By Dapo Akinrefon
As political activities in Ondo State gather momentum preparatory to the forthcoming gubernatorial election scheduled to hold later this year, the media space is awash with political developments and reports from across the State, while political analysts have pontificated that the next few months would be characterised with deft political manoeuvrings and manipulations.
It is believed by many of these analysts that the contest will be a straight fight between the ruling APC and the major opposition, PDP.
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Expectedly, both parties are already witnessing a surge in political activities and the number of aspirants appears to be on the increase as the state approaches the defining moment.
Except for the crisis within the fold of the APC in the State, it is believed in many quarters that the incumbent governor should have a smooth sail to clinching his second term ticket. But this appears an uphill task at the moment, thereby creating sleepless and worrisome nights in the Akeredolu camp.
The incumbent governor hails from Owo in the North Senatorial district of the State while his local government incidentally has the largest number of voters in the district. Interestingly, Bukola Adetula who also hails from Owo has thrown his hat into the ring by showing a very strong interest in Akeredolu’s job as the Executive Governor of the State and seems to have captured the attention of APC leaders across the 18 local government areas of the state.
In 2016, both Akeredolu and Adetula participated in the exercise that led to the former’s emergence as Governor, however, three lines of convergence have been identified between the duo, which is narrowed to their being from the same Owo Kingdom, both are lawyers and are in the same party, APC. A further dig into the background of Bukola Adetula reveals a successful businessman, who sits on the boards of a handful of international and domestic companies in the areas of Oil & Gas, Media and Training.
He attended the prestigious Government College, Ibadan and thereafter travelled to the United States of America from where he received B.Sc. (Criminal Justice); B.A. & M.A. (Political Science) and a Juris Doctor (J.D) in Law, degrees.
Despite being an experienced Criminal Defence Counsel with decades of professorial track records of several high profile feats across the United States, he returned home over a decade ago to be actively involved in the trade that gave fame to his father and has equally amplified his name beyond the borders of Ondo State.
He is indeed a chip of the old block, as his late father, Chief ZOK Adetula, popularly known as ZOKA was one of the foremost political leaders of the progressive family in Ondo State.
He was a contemporary of Pa Adekunle Ajasin and a protege of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo. ZOKA represented Owo constituency at the Federal House of Representatives between 1979 and 1983.
Again, just as in 2016, Chief Bukola Adetula is aspiring for the highest political office in Ondo State. A man popularly described by his political admirers as” THE CREDIBLE ALTERNATIVE”.
His candidacy is creating a frenzy of excitement at the grassroots level where he is being commonly described as ‘the hope” of the people of Ondo State.
As the political cloud in Ondo State daily thickens, Bukola Adetula has formed a strong affiliation with the Unity Forum, under the leadership of Alhaji Ali Olanusi, a former Deputy Governor and serving Board of Trustees member of the APC.
Recently, he formally declared his 2020 governorship aspiration during a media parley with gentlemen of the press and on the floor of the Unity Forum during the group’s last meeting, respectively.
The major agenda of his aspiration is industrialisation and resuscitation of the educational system in Ondo State. He believes that the State is more endowed with natural resources than Lagos State and has the capacity of becoming an industrial and commercial hub, given the right leadership. Inquiries into what is responsible for his popularity in Ondo State reveals a man who is passionate about alleviating the hardship that is endemic among his people.
In his trademark gentlemanly smile, he would simply say if asked, “it’s all about a yearning by the people for respect, humility and true leadership as against rulership” With some months away to decide who becomes the next governor of Ondo State, Adetula’s actions and utterances portray a visionary man who is determined on his mission to give Akeredolu a run for his money. Without a doubt, amongst all the aspirants, he is portrayed as the man to watch out for.