Home News Lanlehin, Adelabu, Alao-Akala, Makinde: Who Takes Over From Ajimobi?

Lanlehin, Adelabu, Alao-Akala, Makinde: Who Takes Over From Ajimobi?

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One of the most interesting states to watch in the 2019 election is Oyo. From its gubernatorial candidates to those of senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly, it is too close to call. The parties, notable among which are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Action Democratic Party (ADP), parade candidates to beat in the elections.

Prominent among the governorship candidate for 2019 election is a former governor seeking a return, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, on the platform of ADP; Chief Adebayo Adelabu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who resigned to join the governorship race, contesting on the platform of APC and Mr Seyi Makinde, a businessman cum politician, contesting the governorship election for a second time, this time on the platform of the PDP.

Another major contender is Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, a former lawmaker representing Oyo South, on the platform of the ADC. The list of candidates for the 2019 election, released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week did not, however, have its name included. But the national leadership of his party has said one Bamidele Ajadi was used in the interim, as the party will use the substitution window provided by the electoral commission to replace it with Lanlehin. With that assurance, Lanlehin will be a force in the forthcoming election in Oyo State.



There are some others in the race, Olalekan Ayorinde of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, ANRP, Akinwale Olaosun of AAC, Olaide Olayiwola of KOWA, Mogaji Odelalu of National Action Council (NAC), Hakeem Oyedele of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Saheed Ajadi of Accord, Olatunji Adigun Sadiq of Labour Party, Bamigboye Abiodun of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Bolanle Ashabi Sarumi Aliyu of National Interest Party (NIP), Bolaji Ayorinde of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Taiwo Otegbeye of PPC. Altogether, there are 37 candidates seeking the key to Agodi Government House in 2019.

For this analysis, some candidates in the election and their chances are hereby looked into:

Adebayo Alao-Akala

Alao-Akala

A former governor of the state, seeking to complete his constitutionally-assigned two term if elected governor in 2019, had not hidden his ambition to occupy the Agodi Government House again since his exit in 2011. Born on June 3, 1950, he first had his stint as governor of the state after the controversial removal of Senator Rashidi Ladoja.

After what the court termed 11-month illegality, he reverted to his position as deputy governor, but before that, he had secured the ticket of his party at the time, PDP, to contest the governorship election of 2007. He won the election thereafter and became the substantive governor. Popularly referred to as “Oyato governor,” he eventually lost his second term bid to the current governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, in 2011.

He moved out of the PDP when it was sure the party was not ready to give him ticket to re-contest in 2015 and joined the Labour Party (LP), running one of the most popular campaigns in the state at the time. The effort, however, could only earn him the third position in the election, trailing behind Governor Ajimobi who won the election and Senator Ladoja, clinching the second position.

Alao-Akala cannot, however, be judged by the 2015 election in this present scenario. In 2015, he contested against a former governor and a sitting governor. This time, he’s the most experienced of all the governorship candidates. He is also the oldest. His influence will be brought to bear as he would not need introduction to the electorate.

Going by the result of the last governorship election, where he won Ogbomoso zone and had better outing in some other zones, Alao-Akala will not want to play a spoiler role this time. It is an election he must win.

According to him, if he had desired to take the senatorial ticket, perhaps he would have remained in the APC which he joined on December 16, 2017, in a big ceremony in Ibadan. He left the party after what he termed subtle attempt to impose a candidate on others and emerged the candidate of the ADP.

All things being equal, the polyglot will still prove his popularity by retaining his stronghold in Ogbomoso zone. He will also have better outing in Oke-Ogun. Alao-Akala will bank on support from his familiar terrains of Orire, Ogo Oluwa, Olorunsogo, Ogbomoso North, Surulere, Irepo, Saki West, Itesiwaju, Ogbomoso South, Iseyin, Akinyele, Ibarapa North, Atiba, Oorelope, Saki East and Afijio local government areas of the state to emerge victorious in the election. He will also slug it out in Ibadan/Ibarapa zone with the Ibadan candidates.

