Published On: Wed, Dec 27th, 2017

Akala, Folarin, others rekindle old rivalry over Ajimobi’s successor


Former Oyo State governor Adebayo Alao-Akala

The battle for a successor to Governor Abiola Ajimobi in 2019 seems to have already begun with the declaration of interest by some heavyweights in Oyo politics. The state presents a certain political uniqueness as the only one with some former governors still eyeing the top job.

Already the field seems to be crowded with the likes of former governor Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin, and former deputy governor of Oyo state under Akala, Ambassador Taufeek Arapaja. Others are former secretary to the Oyo State government, under Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, Mr. Ayodele Adigun, former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Asimiyu Alarape.

There are also other notable politicians in Oyo State, especially those in the House of Representatives and the State Assembly. This presents a historic moment for the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress, (APC), which will pose a special challenge in handle the selection process.

The presence of these number of bigwigs in one party vying for the same followed the decampment of heavy weights moving in one swoop and on the same day to a political party, which some of them had vowed never to have anything to do with it and which they had castigated along with its leaders, at one time or the order, while pursuing their political ambitions.

What also made their decampments unique is the fact that they were people who had held big political offices, either in the state or at the federal level from their various political parties. Looking at the pedigree of those who decamped, one would agree with the leader of the APC Senator Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu that the APC was lucky to have them in their midst.

Indeed, APC was fortunate, because the emergence of these political juggernauts into the APC came at the time when the people have started losing faith in the party and its leadership, both at the state and federal levels.

Although, the majority are from the former ruling political party, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State and at the federal level, which was rejected by the people for the APC, one significant effect of their joining the APC is that it would boost the morale of the people of Oyo state, who have been looking for alternatives and who have been yearning for some of them to come back as governor, and pressurizing others to contest.

The background of these people who joined the APC is also interesting. Akala, the leader of the group, who claimed to have been instrumental to bringing both his old allies and foes together  to be in one political party once again, all served under the PDP although some from different blocks of the party.

But political ambition, caused the separation of these notable politicians, who were in the same political party and they all went their different ways.  The impeachment of Ladoja which saw Akala becoming the governor, led to Adigun’s exit from the PDP because he went with Ladoja to the Accord party, where he was before decamping to the APC after Ladoja had moved back o the PDP.

Akala too, after holding sway in Oyo state as the Chief Executive, during the impeachment of Ladoja and subsequently, elected governor for four years, fell out with the PDP when he could not get the ticket of the party to contest in 2015. He went to the labour party where he came a distant third in the election.

In his own case, the former Senate leader, Folarin though never left the PDP till his recent decampment to APC, was the major reason why Akala left the PDP. The ticket of the party was given to him after a hot contest between him and AKala. Teslim was favoured by the power- that-be in the presidency of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Akala who had been assured earlier felt disappointed and angrily left the PDP to join the labour party, which was not known in Oyo State. He used his influence and brought the Labour party to be a force in the state with his followers.

The fear now being expressed is, how would they not bring their past political rivalry into their new political party?  Although during the ceremony last Saturday at Mapo Hall in Ibadan, they all pledged that they would be law-abiding and respect the rules of the APC, there were strong indications that since they had all nursed the governorship ambition of the state at one time or the other, and none of them has given up, there is the likelihood that this ambition which separated them before may be rekindled if the motives of their coming together were not well defined or clearly laid out, before they all agreed to come together once again.

Judging from the body language of Akala, Folarin, and Arapaja, they are all still interested in ruling the state.  Akala and Arapaja fell out immediately they both lost the 2011 governorship election to the incumbent, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Akala then believed that he was betrayed by Arapaja to foster the Ibadan agenda which deprived him of a second term to rule the state. Since then, they were at logger head until last Saturday when they both joined the APC.

Even the attitudes of their supporters at the venue of their declaration were pointers to the fact that they still nurse the ambition of becoming the governor of Oyo State. Their supporters carry banners and fliers which portray them as aspirants for the 2019 governorship race.  The supporters of all the politicians, who spoke with journalists, did not mince words and they were categorical that they were at the venue to show-case the interests of their principals and create public awareness about their intentions to contest in 2019.

Although this could be the picture being painted to the general public, political analysts were of the opinion that since the leaders of the APC were  aware of the political antecedents of all of them, they would have worked out an arrangement that would accommodate them in the political scheming in 2019.

Based on the feelers available from reliable sources, it was learnt that AKala who is known to be very popular and cherished among the people may have been penciled down for the governorship, since the agitations now in the state is for the Oke Ogun to have the slot as it was believed that the Ibadan have dominated the governorship seat for a long time.

Alhough Akala is not from Oke-Ogunproper; he belongs to the same Oyo North Senatorial District along with the coreOke-Ogun.  The notion therefore is that if Akala gets the ticket of the APC and win the election, the governorship would have been back to Oyo North.

The feeling also is that the core Okeogun people would see Akala as their own because of the strong relationship which he had with them when he was the governor. Again they would be pleased that the Governorship seat has fallen out of the Ibadan people who have been dominating them.

Other considerations, which we learnt that came in favour of Akala were his electoral values, especially his strong base Ogbomoso, where he always come out with large votes which could make the APC win the governorship in 2019. Although, there is no gain saying that Ibadan as a whole controls the largest votes in the state, it has always become difficult for even an Ibadan man to use the advantage to win out rightly.

Whoever contest in Ibadan always rely on votes from OkeOgun to win.  The cases of Chief Kolapo Ishola, Rashidi Ladoja, Akala, and even the present governor Ajimobi attest to this scenario.These are the factors the APC leaders may have put together in wanting to give the governorship ticket to Akala.

