Igbogbo/Bayeku Decides 2017: Who Holds The Ace As Stakeholders, Aspirants Settle For Primary Election
Kunle Adelabu & Wale Jagun.
The clamour for primary elections by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across Ikorodu division seems to be gaining ground as more council areas are opting for a democratic process in picking the party’s candidates for the coming local government elections.
After weeks of political permutations, high level maneuvering and serious campaigns, it seems that the 156 delegates will also be having their ways and says come May 27, 2017, as they would be deciding the fates of the three aspirants jostling to occupy the Chairmanship position of the Igbogbo/Baiyeku Local Council Development Area(LCDA).
At a recent stakeholders’ meeting held at Asiwaju Basorun’s house to pick a consensus candidate for the chairmanship position were Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun, a former Secretary to the State Government and state chieftain of the party, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, a former Commissioner and deputy Apex leader in Ikorodu Division, Chief Dele Olowu, a chieftain of the party in the division, Hon. Babajimi Benson, member, Federal House of Representatives representing the Ikorodu Federal Constituency and Hon. (Chief) Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, acting Commissioner Tourism/Special Adviser on Arts & Culture.
Others were Prince Segun Ogunlewe, former Head of Service, Chief Olatunji Bakare, former Vice Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government, Alhaji Jimoh Ogunmuyiwa, first executive Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Hon. Gbenga Oshin, former member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon.Gbenga Basanya, former Chairman, Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA, Alhaji Sefiu Ogunyemi, Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Igbogbo/Baiyeku and former Council Leader, Ikorodu Local Government, Chief (Mrs) Bolanle Basorun, Sole Administrator, Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA and Pastor Ola Ayetoba, former APC chairman in the council.
THE IMPACT however gathered that the meeting which lasted for several hours on Friday, May 19, 2017,was deadlocked.
According to a reliable source who was at the meeting, the stakeholders,after failing in their quest to produce a consensus candidate, later invited the three aspirants – Mr Taiwo Orenuga, a former Executive Secretary,Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA, Comrade Daini Sesan, a former Students’ Leader,University of Lagos (UNILAG), former senior aide to Mr Tunji Bello, Secretary to the Lagos State Government and senior aide to the acting Commissioner for Tourism and Hon. Bosun Agoro, former Council Leader, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, into the meeting but they too could not agree on stepping down for one another.
At the end, it was resolved that primary election is the way out of the logjam, more so, that the aspirants have also made their position known that they want their fates to be determined by the delegates through a free and fair primary election.
Who Controls Majority Delegates In Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA?
What is currently playing out in Igbobo/Baiyeku LCDA’s political game are experience, wit, influence and money. Even though, one aspirant seems to be far and above others in terms of programmes and popular support especially on the social media, the reality on the ground goes beyond that.
Like in other councils in the division, aspirants’ programmes would play little or no role in who emerges as the party’s candidate for the chairmanship position.The major determinant factors are;how many delegates the aspirants control, how loyal are these delegates,what is the financial strength of the aspirants to buy loyalties of delegates they cannot control, what has been the aspirants’ disposition and relationship to these delegates before now and which of the aspirants has the majority control of the council executives? These,among other factors,would determine who emerges victorious at the primary election.
Mr Taiwo Orenuga is said to have been nursing the ambition since his days as the executive Secretary of the council and also enjoys the undivided attention and support of old political war horse and one of the few Awoist still alive, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Basorun.
Our investigation revealed that he has been a good and loyal lieutenant of the foremost political actor. His candidature, we also gathered,represents the interest of the core Justice Forum in the division, where Asiwaju Basorun holds the ace.
As an old political figure, Asiwaju Basorun who has been holding regular political meetings in his Igbogbo house, is said to be in control of a sizeable number of the delegates. Many of these delegates,THE IMPACT gathered,also became members of the party’s executive councils at the local government and ward levels through Basorun’s influence. To these delegates, it is time to pay back and also ensure that they made the list again whenever the party calls for another convention.
Comrade Sesan Daini, a born grassroots mobilizer since his days on the campus of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, is also said to have been eyeing the number one political position in Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA since his appointment as Supervisory Councillor during the first term of Hon. Gbenga Basanya’s administration. He left the appointment for a higher calling at the state level when he was appointed as senior aide to Mr Tunji Bello who was then the Commissioner for Environment.
Daini like Mr Orenuga, is also from Basorun political dynasty but with political differences. His candidacy is said to be enjoying the support of the acting Commissioner for Tourism/Special Adviser to the Governor on Arts & culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola whom he has been serving as senior political aide since her appointment over a year ago.
