It is just a matter of time for the three-time member of Federal House of Representative representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Abuja, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa to declare her intention to contest for the Lagos State Governor.
The former Nigerian Television Authority broadcaster has been in the Federal House since 2003 and emerged as a major factor within the All Progressive Congress (APC) formerly Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) Caucus. She proved her standing within the party in 2011, when her re-nomination was opposed by many but eventually earned the party’s ticket for the third term.
Though, she has not announced that she will not be re-contesting for the fourt- term, but we gathered that the current Federal House of Representative’s Chairperson on Committee on Nigerian in Diaspora is interested in the number one position in the state. This is before the APC zoned the Governorship position to Lagos East Senatorial District.
Impact gathered that her recent empowerment programme was used as testing-ground for her yet to be declared interest.
Abike we initially gathered was positioning herself for the number two position in the state based on calculation that the party structure would favour one of the major contenders from Lagos Central and West Senatorial Districts for the Governorship position. But with current position that the party will be announcing officially soon that the position has been zone to Lagos East, We gathered that this may have changed Hon. Abike’s calculation towards 2015 and now will be declaring for the number one position.
This Impact gathered might have been further encouraged by the pronouncements of respected APC Chieftain, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun and Olori (Amb.) Muyibat Oyefusi (Most Glomourous Queen of Our Time). Both spoke recently at Ikorodu Town Hall venue of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa Empowerment Scheme which took place on Friday 14 March, 2014.
Speaking at the ceremony, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun stated, “There is nothing wrong in having first female governor in Lagos State from Ikorodu since the party has zoned the position to Lagos East. It is now time for our people to make their interests known to the party and nothing wrong in (Hon.) Abike contesting”.
Basorun also challenged other aspirants for the governorship position from Ikorodu to make their intentions known to the party hierarchy in good time instead of just talking about it.
In her own response, Olori Oyefusi who represented HRM Oba Salaudeen Afolabi Oyefusi (CON) at the event said, “Abike has what it takes to be a capable governor of Lagos State. She has the support of Ikorodu people and we are urging the party to consider her as the candidate of the party. (Hon) Abike has no doubt distinguished herself as a true and dependable representative of her people and it is going to be a feat for Lagos State to record its first elected female governor in Abike”
Former deputy governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye also spoke glowingly of the former Nigerian Television Authority ace presenter turned politician.
Already about three Ikorodu indigenes in All Progressive Congress (APC) have shown interest in the number one position. These are Sen. Ganiu Olanrewaju Solomon, Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District; Hon. (Otunba) Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State on Education Management and Arch. Taiwo Kara, a former Lagos State Polytechnic Board Member and an architect by profession. Recently, the former Commissioner for Finance and a director with First Bank PLC, Mr Tokunbo Abiru and former Head of Service, Lagos State, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe also joined the governorship contest.
Meanwhile, Impact also gathered that the three term House of Representatives member may be returned to the Lower Legislative Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja for the fourth-term. This we gathered is premised on the ground that the party is hoping to win the 2015 general elections, especially in the National Assembly where APC is expected to dominate and considering returning ranking members on the party platform to return and form the leadership. Abike fall into this category of ranking members who are usually considered for leadership position before others due to their experiences.
This development to the people of Ikorodu Constituency II will no doubt further foreclose their aspiration and desire to have a taste of the sole Ikorodu Federal House of Representative seat, except the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) makes good its pronouncement of re-delineation of Federal and State Constituencies to create additional seats for Ikorodu in the lower house.
Information also reaching The Impact also has it that Hon. Abike may be asked to use Surulere, her paternal side to achieve whatever dream, which places her at more advantageous position. This is premised on the ground that experience in party politics and at the Lower Chamber is an asset to the ruling party.
Her expected declaration for the Governorship contest is expected to be a statement that she is not yet tired and her recent empowerment programme where she gave Rice/Garri/Maze, Assorted drinks & beer, Generators, Tricycle, Wheel Chairs, Sewing Machine, Deep Freezer, Grinding Machine, Block Moulding Machine, Canopy leather, Fishing Net, Water Pump, Wheel Barrow & Shovel and Plastic Chairs to about 500 constituents meant to give back to the electorates is also designed for her to reconnect with base towards next political calculation.
When contacted, an aide of Hon. Abike stated, “It would be a great feat to have a first female governor in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole from Ikorodu. She has performed very well as a representative in the National Assembly with national and international acceptance and she has everything required to manage Lagos and be a successful governor.”
Impact gathered that wide consultations are going on and the three-term Ikorodu Federal Constituency representative has virtually returned to Ikorodu to pursue the governorship agenda since All Progressive Congress has zoned the ticket to Lagos East Senatorial District.
It is also gathered that Ikorodu establishment, especially those directly or indirectly involve in the “Ikorodu for Governor” agenda are also considering her candidature. One, based on her political experience and having served about ten years in the lower chamber of National Assembly. Two, her connections which transpired the state and nation-state boundaries. Three, her deep pocket. Four, her closeness to Tinubu and other APC power-brokers and also for the gender sentiment, since no woman has been governor in Nigeria.
Abike as fondly called by frinds and well-wishers, is also a woman and politician of many parts. She is said to have close link with Surulere and Lekki, both which can also be used in achieving whatever political agenda within the party. The ‘residency rule’ would play the joker in this regard.
Whichever way it turns out, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa is sure to still stay relevant come next political dispensation.