• Direct, InDirect or Consensus, Primaries MUST Hold
  • Is this Good bye to Politics of ‘Baba Sope’?
  • HKT, Kamal, KAP, Nancy Know Fate September 19
  • What Fate Befalls Famakinwa And Oluwa As A Host Of Others Throw In Their Hats Into the Ring For LAHA?
  • PDP Set For A Show Down To Replace Decampees

SOME Months back in the All Progressives Congress (APC), the political calculators were being used to calculate the number of delegates that would be needed to win the Primaries and also put up a good case to impress the leaders of the party who will come up later to state in a stalemate, ‘Baba Sope’ which is synonymous to politics in this clime.

Mergers were made and the ordinary politician that was never meant to be a delegate stood akimbo and watched as events unfolded, perhaps, he might get from the crumbs that will fall off the table of the delegates which by all means will be enviable.

But before you could say, ‘Jack Robinson’ and what became a popular phrase over the radio in the good old military era, ‘Fellow Nigerians,’ the Jagaban pulled another rabbit out of the hat.

In a stakeholders’ consultative meeting held recently, the APC Leadership adopted the model of, wait for it, ‘Direct Primaries.’

Having looked at the advantage of the system that was used to pick the candidate of the party for the September 22 Osun State gubernatorial election, the Jagaban, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said it was a way of rekindling internal democracy within the fold, “because with this the party has gone back to its owners: the people.”

To new party members, the Direct Primary is a system in which all card carrying members of the party will participate in voting to pick candidates rather than leave the process for delegates.

Tinubu who spoke at the consultative meeting, said the chapter would embark on a fresh membership drive with the registration of new members and that it would also ensure that all existing members were issued with identity cards to enable them participate in the primaries.

He went on further to state that intending members could do their pre-registration online. He enjoined council chairmen to ensure that the exercise is seamless; adding that those that register more members and ensure that more Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) are collected within their domain would be rewarded with a fresh tenure.

The Jagaban assured members that the Lagos State chapter would have free and fair primaries ahead of 2019 and that there would be no favouratism. He said: “It is APC members that will decide who will represent them: you will do this with your vote.”

He also indicated that all aspirants for elective positions and members who intend to take part in the primaries must possess their membership cards and their PVCs, adding that the registration drive would enable defectors who joined the party from other platforms to enlist in the APC in their constituencies.

Now coming back to Ajeromi Ifelodun, members of the APC took out time on Sunday, August 26, 2018, to register members and new members alike upon presentation of their PVCs.

And in a binge, the NEC meeting overruled that decision and gave room for indirect primaries likewise consensus. The question now is, are we sure ‘Baba Sope’ will not finally raise its ugly head again?

Heading into the September 27 Primaries of the APC for the House of Representatives, Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal Constituency can boast of three notable bigwigs jostling for the coveted slot for the APC.

Three of them are not small names in the political class.

Hon. Kolawole Taiwo popularly known as HKT is a four-time legislator with the Lagos State House of Assembly. The tsunami that swept the APC during the 2015 elections meant he didn’t make it to LAHA for his fifth term.

Ordinarily, he would have emerged the Speaker of the House if he had won that election; but, the activities leading to that election is not what I want to delve into for now because Ajegunle lost the opportunity of having a Speaker and this might never happen again in our time.

Some saw it as anti-party while some school of thought believed the people wanted a new hand, stressing that 16 years should have been enough for him to have made a statement.

Ironically, he lost the election in Ward D, a ward that has rewritten history severally; a ward that can still make another statement in 2019.

His comeback bid again as a legislator, but this time, Federal level was rather received with missed feelings.

But one thing still remains, his followers are still intact and his experience is left to be seen as if it is what the people wants to see.

Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul KAP as he is fondly called is a name that has been on the lips of many since the race for this coveted diadem started.

His first attempt was bolted by that ‘Baba sope’ syndrome as he had to step down for the then incumbent who incidentally lost to Hon. Rita Orji in the 2015 political tsunami that greeted Badagry division of Lagos State with Ajeromi-Ifelodun APC suffering the most.

KAP is once again set to run for same position and this time, he is sounding it loud and clear that he wants to speak for his people.

The only man in Ajegunle’s history that has served three different governors in Lagos State can be said to be very instrumental in some of the developments that came the way of Ajeromi Ifelodun during the tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola and the ascendency of Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola as the Executive Chairman, Ajeromi Ifelodun; so one good turn they say deserves another.

In his favour is the AJIF Unity Forum (AUF) which integrated members of the PDP that jump-shipped to the APC and of course, the much talked about KAP Vanguard. He has also gotten support from members of the Justice Forum and his relationship with Baba Oluwa can be said to be very cordial, coupled with the fact that he is still a Mandate member. Hmm….are you pondering what am pondering?

Hon. Kamal Ayinde Bayewu FCIB. is another big fish in the race. For all that has followed politics in this clime for a long time will attest to the fact that Kamal had always wanted to speak for his people and that was what his first attempt was as a House of Reps member.

He had to step down to also allow the leaders to have their way then and was compensated with the Executive Chairmanship position of Ajeromi Ifelodun. For 6 years, Hon. Kamal was in charge and he succeeded in bringing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects. You must give it to him that he also succeeded in linking a lot of the communities and built some modern schools.

Hon. Kamal it must be recalled also ran for the Senatorial position in the 2015 election and was pleaded upon to step down for Yayi who now have a strong contender in Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.

Kamal’s alliance with the ACO and Alalubarika Groups is a pointer to his determination to speak for his people. Let’s not forget that he is also a member of the Mandate Group and his BACO Group are never say die members that had stood by him through thick and thin.