His connection also transcends the shore of Ikorodu division as he is said to also be getting support from his former boss, Mr Tunji Bello and his political god father, Otunba Henry Ajomale, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State Chairman.
His old network during his student days are also said to be supporting his campaign. He also seems to be enjoying the support of the younger elements among the delegates.
Unlike Mr Orenuga and Comrade Daini, Hon. Bosun Agoro is from the late Chief Dawodu’s political camp. We gathered that despite the demise of late leader, members of his political camp are doing everything to make his desire, which is the emergence of Hon. Agoro as the next Chairman of Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA, see the light of the day.
More so,because of the trust the late Elder Dawodu reposed in his candidacy, Hon. Bosun Agoro defeated other four aspirants pursuing their ambition through the late Dawodu led Justice Forum in a primary election held weeks back. Not even the indigeneship campaign brought against him could sway the votes and support of the majority of the caucus members against him.
He defeated other frontliners like Hon. Rotimi Olowonishaye, former Vice Chairman of Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA and Mr Olumide Olowu, former Secretary to the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA among others in the caucus primary election.
He is also said to have been nursing the dream of administering the council since his emergence as the Council Leader.
While Mr Orenuga and Comrade Daini will have to struggle for the control of delegates that are loyal to the Basorun’s house, Hon. Agoro might be having a bloc votes of the delegates loyal to the Dawodu led JF,though,the strength of each bloc cannot be ascertained.
Although,the support of Hon. Akinsola may be an added advantage to Daini’s political pursuit,what will actually determine his fate is the strength of the Commissioner’s control over the 165 delegates.
For political balance, the twenty-three (23) delegates in each ward is made up of 13 members of the Justice Forum and 13 members of The Mandate Group. The Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA Executive Committee is also made up of 13 members apiece.
Since the three aspirants are members of JF, it follows that they have to share the seventy-eight JF’s delegates. Any candidate that is interested in winning would have to go into alliance with whoever is in control of The Mandate Group to get the group’s bloc votes of the 78 delegates. This is where the real political lies.
Other factor that would play a prominent role in who emerges as the APC flag bearer is the influence of Chief Dele Olowu, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya and the traditional institutions among others.
The Real Calculation
Despite the potency of the three aspirants’ support, there seems to be another major factor that may play a decisive role – The Chief Dele Olowu/Asipa Kaoli’s factor.
Any of the three aspirants would ignore this factor at their peril. In fact, Chief Olowu appears to be the beautiful bride in Igbogbo/Baiyeku politics and any serious minded politician should be bedding him in order to achieve victory at the primary election if not for any other thing,
As a political leader, Chief Olowu has his own political base and some delegates are also loyal to him. But in the present scenario, the Olowu house is not presenting any aspirant,hence he will be willing to deploy his support for any of the three aspirants who has a good bargaining arrangement.
In between Chief Olowu and Asipa Kaoli, there are 78 delegates from The Mandate Group (TMG) which the aspirants are in dire need of.However,the 78 delegates are no more intact due to some irreconcilable political differences.THE IMPACT can authoritatively report that about 15 of the delegates have left Chief Olowu’s political dynasty.While about 10 of the 15 delegates, according to report, are now pitching their tents with Asiwaju Basorun,the other five remained independent.
Daini we gathered is winning the support of the independent delegates and using his youthful campaign team to network effectively.
This, however,still leaves Chief Olowu/Asipa Kaoli’s TMG with absolute control of a bloc vote which may be the decider if they are able to hold on to the about 60 delegates remaining.
Igbogbo political observers were also of the opinion that Chief Olowu may end up being the major beneficiary of the present political game.
Olowu’s importance has further been strengtened by the alliance between him and Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, another political powerhouse who controls the Owode-Ibeshe axis of the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA.
It was gathered that Chief Olowu’s group will be presenting candidates for the Vice Chairmanship and Secretary to the Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area positions.
As the situation is presently,none of the three aspirants can boast of an outright control of the majority delegates and this invariably means that the aspirant with the best negotiating skill rather than the one with money ,may eventually emerge as the winner of the primary election coming up in matters of days.
Another deciding factor is Hon. Babajimi Benson,member,Federal House of Representatives,representing Ikorodu division,whose political network is still very much intact. Whoever wins the support of the federal lawmaker among the three aspirants would not only have access to those delegates who are loyal to him but also would enjoy his financial support.
The traditional institutions in the council are also going to play major roles in deciding who emerges as the next Chairman of the council. Oba Semiudeen Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, though a new monarch, is a highly politically enlightened ruler and so also is Oba Richard Ogunsanya, the Olubeshe of Ibeshe, who was a former Councilor in the old Ikorodu Local Government.
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