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Zoning Tears Oyo Politicians Apart
« on: December 20, 2017, 06:08:49 AM »
Two senatorial districts in Oyo State say it is their turn to produce the governor. In this report, SINA FADARE x-rays the contending issues and their implications for the 2019 governorship poll in the Pacesetter state.

THE exit of the duo of Chief Lamidi Adedibu and Chief Abdulazeez Alao Arisekola has left a vacuum on the political scene in Oyo State. Adedibu was widely regarded as the godfather of lbadan politics. To some extent, Arisekola, the former Are Musulumi of Yorubaland, also exercised some influence in who got what in Oyo politics.

As the countdown to the 2019 general elections begins, the zones are laying claim to the seat. The state has three senatorial districts: Oyo North, Oyo South and Oyo Central. The people of Oyo Central, for instance, are clamouring for the opportunity to produce the  governor based on the fact that the zone has never produced one since the creation of the state in February 1976.

Since the return of civil rule in 1999, Oyo North and Oyo South have been produced governors. For instance, Lam Adesina-who was governor between 1999 and 2003, Rashidi Ladoja (2003-2006) and Governor Abiola Ajimobi are  from Oyo South. Oyo North had the opportunity of producing the governor between 2007 and 2011, when Adebayo Alao-Akala governed the state.

Adesina, from Oyo South, was in office between 1999 and 2003. After him, Ladoja, from the same district, was elected. But, he was impeached on January 12, 2006. Alao-Akala, took over the mantle of leadership.

Alao-Akala hails from Ogbomoso in Oyo North. He contested and won the 2007 governorship election. But, he failed to secure a second term in 2011. He was defeated by Ajimobi from Oyo South. Of all the governors, the Ibadan-born Ajimobi is the only one that got a second term mandate.

Against this background, the people of Oyo Central are determined to produce the next governor after the expiration of Ajimobi’s tenure in 2019. Oyo Central is made up of people from different cultural backgrounds. It has 11 local governments: four are from Oyo town (Afijio, Atiba, Oyo West and Oyo East); five from Ibadan metropolis (Akinyele, Lagelu, Ona Ara, Oluyole and Egbeda); and two are from Ogbomoso (Surulere and Ogo Oluwa). Collectively, they are agitating for the governorship tickets of the major parties, based on the fact that Oyo South and Oyo North have had a fair share.

A Second Republic politician, Mr. Jide Ajao, is one of those leading the agitation on behalf of Oyo Central. Ajao urged Ajimobi to consider Oyo Central, because it has never produced a governor before. The elder statesman appealed to  the aspirants from both Oyo South and Oyo North to consider dropping their quest on the basis of justice, equity and fair play.

He said both Oyo South and Oyo North have had their fair share of the Agodi Government House and that they have not been fair to Oyo Central, which has 11 out of the 33 local governments in the state. He said Oyo Central should nominate one of the four leading aspirants from the senatorial district as  Ajimobi’s successor.

Ajao, who is the Coordinator of the Oyo State Reality Forum, listed the aspirants from Oyo Central on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as: former Commissioner for Works in Ajimobi’s first term, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, Temitope Olatoye Sugar and a former Health Commissioner, Dr. Isaac Babalola Owolabi. He the three aspirants are potential successors of the current governor.

He lamented that the people of the zone have been short changed. Ajao said: “Is Ibadan the only town in the state? We have had our own fair share. Let the Alaafin of Oyo also produce the next governor. Without Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ibarapa or Oke-Ogun, we can’t lay claim to Oyo State. Ibadan has had its own fair share of the governance, producing three governors since 1999, with the exception of Alao-Akala from Oyo North.

“Oke-Ogun should forget 2019, because they are enjoying the ministerial slot in the present administration. Besides, Alao-Akala had governed the state from their district, hence the need to allow Oyo Central occupy the seat come 2019.”

Chief Adisa Adeyemi, a grassroots   politician, also pointed out that, among the contenders, Akintunde has what it takes to be considered for the job. Adeyemi said the best man should be given the opportunity to govern the state.

He said: “There must be a concerted effort  from all the stakeholders to pick the best among the numerous contenders.  The era of gambling with the fortune and future of the state by just picking somebody is gone.”

Oyo North is also laying claim to the seat. But, it is precisely the people of Oke-Ogun, which occupies a larger part of the district, that are agitating for the seat. Their argument is that the highest position the Oke-Ogun people have been getting is that of the deputy governor. For instance, Chief Iyiola Oladokun was elected deputy governor during the tenure of Adesina. The deputy governor, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo is also from Oke-Ogun.

Indeed, for a long time, indigenes of Oke-Ogun have been complaining of marginalisation. The population of Oke-Ogun is 1.4 million, according to the 2006 census. It  controls 60 per cent of land mass in Oyo State; the zone has 10 out of 33 local government areas. They say since the creation of old Oyo State in 1976, their area has not produced governor.

The late Chief Bola Ige from Ijesha zone was elected the first civilian governor of the old Oyo State in 1979. He was succeeded by an Ibadan man, the erudite scholar and mathematician, Dr Omololu Olunloyo, in 1983. After nine years of military interregnum, another Ibadan man, Chief Kolapo Isola, became governor in 1992.

No fewer than six aspirants from the area are in the race. They are: the incumbent Minister for Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu (Saki West Local Government), Mr. Remi Olaniyan (Orelope), Prof. Adeolu Akande (Itesiwaju), Mr Isaac Omodewu (Itesiwaju), Senator Abdulfatai Buhari (Ogbomoso South) and Mr. Debo Adesina (Itesiwaju).

Although their district has been producing successive governors, there are aspirants from Oyo South. There are six serious contenders from the district. They are: Chief Bayo Adelabu (Ibadan South East Local Government); Chief Niyi Akinnola, SAN, (Ido); Sen. Soji Akanbi (Ibadan Northwest); Hon. Biodun Awoleye (Ibadan North); and Dr. Kola Balogun (Ibadan Northeast).

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Zoning Tears Oyo Politicians Apart
« on: December 20, 2017, 06:08:49 AM »

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