The last entry is Hon. Nancy Ijeoma Ekedo Nwagboso who is not new to the political terrain. She was the Supervisor for Health during the first tenure of Hon. Kamal Bayewu. She is sounding it loud and clear that the Igbos are being marginalized in the APC set up in terms of appointments.

Nancy who ran for the Abia State House of Assembly in 2015, is set to compete with the giants of politics in Ajeromi Ifelodun.

This is a woman that feels that the Igbos are being marginalized and she is out to make a statement considering the fact that those set of people that cost the Party votes in 2015 are Igbos.

She is gradually scheming her way into the fray and in politics, anything can happen. She might end up being the chance card the party might pull up.

With this four gunning for Rita’s jugular, it is yet to be seen who will eventually emerge to take her crown.

However, their followers are really not helping matters with the level of hate being exhibited on social media. Some have paid staffers that carry out their dirty jobs to deform an aspirant.

Having said that, the way the Party leadership handles the anti-party traits will be very key for the APC in wrestling power off the incumbent despite the level of decampment currently ongoing.

I must state here without fear or favour, that the APC’s success in the 2019 elections will be highly dependent on the relationship between KAP and Kamal heading to the elections.

For the PDP, it seemed not yet uhuru for the incumbent, Hon. Rita Orji as Hon. Dr. Emilia Ezeude is pulling weight and firing from all cylinders. She keeps on shunning philanthropic stunts on a regular basis and with this; she is constantly winning the hearts of the constituents and the party hierarchy.

However, with the division in the PDP, it is left to be seen if she will get the ticket ahead of Hon. Rita Orji who people say brought about division in the party.

Will the PDP allow another Igbo candidate? This is a million dollar question as the stage is set for a massive showdown.

For Jeff Joshua who was Rita’s protégée, he quickly jump-shipped to the SDP and made the party very popular, but when denied the ticket to run for Reps, he quickly found his way to the African Action Congress where Omoyele Sowore of the Sahara Reporters hold sway.

Sowore is set to visit Ajegunle on the 8th of September and will fully grant Jeff Joshua the nod to run for Reps.

As for the State House of Assembly, the race for the two constituencies is likely to go down to the wire as all the candidates are delicately poised.

The incumbent in Constituency 1, Hon. Dayo Famakinwa to many has not done enough to merit another shot at the title. His impact was not in any way felt in Ward D which has been politically seeded to that constituency and that was where he got his victory in 2015 due to the large influence of Rita Orji. It is also on record that he barely campaigned that year as the result took him by surprise.

Well as it stands now, he has to contend with two bigwigs, Hon. Lukumon Olumoh and Hon. Jamiu Tolani Ali-Balogun.

Olumoh who is a Lion that has ‘philanthropism’ running in his veins, is not new to the challenge. It is on record that he stood toe to toe with HKT in 2014, but the Baba Sope syndrome surfaced and he was asked to take the back seat.

It is clear that he now knows better and has also grown stronger politically. His alliance with the ACO/BACO/Alalubarika Groups is a strong indication of his desire to grab the diadem this time around.

For Ali-Balogun who was former Commissioner 3, and used his position then to place some Ajegunle people in the civil service; his entry into the scene took me by surprise. He is smarting from his acceptance by the HKT and Adenekan’s camps and if you ask me who can pick up this ticket in Constituency 1, I surely would ask you to keep your fingers crossed.

Constituency 2? Hmmm. The dye is caste. Hon. Ladi Balogun has been there before and knows what it takes. The incumbent, Hon. Fatai Oluwa also known as Akosa 1 is no push over. Not for his tenacity, but for those behind him.

He was gladly welcomed home after he defected and his benevolence to his people will be very key.

If you ask me, the battle for supremacy between this two will be the mother of all battles in Ajeromi Ifelodun because of the alliances that exists. Each alliance is ready to throw their weight behind their aspirant. But one thing nobody told us is; what was the agreement they had with the party leadership before they decamped? Were they both (Famakinwa and Oluwa) assured a second term in office upon fulfilling some conditions?

A truce might finally take centre stage and that is where I pity Hon. Ladi Balogun, but I fear if he would love to be used as a sacrificial lamb when it is time to negotiate between the caucuses; and before you know it, there would be a Big BANG!!!

For the PDP, Hon. Egbayelor is no pushover; he had been with the APC before and thus knows the terrain. The family is a political one and should pull off one trickery or two.

However, Hon. Uche Esemonu who had been a diehard aspirant in the Councillorship race is ready to use his principal’s wings to climb the rostrum. He has been one of those that had stood with Rita for a long time now.

Some school of thought felt Jeff Joshua after losing out of the Chairmanship race, should have stuck with Rita and aspired for the State House of Assembly. Well, the young man’s ambition is pretty high and maybe he is looking for a means to hurt his former principal.

It is quite saddening that the level of hate that now exist between the two is eating into them deeply. For Jeff Joshua to openly come out to say on social media that Hon. Rita Orji is the owner of the guns he was arrested for in 2017 leaves much to be desired.

Time is no more, in less than 25 days; Ajegunle would have had a fair share of whom they would queue behind for the race of the Legislative houses.

It will not be surprising to see a massive turnout in every voting centre as there might be the emergence of ‘fake voters’ and crowd hiring. And my fear will certainly come to play, ‘Baba Sope’ might surface when vote counting does not go in favour of certain aspirants or caucuses.

But in all, all aspirants should ensure to play safe and give the people something to cheer about.