Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Chief Akin Oke-led leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have shortlisted two indigenes of Oke-Ogun as likely running mate to the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Chief Bayo Adelabu, Pacesetter News can authoritatively reveal.
They are a serving Commissioner for Lands, Housing, Survey and Urban Development, Mr. Ajiboye Omodewu and a former House of Representatives member, Dr. Wale Okediran.
Both Omodewu and Okediran are Oke-Ogun indigenes and Christians. While Omodewu hails from Otu in Itesiwaju local government, Okediran is from Iseyin.
Pundits say Ajimobi and the party leaders are weighing the option of either picking Omodewu or Okediran this week.
Just like Adelabu, OYO INSIGHT recalled, Okediran graduated from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. While Adelabu is 48, Okediran, who is on the board of the Nigeria Social and Economic Research, NISER, is 63.
Omodewu was a gubernatorial aspirant of the party prior to the recently conducted primary and a two-time Commissioner in Ajimobi’s cabinet.
Omodewu, also one time Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, is a kitchen cabinet member and an age long associate of the governor. He was a University of New York trained politician.
Okediran on the other hand is a medical doctor, author and renowned politician of progressives bloc.
He was elected a member of the House of Representatives in Iseyin, Kajola, Itesiwaju and Iwajowa constituency between 2003-2007. A former President of Association of Nigerian Authors had more than a dozen books to his credit. Okediran founded Ebedi Writers Residency and was nationally acknowledged as a leading figure in literary works.
A party executive in the state (names withheld) told Pacesetter News that the Governor and the party would pick from the two in few days time.
According to him, “the choice of the two is a blessing to the APC though Okediran being an elderly person is seen as likely running mate to Adelabu because of his vast political experience and wide acceptability across Oke-Ogun and Oyo state in general.
“Having been elected overwhelmingly in 2003 as a member of the House of Representatives and coupled with the fact that Iseyin people wanted to be rewarded for being core progressives over the years, Okediran’s choice is more popular comparatively to Omodewu and nomination may become a fait accompli. Iseyin also has bigger population compared to Otu which happens to be home to a chieftain of the PDP, Senator Hosea Ayoola Agboola.
“And should Okediran be considered, those who have left the party of recent would have a rethink and sense of belonging and would naturally welcome his nomination and work for the success of the APC in the 10 local government areas as witnessed in 2015 when Ajimobi broke the jinx with majority of the votes from Oke-Ogun in our party’s favour,” the chieftain added.
Also, a source close to an high ranking traditional ruler in the area confirmed the development, saying Okediran would provide needed leadership for those disenchanted with the party because of his vast network, experience and maturity”.
He however disclosed that any of the two is good for the party since they are both great sons of the upper area of the state.