Another interesting political battle is expected to unfold in the contest for the two Assembly seats meant for Ikorodu Division as political events are unfolding towards 2015. Though, it seems most aspirants to these two Assembly seats are just pretenders who are in the contest to register their relevance and use it to negotiate for another political consideration; while to others, it is an opportunity to showcase their credentials
In Ikorodu Constituecy I, the tradition has been that of one man, one term until the current occupant, Hon. Sanai Oyeniran Agunbiade came on board in 2007 and broke the jinx in 2011 by earning a return ticket to the Lagos State House of Assembly. Before Hon. Agunbiade, Hon. (Barr.) Ola Animashaun now a PDP stalwart, on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) then was the first to represent Ikorodu Constituency I in this democratic dispensation. He was at the Assembly from 1999 to 2003. While at the Assembly, he shown like a star and also commanded respect among his colleagues. His un-doings started after contesting for the Speakership position and the power that be asked him to step down. To him, Assembly should be an independent arm of government where the people’s power should reside and on that note he independently contested against the anointed candidate. He lost the contest and it was not meant to be anymore with the party then especially the administration of governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In 2003, another lawyer, Hon. Sunmi Olarewaju Odesanya emerged as the party preferred candidate on the strength of being late Alhaji Ajisebutu’s good son. The budding Sunmi also followed the path of his predecessor by providing articulate and vibrant contribution on the floor of the Lagos State House of Assembly. His background in law and intellectual capacity became a major tool for him to stand-out among other senior lawmakers who always marvel in the wisdom and presentation of young Sunmi. The Ikorodu political situation cut his emerging political career short. Unfortunately, his god father who later moved to PDP had political crisis with Asiwaju Tinubu which they were unable to settle, thus Sunmi became the victim of circumstance.
Then came Hon. Sanai Agunbiade in 2007. His emergence did not come easy and at a time he had to stand before the powers that be to prove that he was an independent young man with vast network of supporters. Many have argued that this earned him Asiwaju Tinubu’s respect. He got into the Assembly also having law background coupled with his civil and students’ activism. Like his predecessors, Agunbiade emerged as a brilliant debater, informed analyst and articulate representative who when given the floor on any issue of discourse, his experience and contribution are always effective While seeking for second term, several challenges came up that almost threatened his return but at the end his understanding of the political terrain helped him and he was re-elected in 2011. Today he is an outstanding member of Lagos State House of Assembly who has provided a practical and quality representation and is seeking third term.
In Ikorodu Constituency II, it has been a case of rotation among the three councils within the political demarcation. Hon. Saheed Adefarasin Hassan from Ijede was elected in 1999 and earned re-election in 2003 and completed his second term in 2007. While at the Assembly, he made his own contributions as regard law making and representation, but he was famous as Tinubu’s god son due to the role he played while in the house. After his tenure, Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA presented Hon. Rotimi Shotomiwa who only spent two years plus when he met his untimely death. As a representative of his people, Hon. Shotomiwa’s strength was in using his position to impact on his people.
After his death, ACN in Igbogbo/Baiyeku was in disarray and the PDP won the bye-election with Hon. Gbenga Oshin going to the Assembly to complete Hon. Shotomiwa’s term. In 2011, Hon. Adebimpe who contested against late Hon. Rotimi Shotomiwa for the party’s ticket in 2007 and also during the bye-election before the powers that be picked Hon. David Alagbe. She is concluding her term and also seeking return to the Assembly while Imota is agitating that it is its turn to present candidate to represent Ikorodu Constituency II.
In this report, Impact examined the two representatives seeking re-election and those that are likely to challenge them. They include, Hon. Japthet Odesanya, Barr. Lekan Ijelu, Mr Solaja-Saka Nurudeen, Comrade Kunle Matti, Barrister Rotimi Ogunleye and Mr Arogunre Yahya among others.
Impact gathered that some of these aspirants are only using their aspiration to negotiate for other positions and not really serious about contesting against the incumbents. Some of these aspirants we gathered are positioning themselves for the creation of additional Assembly seats for Ikorodu if INEC succeeds in creating more seats before 2015. While others are in the contest to position themselves for the council chairmanship positions and other appointments.
