As lobbyists continue to throng the office and residence of Babajide Sanwo-Olu for appointments as commissioners and other offices, indications have emerged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) governor-elect in Lagos State may in his first term make do with ex-commissioners who served under former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his cabinet.
Informed party sources confided in DAILY INDEPENDENT on Thursday that Asiwaju Tinubu, the APC National Leader and godfather of Lagos politics, might have enlisted several of his former commissioners, when he held sway as the state governor, who had wanted to succeed him, but were dropped in the last minute in favour of Babatunde Fashola, his then Chief of Staff.
The sources stated that some of the former commissioners had thought that they were in good books of Tinubu to succeed him then and were preparing grounds for the party’s primary and had even printed posters as well as made few public appearances as aspirants under the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) platform.
However, at the dying minute, according to Daily Independent sources, they were individually called and told in clear terms that the Alausa seat of power was not vacant and were advised to indicate in whatever capacity they could serve the state apart from the governorship.
Some of the then commissioners who managed to stay till the end of Tinubu’s tenure, however, became inactive, though they remained in the party, while others defected to other parties, where they could not make much impact.
Although some of the former commissioners also left to their states of origin to contest for offices, few others bagged federal appointments, while others who left the party, returned and had been very active in the APC and helped the party win the 2015 and 2019 general elections.
A source maintained that now that the election had been won and people were being penciled down for appointments by the in-coming governor, the party’s leadership in the state felt that the time had come to reward the ex-commissioners and aspirants, whose dreams of governing Lagos were cut short by the special privilege granted to Fashola then.
This, the party leaders felt, would assuage any bitter feelings among the ex-commissioners and pay them back for their loyalty to the platform right over the years from the days of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to ACN and APC.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, stressed, “In fact, Sanwo-Olu will make do with these ex-commissioners as his cabinet members. Many of them will be rewarded this time around. One of them, a very powerful lady in the party who returned from the PDP with her full structures, has been tipped as Secretary of the State Government (SSG).