As the nation prepares for another political dispensation come year 2019, politicians across Nigeria and Oyo State in particular have started showing their intentions to contest for one political office or the other.
In Oyo State, the race for the Agodi Government house has started and members of the ruling All Progressive Party across the geo-political zones in the State have started showing their interest in occupying the Agodi Government house immediately the incumbent, Senator Abiola Ajimobi finishes his second term in office.
In all about eight aspirants have visited the State Secretariat of the ruling APC to earnestly signify their intention to fight for the most prestigious seat in the State, while more than ten others are still busy ‘consulting’ before taking the giant political leap to pay a visit to the party’s secretariat to officially declare their ambition.
As at Friday, February 16, only eight of the aspirants had been to the APC Secretariat to officially inform party elders. Rahman Salami here takes a closer look at these aspirants. Enjoy:
Barrister Adebayo Shittu
One of the most serious contenders in the State is Alhaji Abdu-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, the incumbent Minister in the Federal Ministry of Communication, who became a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in the second Republic at the age of 26 through the umbrella of the then ruling party in the state, Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) under the leadership of the political icon, Pa Obafemi Awolowo also served as Commissioner for Home Affairs and Information in the three-months tenure of Dr.Victor Omololu Olunloyo.
Adebayo Shittu though hails from Oke Ogun area of Oyo State has Ibadan as his home base. He has since his political career been a member of the Progressive except at the time of his sabbatical leave, when he went to the Peoples Democratic Party, where he was the Attorney General under Senator Rasheed Adewolu Ladoja.
‘The Bayo you can trust’ as he was popularly known was also a gubernatorial aspirant of the CPC in the year 2015 general election; he, however, enjoyed the amalgamation programme of political parties that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to become a minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo
Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo also from Oke Ogun is the serving Deputy Governor of Oyo State. He is on his second term running and he was once a local government Chairman under the late Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adeshina’s government in Oyo State. He has been in government since the inception of this administration.
Engineer Rafiu Aderemi Olaniyan
Another, aspirant from Oke Ogun who has also made his intention known is Engineer Rafiu Aderemi Olaniyan. He is a retired civil servant who spent almost thirty-five years in the service of Oyo State government. He started his educational career from his local area in Igboho, he is a technocrat. He worked in different ministries of the Oyo State government.
According to him in one of his interviews, he said, there was no time he received either memo or query from any of his superiors and that there was no time he issued any query or memo to any of his subordinates.
He boasted that he knows the needs and wants of the people of the State because he had the privileged of working and living with the people all over the State.
Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN
Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) is a lawyer, a legal icon, he hails from Ibadan and attended schools in Ibadan, he was sometime a Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly during the turbulent period of the late political doyen, the Late Alhaji Abdul Hammeed Ariyibi Adedibu of blessed memory. He was Senator Abiola Ajimobi’s lawyer in the latter’s case against the then winner of the controversial 2009 gubernatoral election in the state. He may have an edge against others because of his relationship with Senator Ajimobi just as Barrister Shittu may enjoy some kind of goodwill as he is said to be close to the Presidency.
Dr Kola Balogun
Dr. Kola Balogun is another serious contender from Ibadan. He has been in politics for a very long time. He was a commissioner in the then, Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala’s government. He is a brother to the equally popular High Chief Lekan Balogun.
Barrister Akeem Agbaje
This complete gentleman who recently lost his Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) father (Alhaji Yekeen Aderibigbe Agbaje) is from the famous Agbaje family in Ayeye, Ibadan. He is the Chairman, Ibadan branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, he is a notable Lawyer in Nigeria. Akeem is one of the most energetic and brilliant Lawyers around. The fact that he also attended the famous Lagelu Grammar School in Ibadan is another added advantage for him. He was also at the University of Ife for his tertiary education.
Dr. Yunus Akintunde
This unassuming Nigerian has been in politics of Oyo State since the second Republic, he was one of the committed awoists around. He knows much about the political history of the state and ready, always ready to lead the State to the promise land.
Mr Soji Eniade
The official declaration of interest by Soji Eniade, the immediate past Head of Service in Oyo State did not come to many political pundits in the state by surprise. The rumour had been in circulation since the middle of 2017.
Soji Eniade also hails from Ibadan. He is the son of a leading member of APC, in the State. His father was also a one-time Commissioner in the State during the administration of Dr Victor Olunloyo who governed under the auspices the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
Soji Emiade is a technocrat; He served in the State Civil service for a period of thirty years, meritoriously. He is a product of both the University of Ife, Obafemi Awolowo University, and the Premier University in Nigeria, University of Ibadan, where he obtained various degrees.
Soji Eniade was recently, commended by the State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who lauded him over his high intellect, professional excellence, loyalty, humility and native intelligence which enabled him to reach the peak of his career as a civil servant. Eniade is presently an Executive Assistant to Governor Abiola Ajimobi. He was offered this post immediately he retired.
From Ogbomoso, Senator Fatai Buhari and former Chief executive of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala are seriously warming up for the seat of the State Governor.
Fatai Buhari, who presently represents Oyo North at the Senate is using all he has gathered in politics to get the gubernatorial ticket. Otunba Alao Akala does not need much introduction. He is a political bulldozer, who still believes the people of the state love him enough to want him back as governor.
It is obvious that within the next couple of weeks other aspirants will still make their ambitions known to the party and members of the public.
In this category are the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, Prof. Adeolu Akande, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria,(CBN), Bayo Adelabu, Commissioner for lands, Housing and survey, Mr. Ajiboye Omodewu from Ibarapa and Senator Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi.
Packaged by Rahman Salami