Ogun 2019: Speaker’s governorship race sets him on collision course


What started as rumour early this year about 2019 governor-ship ambition of the incumbent Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi Isola is by now an open secret that the two term Speaker representing Yewa North Constituency 1 is indeed itching to continue with Gov. Amosun’s mission to rebuild from May 29, 2019. Aside mounting colourful billboards at strategic places in the state making veiled reference to his readiness to serve the people beyond 2019 when he would have completed his second term as a lawmaker, he had also gone round the three Senatorial districts of the state to consult with the party leaders over his governorship race.

The All Progressives Congress legislator will be latching on the declaration of the governor to only support politicians from the Speaker’s Senatorial district, Ogun West to produce for the very first time the Chief Executive Officer of the 41-year-old State.  Though, a former governor of the state and a prominent leader of the party, Chief Segun Osoba has declared that the ruling party has never zoned the governorship ticket to any part of the state adding that only the best  candidate who emerges from the primaries of the party would be given the ticket.

This aversion of the former governor not withstanding, the support of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as that of the governor of the state who also controls the party structure, analysts believed had sealed the quest to zone the gubernatorial ticket to the Yewa division of the State.

The Mechanical Engineering graduate and astute player in the Oil and Gas business before venturing into politics is seen to have demonstrated some level of cool headed leadership having run a rancour-free legislative arm of the government for over six years . The State House of Assembly under Hon. Adekunbi is also seen to have solidly supported  Gov. Amosun’s mission to rebuild through enabling laws and that whatever achievements the governor has made in the last six years would have been impossible with an uncooperative and recalcitrant legislative arm. He is seen to be very loyal to the governor ,this and many more coupled with his fine grasp of the politics at the grassroots are what political observers perceived this Ilaro born politician would want to explore to beat other contestants to the race.

He would of course also have to contend with the obstacle of contesting with about four of his kith and kin who are also eyeing the coveted governorship seat and chief of whom is Chief Tolu Odebiyi, current Chief of Staff to the governor and rumoured anointed candidate of Amosun. Others in the race are Hon. Ishiaq Abiodun Akinlade, two term member of House of Representatives, Chief Kola Lawal, Commissioner for Forestry as well as Senator Olamilekan Adeola,fondly called YAYI representing Lagos West at the Senate.

Meanwhile, the 42-years- old governorship ambition, Nigerian News Direct learnt is now pitching the Speaker against other members of the State House of Assembly. A legislator who spoke with our correspondent under anonymity declared that ‘’ nobody is saying the Speaker should not  aspire’’.

Mr. Waheed Akinola, Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker in an interview with our correspondent also debunked this allegation affirming that the allegation was unfounded as the Speaker has never allowed his governorship ambition to come in between discharging his responsibilities to the house.

He explained that rather than causing disaffection or any bad blood, over 95% of the lawmakers are in support of the Speaker’s governorship ambition and they have been showing this support by making sure that they were with him during his consultation with party leaders across the three Senatorial Adistricts.

Mr. Akinola added that, his principal, with his score card as a two-term Speaker, a very successful business man and loyal member of the party did not only possess sufficient experience to continue the mission to rebuild mantra beyond 2019 but also tower above any other candidate eyeing the governorship seat. Does the Speaker truly tower above other candidates? Will he survive the intrigues to clinch the party’s ticket and subsequently take over the reins of government from Gov. Amosun? All these will certainly play out at the fullness of time.


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