Do you know that the fate of who will emerge as the next Ogun State governor is in the hands of about 6 Big Players in Ogun State? That is the gospel truth and we can tell you that authoritatively.
City People can reveal that apart from the grace of God, who ever will emerge eventually will need to enjoy the support of one, or some of these key stakeholders.
Who are they? They are Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, who is in firm control of Ogun APC, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo who is an influential political player in the state. Many people have learnt the bitter lesson that if you ignore OBJ in your calculation it is at your peril. Even if he doesn’t support anyone one he can become a stumbling block if he so chooses. There are others like former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who still has a firm grip of his OGD political machinery intact. There is also Senator Buruji Kashamu, the strongman of Ogun politics who has come to be seen as a cat with 9 lives. Although he is currently battling his US drug problem he has a formidable group called Omo Ilu Foundation Buruji has for the past 6 years been running Ogun PDP. Until the Ladi Adebutu faction took him on.
Others are the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona who though not a politician is influential and well connected. He is silently rooting for an Ijebu candidate. He supports Otunba Bimbo Ashiru’s bid and also Senator Mustapha from Ijebu-Igbo
His wish is to have an Ijebu son from his part of Ijebu become the next Governor. There is also former Ogun governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba who 2 years ago left for SDP but is now back to his Ogun APC base. He has his cards close to his chest. There is Sir Kessington Adebutu alias Baba Ijebu. He is also very, very relevant in the scheme of things, politically. Though, he does not belong to any political party he has friends in all the parties and he is quite influential politically. He also has a deep pocket and a war chest that only a Mike Adenuga can match. His son is running.
How will these men determine who emerges at the end of t he day? We can tell you. Amosun has a warchest, that is intimidating that he plans to deploy to fund operations. He has the party machinery and the federal might in his favour. He is close to Pres. Buhari. Though no one knows who he wants to use, the believe is that whoever he favours will enjoy all these advantages, as the person has a readymade political machinery.
Aremo Olusegun Osoba who many believe is working closely with APC National leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Although, some erroneously believe that since SDP didn’t win in Ogun in 2015 Osoba was no longer relevant in the scheme of things, City People gathered that the Egba and Ijebu highchief is seriously digging in to hijack the party machinery and effect a change at the governorship election in favour of his candidate. The believe is that Osoba and Tinubu are working together and Tinubu is building his machinery in Ogun State around Osoba.
The believe is that both Osoba and Tinubu are backing Senator Solomon Adeola popularly called YAYI.
How about Buruji? With last week’s US judgement his political fortune seems waning and it appears he is fast losing grip of political influence in the state. There are those who say Buruji will most likely be neutralized by Amosun. They are close through both are in different parties. Some others say Buruji is also trying to run for governorship or support a popular candidate.
An insider says Amosun is battle ready for 2019.
Some say Amosun may be looking for a successor in Tolu Odebiyi, his new Chief of Staff (and son of late Jonathan Odebiyi, 1st and 2nd Republic Politician.
He was a Yewa politician, Senator, and Activist. They say it might turn out to be a decoy too.
Some see the move as a ploy to bring him closer to government; understudy the political operations and intrigues, at the same time empower him for the game ahead.
So far, Governor Amosun has kept mum and he has not shown preference for any one, though many of his political associates are being rumoured to be interested in the race. Some of them are even believed to have started work on the projects.
Already names like Senator Gbolahan Dada, from Ado-Odo/Ota. He is the Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial district. He is being touted as Amosun’s political candidate, but he has not made open his ambition.
There is also Giwa Biodun Onanuga, (NUGACON) a successful real estate player and husband of current deputy governor of the state. Since his wife went into politics a few years back, he has taken an active interest in APC politics in the state. He is from Ijebu-Ode where he is a Otunba Abimbola Ashiru’s name has been mentioned. He is the current Commissioner for Commerce in the state. He is a close associate of the governor and one of his core loyalists from the popular Ashiru family in Ijebu-Ode, Otunba Bimbo has the full backing of the Awujale of Ijebuland.
The name of Senator Lekan Mustapha, a former Senator from Ogun East has also been mentioned. Though he is in PDP, the former Senator, who is from Ijebu Igbo is very close to the Governor and the |Governor has not hidden his friendship with Senator Lekan Mustapha.
When Senator Mustapha’s father died a few months back the Governor promptly visited Ijebu-Igbo, immediately he received the news. The Governor stormed Ijebu Igbo in a big way to greet him and also attended the 8-day fidan prayers.
There are those who feel that the governor is predisposed towards fielding an Ijebu candidate. We hear though he would have preferred a Yewa person to run, he does not want to ignore the moves being made by the Ijebus to make a bid for the coveted seat.
Amosun, an Owu man from Egbaland is about to end his 8-year term and the Ijebus are making a strong bid for the governorship. The Awujale of Ijebu is also in full support for an Ijebu to become the next governor.
But many people are looking beyond the governor in the direction of the strong candidates who have come out like Otunba Rotimi Paseda (from Odogbolu) who is running on the platform of UPN. At the last General Elections he came 3rd. We hear Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (from Imeko Afon) is also in the race. He ran the last time and came 2nd. He is seen as a strong candidate.
Another strong candidate is Lagos Senator, Adeola Olamilekan Solomon (popularly called Yayi). He is from Ilaro. He is equally seen as a strong candidate. He is stupendously rich. He is an Accountant like the incumbent governor and has the full backing of the godfather of APC politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Of course, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, who is a current House of Reps member has intensified his interest in the race. He has consulted widely and he is spending big. He is believed to have a big war chest. Don’t forget that he is the son of Chief Kessington Adebutu, popularly called Baba Ijebu. His father has also met with all the big stakeholders in the state from former President, Olusegun Obasanjo to the Awujale. Though Ladi is from Iperu Remo, he is coming out from Odogbolu, his mother’s hometown when he is a big chief.
Senator Olorunibe Mamora is also in the race. He was a 2-time speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly. He was a 2-term Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly. He is from Ijebu-Ife, Ogun East.
He is a strong candidate. He was for very many years an Asiwaju loyalists in Lagos until news broke early this year that all may not be well between them because his name was dropped during cabinet considerations at the federal level.
But who Amosun will support is very key. Whether the person will be coming from either Ijebu or Yewa is equally key.