The controversy over the recent appointment of the new Secretary to the state Government in Ogun is yet to be finally laid to rest as loyalists of those hitherto jostling for the position alleging political play and underground scheming in the whole episode.
One of the key people whose name rings bell for the position is Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, the former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry during Sen Ibikunle Amosun’s day who also contested the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship primary in the state alongside Gov Dapo Abiodun.
Information also has it that Chief Mrs Bukola Onabanjo, daughter of the first civilian Governor of the state equally had her eyes on the SSG appointment. Both Ashiru and Onabanjo hailed from Ijebu-Ode, in Ijebu Ode local government area of the state. They were said to have played significant roles in the emergence of the new Governor of the state.
Though, odds eventually favoured Talabi who Gateway Times gathered comes to the job with a rich private sector background as a business development professional, banker and entrepreneur, sources in the know confided in this newsmagazine that the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo played a leading role in the emergence of the new SSG. Ditto, the economic team inaugurated by Abiodun shortly before his assumption of office.
It was gathered that the economic team led by boardroom guru and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Tunde Lemo had xrayed the past activities of Dapo Abiodun’s predecessors and plainly advised him to appoint only core and strategic professionals into very vital positions in his government, should he want to succeed in office.
Their advice, according to a source abreast of the situation actually led to the search for the new SSG, Talabi.
Talabi’s appointment and that of the new Chief of Staff of the Governor has however unsettled the political class who believed politicians who worked for the emergence of the Governor should be considered first before others.
It could be recalled that few days before the appointment of SSG and COS, unconfirmed story filtered into town that Bimbo Ashiru has been named as the SSG. A report which was immediately debunked by the new governor’s aides as well as Ashiru himself.
Ashiru’s loyalists were said to have taken to social media to celebrate the unconfirmed appointment. But anther of his media handlers, apparently acting on the instruction of the former Governorship aspirant immediately issued a press statement distancing his principal from the purported announcement.
Meanwhile, the silent dream of Ashiru of emerging as the SSG may have hit the rocks, Gateway Times however gathered the Ijebu born politician will certainly be compensated with another juicy position from the Dapo Abiodun’s administration in no quite distance.
Meanwhile, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru has denied nursing ambition to become the SSG under the new administration.
Ashiru, according to a statement signed by his Media Consultant, Mr Tayo Mabeweje and made available to Gateway Times said the report could be attributed to the imagination of “some selfish politicians who may have been disappointed that his not being made the SSG may affect their political and business interests or be looking for ways to cause bad blood between him (Ashiru) and the incumbent governor.
As one of the front runners in gubernatorial primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Otunba Ashiru, as a loyal party man and a noble citizen has pledged to continue providing the much-needed support for the success of the new administration under the leadership of Gov. Dapo Abiodun and would remain committed and focused in that direction.” The statement added.