Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
It is an open secret that the governor of Ogun State, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun had in the last one year not left anybody in doubt that he would be a key factor to deciding who succeeded him as the next governor of the gateway state.
Gov. Amosun narrowed his choice to a politician of Ogun West senatorial district and had boasted at several fora that he would never support governorship ambition of other aspirants either from Ogun East or Ogun central, the senatorial district of the governor.
The governor had premised his decision on the argument that it was just fair and equitable to allow Ogun West senatorial district to also for the first time produce the occupant of the exalted governorship seat of the state since its creation almost 43 years ago
And so last weekThursday, true to the governor’s earlier promise on Wednesday during the APC stakeholders meeting held at Mitros Hall, GRA, Ibara, Abeokuta that the party’s consensus governorship candidate would emerge the following day, social media early in the morning was awash with the announcement of Hon. Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade representing Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency as the anointed candidate of the party for 2019 governorship challenge.
He was reported to have been selected from about 12 other aspirants jostling for this coveted seat from this axis by the leadership of Ogun West Consultative Elders led by Chief Ajibola Olagbaye.
Though many are of the opinion that the choice of the lawmaker was purely as allegedly dictated by the governor and that the selection team were mere puppets who only danced to the tune of the music from the governor.
Chief Derin Adebiyi, the state party chairman while presenting Hon. Adekunle Akinlade to members of the party at its state secretariat, Abeokuta last week Thursday described him as the party’s consensus candidate for 2019 governorship election and urged him to reach out to other parts of the state for cooperation and support for the eventual victory at
The party chairman had barely done with this public presentation when governorship aspirants in the party from Ogun East led by Dapo Abiodun at a press conference held in Sagamu rejected this action saying it was just a scheme devised by the governor to impose his stooge on the party.
Meeting under the umbrella of Ijebu/Remo Agenda, the group described adoption of Hon. Akinlade as very undemocratic and such that was in opposition to the directive from the national leadership of the party that it should go the way of direct primaries to pick its candidates and that where such fails, such state should convene stakeholders meeting of the party to determine the next line of action.
The group restated the strong commitment of Ogun east to produce the next governor of the state with a promise that by the 25th of this month, its consensus candidate would be ready to slug it out in a primary election with any other contender for this seat.
But why are the members of the ruling party from Ogun east diametrically opposed to Gov. Amosun’s succession plans as many people are quick to ask?
NewsDirect from its investigation gathered that beyond the rhetorics that the state is a fusion of two provinces, Ijebu /Remo and Egba/Egbado and that since the outgoing governor is from Egba/Egbado province, the governorship should naturally return to Ijebu/Remo, the utter neglect of this axis by the governor is one major contributing factor.
A source from the party in Ogun east who pleaded for anonymity informed our Correspondent that “beyond any other reasons for our insistence to take over from Gov. Amosun in 2019, the obvious fact that we were never treated and respected as the other half of the state in terms of developmental projects among others is one big reason we are not going to allow the opportunity slip by our hand”.
The source added that ” apart from dualization of Akarigbo road in Sagamu and construction of the bridge in Lagos Garage, Ijebu Ode and the fly over Sagamu/Benin Express way, what else do we have whereas Abeokuta where the governor hails from is like a huge construction site. All our roads are in total state of disrepair. I can’t even imagine that the governor will left critical roads like Ago Iwoye/Ilisan road undone. Rather than that, the governor focused attention on another utopian bridge in Ijebu Igbo which served no purpose”.
He continued “what will Ikenne local government, Remo North, Odogblu, Ijebu North East, Ijebu East or Ogun Waterside said they have benefitted from this government? My brother, Ogun east people have really been utterly neglected by this government, so do they expect us to play second fiddle for another eight years? It is just practically impossible”.