one from Agege, who is a businessman.”
“Epe had more than three representations on that list while Agege had only one. The second slot was for our own Kazeem Adeniji but we have been obviously shortchanged! We hope the party will do the needful to compensate Agege for our efforts towards the party victory at the last polls.” He concluded.
Meanwhile all is now set for the swearing-in of Gov Ambode’s cabinet, to be constituted by 23 commissioners and 14 special advisers on Monday at the state house in Alausa, Ikeja.