Ogun 2019: Too many hands for Amosun’s job

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Ogun State governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun

Governor Mulls Over Female Successor

At the last count, 19 aspirants have already signified interest to contest Ogun State’s number one seat on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).Interestingly, the number is swelling on a daily basis with new entrants getting into the race, giving the electorate a confusing but wide range of options. This is a situation that could pose headache when it comes to sorting pretenders from real men.

On the list are: Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi, Hon. Iziak Abiodun Akinlade, Hon. Kunle Akinlade, Sen. Gbolahan Dada, Chief Dapo Abiodun, Biyi Otegbeye, Chief Tolu Odebiyi, Hon. Kola Lawal, Rotimi Rahman, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun and Mayokun Christopher Ilo, all from Ogun West Senatorial District.

Those from Ogun East include: Jimi Lawal, Basorun Muyiwa Oladipo, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Sen. Adegbenka Kaka, Sen. Lekan Mustapha, Hon. Remmy Hassan, and Sen. Olorunnibe Mamora, while Engr. Adebayo David, hails from the central. With this development, aside the issue of zoning that appears partly resolved, the long list of contenders, The Guardian learnt might compromise the much needed cohesion necessary for the APC to retain the state, as the party stands the risk of being polarised.

Currently, the party is divided on the issue of zoning, as last minute intrigues now threaten the deal allegedly sealed since 2015 to vote a governor from Yewa zone come 2019.Aside the fact that most aspirants from other zones are the major advocates of no zoning, the Yewa agenda might not be feasible due to the high number of contenders from the zone.

This is giving courage to other zones, especially the East Senatorial District to continue to mobilise support, declaring zoning as unconstitutional.Though the party chairman in the state, Chief Derin Adebiyi insists that the number one seat remained zoned to Yewa, but party sources confided in The Guardian that kingmakers in the state are actually shopping for Amosun’s successor from the East.

As the party patiently waits for the governor to unveil his choice of successor, The Guardian learnt from a reliable source that that choice might be a woman would. Amosun shocked his cabinet members at the World Press conference to herald the 3rd African Drum Festival, at MITROS Suites and Residences, Ibara GRA, Abeokuta, last April, when he declared that his successor would be a woman and a whiz kid. “Let me say this. A woman is going to be next governor of Ogun State. She is a whiz kid that will key into what we have been doing in the last eight years.”

Currently, the choice has narrowed to a woman in his cabinet, who has been described as a goal-getter and has worked closely with the governor since he assumed office in 2011.Another source at the governor’s office, said the woman is the toast of civil servants, who prefer her to succeed the governor based on her unblemished records. “In the last seven years, women have occupied sensitive ministries ranging from Education, Justice, Budget, Agriculture, Urban and Physical Development, Culture and Tourism with brilliant performance. So, it will not be an understatement if a female is encouraged to vie for the exalted position. History has shown that all successors to governors since 1999 ended up quarrelling with their principals, whereas women who have been cool-headed and loyal have not been given the chance.

“The kingmakers believe that it is a female governor that can continue the ongoing laudable infrastructural development and add to its touches of beauty and finesse. For those who are against the state producing a female governor, let them have a rethink,” the source said.He added that opposition to a female governor based on religious and cultural sentiments will not be tenable, saying the traditional rulers and religious leaders who do not want a female as governor are self serving.

In case of stiff resistance to the emergence of a female successor, it was further learnt that three other people-Rotimi Rahman, Bimbo Ashiru, and Chief Tolu Odebiyi are said to have been penned down. But as learnt, these three don’t have the popular support of civil servants and workers, who form the bulk of those who would decide who to govern the state.

The state party Chairman, Adebiyi told The Guardian confidently on phone that the long list of contenders would not in any way affect chances of the party at the poll.“The long list will not affect our chances. They all know that only one of them will eventually emerge, the more the merrier. It shows the popularity of the party, that’s the indication.”

He affirmed that the Yewa agenda “is a covenant between the party, our God and the people of Ogun State. Our party has zoned the governorship to Ogun West Senatorial District and there is no going back, that is the truth. If anybody tells you otherwise, ask them what is their problem. I, as the number one citizen of the party in the state is confirming to you that our candidate will emerge from Yewa by God’s grace.”

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