By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Expectedly, the forthcoming general election  has been generating heat with groups and individuals angling for ascendancy in the build-up to the polls.


Indigenes of Ikorodu Division have started agitating to produce the next governor of Lagos State.

Meanwhile, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has assured members of the party that there would not be any imposition of candidates in the congresses of the party.

Tinubu spoke last Wednesday, at the party’s secretariat in the state on ACME Road, Ikeja, during the Stakeholders’ Forum called by the party to sensitise members on the coming congresses.

Also at the event, two former prominent members of the party who defected to other parties made a grand return to the party. They are former Deputy Governor of the state during the regime of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, Chief Rafiu Bakare Adeyefa Jafojo; and a former House of Representatives member in the Second Republic, Chief Rasheed Shitta-Bey known to many as Jabita.

On the APC congresses which start today, Saturday, April 5th, 2014, with the ward congress, Tinubu stated that the party remains committed to democratic principle and hence will ensure that the voice and choice of party members emerge at the end of the day.

“We will not impose any candidate on our members. It is you all here who will make your choices during the congresses and other intra-party elections,” he assured.

On Ikorodu indigenes agitation,  the issue of continued marginalisation of Ikorodu in the politics of  the state has been on for some time with the affected people discussing the issue in the comfort of their homes and offices until recently when a member of the lower legislative chambers provided the needed platform for accentuating their misgivings.

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in her desire to improve the welfare of her constituency, unwittingly stirred the hornet nest as the forum soon turned into agitation for a female governor in the state.

Their specific request was that the ruling party, APC, should look at the direction of their division for the next occupant of Lagos House when the tenure of the incumbent Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) ends next year after having completed his mandatory two terms of four years in office.

Dabiri-Erewa, a three-time member of the lower legislative chamber is facing yet another challenge in her political career.

That challenge has to do with the calls from her constituency for her to take a shot at the plum office of the governorship of Lagos which her party, APC, had zoned to the East senatorial zone. But she has Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who is also from the division to contend with in the race as various groups have started campaign for Ashafa to succeed Fashola.

For clarification, the political structure of Lagos State is divided into three senatorial zones among the five administrative divisions, namely Lagos Island, Epe, Ikeja, Badagry and Ikorodu divisions.

Of all the divisions, only the Ikorodu and Badagry divisions are yet to produce a governor for the state since its creation in 1967. The only time an indigene from Ikorodu mounted the office was during the military administration of late Group Captain Gbolahan Mudasiru in the short lived Muhammadu Buhari government.

Realising the perceived injustice, the leadership of the APC may have resolved to zone the office to the east senatorial zones comprising of Epe and Ikorodu divisions. The case of Ikorodu division has further been boosted by the fact that their kith and kin in Epe had produced Michael Agbolade Otedola in the short lived Third Republic.

The decision of the ruling APC to zone the governorship of Lagos to the East Senatorial district of the state has pitched the people of Ikorodu Division against their Epe kith and kin.

The two divisions form the major groups in the East district of the state, though they belong to distinct political areas alongside three others, such as Ikeja and Badagry in the West Senatorial district and Lagos division in the Central District.

With seeming consensus that the office be zoned to the East  with the expiration of the tenure of Fashola who hails from the Central District, politicians and other stakeholders in the two divisions have commenced intensive lobby for the plum office.

Fashola’s predecessor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu picked the ticket from the West District, specifically Ikeja, thus prompting suggestion that the contest for the office be narrowed down to aspirants from the East zone.

When contacted, the Interim State Chairman of the APC, Chief Henry Oladele Ajomole, said the suggestion is just a mere notion which is not binding on the party, saying merit and competence will form the basis for selecting the party’s candidate.

“The suggestion that the governorship of the state has been zoned to the Lagos East senatorial zone is just a mere notion by some people within the party. There is nowhere or place the party sat down to state that the office has been zoned to the East.

“As I said, it is a notion because the two other zones have produced governors for the state. Tinubu came from the West, Fashola is from the Central and so some people will feel that the governorship should naturally go to the East zone,” he said.

Findings, however, revealed that prominent indigenes of both Ikorodu Division and their Epe kiths and kin have stepped up efforts to outwit one another in the race by lobbying important personalities within the party.

As a boost for their aspirations, traditional rulers in the divisions have been mobilizing their subjects towards realizing the objective.

With the field wide open to sons and daughters of Ikorodu Division to take a shot at the plum job, prominent indigenes had been shopping for the replacement of the incumbent  and are moving for Dabiri-Erewa into the Lagos State governorship race by calling on her to take up the challenge.

Though the agitation had been subtle with those rooting for her emergence as the state’s  helmsman come next year  making clandestine move to drag her into the race, their actions have become more manifest in recent times.

The right occasion provided itself during the recent empowerment of her constituents in Ikorodu Town Hall last Saturday. At the event, the call for her candidature became more deafening with preponderance of opinion asking her to vie, saying the state was ripe for a female governor.

Those present at the occasion that took place at the Ikorodu Town Hall included a former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Abiodun Ogunleye and a former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Olorunfunmi Bashorun.

The traditional ruler of Ikorodu land, Oba Salaudeen Oyefeso was represented by his wife, Hajia Muibat who set the tone for discussion on the occasion by calling on Dabiri-Erewa to consider the possibility since the plum job has been zoned to East Senatorial zone, part of which Ikorodu forms an integral part.

Speaking on behalf of her spouse, Oyefeso said “Dabiri-Erewa has all it takes to be a capable governor. She has our support and we urge the party to give her the slot. We also want the governorship candidature of the Lagos APC zoned to Ikorodu,” the monarch’s wife said.


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