When Gov. Ibikunle Amosun told everybody who cared to listen that his governorship candidate, Hon. Abdukadir Akinlade will win the March 8th governorship election in Ogun State, many thought he was joking. Now, a few days to the election the APC is panicking that truly his candidate might win as he says if care is not taken.
This is because Amosun has been campaigning vigorously round the various wards, LG and Senatorial zones. He has also made sure that the APC candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun is not allowed to use any major public space or utilities like the stadium for his campaigns. All over the state, especially Abeokuta, its only APM billboards and flexis that are visible. He has also been appearing on radio programmes and radio stations/TV to publicise Hon. Akinlade & APM activities.
To ensure that Akinlade wins, Gov. Amosun is believed to have bankrolled all the activities of the party. Amosun has also asked Akinlade to intensify his campaign. So Akinlade and his deputy have been traversing the length and breadth of the state, visiting villages, haulets, towns, house-to-house, we hear a total of about N5 billion has been earmarked as expenditure for the project.
The resounding success of Amosun at the Senate polls and that of Buhari has emboldened him to invest more in Akinlade. He thinks it is possible to make Akinlade beat Dapo Abiodun once all the variables are intact.
The governor is not hiding his preference for Akinlade. To Akinlade’s advantage is the fact that he is from Ogun West, the part of the state currently clamoring for governorship. He is a sitting House of Representatives member and so, he is likely to get widespread support among his people, who are considering him as being persecuted without justification. And with the backing of Governor Amosun, Ogun Central is equally sure and on lockdown for him.
In other words, the battleground for him will be OGUN East. So, expectedly, he would simply join other candidates to slug it out in the east. The calculation in his camp is that he would hold OGUN West to himself, while Governor Amosun will hold OGUN Central for him. So whatever he gets in the East, perhaps through alliances with the like of Adebutu, would only come as an addition for him.
That calculation was before the presidential election as the party with Governor Amosun have gone back to the drawing board to strategize on how to win the election in the Central, East and West, since the party didn’t do well in the last election. That is why Governor Amosun has re-intensified his campaign with APM, not minding the fact that his party has a candidate whom he is expected to support.
Fondly called Tripple A Hon. Akinlade is also seeking to ride on the “Yewa L’okan” agenda. He was born on the 9th of October 1969 to the Akinlade family of Ipadilpopo Compound in Agosasa, Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State. As a young boy, Adekunle spent his early formative years travelling across the country with his father, which informed his non-tribal personality in years later. He attended Children House School and St. Anne’s Primary School both in Ibara Abeokuta before proceeding to Army Children Primary School, Akure where he completed his primary education.
Adekunle Akinlade moved to Ilaro in 1982 to live with Chief John Olaifa, his paternal uncle, a devoted Muslim and disciplinarian. While in Ilaro, he was enrolled into Emmanuel Comprehensive High School Ilaro and later Yewa High School Ajilete from where he obtained his WAEC in 1988.
He had a short stint at College of Preliminary Studies, Yola for his A’Level. Adekunle was admitted to Lagos State University (LASU) as a direct entry student in 1991 to study Political Science. As an ardent believer in equity and justice, he contested the Students’ Union President seat of LASU at the height of political activism of the early 1990s. Although he did not win, Adekunle Akinlade continued to play very active role, in the University’s political space. Upon graduation in 1995, he proceeded to observe the mandatory one-year NYSC scheme. It was while serving at NNPC Staff School Warri, Delta State that Adekunle Akinlade first cut his teeth in business with a $120 (One Hundred and Twenty USD) assignment to secure flight reservations and this became the seed over the next four years before relocating to the UK in the year 2000.
While in the UK, he enrolled for a short course on Commodity Trading and consequently established Clevland Investment Management Limited, which traded in commodities and other derivatives. After spending almost seven years in the UK, Adekunle Akinlade returned to Nigeria in 2007.
In collaboration with other software developers, Clevland launched the VCHEKMOBILETM platform, a revenue automation data processing system that enables State Governments to track, collate and collect Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) efficiently. The Company currently provides services across the country. Adekunle Akinlade sits on the board of several companies in Nigeria and patrons various associations in Yewa land. He was the MD/CEO of Clevland Investment Management Limited until his appointment as Senior Special Assistant to Governor Amosun on Taxation & Revenue between 2011 and 2014.
In this capacity, Adekunle Akinlade oversaw the Directorate of other Taxes at the Board of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Ogun State. Adekunle Akinlade was redeployed in January 2014 to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development where he displayed exceptional skills before resigning in October of the same year to contest the House of Representatives seat. He was the National Coordinator of Yewa/Awori Concerned Professional (YACP) – an Ogun West pressure group. He served in the transition committee on Finance of Sen. Ibikunle Amosun in 2011. Adekunle Akinlade holds a degree in Political Science from Lagos State University. He is an alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS) and John Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA. He attended the 2013 Entrepreneurship short study course at the University of Wisconsin USA. He is a native of Agosasa in Ipokia Local Government area of Ogun State.