BY OLA AJAYI
THE contests in the three Oyo senatorial district are unarguably the battle of the fittest. It is a battle laced with intrigues, theatrics and all the political wonders that are characteristic of the Pace Setter State. With the exit of the traditional political godfathers the culture of imposition of candidates may have largely been phased out, though muttering here and there over subtle influences of some power brokers continue to resonate.
The three senatorial districts in Oyo State are Oyo South, Oyo North and Oyo Central
Oyo South: Incumbent- Senator Kamarudeen Adedibu (PDP)
Olufemi Lanlehin (ACN)
He is another grass root politician who knows where shoes pinch his people. He is in constant touch with his people. His structure is fully on ground. A humble and godly politician whose father had reportedly left a good legacy in the state.
Before the decision of the leadership of his party that ushered in Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the party’s governorship candidate, he had visited all the 33 local governments in the state twice in his quest for the gubernatorial ticket of the party. It is expected that the synergy of political forces between him and Ajimobi would put him in good stead in this weekend’s rescheduled contest.
Senator Kamardeen Adedibu (PDP)
Until his sudden emergence in 2007, he was a political Lilliputian in the state. He spent most of his childhood years abroad. He is a serving senator. But, the political influence of his father, late Chief Lamidi Adedibu was largely responsible for his success at the election. This is the first time he would test his political influence. Governor Akala really deserves a pat on the back for at least having at the back of his mind the role that Adedibu played in his emergence to political stardom.
Now that the political colossus is resting in the grave, people are waiting to see how far he would go without his father. He is contesting on the platform of the PDP.
Bayo Lawal- Accord Party
He had served as a commissioner under the Peoples Democratic Party. During his tenure, he enjoyed the goodwill of the people. He is seen as one of the best hands now in the Accord Party. He is well known to Alhaji Yekini Adeojo and banking on the goodwill of Accord’s gubernatorial candidate, Senator Rasheed Ladoja.
OYO NORTH – Incumbent Senator Andrew Babalola (PDP)
He knows his onions, even though he is taciturn. He is a successful businessman. He is popularly called Aleluyah by his admirers. He had served under the administration of Senator Rashidi Ladoja and surprisingly, he still won the heart of the incumbent governor and he is the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy in the current administration. His political record in a state like Oyo is enough to qualify him. But he would face a very big challenge with other co_contestants.
Wale Okediran (ACN)
He is a medical doctor and also a prolific writer. As a man of many sterling qualities, he tested his popularity through the ballot in 2003 and was elected into the House of Representatives. He has held many literary positions in the Association of Nigerian Authors. During his tenure in the lower chamber, he was very close to the grass root and this would probably work out for him in the April election. His choice as the candidate for the Action Congress of Nigeria was very strategic. His experience would be an additional point for him.
Ahmed Oladokun (Accord)
He is a former Registrar, Ibadan Polytechnic. Until now, he was not a well_known figure in the political circle. But, this may not hinder him from being elected. He is a candidate of the Accord Party.
OYO CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT
Incumbent: Senator Teslim Folarin (PDP)
Bisi Ilaka (Accord)
He is contesting on the platform of the Accord Party after failed attempts in the PDP and Action Congress of Nigeria. He spent his formative years in London. His attempt in 2007 was truncated by the controversial political style of late popular politician, Chief Lamidi Adedibu who believed in hand picking candidates. He is not a push_over. As a good orator, he has the ability to carry his audience along with him. He is very popular in Oyo town and its environs.
Olajumoke Akinjide (PDP)
She is an embodiment of knowledge. As a graduate of Harvard Law School with a first class Honours in 1993, a holder of Masters degree in Law, she will no doubt bring her intelligence into governance if elected.
As the daughter of the former minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), the influence of her father in the political circle would be of tremendous advantage. She has served as a personal assistant to the former president Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003, Special Assistant to the President on G77 Matters and Nigerians In The Diaspora Organisation.
When she speaks, her arch-enemy would fall in love with her as a result of her eloquence. Though, many people are not comfortable with the party, PDP, she is using as her platform, she believes she is in the right place and that her party, would not be any obstruction to her.
According to her, she is aspiring to be in the senate to serve Nigeria and my community as a lawmaker and true representative of the interest of the ordinary citizens of the senatorial district.
Hon. Ayo Adeseun (ACN)
He is a member of the House of Representatives. He has held the chairmanship position in the House Committee on Appropriation and House Committee on Defence. He was in the Peoples Democratic Party before he defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria. He controls many followers in Ogbomoso zone. In a free and fair election he is expected to do very well and possibly be a shoo-in on account of his personal charm and political sagacity. His exit from Governor Adebayo Akala’s camp has created a big vacuum.
His former party, PDP, would surely meet a brick wall with his presence. He enjoys popular support. His decision to join ACN is a great gain for the broom wielding party.