•Set To Battle The Incumbent, Sen TOLU ODEBIYI
Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance has finally decided to answer the call of his people in Ogun West Senatorial District, by heeding their clarion call for him to run for the seat of Ogun West Senatorial District, in the 2023 election.
At a mammoth rally in Ilaro last week, organized by the West-to-West Convergence for Dapo Abiodun(W2W4DA) group, the senator said he is heeding the clarion call of his people to return home to contribute to the development of his people, as he has done for Lagos West as their senator in the last 6 years and counting.
“I want to thank God Almighty and the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, my leader and the governor and all other leaders from Ogun West for their interest in me and their good wishes leading to the event of today in Ilaro, the administrative headquarters of Ogun West. I am officially declaring to heed their call as their son to run as a candidate for Ogun West Senatorial District in the 2023 election” Senator Adeola told the enthusiastic crowd.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance declared that as the W2W4DA has stated, there is no vacancy in Oke Mosan in 2023 as Prince Dapo Abiodun is returning for a second term based on his achievements so far in his first term adding that the style of governance of the governor has ensured that all parts of Ogun State to the ward level has one development project or another to point to unlike what happened in the past with concentration of multi-billion-naira projects in some areas.
The Senator disclosed that over the years, he has been contributing to the development of Ogun West Senatorial district through personal efforts and facilitation of projects which will increase in leaps and bounds if he is eventually elected as the senator representing Ogun West in the Red Chamber.
“I was the major donator to the multi-million- naira electrification of the College of Agriculture, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Aiyetoro Campus, I facilitated the construction of a modern library in the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro as well as the ultra-modern community multi-purpose pavilion at Asade Agunloye Pavilion, Empire Ground, Ilaro and numerous empowerments in skills acquisitions, training and grants for many indigenes. As a ranking senator, all these will come in multiples for Ogun West just as I am doing for Lagos West at present” he stated.
Earlier on in a welcome address, Dr Kunle Salako, the Coordinator of W2W4DA said similar rallies endorsing a second term for Prince Abiodun and for Senator Adeola to run as Ogun West Senator has been held at Imeko-Afon, Yewa North, Ado Odo-Ota, Ipokia LGAs adding that this one in Yewa South is the grand finale as the home LGA of Senator Adeola.
Among the leaders that spoke in support of the coordinator at the event is Hon. Muftau Ajibola, a second republic legislator in Ogun state, Chief (Mrs) Iyabo Apampa, former chairman of Ogun- Osun River Basin Development Authority, Hon. Olu Agemo, former chairman of Ogun State Agro-Services Commission, Hon. Samuel Aiyedogbo, former Commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative in Ogun State, Hon. Waliu Taiwo, former Hon Commissioner for Works, Agriculture and Housing in Ogun State and chairman Ogun State House of Assembly Commission and Hon M.O Obanla, former chairman Ipokia LGA.
Others are Hon. Gabriel Ogunyomi, chairman Yewa North LGA, Hon. Wale Agbetokun, chairman Ipokia LGA,Alhaji Yahaya Fadipe, chairman Imeko Afon LGA, Hon Lateef Salami, chairman, Yewa South LGA, Hon.(Mrs) A. Animashaun representing Hon. Sherif Musa, Chairman Ado Odo Ota LGA, Hon Sherif Yusuf, Majority Leader of Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Muse Lamidi, (APC, Ado Odo Ota State Constituency 2), Hon. Adegoke Adeyanju, (APC, Yewa North State Constituency 1), Hon. Haruna Egungbohun (APC, Yewa North State Constituency 2), Hon. Jemili Akingbade, (APC, Imeko Afon State Constituency, Hon. Latifat Ajayi (APC, Yewa South) and 59 Councilors from the 5 LGAs of Ogun West Senatorial District.
Recall the City People was the first to announce that Yayi was going to run for Ogun West. As it is the race for the 2023 Senate Seat in Ogun West promises to be very tough. For now, there are 2 strong contenders. One is Senator Yayi and the other is GNI. City People can authoritatively reveal that Yayi, a Lagos Senator, has made up his mind to cross over to Ogun to run for Ogun West. And he has the backing of Gov. Dapo who is also depending on Yayi to secure that zone for his 2nd term guber ambition. It is going to be a battleground for the ongoing fight between Gov. Dapo and Amosun. While Gov. Dapo is backing Yayi and has made his stand clear, Amosun is backing Tolu Odebiyi, the incumbent, who is a close associate of his. He was Amosun’s Chief of Staff when he was Governor. He is going for 2nd term.
There is also GNI who is interested in the slot. He is also Gov. Dapo’s loyalist and VP Osinbajo’s political ally. The 3 of them are all in APC. So, the BIG question is: who will get the Ogun West Senatorial APC ticket?
