Following the death of a member of House of Representatives, Hon Dayo Omolafe, some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are now jostling for the vacant seat. Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not declared Omolafe’s seat vacant, indications have emerged that underground scheming has begun for the seat.
Omolafe, who represented Akure South/Akure North Federal Constituency, died last month after a brief illness. The unanticipated death of ‘Expensive,’ as he was fondly called, left many in confusion as he was seen to be agile and light-footed a day before his last breath.
The exit of Omolafe has created a vacuum in the political space of the state as many people described the late lawmaker’s shoe as too big for anybody in the federal constituency to wear.
However, some people think that the wife of the deceased, Taye Omolafe should replace her husband to defray some costs that must have been incurred during the election. To demonstrate their love for the deceased, market women and store owners in Akure, the Ondo State capital deserted their businesses as shops were locked to sympathise with deceased family, this is even as some of the forlorn traders were seen in groups expressing shock at his death.
The action of the traders was said to be premised on Omolafe’s generosity and benevolence toward his constituents.
Omolafe who was elected in 2019 on the platform of the PDP to represent the people of Akure North and South at the House of Representatives, had earlier served as the chairman of Akure South Local Government during the regime of the late Olusegun Agagu in 2009. Market women in his constituency maintained that he was their benefactor as he was solely responsible for the school fee of their children.
They added that he had assisted them with a huge amount of money to assist their businesses. Despite their differences in political ideology, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu paid a condolence visit to the family of the late politician.
He was at Adedayo’s residence alongside the acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, members of the House of Representatives, Hon. Timehin Adelegbe and Hon. Abiola Makinde as well as a member of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Sunday Olajide was equally at the residence.
Despite the fact that the deceased lawmaker is yet to be buried, members of the major political parties have shown interest in the seat. In the APC, some of the people who have shown interest included Hon Sunday Olajide representing Akure constituency two in the State House of Assembly, Chairman Governing Council Federal Polytechnic Kaura Nomada, Zamfara State, Omowumi Olatunji-Edet, former lawmaker, Hon Afe Olowokere, for Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Tayo Oluwatuyi aka Tukana and son of Afenifere chieftain, Chief Olu Falae, Sunday.
From the PDP are former Commissioner for Youth, Mr. Dayo Awude, and former lawmaker, Hon Kemi Adesanya. Some people said Omolafe has not fully defrayed the cost of the election as at the time of his death and allowing the wife to complete the tenure of the husband would alleviate the plight of the family.