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Speakership race: Let Ajibola be (2)

AJIBOLA’S political rise is purely God and the will of his people. He was overwhelmingly elected twice to the Federal House of Representatives by his people in a free and fair election. Obasanjo had no hand in his election.

But as a Yoruba man, he owes Obasanjo and all elders respect. And being a former president he accords him a statesman’s reverence as he does to other past leaders. If this is what is being misconstrued as closeness to Obasanjo then I don’t think Ajibola should lose sleep.

If there is anybody whose speakership ambition could be marred on grounds of godfatherism, then it should be Mulikat Adeola Akande’s. She is a second term member representing Ogbomosho North / South & Orire in the Green Chamber.

Anywhere she went in the last two weeks, she dropped Governor Alao Akala’s name as her sponsor for the position of Speaker.

Educationally, she could be eminently qualified but I believe she has not shown confidence in herself, she has not exuded grasp of national politics. She is not even visible in the House and above all, the core North have said it loud and clear that never again will they allow a woman to lead them. Akande stopped dropping Akala’s name in May shortly after the South West adopted Ajibola as the consensus candidate for the position of Speaker.

My advice to her is that she should support Ajibola so that the South West is not divided. The entire PDP in the South West has endorsed Ajibola for the exalted position. Akande must be a true party person by toeing that path. In all climes, once a party ratifies a candidate for a particular position, all party faithful fall in line because the party is usually superior. Any attempt to go against the party decision may amount to indiscipline and anti-party.

If Akande insists on running, she will be creating the impression that PDP in Yoruba land is not capable of speaking in one voice. The PDP lost woefully in the last general elections in the South West and this time calls for unity of purpose to reposition the party in the area.

It is Akande’s insistence on the position that has partly encouraged some Honourable Members in the South East and North West to jostle for the position. And if the political chess game continues this way and the party is not able to rein in contestants from both South East and North West then it may be a Herculean task for the South West to pick the position.

And if this happens, Akande is to blame because she will be synonymous with the proverbial hunter that drives the animal to the farmer who did not set out for hunting. And the Akande that I know may not want to be on the wrong footnote of history.

I am not a Yoruba man but I appreciate the fact that the Yoruba race is too important not to play a crucial role in a government. That is why I agree with the ceding of the position of Speaker to them. Prominent Yoruba leaders reason in the same light. Only recently, the Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, field commander, Ganiyu Adams threatened that the position of Speaker must remain in the South West.

All that is needed now is for Ajibola to be supported because his chances are brighter. Just a quick reminder: The OPC, South East, South West, South South, PDP leadership, majority of Northern lawmakers are clamouring for Ajibola. Forget the media report that the North West is promoting Aminu Tambuwal, the current Chief Whip of the House for the Speaker position. Tambuwal is a citizen of Sokoto State in the North West.

I believe this won’t fly because Vice President Namadi Sambo hails from Kaduna in the same zone with Tambuwal.

If North West produces both the Speaker and Vice President, what goes to the North East? Let the South West be Speaker and North East be Deputy Speaker. A word is enough for the wise that Akande is!


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