Barely 24 hours after he assumed office, and took some tough decisions, including freezing the state’s accounts, reversing appointments made by his predecessor, and abolishing the “State of Osun” appellation, Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has announced a series of policies to consolidate his earlier actions.
Adeleke signed six executive orders on Monday affirming the reversal of the appointments made by ex-Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, and further sacking some 12,000 workers said to have been illegally employed.
Those sacked included 30 Permanent Secretaries, while Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC), Segun Oladitan, and its members were suspended. The OSIEC chairman and members were fired for alleged abuse of office.
The governor also dethroned three monarchs, whose installations were, allegedly, controversial.
The monarchs removed included Akinrun of Ikinrun, Oba Yinusa Akadiri; Aree of Ire, Oba Ademola Oluponle; and Owa of Igbajo, Oba Gboyega Famodun.
Adeleke told the monarchs to vacate their palaces immediately, and instructed security operatives to take over the palaces.
But the House of Assembly, yesterday, reacted to some of Adeleke’s actions. The Assembly said the Osun Anthem and the designation of Osun as State of the Virtuous on Monday legal, as they were backed by relevant provisions enacted by the legislature, and assented to by the then governor in 2012.
Relatedly, the Osun State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) condemned attacks by suspected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs, which had thrown the state into panic and confusion immediately Adeleke was inaugurated in Osogbo on Sunday.
The latest purge in Osun State was contained in a statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to Adeleke, Olawale Rasheed. The statement said the new governor had signed the executives orders covering chieftaincy matters, appointment issues, setting up of review panel, staff audit, and employment matters.
The statement read, “All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions, Boards and Parastatals after July 17th, 2022, are hereby nullified.
“Executive Order number five on Chieftaincy Affairs and appointment of traditional rulers. All appointments of traditional rulers made by Osun State Government after 17th July, 2022, are hereby ordered to be reviewed to ensure there was strict compliance with due process of chieftaincy declarations and native law, custom and tradition relating to such chieftaincies.
“In the case of Ikirun, Iree and Igbajo, to avoid further breakdown of law and order, the appointments of Akinrun of Ikinrun, Aree of Ire and Owa of Igbajo are hereby put on hold pending review. Subsequently, the palaces of Akinrun of Ikirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo should remain unoccupied, while security agencies are hereby ordered to take charge.”
Another statement from the office of Secretary to Osun State Government, Tesleem Igbalaye, announced the suspension of the chairman of OSIEC, Segun Oladitan, and its members.
The members were Yusuf Oyeniran, Suibat Adubi, Yinka Ajiboye, Abosede Omibeku, Dosu Gidigbi, and Wahab Adewoyin.
The statement said the suspension was sequel to several petitions bordering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism, and abuse of office against the OSIEC chairman and members of the commission.
But Chairman, Osun State House of Assembly Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Kunle Akande, in a statement, said the Osun Anthem and the appellation of Osun as “State of the Virtuous” remained legal, as they were backed by relevant laws.
Akande, however, said since there was a judgement on the matter relating to reverting to Osun State, as against “State of Osun,” the legislature would wait till all legal means were exhausted before stating its position on it.
Akande explained that the state would continue to be referred to as the State of the Virtuous (Ipinle Omoluabi), because the decision was an enactment of law and not by choice.
He stated, “The usage of the State Anthem, Crest, and Flag is an enactment of law and as such, its usage is a matter of law and not choice.
“The enactment ‘State of Osun Anthem, Crest and Flag Law, 2012’ assented to on the 18th of December, 2012 contained in Schedule I, II, III, IV and V, which carefully details every component of this law is not in ambiguity.
“Schedule I is the State Anthem, Schedule II has to do with the State Crest, Schedule III is the symbolic significance of the symbolic significance of the elements in the flag.
“Lastly, while we are aware of a court judgement in effect recognising ‘Osun State’, the Assembly, pending the determination and exhaustion of all legal means, would not be drawn into this matter. However, the state shall and will continue to be described as the State of the Virtuous (Ipinle Omoluabi).”
Meanwhile, APC, in a statement by the State Deputy Chairman, Sooko Taju Lawal, said the ostensibly premeditated attacks in Osogbo, Ilesa, Ile-Ife, Iwo, Ila-Orangun, Ijebu-Jesa, and other towns in the state, which erupted immediately after the swearing-in of the new PDP governor was an indication that the Adeleke administration was not capable of constitutionally protecting life and property in the state.
Lawal stated that the attacks on innocent members of the public by the PDP hoodlums was inhuman, inconsiderate, barbaric, and pungently oppressive.
According to him, there are reports indicating that a number of people were attacked and wounded, with vehicles either burnt down and innocent people being harassed within 48 hours of the existence of the PDP administration in the state. He said the development was an indication that the helmsman of the new administration was putting on the proverbial oversized shoes.
The state APC chief implored the police authorities and other security agencies in the state to intensify their efforts to secure life and property. He regretted that the Osun PDP and Adeleke had chosen wilful injection of hostility and violence as the hallmark of their new administration, where innocent people were needlessly attacked and harassed.
Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo