Indigenes of Ilajes in Ondo State across party lines have commenced moves to clinch the next governorship of the state following alleged rumoured suspension of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The move which is being facilitated by the influential Ilaje League of Professionals was the outcome of a meeting of the group shortly after news broke about the suspension of Akeredolu from the APC.
Prominent members of the League include a former Director with the NDDC, Engr. Benson Obayelu, the current commissioner for environment in Ondo state, Engr Funso Esan, Akeredolu’s special adviser on education, Dr Mrs Wunmi Ilawole, former Ondo state representative on the board of NDDC, Hon Lucky Ayedatiwa, among others.
A committee to come up with a recommendation that will actualise the dream of producing the governor or at least deputy governor of Ilaje extraction was also set up by the group at the meeting which held last week in Lagos.
The membership of the committee has been kept under wraps but a prominent leader of the League told newsmen that the quest for the governorship of the state did not suddenly arise because of the suspension of Governor Akeredolu.
“We have taken seriously the issue of Ilaje producing the next governor of Ondo State, or minimum of the position of deputy governor. If you look at the entire state, Akoko, Owo, Ondo, Ikale have all produced the governor of the state.
“Even Akure that has not produced the governor like Ilaje produced the deputy governor at some point. So, we have resolved to sink our political differences and work together to achieve this objective because we are the people sustaining the economy of the state. Apart from that, our neighbours, Ese-odo that is not oil producing has the deputy governor, Ambassador and even wanted to rob us of the House of Representatives which we resisted at all costs.
“The most annoying is that even the derivation meant for the development of Ilaje is not spent for is, it is being syphoned for purposes and this is regrettable. That is why we have made up our minds, like we did during the last National Assembly election, to go for one of our own no matter the political platform involved. We can’t take this any longer”, he said.
It was gathered that the meeting made an accessment of the possible chances of all governorship aspirants including Chief Olusola Oke of the APC, Chief Sola Ebiseni, Hon Banji Okunomo and Hon. Kolade Akinjo, all of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But as the move heightens, a cross section of the group has canvassed that the Ilajes should support the governorship ambition of former Attorney General, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, with aim of an Ilaje running mate.
Akinjo, current member of the House of Representatives who just won a second term is being tipped as deputy to Jegede.