By David Olalekan.
The Akure Community Development Forum (ACDF) has expressed displeasure over the portfolio assigned to Senator Tayo Alasoadura as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Forum, in a statement jointly signed by Pa Reuben Fasoranti and its General Secretary, Eniola Olusola, decried what it described as the relegation of Ondo State to the level of “junior ministerial status.”
The ACDF lamented that President Buhari had continually marginalized Ondo State since he assumed power in 2015 by not allocating a first class ministerial portfolio to the state.
The statement called on the president to review Alasoadura’s appointment, whom according to them, deserves a better portfolio owing to his rich and impressive profile.
The statement read: “The people of Akure express reservations over the portfolio of Minister of State for Labour and Productivity given to Sen. Tayo Alasoadura and therefore plead with the President to consider a review of this.
“Chief Alasoadura possesses a rich and impressive profile, resume and pedigree and has contributed in no small measures to the development of the country, as attested to by many of his former colleagues in the Senate during his ministerial screening last month.
“Alasoadura was a member of the 8th Senate and Chairman of its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), which saw to the successful passage of the all-important Petroleum Industry Governance Bill after several years of failed attempts by his predecessors.
“A Chattered Accountant of decades of professional experience and service, Alasoadura was a Commissioner for Finance in Ondo State for six years and was the Chairman of the Conference of Finance Commissioners of the 36 States of the Federation, working tirelessly with the federal government to streamline allocation of resources to the three tiers of government without much crisis during that period.
“Assigning such a distinguished Nigerian to a junior ministerial status is not only an underutilization of his capacity but a marginalization of the people of Akure in particular and Ondo State in general.
“We observed that Mr. President has retained the status of Minister of State for Ondo State in his administration, having given the same status to the last appointee from the state in his first term in office. Today, Ondo State is the only state in the South West that has no substantive Minister in the cabinet.
“We, therefore, call the attention of Mr. President to this imbalance and urge him to urgently correct it to give the people of Akure and indeed Ondo State a sense of belonging and their rightful place in the federal cabinet.”