Although the ticket would not be an automatic thing, the style of the Progressives especially the APC is that they always adopt direct and indirect primaries to pick their candidates.  The approach always favours whoever they want and if Akala is truly their choice to give them victory, he would emerge as the candidate, whether, direct or indirect.

Senator Folrin, it was learnt may have settled for the senate as it was being speculated that he is likely to contest the Oyo central senatorial District, while it was learnt that Arapaja may settle for the Oyo South Senatorial District. The snag with that is that, there are speculations that Ajimobi intends to  go to the Senate, he may want to contest the Oyo South Senatorial seat which he had before he became the governor and there is no way Arapaja could wrestle the senate ticket of the party from Ajimobi.

As for Adigun who had also showed interest in the governorship, it is likely that he may be offered the position of the secretary to the state government while others who decamped with them must have bargained for what suited them at the federal and the state.

Whatever the case may be, the notion and the fear is that the PDP men should not allow their political ambition, which caused the disintegration of their former party to manifest in APC.

© 2017, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • China offshore oil coy to invest $3bn in Nigeria

    The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is to invest an additional three billion dollars in its existing stakes in offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria. Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spokesman said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. Ughamadu said Mr Yuan Guangyu, the Chief Executive Officer […]

  • Ecobank risk assets deteriorate as Kie bows out

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The exit of Ecobank Nigeria’s erstwhile Managing Director, Charles Kie, has raised a groundswell of speculation in the financial community as sector analysts believe that his exit was abrupt, untimely and suspicious. Over a period of two years, Kie had succeeded in reversing the banks bedraggled balance sheet and profit and loss […]

  • Blood, blood everywhere: Herdsmen, rustlers on the rampage

    –  Violence, a well-articulated plot to grab land – Expert  By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA Nigeria is gradually descending into a Hobbesian state with the growing killings in the Middle Belt, in addition to the destruction of lives and properties in the North West and Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. Defenseless citizens are being killed like […]

  • 2018 budget in jeopardy

    . Delay alone has reduced performance by 13% – Experts By UCHE CHRIS In all likelihood the 2018 budget will end like the three previous budgets of the President Buhari administration: a failure. Having been passed seven months after its presentation and half year gone; and with all the controversies surrounding its passage by the […]

  • MTN to miss market listing target

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU A weak domestic economy in Nigeria may force telecommunications giant MTN to shift its earlier proposed August 2018 date for a local listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Analysts believe that the date shift will allow the parties to the Offer plan a more successful listing arrangement that would guaranty full […]

  • APC crises deepens: Amaechi battles for relevance, Modu-Sheriff is new strongman

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Key actors in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) managed to keep up appearance to allow for a smooth transition at the party’s recently held national convention. Except for the exchange of blows among Imo and Delta States delegates, the convention was largely a success. But beneath the facade of orderliness, tensions […]

  • INEC declares Fayemi governor-elect in Ekiti

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of the Ekiti Governorship Election held on Saturday. INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Idowu Olayinka declared the result on Sunday. According to the Returning Officer, Kayode got 197,459 votes to defeat the Deputy Governor of […]

  • President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that Nigeria will soon sign up to a $3 trillion African free-trade agreement. Nigeria is one of Africa’s two largest economies, the other being South Africa. Buhari’s government had refused to join a continental free-trade zone established in March, on the grounds that it wishes to defend its own […]

  • PDP meets Obasanjo for advice on how to beat Buhari in 2019 polls

    The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) will meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Saturday to seek advice on how to achieve victory in the 2019 polls and beat incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. The National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, made this known in Abeokuta while addressing journalists after a […]

  • GTBank Launches Social Impact Challenge, Aims to Fund Community Development Projects Nationwide

    Following more than two decades of consistent investment in community development, Guaranty Trust Bank plc is taking its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) another step further by launching a Social Impact Challenge that will fund dozens of innovative ideas designed and executed by members of the general public. Tagged #SimpleChangeBigImpact, the Social Impact Challenge invites individuals […]

  • Akpobome gives indigent girls educational lifeline

    Akpobome gives indigent girl The hope of indigent girls who have been struggling with their education has been rekindled as Mrs. Mary Akpobome, former executive director, Heritage Bank and her husband,  Mr. Atunyota Akpobome, fondly called Alli-Baba have jointly floated The Purple Girl Foundation with the purpose  of helping them live their dreams. Giving reasons […]

  • Buhari’s NLNG signature project back on track

    President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the board, management, staff and shareholders of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG), the NNPC and other Joint Venture partners, Shell, Total and AGIP on the signing of the contracts for the Front End Engineering Design (FFED) of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Project. The President […]

  • Buhari creates unit to snoop on illegal money transfers

    President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit bill (NFIU) 2018 into law, creating a body that will henceforth monitor illegal money transfers and money laundering. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday. […]

  • NCC wades into MTN’s labour issues

    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said the organisation has opened talks with critical stakeholders on MTN’s labour issues. Mr Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, made this known in a statement by in Abuja. “NCC under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical stakeholders  through the office of […]

  • Weak purchasing power responsible for slowing inflation rate, says Chukwu

    FELIX OLOYEDE The continuous decelerating inflation rate in the country was largely due to weak purchasing power amongst Nigerians, said Johnson Chukwu, Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Ltd. Speaking on the theme: “Economy: H1 2018 review and prospect for year end” at the second edition of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) Cohort 4 quarterly […]

  • Global outrage grows over incessant herdsmen killings

    …there is anarchy in the land – Utomi   By OBINNA EZUGWU The incessant killings in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen seem to attracting more global attention as U.S. and U.K. have taken the government to task to stop it. During his recent visit to the U.S. by President Buhari, American President Donald had expressed concern […]