The coast is now getting clearer as murmurings and whisperings which have pervaded Ikorodu division political space for quite some time now are beginning to take shape as aspirants have started showing interests for political positions despite incumbents still having more than one year to complete their tenures.
As expected, the political gladiators are gradually recruiting foot soldiers and making consultations for alignment in preparation for the 2019 political warfare, while new entrants are showing interests and also striving for political recognitions that would give them a level playing ground with their established counterparts who would be fighting for the three positions that might be available in the division come 2019.
These positions are the two State Assembly seats and one House of Representatives seat which are presently occupied by Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (representing Ikorodu Constituency I) Hon. Nurudeen Solaja, (representing Ikorodu Constituency II) and Hon. Babajimi Benson (representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency) respectively .
Another political seat which Ikorodu may battle three other areas (Kosofe,Somolu and Epe) for is the Lagos East Senatorial position. But according to report gathered as at the time of going to press,nobody was showing interest except a young politician.
Though, none of the occupant of the three lawmaking seats has publicly declared interest to seek re-election, their body languages and engagements in the recent time have, however , indicated that they are not tired yet.
Hon. Agunbiade is running a third term as a lawmaker, having being given the mandate by the people of his constituency in 2007 – 2011, re-elected for a second term between 2011 and 2015 while the mandate was again renewed in 2015. The popular and performing politician is presently the Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, the highest political office an Ikorodu person would occupy since 2007 when Prince Abiodun Ogunleye was made the Deputy Governor after the impeachment of Otunba Femi Pedro who was the sitting deputy governor then.
As at the time of writing the piece, some of the eleven aspirants who vied for the State’s Assembly position of Constituency I have started showing interest. As at the last check, Mr Lateef Anifowoshe (Oloye) and Mr Nurudeen Yekinni (Nero) have shown interests to once again vie for the position.
Another former aspirant that may join the contest for the Ikorodu Constituency position is Barr. Lekan Ijelu.
Also, Hon. Adeola Jokomba,a two term former Chairman, Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area and Mr Gafaar Shakiru Oluwatoyin, owner of Bolowotan Football Club and a director with Prime Sign are also said to be making serious consultations and in fact, assembling foot soldiers to take over from Hon. Agunbiade in 2019.
While Mr Gafaar is said to be making consultations and probably putting in place his campaign structure, Hon. Jokomba seemed to have concluded his preliminary consultations and has started campaigning, especially on social media.
Others who are preparing to dislodge Hon. Agunbiade include a young Political Science graduate of Lagos State University, Mr Hamzat Jimoh and Mr Yinka Majekodunmi.
Ordinarily, the State Assembly seat in Ikorodu Constituency II should have been a settled case with the incumbent, Hon. Solaja, having an easy ride to a second term in the State’s hallow chamber due to an age-long unwritten rotational arrangement among the three Local Government Areas in the constituency – Igbogbo, Ijede and Imota, which implies that representative occupying the seat from each of the council will spend uninterrupted terms , but that status quo seems to be under threat as some challengers are bracing up to vie for the position. And in politics, especially the ever unpredictable Nigeria politics, anything is possible and nothing is certain or assured until it is.
Among those who are battle ready to challenge the status quo is Mr Ola-Oluwa, popularly called ‘Ogo for Real’ from Ijede. He has not only been making consultations, he has also been spreading his campaign messages on the social media.
For the Federal House of Representatives seat, there seems to be nobody challenging the incumbent, Hon. Babajimi Benson yet. However, it might seem too early to conclude that the performing and well loved federal lawmaker would enjoy an unopposed candidacy when he eventually declare his ambition to run for a second term as a lot can still happen between now and 2019 depending on the prevailing situation.
Presently, Lanre Sanusi,a young politician popularly called ‘PLS’, is the only person from Ikorodu division that is showing interest in challenging whoever rear his/her head for the Lagos East Senatorial position on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The young politician had aspired for the Ikorodu Federal Seat in 2015 but lost to the incumbent. He has, however, been making consultations and building political platforms across the senatorial district. But some political analysts are of the view that he may eventually contested for other positions.
Aside the gladiators and new entrants, there are also fillers that the newly appointed Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development in the State, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye may throw his hats in the ring for the Lagos State House of Assembly seat.
Also, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, the immediate past Special Adviser on Housing, Hon. Sunmi Odesanya, Commissioner I, Lagos State Assembly Commission and former Member, Lagos State House of Assembly may also join the race
Another popular figure that may also likely join the political is Otunba Saheed Ibikunle, former Senior Special Assistant to the Governor Fashola on Educational Management and former Secretary to the Ikorodu Local Government.
If what core members of Omoluabi organization, his political platform, are posting on the social media is anything to by, then, Otunba Ibikunle may once again run for political office several years after the Omoluabi/Omo Daada fierce contest for the Ikorodu Local Government Chairmanship position.
With the look of things presently, this much awaited battle for the political positions may sadly end up as an all APC affair, unless there is a sudden resurgence on the part of the opposition parties which currently seem to have been battered into a state of coma and silence!