Explainer: Ogun’s political feud risks blocking a major Nigerian regional economy

by MMC
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President Olakunle Oluomo was impeached on January 23 by 18 of 26 lawmakers, most of them members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Critics have accused Oluomo of arrogance toward his colleagues as well as misappropriation of funds intended for lawmakers. He faces 11 charges from Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency over allegations he laundered $7 million in public funds.

With the fourth largest tax base in Nigeria, Ogun State is a key driver in the development of the economic strength of Lagos and the wider southwest. But the state legislature has a history of destabilizing indictments and factional feuds which hinder governance.

A similar crisis from 2008 to 2011, during the tenure of then Governor Gbenga Daniel, stalled progress in Ogun. Analysts now warn that renewed political unrest risks hampering legislative work and the adoption of budgets, thereby slowing down the state’s promising economic momentum.

“This is not a good development for the state,” said Jubril Lawal, an Ogun-based public affairs analyst, recalling the last major impeachment crisis. “We haven’t seen the end of it. Whatever happens, it will affect the state, especially since budgets still need to be passed in the remaining three years of this government.”

Disgruntled neighbors

Sources in the Ogun House of Assembly said The Africa report that the impeached speaker no longer benefited from the goodwill of his colleagues in the House. His impeachment was proposed and supported by legislators representing the constituencies neighboring his own: Yewa North in the north and Sagamu in the east.

“Many of them think he was arrogant and disloyal to them,” said a source who preferred to remain anonymous.

The Africa report contacted Oluomo, but he is yet to respond to the allegations.

Governor Dapo Abiodun has largely stayed out of the internal crisis and has not made public comments on it.

Tinubu’s strength intact

The legislative crisis is seen as an internal Ogun political matter, unlikely to significantly weaken President Bola Tinubu’s regional influence, given Tinubu’s many decades building a loyal power base in the region.

“The president has enough on his plate … to care about what’s happening within the states,” said analyst Jide Ojo.

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