By Kolade Larewaju, Abeokuta
The Yewa/Awori people in Ogun West Senatorial District appear to be not confident of producing the next governor of the state after the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, picked Senator Ibikunle Amosun to fly its flag in the April election.
Amosun, an Egba from Ogun Central will slug it out with Mr. Gboyega Isiaka from Yewa/Awori which is the only section out of the four (the others being Egba, Ijebu and Remo) that has not produced a governor for the state.
Until the choice of Senator Awosun, the Yewa/Awori people, at least the main political actors there, hardly reckoned with the ACN or any other party apart from the PDP as one to do business with in their quest for producing the governor.
They concentrated on the PDP and hobnobbed with its leadership day and night and when the party’s two factions settled for Isiaka and Olurin, they were satisfied that in whatever way the matter was resolved by the PDP, the ticket would remain theirs. It was like putting all of one’s eggs in a basket.
the reality of their mistake only dawned on them when the ACN picked Amosun, a formidable politician generally seen as the only one capable of challenging the PDP in the governorship race.
The Yewa Think Tank, comprising prominent citizens of the area declared at a press conference that the people of Yewa would not vote for ACN candidate if the party refused to field a Yewa. President of the group Dr. Samuel Ibikunle said “we wish to reiterate once again our belief in the need to allow the rotational cycle of the governorship among the four divisions in the state as designed by God Almighty to be sustained and respected in the spirit of harmony, fairness and equity. It is on this belief and principle that we stand and how each political party respects this principle will determine whether our people will accept or reject the party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, let us state categorically once again that our people will support or respect only the political party or governorship candidate who equally respects or support the resolve of our people to produce the next governor of Ogun State. Any political party that takes our people for granted or fails to nominate a Yewa candidate should as well forget the support and votes of the people of Yewaland”
Dr. Ibikunle in the address was specific about the Action Congress when he said “we have noted with worry the position of the leadership of the ACN which had declined to adopt the rotation of zoning of the governorship to Ogun West despite all the appeals and entreaties which our people have made in this regard.
We have therefore found it necessary to once again call on and appeal to leadership of the ACN within and outside Ogun State, including the former Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Senator Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande to use their influence to support the Yewa people’s desire of being adopted to use their influence to support the Yewa people’s desire of being adopted by the ACN as its governorship candidate”
In the same vein members of the party from the Senatorial District in a communiqué issued after its meeting on the 21st of January 2011 rejected the emergence of Senator Ibikunle Amosun and declared that it would only support a candidate chosen from the area.
The communiqué signed by eight prominent leaders of the party in the area including former Secretary to the State Government in the Osoba Administration; Deacon Poju Adeyemi and Senatorial Chairman Dr. Daniel Adejobi said “in the event of the party insisting on Senator Ibikunle Amosun as the candidate of the ACN, no member or leader of the party in West Senatorial will take part in the election campaign and voting”
But an ACN source said, the Yewa people engineered the problem because of the way they went about handling the issue. They threw all their prominent people into the PDP believing that as the ruling party, that was where their dreams would be achieved. Traditional rulers, Chief and other trooped to the PDP and only realized their folly in the latter days,” the source said.
“Even then, they kept changing their support for Yewa people within the party. First it was Engineer Yomi Odunowo-Elegbede that they were backing and suddenly changed to Mr. Tope Kuyebi and when they saw that his candidature would not fly, they went to look for a member of the House of Representatives; Hon Isiaq Abiodun Akinlade who declared for the party only a couple of days before the party chose its candidate.
Is that how to do thing? They had said that Kuyebi was their consensus candidate only, to back down again. Moreover, when the Yewa Think Tank was consulting, they went to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Daniel who they believe would help their cause. Ask them if they ever consulted with ACN”.