Ahead of the 2019 general elections, some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, particularly in Ogun West senatorial district, have urged the Governor Ibikunle Amosun not to settle for who they called ‘political neophyte’ as the gubernatorial candidate of the party.
The APC chieftains, including Sen. Iyabo Anisulowo, Bolaji Aretola and Mrs. Funmilayo Adeniran, noted that in order for the party to have a smooth sail in the next year’s election, the APC must present a governorship candidate who had contested election for political office and had experience in governance.
They specifically implored the governor to choose the Speaker of the State’s House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi, as his successor.
The party leaders stated these, on Thursday, in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of the state, when Adekunbi met with women groups from the Ogun West Senatorial District as part of his consultations for 2019 governorship.
Speaking at the event, Anisulowo, a former Minister of State for Education, and one-time member of the Senate, said the APC would work with the governor to select the best person capable of continuing the laudable programmes of the incumbent administration.
She, however, noted that such candidate must possess three qualities, including being a politician, accessible and competent.
On his part, Aretola, who had served as local government chairman, said the Speaker remained the most formidable to succeed Amosun considering his political experience and unflinching loyalty.
“If we have somebody that is number three citizen in the state and the governor would want us to prop somebody from this senatorial district for the very first time because Ogun West has never been governor in Ogun State; it is simply reasonable that we prop that number three citizen to become number one citizen in the state.
“More so, he is the longest serving Speaker in Ogun State. Ogun State has never had it so good. There is no governor that has ever had so much rest of mind to pursue his projects as the present governor. That opportunity for him to continue pursuing his projects without disturbance is basically because the House is peaceful.
“The worst any executive can think about is any disturbance from the legislature and, thank God, Suraj has been able to manage the Assembly and there has not been any upheaval from there.
“In thinking of who can contest or become governor after Amosun, now you consider this: if you pick anybody that has never contested the post of Councillor in any local government to become a candidate, you have plenty of problems because the understanding should be there.
“There is practical politics, there is always internal politics and there is politics that will come as a code which you have to decode to ensure you go along with your people. Reasonably, I must tell you, if the governor would help Ogun West, he should work hard with the party and nominate Suraj Adekunbi, the Speaker, as the next governor.” Aretola stated.
Also speaking, Mrs. Adeniran, who is the APC Senatorial Women Leader of Ogun West, called on people of the state to support the collective aspiration of Yewa-Awori to produce governor for the first time since creation of the state.
In his address, the Speaker said he decided to formally meet with the women and intimate them about his plans to consolidate on the achievements already recorded by Givernor Amosun.
Adekunbi said though all the gubernatorial aspirants within the APC were eminently qualified to contest, he understood the political terrain more.
“I think that in the last seven years, I have demonstrated that high level of responsibility and responsiveness in the cause of discharging the assignment given to me in Ogun State and I’ve been able to put in place effective collaboration that has led to unprecedented transformation in this state.
“For somebody like me who started with our amiable governor from Day One, you know that I understand the terrain more than any other person and I have been consistently consistent in my aspiration. I believe that with the support of the party leaders and elders and the overall support of the people of the state, the aspiration will come to reality.” Adekunbi said.
He, however, urged people of the state to participate in the continuous voters registration by registering and obtaining their permanent voter cards (PVCs).