From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun West Consultative Forum (OGWCF) has endorsed Senator Solomon Adeola as the zone’s governorship candidate.
Adeola, who represents Lagos West in the Eighth Senate, is vying for Ogun State governorship, on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
Last week, Ijebu-Remo Governorship Agenda Elders Forum, endorsed serving Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Bimbo Ashiru as Ogun East APC consensus candidate.
Briefing newsmen in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of the state, yesterday, OGWCF President, Kayode Ajibola, said the Forum, which comprise professionals of Yewa-Awori origin, commenced work on how to present a singular but formidable candidate nine months ago.
Ajibola, flanked by his deputy, Elder Kunle Amosun, the Secretary, Mr. Diran Ayanleye, Patron, Otunba Akeem Adigun and Prof. Tope Popoola, pointed out that multiple candidates, inability to speak with one voice and lack of political leadership, had prevented the zone from producing a governor since 1976, hence, the Forum’s decision to inaugurate a committee to screen all aspirants and come up with one strong candidate.
He said the group endorsed Adeola, also known as Yayi, after it met, interacted and discussed with other aspirants from Ogun West.
These aspirants, according to Ajibola, included the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in 2011 and 2015, Prince Gboyega Isiaka, House of Assembly Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tolu Odebiyi, a three-time House of Representatives member, Abiodun Akinlade and Commissioner for Forestry, Kolawole Lawal.
Two other aspirants, according to him, senator representing Ogun West, Gbolahan Dada and the House of Representatives member representing Yewa South/Ipokia federal constituency, Abdul-Kabir Akinlade, did not honour the Forum’s invitation.
He listed origin, financial strength, vision cum developmental agenda, educational qualifications, political platform, experience, exposure and acceptability of the aspirants, as part of criteria considered by the Forum before settling for Adeola.
Justifying the Forum’s decision to endorse Adeola, OGWCF president said Yayi’s financial independence, his political exposure since 1999, experience as the senator representing the most populous senatorial district in Nigeria as well as his acceptability across the other two senatorial districts, gave him the edge over other aspirants.
He noted that other aspirants from the zone are not in any way precluded from the 2019 governorship race by the Forum’s decision, but insisted that Yayi was only endorsed and not adopted as a sole candidate.
He disclosed the Forum will commence work in earnest and go out to consult, meet and negotiate with other two senatorial districts and relevant political stakeholders.
Ajibola, who was the state assistant aecretary of PDP in 1999, lamented the inability of Ogun West to produce a governor since the inception of the state and urged all political parties to choose their governorship candidates, vowing the Forum will campaign vigorously against any party that fails to do so.