The governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has reversed his appointment of Kaosara Adeyi, a 24-year old graduate of the University of Ilorin, as a commissioner.
Ms Adeyi was announced at the Tuesday plenary as one of the eight nominees whose names were sent by the governor to the state House of Assembly for confirmation as commissioners.
According to lawmakers who spoke with our reporter, the Speaker of the House, who read the letter from the executive, Yakubu Danladi, specifically mentioned Ms Adeyi as the commissioner-nominee from Ilorin West.
But the state government, in a statement released on Tuesday evening, announced the appointment of Ms Adeyi as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youth Engagement.
This appointment does not require confirmation by the state legislature.
Although the reason for the governor’s backtracking remains unknown, sources said it may be not be unconnected to the stipulation of 25 years as the lowest age for the position.
No longer on the list
It came as a surprise for the lawmakers when Ms Adeyi’s name was missing on the official statement of the House after the plenary of Tuesday.
Against the letter read on the floor of the chamber, the statement listed seven of the eight names earlier stated at the plenary.
“The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq in accordance with section 192 sub-section (1)-(5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 , submitted the following Nominees for the post of Commissioner of the Government of Kwara State for confirmation by Kwara State House of Assembly.
1- Aliyu Kora Sabi – Baruten
2- Arinola Fatima Lawal – Ilorin East
3-Raji Rasaq – Ekiti
4- Saadatu Modibbo Kawu – Ilorin South
5- Aliyu M Saifudeen – Kaiama
6- Rotimi Iliyasu – Moro
7- Agbaje Femi Whyte – Offa.”
Kwara has 16 local government areas and the Constitution mandates the appointment of at least one person from each of them into the state executive council.
The Speaker directed the nominees to submit 35 copies of their credentials to the Office of the Clerk of the House on Wednesday, ahead of the screening on Thursday.
The lawmaker representing Ilorin-South, Jimoh Agboola, expressed shock concerning Ms Adeyi’s appointment in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
“Her name (Ms Adeyi) was stated in the letter. But I cannot confirm it has been removed until Thursday. Even if it was because of the age, that would be decided at the screening,” he said on Wednesday.
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He further said there should be another letter to reflect the changes if the executive had changed its mind.
However, the governor’s spokesperson, Rafiu Ajakaye, said Ms Adeyi was appointed as the Senior Special Assistant on Youth Engagement.
“Similarly, the Governor has appointed Hajia Fatima Jummai Audu as Special Adviser on Women Affairs. Kaosarah, an author, who is renowned for her extensive reach within the youth constituency, is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where she is Mentor for the varsity’s empowerment beneficiaries.”
“Kaosarah is the member representing Kwara State on Northern States Governors’ Forum Committee on Youth Engagements, Priorities and Inclusion in Governance. She was also a member of the Kwara State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on EndSARS Protest (2020).
“She was Vice President of the Faculty of Agriculture Students (UNILORIN, 2018) and Vice President of Nigerian Society for Environmental Conservation.
“Kaosarah comes to the job with several certifications on youth affairs, including at continental level,” the statement read.
When PREMIUM TIMES asked Mr Ajakaye the reason for the last minute change, he said the official statement of the House on the commissioner-nominees is in unity with his own.
“Her name is not there. That statement is in unity with my statement. Anything else is of no moment. There is no confusion anywhere please. Mrs Kaosara Adeyi is Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths Engagement,” his text message read.
Checks by this newspaper showed that Ms Adeyi could not have featured on the list if she was initially nominated as a senior special assistant.
This is because appointment to the office does not need the approval of lawmakers.
All efforts to get the speaker to comment on the controversy were unsuccessful, as he did not respond to PREMIUM TIMES’s enquiries on the matter.