Explainer: Ogun political feud risks stalling major Nigerian regional economy

Speaker Olakunle Oluomo was impeached on 23 January by 18 of the 26 legislators, mostly members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party. Critics accused Oluomo of arrogance toward colleagues as well as embezzlement of funds meant for lawmakers. He faces an 11-count charge by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency over allegations he laundered $7m in public funds.

With Nigeria’s fourth largest tax base, Ogun State serves as a critical engine driving development in the economic powerhouse of Lagos and the wider southwest. But the state parliament has a history of destabilising impeachments and factional feuds that hamper governance.

A similar crisis from 2008-2011 during the tenure of then-Governor Gbenga Daniel stalled progress in Ogun. Analysts now warn that the renewed political turmoil risks obstructing legislative business and passage of budgets, slowing 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 this. Whatever is going to happen will affect the state, especially with budgets still to be passed in the remaining three years of this government.”

Unhappy neighbours

Sources at the Ogun House of Assembly told The Africa Report that the impeached speaker no longer enjoyed the goodwill of his colleagues in the house. His impeachment was moved and seconded by lawmakers representing constituencies next door to his: Yewa North to his north and Sagamu to his east.

“Many of them believe he was arrogant and disloyal to them,” a source who preferred not to be named says.

The Africa Report reached out to Oluomo, but he has yet to respond to the allegations.

Governor Dapo Abiodun has largely stayed out of the house crisis and has not publicly commented on it.

Tinubu strength untouched

The legislative crisis is seen as an internal Ogun political affair unlikely to dramatically weaken the regional influence of President Bola Tinubu, given the many decades Tinubu has spent amassing a loyal power base in the region.

“The president has enough on his plate … to bother about what happens within states,” said analyst Jide Ojo.

Understand Africa’s tomorrow… today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

Written by admin