By Dayo Johnson
AKURE — BARING any last minute change, no fewer than 10 Commissioners and Special Advisers in the Ondo State Executive Council will dump the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; Labour Party LP; Social Democratic Party, SDP.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the commissioners, as a prelude, will contest the party’s ticket for the National Assembly seat next year and if deprived will take the plunge.
An APC chieftain in Ondo State told Vanguard on the condition of anonymity, that the defection is as a result of the alleged “overbearing influence of the Special Assistants SAs and Special Advisers SAs appointed by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in their individual ministries.
“Many of them have been rendered impotent as the governor sidelines them and relates to the technocrats instead of the politicians in a bid not to empower them.”
Those eyeing either the House of Representatives seat or the Senate include the Woman Affairs commissioner, Wunmi Edet Olatunji; the secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde; a special Adviser and former speaker House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan; Youth and Sports commissioner, Saka Yusuf’; Physical Planning And Urban Development, Sola Amodeni, and Finance, Wale Akinterinwa.
Others are the Commissioner for Agriculture, Gboyega Adefarati; Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi; Commerce, Timehin Adelegbe; Culture and Tourism, Ismaila Olurimisi; Housing Commissioner, Donald Ojogo; Natural Resources, Rasheed Badmus, and the Special Adviser on Transport, Tobi Ogunleye.
Some of the commissioners confirmed Vanguard’s findings saying that many of them could not travel to their constituencies because they do not have the means to oil the structures.
A party chieftain told Vanguard that “most of these people have been rendered useless and the governor seems not bothered by them and I am confirming to you that some of these men might leave soon.”
Ondo govt reacts
Reacting, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye said: “Though some members of the cabinet may be nursing political ambitions, it will not disturb or distract them from working for the state.
“We are in the season of politics and some cabinet members have been showing interest in contesting one seat or the other. I can confirm to you that nobody is ready and willing to defect or jump ship to any other party.
“The governor and the Commissioners work together as one big family to bring unprecedented development into the state and they are happy in carrying out their duties to the people of the state.”