Going by the result of the 2015 election, it is not sure if Alao-Akala will not suffer the same fate as he did when he flew the Labour Party’s flag as his current party is not having its structures well established across the state. Also, the popularity of his running mate, Professor Abideen Olaiya, in Ibadan, where most governorship candidates come from, will also be a deciding factor. Chief Alao-Akala may also need financial backing of juggernauts to bankroll his election. Going by the current economic reality in the country and heavy finances in the running of election, Alao-Akala will need strong financiers to be able to tackle headlong his main opponents in the election.

Seyi Makinde

Makinde

The businessman cum politician had not hidden his interest to occupy the Agodi Government House from the outset. He had pushed aside all entreaties to him to drop his ambition and take senatorial ticket of major political parties in the state. Born on December 25, 1967, he belongs to the class of youths willing to take over the governance in the country.   An engineer by profession, he contested the 2015 gubernatorial election on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and came fifth, behind Ajimobi, Ladoja, Alao-Akala and Teslim Folarin of the PDP in that order. He was the main financier of the party in the election and, being his first outing, he had remarkable results in local governments in Ibadanland. Since the end of the election, he had continued to interact with the people and keep nursing his ambition.

To bolster his chances in the 2019 election, he, alongside the Omi Tuntun campaign structures in the 33 local government areas of the state, returned to his former political party, the PDP, on September 4, 2017, after what he called an extensive, deep and wide consultations with national leaders, state leaders and elders of the SDP and cross sections of strategic partners within the state.

His return at the time was to join forces with Senator Ladoja to plan the takeover of the state from the ruling APC government. However, things fell apart between the duo, as Ladoja had to dump the PDP and moved with his structures to the ADC.

Since Ladoja left the party, Makinde had emerged as its leader, consolidating on his strength to propel the party to victory in 2019 elections and, on September 30, 2018, he emerged the gubernatorial candidate of the party during the primaries held at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, polling 2, 772 votes to defeat his rival, Senator Ayoade Adeseun, who got 21 votes.

Makinde seems to enjoy the support of the traditional institution in Ibadanland. He also has a good relationship with members of the Ibadan elite, a factor that may swing Ibadan votes in his favour. Since Ladoja is not a main contender in the election, one may hope that the Ibadan traditional institution may declare its support for him, especially now that it is seemingly not enjoying a smooth relationship with the incumbent government.

However, some of the components of the institution may not go his way as they may believe he may work against the policy that promoted them in the rank of obaship in the state.

Makinde also enjoys the platform of a party with concrete structures across the state. Aside the ruling APC, only the PDP has structures in all the wards and local government areas of the state. This may be a plus for him. The hurdle before Makinde, however, is to penetrate other zones in the state and oil the existing structures. His lieutenants must do the legwork to sell his candidacy in other zones of Ogbomoso, Oyo and Oke-Ogun.

The Ibadan votes will definitely be split among the three major contenders, to wit, Adelabu, Lanlehin and himself, with Alao-Akala also slugging it out with them to get some shares. To win the election, he will need a boost from other zones, especially Oyo and Oke-Ogun. The emergence of Mulikat Akade-Adeola as senatorial candidate for Oyo North may help him poll some votes in the Ogbomoso zone.

Another major decider of Makinde’s fate is the result of the presidential election, slated to hold two weeks before the governorship election. If the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, could defeat the incumbent and candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, then the votes may swing in favour of Makinde.

Femi Lanlehin

Lanlehin

Solagbade Olufemi Lanlehin, popularly known as SOLAN, is not new in Oyo State politics. He has been in the limelight since the commencement of the present democratic dispensation, himself being the son of a famous Awoist. A graduate of Law from University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Lanlehin joined the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and became its Lagos State Legal Adviser. After the 1999 election, he was appointed the Commissioner for Special Duties and then Special Adviser to the then Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu.

