The Presidential election was recently concluded in the Country leaving out the Governorship and the House of Assembly elections for 11th of March 2023. One of the most active House Of Assembly Constituency Elections in the State is the AKNW Constituency 2 election. The Constituency consists of Ogbagi, Oke Irun and Odo Irun, as well as Ese and Afin Communities.
For the purpose of fair political participation, there was a common understanding that each Community should be given the opportunity to present candidate to represent the Constituency at one time or the other. This has been on and it was agreed that it shall still continue based on the principles of democratic understanding. All the Communities had presented and represented this Constituency at the State House of Assembly at one time or the other.
This same principle has been in operation in respect of the MHR election between Akoko North West and Akoko North East.
When the present political socialization for this year’s elections began, there was a general understanding that based on performances and especially political calculations in respect of subsisting or anticipated political positions, the duo of Hon Bunmi Tunji Ojo and Hon Taofik Oladele should go for another term as Members of the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly respectively. There are pockets of individuals who naturally were against these popular decisions without giving heed to the fact that Politics is dynamics.
These individuals openly or secretly boast that the arrangement would fail woefully
However, facts have emerged that the decision is becoming the best political decision ever made in the history of Akoko North West and Akoko North East. With the decision, Bunmi Tunji Ojo was elected back to The House of Representatives for the second Term with the highest number of Votes ever garnered by any such Representative. He was elected with unprecedented 85% of the total votes cast.
He was followed from a great distance by PDP candidate with 14.8% of the total votes cast. One of the major reasons for the decision to allow these two people to re-contest was based on some political calculations. For example, in the case of House of Representatives, the Senatorial position was graciously zoned to Akoko North West/Akoko North East. An Indigene of Ikare Akoko in person of Hon Jide Ipinsagba (now Senator-elect) was unanimously selected to contest for the post, while BTO was anointed to contest for MHR – the outcome was quite obvious. In the instance of Constituency 2, in Akoko North West. Hon Taofik Oladele is supported for re-election because of fair play. The Current Vice-chairman of the Local Govenment as well as the Party Chairman for the Local Government currently an Indigene of Irun Akoko. Another part of the calculations is the fact that the next Executive Chairman of the Local Government will again be zoned to Irun Akoko in the election to be conducted in August this year.
Given the above analysis and from our investigations two clear groups have emerged even within the ranks of APC. The First is the group of individuals who believe that the new arrangement should be allowed for equity and fairness, while the Second Group is of the opinion that status quo ante be maintained – on rotation we stand.
One of the most vocal as well as active Member of the first Group is Pasto Ola-Amuda : who stands shoulder to shoulder against all moves by the Second Group. Ola Amuda who is a Political Scientist with relevant political experience is an Administrator per excellence. He was the former S.A to Late Dr Olusegun Agagu during his six years as Governor of Ondo State. Even though he is in support of rotation but he maintains that “given the current political calculations, the new arrangement is better in order to prevent lopsided representations. The position can then move to Irun axis after this present dispensation.”. Alhaji Oloruntoba, a political leader of repute with enormous experience is a rock behind the decision. He professed that this is the best thing to do for now.
Times may fail to mention in details the attributes of other leaders in this Group one by one. We cannot but mention the invaluable supports and contributions to this course by Hon Dayo Adeyanju, Hon. Dayo Bello, Hon. Araoyinbo (Sokoto) all from Irun Akoko, Hon Bolarinwa, Barr Lanre Aremo, Hon Bankole, Hon Ayanleye among others from Ogbagi. The support from Ese is quite overwhelming from Hon Babalola, Fadumiye, Hon Aladetimehin ( Ese City), Pa Adekambi, Hon Segun Ojo Osuko as well as Iyalaje and Iyaloja.
The movement of the former Chief Justice of Ondo State; Justice Kumuyi and his array of followership from PDP to APC has been a serious breakthrough in reducing the extent and power of the opposition to an ineffective level at Ogbagi Akoko. It was reported that within the period, his group has been a great blessing as well as formidable asset to APC in the Constituency.
The Second group, are those who believe that the choice of candidate should go to Irun. It was said that these set of people are holding to this position for certain personal reasons. For example, the main vanguard for the Group Hon Awe Azeez known as “Helli” and Apase have told their closed allies to do everything possible to push the choice of Ogbagi candidate away because they individually have ambition to contest the Local Government Chairmanship position come August this year. It was thought that the election of Hon Taofik will jeopardize their ambition.
The other persons in this group include Hon Ogunmilade Aboy, who recently ran to PDP and ran back, Hon Rasheed Badmus a former Commissioner in Aketi’s Cabinet. So many people who have discovered his antics were particularly disgusted because he is the current DG for the elections in Akoko North West and North East. Alhaji Rasheed has not been working openly against Taofik but one can see his hand writings through the negative dispositions, uttrances and actions of those very close to him.
According to certain School of thought, Members of this Group should read the handwritings on the wall, because all their efforts are not yielding the right dividends. Even recently some of their ardent leaders and supporters have jettisoned them having realised that they were only pushing their personal agenda.
The game on ground now is that Hon. Taofik will handsomely win Ogbagi, Odo Irun and Ese communities. He will have fair percentage votes from Oke Irun and Afin Communities. Some of the people interviewed advised Hon. Afe, the PDP Candidate from Oke Irun to be wary of these individuals in APC who are carrying him about. It was said that most of them are only interested in him because of their personal interest and the constant supply of money to them, as some of them boasted of the money often released to them by Barr. Afe’s Sponsors. It is hope that it will not be too late for him to discover this. As the Election holds in few days, we keep our fingers crossed till then.