HON. SANAI OYENIRAN BOLANLE AGUNBIADE
Hon. Agunbiade was a practicing lawyer before he was elected to represent his constituents at the Lagos State House of Assembly in 2007 and re-elected in 2011. He was a former President, LASU Students’ Union; President, Association of Lagos State Indigenes in Law School; Civil/ Human Rights Activists and Community Activist. An outstanding lawmaker who has contributed immensely to the development of legislature in the state. His contributions on the floor of the Hollow Chamber has also earned him respect among his colleagues and members of the executive arm. His representation in term of giving practical representation to his constituents has also
been unmatched in Ikorodu. He introduced and sustained Free Interest Loan Scheme for Small Scale Businesses; Free 3-Month Computer Programme; Best Brains Contest; Empowered over 600 constituents through skill acquisition and provided 100 with start-up capital and materials; facilitated the renovation of schools; provided Employment for Constituents; provided over 10 Borehole water projects; Contributed to the rehabilitation of Three Federal Roads in Ikorodu; played major role in rehabilitation of Awolowo Road; Saved over 1500 houses from demolition and also facilitated so many developmental projects to Ikorodu among others. Though he has not publicly announced his intention to re-contest, but there are indications to suggest that he is perfecting this. Agunbiade been a very strategic and meticulous person we gathered is consulting with party leaders in Ikorodu, Senatorial District and at State levels. He is also consulting with different interests and youth groups. It is also gathered that some of the party leaders has offered him elevation to the Federal House of Representatives and some groups are also offering him assistance to join the governorship race, but he has succeeded in convincing them on why he should be allowed to go back to the State House of Assembly. Aside the fact that he has performed very well and loved by party leaders and people, Agunbiade is also a sitting honourable with power of incumbency which give him advantage over others. His major challenge is the turn-by-turn system in Ikorodu, but he broke the jinx in 2011 and probably will do that for the second term.
HON. (CHIEF) MRS ADEBIMPE NOSIMOT AKINSOLA (JP.)
Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola is a former Languages teacher and Community activist now representing Ikorodu Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly. Within three years, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola introduced and sustained Award of Excellence; Empowering Senior Citizens with cash; Empowered over 50 through Skill Acquisition Programme; provided employment opportunities for constituents; provided Free Medical Care for Constituents; facilitated transformers to various communities across Ikorodu Constituency II; facilitated renovation of schools among many others. As a lawmaker Hon. Akinsola has also contributed immensely to promulgation of several laws and resolutions of the State Assembly. She too has not publicly declare her intention to re-contest for Ikorodu Constituency II seat, but her body language pointing in that direction. She has used her numerous programmes in winning the hearts of many party and opinion leaders across Constituency II. She is known to be very close to APC leaders like Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, Chief Henry Ajomale and the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. The only challenge to her return is the unwritten agreement in Ikorodu Constituency II regarding rotation of the Assembly seat, an hurdle she seems to be gradually overcoming.
many party and opinion leaders across Constituency II. She is known to be very close to APC leaders like Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, Chief Henry Ajomale and the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji. The only challenge to her return is the unwritten agreement in Ikorodu Constituency II regarding rotation of the Assembly seat, an hurdle she seems to be gradually overcoming.
BARR. LEKAN IJELU
Barrister Lekan Ijelu has been legal practitioner for over 10years. He was formerly a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before joining Action Congress of Nigeria in the built-up to 2011 general elections. His elusive pursuit of Ikorodu Constituency I Assembly seat started in PDP and he contested against the incumbent in 2011 when he has barely found his ground in ACN. He is a founding member of Ikorodu Division Solution Alliance (IDSA), a socio-economic and political youth group working towards the repositioning and development of Ikorodu. Though as a lawyer, his knowledge of law is a plus to his aspiration, but he is still unpopular within the ruling party, APC and many will still find it difficult to trust him being a former PDP member. He is reputed to be very close to Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, a very influential party leader, but it is doubtful if his candidature is sellable to leaders and party people in Ikorodu Constituency I.
HON. ODESANYA JAPHET AKEEM ABOLADE
Hon. Abolade Akeem Japthet Odesanya, popularly known and called Japheth is a former Students’ Union President of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Ogun State. A journalist by profession and Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Factor Newsmagazine. He contested for the position of Ward A Councilor in 2001 on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD), but the party picked Prince Kabiru Fatuga instead. He was appointed Senior Personal assistant to the Deputy Speaker,
Lagos State House of Assembly in 2010, a position he quit to pursue his political ambition for Ikorodu Constituency Seat at the Lagos State House of Assembly. He contested for Ikorodu Constituency I position under the platform of Labour Party, but later dropped the idea and rejoined Action Congress of Nigeria before the 2011 general elections. He is currently the Secretary to the Ikorodu Local Government. Japheth is a founding member of Ikorodu Divisional Solution Alliance (IDSA). Though, he has not publicly declared his intention to contest the Assembly seat again, but IMPACT
reliably gathered that he has revived his political machine and is also embarking on consultations. His major strength we gathered, is his closeness to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the executive governor of State of Osun. It is also gathered that he is more concerned with Ikorodu Local Government Chairmanship position than the Assembly.