He left the AD for PDP and became the Oyo State coordinator of the Obasanjo/Atiku Presidential Campaign Committee in 2002/2003. He was elected on the platform of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) into the Senate in April 2011, representing Oyo South senatorial district of Oyo State and In 2014, after the ACN became defunct, following its merging to form APC, Lanlehin joined the Accord and, on its platform, ran for the Oyo South senatorial district. He lost the election.

After the 2015 election, he left Accord alongside his political leader, Senator Ladoja, to join PDP and shortly thereafter, they both dumped the party and joined the ADC. Lanlehin enjoyed a good working relationship with Ladoja, a reason it was believed the former governor left the PDP so that he (Lanlehin) could achieve his political ambition.

Although controversies had trailed his emergence as ADC governorship candidate in the state, with many aspirants threatening legal action against it, Lanlehin is banking on support of his structure which had been collapsed into that of Ladoja to win the election. Like Seyi Makinde, Lanlehin too, being an Ibadan man, will enjoy the support of the Ibadan traditional institution. His leader, a high chief, is a staunch supporter of the Olubadan of Ibadanland and had been the lone voice against whatever he perceived as an attack on the institution by the Oyo State government. For that, Lanlehin may be a beneficiary, especially in local government areas where Ladoja holds sway.

Lanlehin is also going to enjoy the support of members of the Unity Forum who had dumped the APC to pitch tent with ADC. Some of the critical members of the Unity Forum are now candidates of the ADC in the election and they will work to ensure the victory of the governorship candidate to prove their worth and relevance to their erstwhile party.

One major hurdle before the party in its bid to win the 2019 election is how to nip in the bud, the crisis arising from the emergence of Lanlehin as its governorship candidate. Many of the aspirants are aggrieved and spoiling for war. The development may force them to sit on the fence during the electioneering. The party is also new in the state. The potency of its senatorial candidates will determine where the pendulum swings in the March 2019 election.

Bayo Adelabu

Adelabu

Adebayo Adelabu may be new to some in the Oyo State politics, he is, nonetheless, enjoying the legacy of his grandfather. Born on September 28, 1970, he is of the lineage of the late dazzling politician and iconoclast, the brightest boy that Government College, Ibadan, has ever produced, Chief Adegoke Adelabu (Penkelemesi).

The young Bayo, also a chip off the old block, resigned from the position of the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to contest the gubernatorial election in Oyo State. His arrival in the political scene changed the permutation in the ruling party. He made his intention official on June 20, 2018 when he visited the APC secretariat in Ibadan to make his declaration and also pick up the gubernatorial form.

As against crisis that normally trailed the emergence of a candidate, particularly for the position of a governor, his emergence came with serenity. At present, he is enjoying a rancour-free campaign with no legal tussle surrounding his candidacy. Save for Alao-Akala, who pulled out of the primaries at the last minute, along with a few others, including Niyi Akintola who eventually slug it out with him, most of the contestants stepped down for Adelabu to emerge as candidate. His emergence was said to have been played out by some forces that predominantly decide who holds sway in Oyo politics, having assured Governor Ajimobi that he is the candidate to beat among the other contestants.

Adelabu is projecting the Penkelemesi legacy. To many political watchers, his grandfather did not belong to the progressive politics and they doubt if his style of politics would have correlation with the progressive. He is being carefully watched as to how he will blend with the progressive style. Without mincing words, Adelabu had been campaigning that though he would build on the Penkelemesi legacy, he would nonetheless match it with the modernity legacy of Ajimobi, himself a progressive. Being the youngest of the main contenders to the seat, he is also believed to be enjoying the support of youths across the state.

Adelabu will also enjoy the power of the incumbency in deciding who holds the ace in the governorship election as his party is still in power in the state. He will, however, bank on the success of President Buhari in the February election to clear the coast for his victory. Another hurdle before him is his acceptance in other zones of the state. He will be banking on the party structure to win in Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa and Oyo. The people of Ibadan will, however, have no problem connecting with him and his root. The strength of the senatorial candidates of the party, Teslim Folarin (Central), Abdulfatai Buhari (North) and Governor Ajimobi (South) will also help to bolster his success in the election.

SOURCE: Nigerian Tribune

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