Let’s quickly tell you about the incumbent, Tolulope Odebiyi who was elected to the Ogun West Senatorial Seat in 2019. He previously served as the Chief of Staff to Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
Odebiyi is a graduate of Government College, Ibadan and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2018, he rejected the idea of Governor Amosun to leave his political party, All Progressive Congress for another saying he needed to protect his political pedigree.
Odebiyi is the son of Kemi and Jonathan Odebiyi. Odebiyi’s father was a former Senator and his mother was a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission. He earned a B.Sc. degree in Building Construction and Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston
Odebiyi gained his elementary education at All Saints Primary School in Ibadan before attending Government College in Ibadan to acquire his Higher School certificate. He left the shores of Nigeria to further his education in the United States of America.
He later started his professional career in Real Estate and later ventured into politics. After his education, Odebiyi started out in real estate, both internationally in the USA and locally in Nigeria. Prior to his political appointment, he served as the managing director of Agbara Estates Limited. He sits on the board of Travant Real Estate, Stururacasa Nigeria Limited, Travfirst Nigeria Limited and others.
Odebiyi has a strong politically inclined background. His father, Jonathan Odebiyi, was the Minority leader in the 2nd Republic Senate on the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria. He previously served as permanent secretary in the office of Chief Of Staff, Ogun state Governor’s office in 2006 before being appointed Chief of Staff by Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s administration.
His desire to run for Senate in 2015 was suppressed by his political party. He initially decided to run for Governor of the state in the 2019 elections but stepped down. He resigned his position as Chief of Staff in 2018 to run for the Ogun West senate seat.
In the 2019 general elections, he contested the Ogun West senatorial seat under the All Progressive Congress (APC) and won. He got the highest vote of 58,452 compared to his closest rivals, the candidate of the Allied People’s Movement who got 48,611 and the People’s Democratic Party with 43,454 votes.
Odebiyi is from Iboro in Ogun state.
Come 2023, he will be facing Yayi in a mother of all battles. For those who are in the know politically in Ogun State, the slogan “West to West” being chanted by Senator Yayi’s political camp in the state is not new, although it might not be clear to people who are not really into Ogun politics.
It is simply a coinage for an agenda by a sitting Senator representing Lagos West, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, popularly known as Yayi, to cross to Ogun West by 2023, to contest, and become the next Senator to represent the district in Abuja. And since he would be crossing from Lagos West to Ogun West, his political minders created the slogan “West to West” to push the agenda.
It would be recalled that prior to the 2019 election, differences between Amosun, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Osoba came to the fore, when the Tinubu/Osoba camp allegedly settled for a political warhorse, Yayi, an indigene of the Yewa zone, to succeed Amosun.
Yayi’s strong impact, especially his hold on the people at the grassroots, who had lost confidence in Amosun’s administration then, led to a mass exodus of the then governor’s supporters to Yayi’s camp.
The Lagos Senator was touted as one of the aspirants that could upset Amosun’s succession plans, particularly his desire to foist his preferred candidate on Ogun APC. However, in a sudden about-face, the Senator withdrew from the race, choosing instead to pursue his re-election to the Red Chamber of the National Assembly.
Immediately Yayi withdrew from the race, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who hails from Ogun East came into the picture and built his campaign team on the existing structure of Yayi, which some political watchers claimed was too late for the Amosun camp to realize.
After this, Amosun succeeded in picking Abdulkadir Adekunle Akinlade (Triple-A), also a Yewa indigene, as his anointed candidate to succeed him.
But, in the build-up to the election, when the heat became too hot for him within APC, the former member of the House of Representatives defected to APM and eventually lost the gubernatorial contest to Abiodun. He, however, staged a return to the party alongside his followers
Senator Yayi has been very close to his people in Yewa, even as he remains close to his people in Lagos West.
It has also been gathered that the Senator currently representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, popularly called TOD, has also been gearing up with his political followers to do all it takes for him to return back to the office in 2023. TOD, who desires another term as a Senator to represent his people in Ogun West, would have to lose out for Yayi’s West to West agenda to sail through
If the “West to West” agenda flies, there is a serious political battle ahead of the 2 of them, as one would have to fail at his schemings for the other to succeed.
And if the different political camps they both currently belong to within the same All Progressives Congress (APC), is anything to go by, a lot of political intrigues would still be playing out as the country moves towards the 2023 General Elections. While Yayi belongs to the political camp of the sitting State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, TOD arguably belongs to the political camp of the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who is currently representing Ogun Central in the Red Chamber. And it should be noted that the sitting Governor and Amosun don’t see eye to eye.
Ogun West would no doubt be a battleground.