MR SOLAJA-SAKA NURUDEEN
Mr Solaja-Saka Nurudeen as a public servant had served in different capacity in various councils across Lagos State and currently the Council Treasurer, Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA). A very versatile man and Accountant, he is also a Senior Lecturer at Ladoke Akintola University and Lagos State Polytechnic , where he is the Coordinator of Accountancy Department, where he also lectures on Accounting, Auditing, Taxation and Managerial accounting. He is Associate Member of Nigeria Institute of Management; Certified National Accountant; Institute of Cost and Management Accountant and Institute of Chartered Taxation of Nigeria. He was recently installed as Olu-Omo of Imota by HRM Oba Ajibade Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota. Though he is the sole candidate of Oba Agoro, for the Ikorodu Constituency II sole Assembly seat, which effectively prevented the emergence of any other candidate from Imota, but his public service duty does not allow him active involvement in party politics, thus he is relatively unknown within the political circle and from all indications, the unwritten agreement which expected Imota to present the next candidate for the Assembly position may be jettisoned in
view of present realities. It is doubtful that he will leave civil service where he has attained top position for unpredictable politics. Impact also gathered that he is looking in the direction of INEC creating additional assembly Seat for Ikorodu Constituency
COMRADE KUNLE MATTI
Comrade Kunle Matti, is a native of Ikorodu and Ijede and currently the NULGE Secretary, Ikorodu Local Government. ‘Alli’ as he is fondly called is an Accountant and Manager of men and resources. Before joining the Local Government Service in 2008, has was a teacher with Stars International College, Ikorodu, where he taught Financial Accounting/Book-Keeping and later engaged as an Accountant at Med-View Airline, Ikeja. He is presently Senior Accountant with Ikorodu Local Govewrnment. Matti studied at YABATECH and later bagged Bachelor of Science, Accounting from Lagos State University, LASU and later Master of Science in Management from same school. He is an Associate Members Institute of Strategic Management and Association of National Accountant of Nigeria (ANAN). He is a founding member of Ikorodu Divisional Solution Alliance (IDSA) and not known to belong to any political party, except that he seems to be the choice of a youth group in Ijede which is considering the collapse of unwritten agreement and will be ready to present and sponsor him as a candidate from Ijede. Whether he is going to leave the public service for uncertain politics is yet to be known. He is quite popular among the youths in Ijede and Ikorodu, and a popular and active figure among National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
BARR. ROTIMI OGUNLEYE
Barr. Rotimi Ogunleye is a prince from the popular Ogunleye family of Ikorodu and cousin to the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State and Apex leader in APC, Ikorodu, Prince Abiodun Ounleye. He is Principal Counsel at Rotimi Ogunleye & Associates, and member of Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch. Barrister Rotimi Ogunleye attended University of Ife (1983), Lagos State University (LASU) 1998, where he bagged Bachelor of Laws and Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Ikeja. He was former Business Editor, Daily Times.
SURVEYOR SEGUN BENSON
Surveyor Segun Benson is a Surveyor by profession and member of the popular Benson family of Ikorodu. Benson was Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ikorodu Constituency Lagos State House of Assembly election in 2011 and lost to the incumbent. He is being rumoured to still have interest in the Assembly seat but observers and some party members told The Impact that his ambition is most unlikely since he has not been attending party functions. Little or nothing has been heard from him since his defeat at the 2011 election by Hon. Sanai O.B. Agunbiade.
PRINCE AROGUNRE ABIODUN YAHAYAH
Mr Arogunre Abiodun Yahaya is a indigene of Ikorodu and a very popular figure among youths and elderly people. He is a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He aspired to represent Ikorodu Constituency I in the Lagos State on the platform of PDP but the party picked Segun Benson as its candidate. He is always at home with young and old elements of the opposition party and also exercises very good relationship with people outside PDP.