From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo
Osun State Government yesterday explained why it removed immediate past governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the life chairman of the state owned Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding and replaced him with Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
The centre located in Osogbo was established by the Prince Oyinlola administration in 2009. Oyinlola had upon the establishment of the centre said the centre, which had himself as the chairman of its board of directors was purposely established as a study centre, where archival materials would be kept and where blacks both at home and in the Diaspora would have a place, where African culture could be study and research works could be carried out.
But the present administration led by Mr. Rauf Aregbesola had in May this year assented to law dissolving the former board headed by Prince Oyinlola. Fielding questions from newsmen in Osogbo yesterday at a press conference, the state Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Alhaji Ajibola Bashiru stated that the former governor flouted every known norm by naming himself as the chairman of the board, while still in office.
He said: “The former governor, Prince Oyinlola did not follow the path of honour, he did not follow the path of integrity and did not follow the path of moral, transparency and probity by appointing himself while still in office as the chairman of the board of the centre, which was established wholly by the funds of the state government. “This administration upon coming into the office looked at all the issues surrounding the appointment of board members and found a lot of errors, which were corrected by the bill from the state House of Assembly, which the governor assented to.
“The governor went further to dissolve the board and appointed cultural icon of international standard as the chairman of the board, with other members who were equally credible from different parts of the country as members,” he added. Similarly, the state government said it was also looking into the possibility of taking over the multi million naira multipurpose Women and Children Development Initiative Foundation WOCDIF built by the wife of the former governor,
Princess Omolola Oyinlola. The commissioner also said WOCDIF Centre which was the pet project of Princess Oyinlola while in office was built from the state funds with the former governor donating the state government fund of N50 million and N310 million sourced from the local government accounts. He said it would be wrong for the former first lady to now claim full ownership of the centre built with the state fund.