A group known as The Osun Masterminds (TOM) has expressed strong disapproval of the selection of Barrister Hashim Abioye, Governor Ademola Adeleke‘s Special Adviser on Legal Matters, as the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).
The appointment was made with the approval of the state House of Assembly.
During a statement delivered by TOM’s Executive Director, Prof. Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli, in Osogbo, the state capital, the group criticized the appointment, stating that the government should act in a manner that is fair to all parties involved and sets a positive precedent for future administrations. They argued that the appointment of Abioye disregards morality and raises concerns about partiality in the upcoming local government elections.
TOM emphasized that while Abioye may possess the qualifications to lead the commission, his partisan background undermines his ability to conduct free, fair, and credible elections. Prior to his appointment, Abioye served as the Special Adviser (Legal) to the Governor, a position obtained due to his affiliation with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group questioned whether the PDP would accept a similarly partisan appointment by another political party and whether they would be willing to participate in an election conducted by an openly partisan member of another party. They referenced their previous condemnation of the local government elections conducted by the Oyetola government in 2022, emphasizing the importance of approaching elections with a clear intent to be fair to all participating parties.
TOM also expressed concerns about the state Assembly’s willingness to approve every decision made by the Executive, warning that such compliance could have negative consequences for the state. They urged the Assembly not to become a house of “yes-men” and criticized their lack of objections during the screening process.
In conclusion, TOM condemned the appointment of Hashim Abioye as OSIEC Chairman and warned that retaining him in office would set a negative precedent for the future, which they believe should not be the legacy of the Adeleke government.