Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has settled for his Chief of Staff, Chief Tolu Odebiyi for the governorship ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections. He is to formally announce his choice after the conduct of the APC National Convention in Abuja.
The governor, notwithstanding his decision, will not stop other gubernatorial aspirants from contesting the party’s primary to be held at a later date. New Telegraph exclusively gathered that the governor indicated his choice of successor at a marathon meeting held at the weekend where issue of new state executive of the party was also finalized.
The governor’s Senior Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Chief Derin Adebiyi emerged the new APC chairman during the party’s state congresses held on Saturday in Abeokuta where Odebiyi’s silhouette posters also flooded the venue.
Adebiyi, a longtime ally of Amosun was elected through a consensus arrangement after the governor succeeded in reaching a truce with a faction of the party loyal to a former governor of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba.
But findings by our correspondent showed that the governor had intensified efforts in deciding his potential successor among the lot jostling for the APC gubernatorial ticket. Amidst deft permutations and intrigues in the party hierarchy, Amosun was said to have unfurled his choice which he had several times couched as “whiz kid.”
Sources who attended the meeting confirmed that the governor narrowed down to his Chief of Staff, who hails from Ogun West Senatorial District, after considering several factors about all the aspirants.
Ogun West, comprising the Yewa-Awori people, had not produced governor since creation of the state and Amosun had publicly endorsed the zone to produce his successor in 2019.
The choice of Odebiyi has, however, generated some disquiet among party members especially those supporting gubernatorial aspirants considered stronger than him. Meanwhile, Amosun has promised to unveil his preferred successor after the completion of this year’s Ramadan fasting. Speaking at the venue of the APC state congresses on Saturday, the governor also declared that the ruling party would easily win 2019 elections.
Amosun, who called for unity among APC members, enthused that his successor would surpass the achievements recorded by his own administration. He said: “Our administration will work tirelessly till May 29, 2019. I commend all our party faithful for their commitment to the success of the party. Without the members, there can’t be the party. “Election is coming; we are Ogun State. It’s not about fighting, we have what to sell to the people.
The governor that is coming after me will do better than me.” Other governorship aspirants, especially from Yewa- Awori extraction, include the state House of Assembly Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi; a House of Representatives member, Adekunle Akinlade; former House of Representatives member, Abiodun Akinlade; and the Commissioner for Forestry, Chief Kolawole Lawal. Also interested in the seat are Prince Adeleke Tella, Hon. Simeon Hunye, Engineer Temitope Kuyebi, as well as a Senator representing Lagos West, Solomon Adeola.
However, aspirants from Ogun East, comprising Ijebu and Remo people, have also made a strong case for the governorship and notable personalities being touted include the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru; Commissioner for Tourism, Chief Muyiwa Oladipo; Otunba Jimi Lawal, Chief Owodunni Opayemi, Otunba Abayomi Odunowo, Senator Lekan Mustapha, Senator Adegbenga Kaka, and Prince Segun Adesegun. (New Telegraph)