The Yewa/Awori gov’s quest in Ogun – Shodeinde

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The perennial agitation of the people of Ogun-West zone of Ogun State that comprises the Yewa and Awori people, to govern the state since the creation of the state in February 1976 cannot, under any guise, be seen as immoral. Neither can the promoters viewed as being self-centred and unfair. It can also not be described as a selfish agenda by any of the other zones in the Ogun State project, especially going by the historical antecedents of ‘who gets what, when and how since the creation of the state 38 years ago.

In the unfolding political dispensation, the agitation has reached another all-time high. And the general thinking among major stakeholders in the state is that every effort to write the wrong of the past must be appreciated and supported to the letter. The various political parties in the state have since commenced serious political engineering to be in the good book of the citizenry preparatory to the 2015 elections. Aspirants for various elective public offices have stepped up their game lately in the nooks and crannies of Ogun.

No doubt, the APC, which is the ruling party in the state, will have no problem in the choice of its governorship candidate. Incumbent Governor Ibikunle Amosun is home and dry in that regard. As at now, there is no Yewa/Awori son vying for the governorship ticket of the Chief Olusegun Osoba-led Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the state. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which represents the greatest hope for an Yewa/ Aworiman to become governor in 2015, is the leading opposition party and parades at least 10 governorship aspirants, three of whom are of the Yewa/ Awori extraction. No one should be in doubt about the quality of the personalities that have signified their intention to fly the flag of the party. They are Prince Segun Adewale, Prince Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka and Honourable Abiodun Akinlade, who at present a member of House of Representatives.

But, the legendary English legal luminary, Lord Dennings asserted that, you cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stay. Thus, who is the real bastion of hope for Yewa/Awori land in the quest of the people for a fair deal? Who among the trio in the PDP can we pin our collective hope without any undue sentiment? Who has the pedigree and wherewithal to pursue this long-awaiting dream to a logical conclusion? That is indeed a million dollar question.

Perhaps, it is necessary to take a cursory look at the pedigree of the contenders from the Yewa/Awori ethic extraction. Prince Adewale has been running his private advertising agency until recently when he joined the murky water of politics and signified his intention to contest for Ogun West Senatorial seat. But, he soon upgraded his aspiration to that of governorship and in the opinion of some observers, there is nothing wrong about such political somersault as long as the intention behind it is noble and well intended and not designed to undermine or to scuttle the collective aspiration of the Yewa/Awori people. It must be noted however, that Prince Adewale has never contested for any general election in the past, neither has he held any political office before now. That could actually be a great minus considering the political expediency of the whole project, and shortness of time left for lobbying and horse trading, coupled with the urgency about the Yewa/Awori project.

Prince Gboyega Isiaka is a prodigy and investment expert. He said to be a first class brain and a worthy ambassador of the zone. He was the Managing Director of Gateway Holdings under the Daniel administration. GNI, as he is fondly called, was said to have increased the investment portfolio of the state during his tenure to the chagrin of even his detractors. Besides, some analysts claim the present state government hardly acknowledges the great strides of that era, ostensibly for political reasons. At the political level, GNI could not win as the candidate of the of the Peoples Party Of Nigeria (PPN) in the last election. Though he is seen as a close ally of former Governor Gbenga Daniel, Isiaka is now said to taking some pragmatic steps to reposition his political career. But there is no doubt that he requires enormous resources to put him in good stead for the governorship project.

Honourable Akinlade is another capable personality that can be banked on not just because he is from Yewa/ Aworiland but because he has what it takes to compete against aspirants from other parts of the state. He was also in the private sector, where he became the General Manager of his firm. Since his entry into the party politics, Akinlade has been elected into the House on three consecutive times: 2003, 2007 and 2011, where he has been chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology since 2008. And his promoters contend that in terms of performance and achievements, Akinlade has really done well for the people he represents. A professor of note was once quoted as saying the lawmaker has not only raised the bar on real representation in Yewa/ Awori land and in indeed in Ogun but also tackling the hue and cry of marginalisation among the zones in the state. Accordsing to them his experience as a lawmaker will come in good stead as the operations and duties of ministries, departments and parastatals will not be strange to him as governor, just as his network and connection will also be boost and of a tremendous advantage to the state.

Besides, the PDP and Ogun will only be following the path of a state like Benue, where Gabriel Suswam, a two term House Of Representatives member from 1999 to 2007 became governor or Zamfara, where Yari, who was a member of the House, emerged governor against all odds and has since being doing well. So, it’s high time we in Yewa/Awori land teamed up- the young and the old-with a common goal- how to win the governorship seat for the very first time in history. Whoever emerges a candidate from Yewa/Awori axis should be magnanimous enough to accommodate others, while the other contenders should exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship by working hard to bring the dream of our fathers to a reality come 2015. It will be one of the greatest achievements of all stakeholders in Ogun if the Yewa/awori axis produces the next governor more than 38 years after the creation of the state.

Mr Shodeinde wrote from Idogo in Yewa South Local Government of Ogun State

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