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Politicians, friends desert Okorocha, Amosun, others

By News Express on 26/05/2019

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•Outgoing Governor Okorocha of Imo State
•Outgoing Governor Okorocha of Imo State

Days before the official change of guards in Imo State, the outgoing ‘tenant’ in Owerri Government House, Rochas Okorocha, had moved out.

This is also as traffic of persons, particularly politicians and apologists, to and from the Douglas House, has significantly reduced.

Presently, the governor comes to work at the Government House, holds state functions and leaves at the end of the day to his Spibat Home.

It is not certain the exact day the governor moved out, but it could be recalled that Okorocha’s planned exit from the Government House possibly occurred in December 2018, when he hinted that he might soon relocate to his Spibat Home around Amakohia, Owerri North, from where he said he would prosecute the 2019 elections, which ultimately did not favour him.

However, there are clear tell-tale signs of his exit as the Government House now has a deserted look these days; unlike when Okorocha held sway.

Also, most of the big generators powering key areas in the Government House have also been moved out to an unknown destination.

Council chairmen are no longer regular visitors to Government House as was previously the case. The few that visit these days come in their private cars and not official vehicles, for reasons best known to them.

Most members of the State House of Assembly, who used to visit the Government House about three times a week, have not been sighted in over one month now.

Another sign that Okorocha has entered his lame duck phase of the tenure is the fact that they (Assembly members) have suddenly started interrogating the position of the governor on issues which they dared not in the past.

Much as these are obviously not the best of times for Governor Rochas Okorocha, it is not yet known how many member of his family have fled the state or country.

His wife, brothers and sisters are all in town as at the time of filing this report. All his daughters are in town, managing their businesses except his sons who are currently overseas.

Activities drop at Lagos House

Activities at the Ikeja State House, Alausa, which serves as the official residence and office to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, are on the low ebb with decreasing number or no courtesy visits taking place anymore.

On assumption of office as the 14th governor of the state, Ambode announced that he would not live at the Marina State House, official residence of the governor and where his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola lived.

Instead, the governor said he would operate and live at the Ikeja State House, Alausa to enable him to attend to files and other state matters as quickly as possible since he would not need to shuttle between the island, where the Lagos House is located, and Ikeja, the seat of government.

Consequently, the State House became a beehive of activities with array of guests, comprising of local and international VIPs, commissioners, special advisers, and heads of agencies, captains of industries, associations, religious leaders and other public figures from all walks of life coming on visits to the governor.

It was a common site to see some guests with files waiting to see “His Excellency or H.E” as the governor is called at the Lagos House. Some came on official matters; others were on private visits.

Today, things have changed; guests no longer come in torrents, commissioners hardly ‘show face’ at the Lagos House even at State functions, as they used to do. Most head of MDAs no longer hover around the governor’s office. Only the few, said to be members of ‘Ambode’s kitchen cabinet’, are left with the governor.

Sunday Telegraph learnt that members of the First Family have started moving out of the Lagos House, Ikeja while some moved out months ago, especially immediately after the primary election, when Ambode’s second term bid hit the rocks.

Furthermore, the weekly learnt that Ambode may address Lagosians through a state-wide television broadcast Monday, May 27 on the state of the state.

Also, the governor may officially handover to the governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Ikeja State House Alausa on Tuesday, ahead of the Swearing-in ceremony expected to take place at the Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos, the following day.

Speaking on the governor’s planned program for the handover, a source, who craved anonymity, said that the governor had no time to waste at all, saying arrangements were in top gear for him to quit office as fast as possible.

“After Friday’s commissioning in Epe, he may only show face in Alausa for the state-wide broadcast because he is also preparing to officially handover to Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday, ahead of May 29, 2019,” the source told Sunday Telegraph.

Asked why the governor would not wait till May 29, 2019, the source said: “That is the tradition. The official handover will take place before the ceremonial one which is also known as swearing-in-ceremony. That was what his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola also did.”

Meanwhile, another source at the State House, who also craved anonymity, said that the wife of the governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, moved out of the State House over a month ago.

Kwara Government House deserted

At the Kwara Government House, Ilorin, the situation is no different; activities are now at its lowest ebb.

Though Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s family is still in the Government House, while there has been no indication of removal of their personal belongings, the usual bustle and hustle of human and vehicular movements that used to be the norm, have reduced drastically.

Noticeable at the gate to the Government House, is the reduction in the number of security personnel manning the place.

Outgoing Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration has, in the last three days, received bashing and protests from some quarters for appointing an Acting Vice Chancellor in the person of Prof. Kenneth Adeyemi for the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, Moro Local Government Area.

The tenure of the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, ends in July.

Students, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), KWASU branch, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) and Governing Council of the institution have all kicked against the governor’s decision.

This development, pundits said, was borne out of the fact that since Governor Ahmed’s administration is at its twilight, it should not have dabbled into a controversial issue of that nature.

At the recent swearing-in ceremony of two new Justices of the Kwara State High Court, Justices Olalekan Moses Adegbite and Hammed Aliyu Gegele, the attendance was unusually low, devoid of the usual pomp and pageantry expected on occasions of that nature.

Also, activities in and around the Ahmadu Bello Way House of the Governor-elect Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq have remained the same.

But scores of politicians and well-wishers are often seen milling around the governor-elect’s sibling Alimi Abdulrazaq’s House in the GRA area of the metropolis.

Ajimobi operates from private residence

The Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi had moved his family out of the Agodi Government House a few weeks to the March 9 gubernatorial election. Many of the personal effects of the governor and his family had been moved out after the election.

For long periods of his eight-year-old administration, Ajimobi operated from his private residence at the Oluyole area of Ibadan.

Naturally, human traffic to the Government House has, since his loss of the Oyo South Senatorial election thinned out, coupled with the loss of the gubernatorial candidate of the APC, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, whom he backed.

Much of the daily activities of the government are now being felt at the Agodi Government Secretariat for the last minute preparations to hand over to the PDP-led administration of Engineer Seyi Makinde on May 29.

Amosun operates from White House

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, did not wait till the twilight days of his administration to vacate the Government House, Oke-Igbein, Abeokuta. Over a year ago, he moved out his personal effects and belongings to his private residence, a distinctive edifice called White House, located within the serene Ibara GRA, Abeokuta.

From this imposing structure, the governor sometimes conducts the affairs of state; however, he often still attends to state matters at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan.

Similarly, the First Lady as well as the governor’s children and family members have since moved into the new abode.

As a result of the ‘vacancy’ at the Government House, heavy traffic of visitors has since stopped. Party supporters and other guests prefer to head to the personal residence of the governor.

During the 2019 electioneering process, the White House was a beehive of political activities. The situation has, however, changed as Amosun is about to hand over the baton of governance to his successor, Dapo Abiodun, whom he did not support even though they are supposed to be members of the same party – the All Progressives Congress (APC).

After failing to have his way during the state primaries, Amosun opted to back his anointed candidate, Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), while he remained in the APC.

Although he (Amosun) was able to get elected as a senator, he was, however, unable to get Akinlade over the finishing line in the governorship contest.

Since then, both camps having been having issues, with members of Abiodun’s transition council complaining of not getting the support of Amosun in the run up to Wednesday’s hand over. (Sunday Telegraph)

Source News Express

Posted 26/05/2019 11:13:17 AM





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