Sikiru Akinola examines the chances of Sen. Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the forthcoming Oyo Central senatorial election.
As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, former Senate leader- Oloye Teslim Folarin, is in serious dilemma over his bid to return to the Red Chamber.
Folarin was a senator between 2003 and 2011. Till date, he holds the record of being the only politician to have represented a district twice. In his second term in the upper legislative chamber, he was made leader of the Senate.
However, his constituents are saying he didn’t do much to alleviate their pains. In this Ona Ara local government, he was unable to get the road fixed. Commuters experience pains traveling to Ijebu via Olorunsogo to Akanran.
In the 2015 governorship election where Folarin was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he did not only lose his ward, he lost his local government area. OYO INSIGHT recalled he was the first to concede defeat, congratulating the ‘jinx breaker’ in the process.
Folarin, who joined the APC, together with some of his close associates over a year ago, has not been able to find his feet. The exit of Senator Monsurat Sunmonu from the APC has not even made things easy for him.
Though Folarin hasn’t openly declared his intention to go for the third term, OYO INSIGHT learnt that Governor Abiola Ajimobi had, in his characteristic manner, told him about the possibility of a return. But Folarin, this newspaper gathered, didn’t back it up with action. Till date, according to an impeccable source, Folarin has not succeeded in getting appointment for his people in the outgoing Ajimobi administration.
But, there were speculations Folarin may likely get the ticket. It was learnt that the ticket was one of the attractions that facilitated his defection.
Sources told OYO INSIGHT that apart from using Folarin to ‘penetrate’ some Ibadan elites, Ajimobi deployed him to get the ears of immediate national organizing of the APC, Osita Izunaso, to do his biddings against the Unity Forum. Izunaso was Folarin’s colleagues in the Senate.
In the APC, there are more than four qualified aspirants. Hon. Bimbo Kolade, who hails from AFIJIO, a close family friend of the governor, is interested. He lost the 2015 primaries to incumbent Sunmonu. There are two new entrants from Oyo town. They both hail from Oyo West local government. There are Oyedemi Oyeleru, a lawyer and Faozey Nurudeen, a 35-year old ICT guru.
If he gets the APC ticket, he has one of Sen. Ayo Adeseun (Surulere) Oloye Jumoke Akinjide (Ona Ara) and Chief Bisi Ilaka (Oyo East) to contend with. The incumbent Sunmonu (Oyo East), may recontesting under the newly registered African Democratic Congress, ADC.
But a party source told this newspaper that whoever would emerge as the party’s senatorial candidate would be decided by party members in the district.
However, OYO INSIGHT learnt Ajimobi is not comfortable with those aspiring from the party. He wants somebody who can tackle Sunmonu.
Recently, a source hinted OYO INSIGHT, Ajimobi was said to have told the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, that he would love the APC candidate to come from Oyo town.
The source spoke further: “Though he didn’t mention anybody’s name. He was stylishly referring to Chief Bisi Ilaka, the Ladilu of Oyo. But Ladilu is a chieftain of the PDP. We learnt that he recently sent some people to him but we are not sure of the outcome. The Ilaka that I know wouldn’t be comfortable with the APC. He has trust issue with the party. Remember how they treated him in 2011 after luring him to the party with a promise of a senatorial ticket which they later handed over to Adeseun.
“In the build up to the last election, the Governor had sent Prince Akeem Adeyemi and Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu to him. He declined the offer. He later contested the election on the platform of Accord and was defeated by Sunmonu. I think he is comfortable with PDP. You will see that he didn’t follow Ladoja to ADC.”
But another APC chieftain told his newspaper that the Governor is also considering talking to Hon. Temitope Olatoye Sugar who represents Akindele/Lagelu federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
The lawmaker’s aides have however debunked the claim, saying that their boss has his eyes on the governorship seat.