By Agbonkhese Oboh
Many have given up on Lagos State throwing up anything besides an All Progressives Congress, APC, governor. Or any form the “heart” of APC morphs into.
The closest to a political party shift was when People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s Engr. Funsho Williams’ momentum from the 2003 election became a gathering steam. He was murdered on July 27, 2006. And the steam went out. There’s been no candidate giant enough to threaten the singular hold on Lagos since.
As another election year looms, let’s take a look at the likely oppositions APC and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, if he declares interest, would face.
Chief Rahman Owokoniran is the amiable General Secretary of PDP, South-West zone.
He has been quietly, but efficiently, pushing the people’s welfare-based mantra of a “reborn and united PDP” in the region.
Owokoniran has not said anything about contesting Lagos Governorship election. But feelers are vibrating with friends, associates and party men saying “he’s our best man for this”.
His CV and antecedents justify their sentiments. First, he’s been there. Second, he knows the ruling party and the state politics well. Furthermore, his commitment, dedication and loyalty to PDP and its leadership are easily evident.
A hint: Owokoniran headed the committee that created Lagos State’s 20 Local Government and 37 LCDAs. That’s how large he is.
A political scientist by training, Owokoniran has B.A in Political Science, and Master’s of Public Administrationrom, both from the Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington State, USA.
Rahman Akanni Owokoniran has been around— since the Second Republic. Owokoniran was part of the formation of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, and became a member of Lagos State House of Assembly in 1983 for Surulere Constituency 01.
He then became Chairman of the Congress for National Consensus, CNC.
He moved to Alliance for Democracy, AD, and was appointed Chairman, Lagos State Local Government Council Creation Committee, which created 20 LGAs and 17 LCDAs.
He was Director-General of Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s campaign organisation for a second term.
Owokoniran was appointed Commissioner for Housing(2003) and then Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Boundary Affairs (2006).
Currently, he heads many committees.
Let’s “visit” Chief Owolabi Salis. His CV is a full day’s read and his titles are as numerous as his philanthropic outreaches.
Salis was Alliance for Democracy, AD’s governorship candidate in the last election. And he has been around.
He appears in this piece because he might dump AD. If that happens, PDP will do well to give him a platform.
Born in Lagos on January 1, 1963, Owolabi Salis holds a B.SC. in Accounting from the Ahmadu Bello University; M.Sc., Accounting, University of Lagos; LL.B., Law, University of Lagos; Barrister at Law (B.L.,) Council of Legal Education.
Owolabi Salis, the AD chieftain also holds professional qualifications such as FCA, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN; Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN (Fellow); Associate, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
Others are American Institute of Certified Public Accountant, AICPA; New York State Bar 2002, USA, and National Association of Security Dealers, NASD, Now FINRA, and many more professional bodies.
Neither AD nor Salis has said anything. He has been very quiet. But if the party sneezes, it’s because he says “You need to wake up” and backs that up with resources.
(The second part of this piece will start with Chief Owokoniran’s education, then profile other likely PDP governorship aspirants such as Ade Dosunmu, Babatunde Gbadamosi, Abdulazeez ‘Jandor’ Adeduran, Deji Doherty and, of course, Jimi Agbaje).