Kunle Adelabu & Wale Jagun
Another political season is here when politicians jostle for offices at the National and State levels, with promises that they would give adequate and impactful representation to the people. Although the General Election is still about a year away, the fight to get party tickets, which many see as the most important task, has commenced.
As expected, politicians started converging, aligning, re – aligning, plotting, networking and maneuvering to outdo each other and emerged as the ruling party’s, All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate. The perception that once they win this, especially in Lagos, the general election will just be a walkover makes the inner politicking more deadly, exhilarating, tasky, time and energy consuming, tense and at same time, interesting.
In quest to emerge as the flag bearer of the APC, the last one month has witnessed many aspirants coming into the race to challenge the incumbent who is serving for the fourth term as the representative of Ikorodu Constituency I. More who are consulting are still expected to join the race.
The incumbent, Hon. Sanai Oyeniran Bolanle Agunbiade, the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and the Opomulero of Ikorodu Kingdom, is expected to face another political warfare of his life as it has been the case since 2007 when he first emerged as the party’s candidate and eventually won the election.
The clamour, in certain quarters, is that Hon. Agunbiade, who emerged as the Chairman, Nigerian Majority Leaders Forum, through hard work, commitment and legislative competence which he has been exhibiting in the Lagos Assembly and later extended to Parliaments in the six States in the Southwest and the nation at large, should vacate the seat for others and probably contest for higher position, but in other sections, they are of the opinion that his experience and competence are still very much needed.
Although, he has not announced that he will be running for the fifth term, but if he eventually decides, he will be contending with powerful and dynamic forces, many of which is well familiar with since 2007.
Aside from the gladiators that have been challenging the incumbent for many years, he will also have to contend with younger aspirants who are also keen on wrestling the seat from him.
One of those that are aspiring to take the seat from the Majority Leader is Gbolahan Ogunleye, the son of the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye. THE IMPACT gathered that Gbolahan will make his intention public soon.
It was gathered that his father, who is a chieftain of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), the highest decision making body in the state and Apex leader in Ikorodu Division APC, has told many that his support this time around will be for his son and no other.
This, we gathered, has destabilized some of the aspirants that received the support and backing of the former Deputy Governor in the last general elections and they are probably reconsidering their aspiration.
Gbolahan served as the Sole Administrator of Ikorodu Local Government before the emergence of Hon. Wasiu Adeshina as Chairman.
Another major contender is Mr Oluwatoyin Gafaar Bolowotan, the Director – General, Lagos State Sports Commission who aspired for the much coveted seat in 2019.
THE IMPACT gathered that Bolowotan, who said few months that he would not be contesting for the Assembly seat this time around, may have changed his mind to contest due to the pressure on him.
His supporters have been propagating his ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda, the same mantra he used in his campaign when he last aspired for the seat.
He has since been rebuilding his political base and mobilising the grassroots for the purpose.
The sport administrator, has made his mark in the sporting sector, especially since he emerged as the Director – General of the Sports Commission.
THE IMPACT gathered that some of his lieutenants are already protesting against Prince Ogunleye’s plan to support his own son.
Another factor is that, as a political office holder, Bolowotan is also expected to resign his appointment if he is going to contest for the Ikorodu Constituency I seat, in accordance with the decision of the party at its recently concluded National Convention in Abuja.
In all, Bolowotan is a formidable aspirant with strong financial muscle and backing.
Also in contention for the Assembly seat is Hon. Muhydeen Adeola Jokomba, a former two – term Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA.
Jokomba, who has a good track record as a former political office holder, aspired to represent the people of Ikorodu Constituency l in 2019, but the incumbent was favoured.
He’s one of the first set of aspirants that declared their intention to contest for the Assembly seat.
Jokomba is not only popular in the grassroots but also well connected with the party structure.
The former Council boss has Masters in Social Work – Lagos State University (LASU) and Clinical Psychology – Western Ville University, San Diego, California, USA. He’s also pursuing his Doctorate degree in Social Work at the Lagos State University (LASU).
Another aspirant jostling to displace the incumbent is a young Information Technology (IT) and entrepreneur, Mr Bolaji Isikalu.
The aspirant, who made his presence felt in a very big way, especially on social media, is campaigning based on the theme, “SHIFT’.
To Isikalu, it’s time for a generational shift from the old political war horse to younger ones.
Isikalu is a young entrepreneur, information technology expert and media consultant.
The young lad, who has been handling jobs for many organisations (both private and public) and also individuals, is bringing an innovative campaign strategy into the game.
The son of late Asiwaju Adeyemi Wake-Up is another young and enterprising lad that is interested in unseating Hon. Agunbiade.
Prince Eniola ‘Wake – Up’ Adeyemi, is a young entrepreneur and investor who, like his late father, has a good grasp of the grassroots.
He is the most feasible aspirant in terms of public awareness going by the presence of his posters at every nook and cranny of Ikorodu. He’s also among the aspirants that announced their interest early and mobilizing for support.
He is a young man that is independent and always goes for what he desires with determination and zeal.
He has massive followership among youths in Ikorodu.
Eniola, we also gathered, has the required connections in the state and Abuja where he has his businesses, to pull strings for him.
Mr Yinka Majekodunmi, popularly called ‘Majek’, is another aspirant who is aspiring to unseat the incumbent.
He aspired for the same position in 2019 when he exhibited his seriousness in the race by taking his campaign everywhere.
He was one of the few aspirants that accepted the decision of the party and that of the people, after the incumbent emerged as the candidate of the APC.
He is back in the game to continue from where he stopped and has been mobilizing and canvassing for support.
Majek is currently a senior official of the Lagos State lnternal Revenue Service (LIRS).
Comrade Samson Bisiriyu is the Executive Director, Ikorodu Division Youth Initiative (IDYI) and the Convener, #Not TooYoungToRun in Ikorodu Division.
Samson is a grassroots mobiliser, youth leader and agent of youth empowerment.
He has used his capacity and connections to facilitate various empowerment progammes and equipment for trained youths to start their businesses across the Ikorodu Division.
He is also in the service of the Lagos State Internal Generated Revenue.
A major point of his campaign, aside showing that youths must be considered for elective positions, is to awaken the consciousness of the people of Ikorodu West and Ikorodu North LCDAs to what he termed the dominance of Ikorodu (Central) LG, regarding the Assembly seat.
He has been putting the issue of two other councils been considered for the seat in front burner in his campaign.
Mr Nurudeen Yekinni Agbaje, popularly called ‘Nero’, is another aspirant who has been nursing the intention to unseat Hon. Agunbiade.
Nero is a popular businessman and land developer. He is the brain behind the development of the highbrow Elepe Estate in Gbasemo, Aga.
He pooled massive crowd, especially among the youths in the grassroots, in 2019, when he aspired to represent the Ikorodu people.
He is also expected to give the incumbent stiff challenge this time around.
Comrade Adeleke ‘Sayleke’ Akadiri is another aspirant in the race.
He was former Students’ Union President and Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN(, Ikorodu chapter.
Adeleke also served as the Director – General, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina Campaign in the last LG election.
He is a businessman and community mobiliser.
Among others also aspiring for the Ikorodu Constituency I seat is Babawale Bisiriyu Alogba.
More aspirants are expected to make their intention public while some others are also expected to join the race