Asipa Kaoli, Abiru, Sunmi Intensify Senatorial Campaigns, Consultations

Kunle Adelabu

-Sir Elesho appeals to party structure to compensate Ikorodu with Senatorial seat

Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, Otunba Ganiyu Abiru and Hon. Sunmi Odesanya

Aspirants for the Senatorial bye – election from Ikorodu Division part of the Lagos East Senatorial District have started making their intentions public as political parties and electorates await the announcement by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) on the date and guidelines for the bye – election.

The death of the former occupant of the seat in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, Sen. Adebayo Osinowo, left a vacuum which must be filled within 90 days.

There are other parts of the Senatorial District where candidates are also eligible to vie for the position but Ikorodu seems to have more aspirants jostling for the much coveted position.

Among these aspirants from Ikorodu, three are from the All Progressives Congress (APC), namely Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, APC Vice Chairman, Lagos East Senatorial District and former Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Olanrewaju Sunmi Odesanya, former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly Commission and  Otunba Olusegun Abiru, Chairman, Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS) and a retired Clerk/Permanent Secretary, Lagos State House of Assembly, appear to have not only made their intentions know to those that matter in the party, but have also started campaigning publicly.

THE IMPACT gathered that the three aspirants have made wide consultations, especially with the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju  Bola Tinubu, and other stakeholders within the party and have been given the green light to declare their interests.

It was gathered that Asipa Kaoli and Otunba Abiru have also started making consultations with their links outside Ikorodu Division.

While Otunba Abiru and Hon. Sunmi have started their campaigns on social media about two weeks, Asipa Kaoli began his this weekend.

Declarations by these three politicians have also been generating alignment and re-alignement of forces with politicians and other residents of the Division lining – up behind their choice candidates and helping in projecting them.

While Otunba Abiru has re-ignited his formidable, youthful and scientific think-tank that worked for him when he aspired for same seat during the 2019 general elections, it was also gathered that his contacts and campaign structures in Epe/Ibeju – Lekki and Kosofe/Somolu axis of the Senatorial District are also on the standby.

THE IMPACT also gathered that many cultural groups, social clubs and youth organizations which Otunba Abiru has good rapport with have also declared their support for his aspiration.

Otunba Abiru’s ambition is also currently enjoying good mentioning in the national and community media platforms courtesy of his impactful campaign for the position in 2018.

Asipa Kaoli, we gathered, will rely heavily on the existing party structure for his campaign. As a party leader whom many political office holders are also loyal to, THE IMPACT also gathered that some of them would deploy their respective campaign platforms for Asipa Kaoli’s use when the campaign is in full swing.

As the current Vice Chairman of the ruling party in the Lagos East, Asipa Kaoli is also expected to enjoy massive support from the party organs.

We also gathered that his aspiration has received the endorsement of the traditional institutions in the Division.

In the case of the one – term Lagos Assembly member, Hon. Sunmi, we gathered that the youthful politician is also reviving his ‘Sunmi ni’ and ‘Lowokan’ political structures.

He is also said to be counting on his intellectual based and politically enlightened friends who are in very strategic positions in government and private sectors.

Another structure that we gathered Sunmi is deploying for his campaign is his politically inclined family members who have been parts of many campaign successes over time.

Others that are being projected or showing interests for the post are Hon. Babajimi Benson, member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, former Head of Service, Lagos State and Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, former Lagos State Acting Commissioner for Tourism, among others who are yet to show their interest for the Senatorial position publicly.

THE IMPACT further gathered that one of the two sitting representatives at the House of Representatives and the Lagos State House of Assembly that are being projected to move up the ladder to occupy the vacant position have been telling his political associates and others that he is not interested in the Senatorial position.

It was gathered that the lawmaker’s lack of interest despite been prevailed upon to go into the contest is because of his closeness to late Sen. Osinowo and family and also due to other factors.

It was also gathered that those that are yet to declare their intention are waiting for the party, especially the body language of the major determinant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and other major chieftains of the party, before they would openly venture into the contest.

Meanwhile, Sir (Otunba) Ayodele Elesho, the Agbaakin of Ikorodu Kingdom and former Commissioner for Information, Culture & Sports, Lagos State, has appealed to the ruling party to allow Ikorodu produce the candidate for the Senatorial position.

The former Commissioner, who said that he is also qualified for the position but not interested at the moment, made the appeal in an interview with THE IMPACT on Saturday (yesterday).

“I am in support of the clamour for Ikorodu to produce the next Senator that will represent the Lagos East Senatorial District. The only Ikorodu person that has represented the District at the Senate is Sen. Adeseye Kingsley Ogunlewe and that was between 1999 and 2003 under the Alliance for Democracy. Between that period and now, that position has been rotating between Epe and Kosofe axis, and we feel that after 17 years, it should be reverted to Ikorodu”, Otunba Elesho clamoured.

The former Commissioner, while charging decision makers within the ruling party to compensate Ikorodu Division with the Senatorial seat for her loyalty over time, also listed some qualified individuals that the party can consider for the position.

“Ikorodu has personalities and highly qualified professionals and I can count many of them from my finger tips. Among them are Olusegun Abiru who aspired during the last general elections,  Sunmi Odesanya, Kaoli Olusanya and Segun Ogunlewe. l am also prima facie qualified to be at the Senate even though l am not interested for now. There is also Adebimpe Akinsola and lots of others in the Division.

“Give us mandate to produce a person that would be acceptable to the whole of our District and we would do that. They can be rest assured about that. We have our in- house arrangement that we can use in picking somebody to represent us. Enough of this short-changing”, he said.

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