The colour of the politics of Southwest appears to be gradually changing as realignments seems to be the order of the day, not just at the zonal level but also at the centre.
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no doubt occupied the enviable position of the most powerful politician in the Southwest. He got to the Zenith of politics in the zone, not by accident but by dint of hardwork, strategies that worked and a near perfect ability to identify and attract talents.
It is instructive to note that most of the frontline politicians in the geopolitical zone today – governors, senators and a whole lot of others got to where they are directly or indirectly thorough the influence Asiwaju Tinubu.
It is to the APC National Leader’s credit that the team he put to together between 1999-2007, has produced a vice president, governors, ministers, federal lawmakers and heads of federal government agencies. Beyond the class of 1999-2007, several others have joined the team and have their luck and Tinubu to thank.
However recent happenings at the centre, to many Nigerians, are beginning to change the texture of the politics of the Southwest via appointments and relevance, as another kingpin seems to be rising steadily.
The sack, this week, of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Babatunde Fowler and the Chairman of the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, MuizBanire, jolted many, as the duo are believed to core loyalists of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
MuizBanire served as a commissioner for eight years under Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State while Fowler was appointed the Chairman of the Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) by him.
A new wonder kid and potential kingmaker seems to be lurking around the corner and ready to wrestle the position of the numerouno of Southwest politics with the former Lagos State Governor, Tinubu.
Senator Ibikunle Amosun, though also a beneficiary of Tinubu’s Midas touch, is no doubt currently building his own empire, curiously at the expense of Tinubu, taking advantage of his famed closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari, dating back to their days at the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.
While the number of Tinubu’s loyalists holding federal appointments are beginning to dwindle, Amosun keeps increasing his, some filling quotas left behind by the Tinubu camp.
Just days after the sack of Fowler, President Buhari on Thursday appointed a former Special Adviser to Amosun on Rural Development, Adewale Ogunyomade to the new board of FIRS.
The appointment of Ogunyomade increases Amosun’s tally to five in last six months.
Before Ogunyomade, a former Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure under Amosun, Olamilekan Adegbite, was named as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
Also, Amosun’s former commissioner for Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, Adeleke Adewolu, was appointed as the executive commissioner, Stakeholder Engagement, at the Nigerian Communications Commission. A position Sunday Dare, a former aide to Tinubu, left to be Minister for Youths and Sports Development.
Not done, Amosun’s former commissioner for Agriculture and Urban and Physical Planning, MrsRonkeSokefun, got the chairmanship position of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC. This came at the expense of Chief Bode Mustapha, who had already been screened for the position by the National Assembly, a testimony to Amosun’s closeness to Buhari.
The current Postmaster-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Postal Services, Bisi Adegbuyi, is also a product of the growing clan of Amosun’s camp, a camp that may unsettle current political calculations, especially as agitations for the 2023 presidency hots up.
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