Although, many will say that it is too early to comment or give analysis on the current political situation, however, the ongoing activities towards the 2023 general elections, are enough reasons to do so as many gladiators and new entrants are now throwing their caps into the ring to contest for elective positions in the coming general elections.
The numbers of aspirants that have openly showed their interest to contest for one elective post or the other and many others that are either consulting or preparing to make their aspirations known to the public are also growing by the day. The ongoing battle for the Assembly position in Ikorodu Constituency II is a case study in this regard.
Traditionally, the Assembly seat in Ikorodu Constituency II is based on a rotational arrangement among the three major towns, (now Local Council Development Areas). This arrangement, according to report, is an unwritten agreement among the three towns to rotate the assembly seat among themselves.
When the Ijede town was favoured to have a shot at the coveted position at the beginning of this present democratic experience in 1999, it was based on many factors, chiefly because the town, popularly known as ‘Luwasa’, is an important community as far as Ikorodu Constituency 2 is concerned.
Ijede happens to be the headquarters of the ill – fated Irepodun Local Government which was supposed to be the second council area to be created out of the lkorodu Local Government but the plan failed due to self – political destruction by those that should have supported the move decided to work against it. Though, the issue has since become history but the entire division is, today, still suffering from the aftermath.
It was Hon. Saheed Adefarasin Hassan, a Public Administration and Insurance expert, that was favoured in 1999 to represent the constituency at the Assembly and also earned second term ticket because he acted in line with the party dictates and also preference of the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It is also important to note that Hon. Hassan was also popular and love by the leaders and electorates in ikorodu Constituency II, especially in his home town, Ijede.
Hon. Saheed Hassan eventually became the Chairman , Ijede LCDA, after his eight year tenure in the House and also served a two term .
Thus, the unwritten agreement that each of the three major entities that the Ikorodu Constituency II will have two terms of four years each at the Lagos State House of Assembly slot.
It was the turn of Igbogbo (now, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA) after the Ijede had produced the occupant for the position for eight years (1999 – 2007). The two major contenders for the position in lgbogbo then were late Hon. Rotimi Olasiji Sotonwa and Chief (Hon.) Mrs Adebimpe Nosimot Akinsola.
Those that are in the know of the political intrigues then would recall that Hon. Akinsola got the Action Congress (AC) form 001 as the candidate of the party but was later recalled and was given to Hon. Sotomiwa. After going back and forth, the party decided to allow Hon. Rotimi Sotomiwa represent the Ikorodu Constituency II at the State Assembly.
Unfortunately, Hon. Sotomiwa, a popular grassroots politician and great political strategist of his time, was unable to complete his first term as he became the first sitting lawmaker to die in the Lagos State House of Assembly and his burial was a glorious exit as he was given a state burial.
In the bye – election that followed, the party ignored Hon. Akinsola who contested for the position against Hon. Sotomiwa, on the argument that someone from the late lawmaker’s political circle should be picked and the responsibility fell on Mr David Alagbe, a thorough professional and popular figure. However, Alagbe lost the bye – election to the PDP candidate, Hon. Gbenga Oshin who completed late Sotomiwa’s first term in 2011. This also is now history.
Destiny, however, favoured Hon. Akinsola who eventually got elected as lawmaker representing lkorodu Constituency ll in 2011 through the help of some powerful political bigwigs, traditional chieftains and few others. She used a very small but effective and impactful team for her campaign. In addition, her background and her engagement in community activities in her early years also played a major role in her acceptance then.
Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola represented the Ikorodu Constituency II between 2011 and 2015 to complete the second term for Igbogbo in the arrangement setting for the Ikorodu Constituency II Assembly seat.
Some said that she attempted to get a second term which would have made it twelve years for Igbogbo against the agreed arrangement but she never made any public pronouncement about this and eventually, the seat expectedly moved to Imota being the third major town in the constituency, while Hon. Akinsola, a teacher turned lawmaker, became the Special Adviser on Arts & Culture to Gov. Akiwunmi Ambode and later, acting Commissioner for Tourism and Special Adviser on Arts & Culture.
The decision of who to represent Imota was easy because of the influence of the Imota monarch, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, the Ranodu of Imota, who himself served as a Councillor for three terms in the old Ikorodu Local Government, before he became the Olisa of Imota and later, the Ranodu of Imota.
The monarch favoured Hon. Nurudeen Saka Solaja, a Chartered Accountant who was a top Local Government staff and a Council Treasurer at that time.
The Imota born council treasurer turned politician and lawmaker completed his first term between 2015 and 2019 and he sought re – election which he won for the second term in 2019.
He is now in the third year of his second term of four years in the Lagos State House of Assembly. He is expected to complete his second term of eight years in 2023 when the arrangement is expected to go back to ljede where it all started.
However, many are saying that Solaja’s body language depicts that he would seek a third term to break the rotational arrangement. How true this is a matter that only time can tell. But will Ijede and Igbogbo accept the discontinuation of the rotational arrangement jointly put in place for smooth succession to the Assembly seat? That is a big question that will be answered in a matter of months.
Will 2023 End the Rotational Arrangement ln Ikorodu Constituency II Or Not?
Going by the preparations of interested aspirants in Ijede LCDA who have made their interests in the seat public or others that are still warming up, coupled with the reactions of stakeholders from Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, there may be no end in sight to the rotational system.
Notwithstanding, some electorates are of the view that the rotational system is not favourable to the constituency anymore and that it should be jettisoned.
As at the time of filing this report, traditional institutions and political bigwigs within the Ijede and Egbin were said to be interested in the Assembly seat and THE IMPACT gathered that they are making necessary contacts to bring the coveted seat back to Ijede.
We also gathered that those who are interested in the position in ljede are; the immediate past Chairman, Ijede LCDA, Hon. Fathiu and the former Secretary to the Ijede LCDA and a teacher, Mr Kunle Olambiwonnu.
Also in the race are Mr Hameed Olalekan Aroyewun, former Commissioner nominee from Ikorodu Division for the cabinet of Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu and a young political mobiliser, Mr Kunle Matti, a senior Local Government employee who is very popular among the people, Mr Hakeem Babajide Taoreed and Mr Agorom a brother to the former Council Leader, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA.
It was also gathered that pressure is being mount on Alhaji Lanre Kuye, the Director, Information & PRO, Lagos State Polytechnic and former Secretary to Ijede LCDA, to join the race.
Also, rumours are making the rounds that the former aspirant for the Ijede LCDA Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer, Western Funeral Limited, Mr Oluwatosin Onamade, may also join the growing list of aspirants from Ijede for the Ikorodu Constituency 2 Assembly seat.
THE IMPACT also learnt that there are several others who are yet to make their aspirations public.