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Oyo: Ajimobi battles Akanbi



Oyo: Ajimobi battles Akanbi

Sola Adeyemo reports on Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s bid to return to the Senate, which is likely to cost the incumbent, Senator Soji Akanbi, his seat


It is no longer news that the two-term governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, is poised to return to the Senate in next year election. He is going to un-sit the one-term incumbent Senator Soji Akanbi, his party member from the same Oyo South senatorial district. Ajimobi was elected into Senate in 2003 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

Having won the trophy of being the first governor to administer the 42-year-old Pacesetter State for two terms, Ajimobi had immediately after winning in 2015, said that he would simply go into retirement after the expiration of his term and be godfather to younger politicians, offering political advice to them from his fountain of experience.

The stand then must have emboldened Akanbi who won the Senate seat for the first time to think that his second term ticket was also sure, so long as he remained loyal in the APC. He was however few months ago proven wrong and taken aback when the governor said he was interested in the Senate after leaving office in May 29, 2019.

When asked barely a month ago what would become of his political ambition if the governor made good his plan, Akanbi had said that he was not perturbed because “My Governor has not told me that he is interested in the Senate; if eventually he does, then I would know what to do”, he had said in an evasive manner. With the rumour gradually becoming a reality, many people had thought that Akanbi would have announced his defection to another party like his counterpart from the Oyo Central senatorial district, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, has done by defecting to the African Democratic Congress (ADC). He has said that he still remains in the APC like the third senator Abdulfatai Buhari of the Oyo North senatorial district. As things stand now, Ajimobi is the leader of the APC in Oyo State and he holds the political structure, with the wherewithal to win the senatorial seat in his district.

There is no doubting the fact that he has the control of the executive of the party led by Chief Akin Oke. He holds the ace going by whatever mode of primaries the party adopts. When nomination forms are to be sold and both Ajimobi and Soji Akanbi obtain it, any soothsayer can easily divine it that Ajimobi would clinch the ticket. The only saving grace that can make Akanbi to secure the second term ticket is if Ajimobi drops the ambition. Should Ajimobi use his political power as governor, and Akanbi still insists on vying, the only reasonable option for him is to defect to another party like Senator Sunmonu has done by going to ADC. His chance can only be brightened provided the leadership of whatever party he defects to can accommodate him to fly their ticket. Aside that, his hope of securing a second term might be not feasible.

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