Ibadan elder and chairman of Kakanfo Inn & Conference Centre, Ibadan, Dr. Lekan Are, on Friday described the vote of no confidence passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly on the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, as an act of ignorance borne out of arrogance and hasty treatment of motion submitted on the floor of the House.
The lawmakers had on Thursday passed the vote of no confidence in Olowofela after they claimed that he was arrogant during his appearance before the House. The commissioner was summoned after a lawmaker representing Irepo/Olorunsogo state constituency, Hon. AbdulGaniyu Ayesoro, submitted a motion, which queried the education ministry’s handling of funds meant for the Federal Government’s school feeding programme in the state.
When asked if the lawmakers had the power to remove the commissioner, Are was quoted by Punch as saying that it was shameful that the lawmakers did not know the limit of their legislative powers, stressing that they acted like ‘lords’ of the people.
Are said, “I was very unhappy that such a thing could ever arise, more so that it involves one of the best education commissioners (we have had) in the last 20 years. But for him, we won’t have had the upward swing in the performance of pupils in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
“The state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, ‘Toye Arulogun, said that the last result, which claimed that 54 per cent of the pupils passed the examination, was the state’s best in the last 20 years. It is the leadership of this commissioner that made it possible.
“The lawmakers are arrogant; they behave as if they are lords and not our servants. They should stop this attitude. We must thank the Speaker, who rightly pointed out the limit of the lawmakers’ powers. They cannot suspend or sack a commissioner. It is a disgrace that they did not know it. One of them, Olusegun Ajanaku, is representing Ibadan South-West where I live.
“I don’t know him. When there is an important issue like this, lawmakers should contact their constituencies before they start saying all sorts of things in the House. He (Ajanaku) got there because he was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress. Nobody knows him. He was one of those condemning the commissioner without consulting with us.”
While condemning the lawmaker that moved the motion, Are said that he did not conduct a proper investigation before alleging that there was corruption in the school feeding programme.