• Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

Contenders and pretenders to Akure North/South seat

ByJoseph

Dec 19, 2021
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Read Time:10 Minute, 2 Second

No fewer than 20 aspirants from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are not jostling for the Akure South/Akure North Federal Constituency seat. The seat became vacant after the death of Hon Adedayo Omolafe, writes BABATOPE OKEOWO

 

At a recent meeting of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State with 13 aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that are jostling to succeed former House of Representatives member, Hon Adedayo Omolafe, who died last August and told them he has no preferred candidate among them.

Omolafe was elected on the platform of the opposition as the Vice Chairman of the Poverty Alleviation Committee before his death earlier in the year. However, the governor’s pronouncement has made the aspirants to continue the intense lobby to woo the delegates that would determine their fate at the primary election that is yet to be fixed by the party.

In Akure North/South federal constituency where the election is to hold, billboards and posters of the aspirants that flooded the strategic locations in the towns where the election is to hold. All the aspirants in both the ruling APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been moving round the constituency to persuade delegates in their respective political parties. Other fringe political parties are not feasible in the race to the House of Representatives seat.

 

Those who are vissible in the two parties include Ademola Adegoroye, Femi Dennis Fadairo, Sunday Olajide, Sunday Falae, Kemi Adesanaya, Dayo Awude, Bayo Alarapon, Wumi Olatunji- Ohwovoriole and Ifedayo Abegunde among others.

Prince Ademola Adegoroye (APC)

Prince Ademola Adegoroye, a former member of the Ondo State House of Assembly and former governorship candidate in the state, currently holds a federal board appointment.

Following the poor performance of the APC in Akure in the last governorship election, some leaders of the APC were said to have approached Adegoroye to consider running for House of Reps in 2023 in order to shore up the popularity of the APC in Akure.

 

 

With the death of Omolafe, the party leaders were said to have gone back to the Akure Prince to throw his heart into the ring for the bye election. He is currently making consultations to that effect.

Hon. Kemisola Adesanya (PDP)

Hon. Kemisola Adesanya is a former two-time member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, representing Akure South Constituency 1 between 2011 and 2019, on the platforms of the Labour Party and PDP.

She is currently the State Woman Leader of the PDP. Adesanya is one of the strong contenders for the ticket in the PDP and is said to have the backing of some of the leaders of the party in the state.

 

Femi Fadairo APC

Hon. Femi Fadairo, popularly called Fada, is a vibrant grassroots politician and one of the youngest contenders for the seat. Fadairo is currently the Director of Administration to the Office of the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Before Omolafe’s death, Fadairo had shown interest in the seat for 2023, banking on the support of his boss, the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan. Now that the seat is vacant, Fadairo has activated his grassroots mobilization and has already opened a campaign office at his base in Oke Aro, Akure.

 

Fadairo is also popular among the youths and has empowered a lot of traders, graded community roads and supplied transformers to a community.

He is also banking on the support of his political godfather, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate. Sunday Olajide (APC) Hon. Sunday Olajide is a second term member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, representing Akure South Constituency II and is the Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Finance.

 

Olajide had shown interest in running for House of Reps in 2015 before  he was prevailed upon by party leaders to drop the ambition for House of Assembly. He has been moving round the constituency to showcase his achievements as a two term member of the State House of Assembly.

 

Sunday Falae (APC)

Engr. Sunday Falae, a businessman and philanthropist, is the MD/CEO of West One Group of Companies. He is a nephew of Chief Olu Falae and hails from Ilu Abo in Akure North Local Government Area. Although he is known more for his philanthropy than his politics, he is a major financier of the APC in his locality.

 

Specialized in the area of Computer Engineering and Programming, Falae has worked in various financial institutions in the United States of America, including Thompson Financial Services, 1Q Financial Systems, Maxim Group-Dublin and JP Morgan Chase between 1996 and 2006.

 

He later started West-One Logistics and Haulage Services Limited after relocating back to Nigeria in 2009, a company which now has 55 trucks and over 200 employees.

 

Falae is the President of Ooye Development Initiative (ODI), a prime and influential community development group in Akure and as the Patron of the Akure Youth Coalition (AYC), he is very popular among and has a very strong connection to the youths in Akure communities. He is believed to be interested in seeking the APC ticket for the bye-election.

Dayo Awude (PDP)

Mr. Dayo Awude, a writer, author and businessman, is a former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ondo State; former Chairman of the State Scholarship Board and former Chief of Protocol to Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

 

He is from Ilu Abo in AKure North local government, which has not produced a Rep since 1999. Awude is one of the most popular contenders for the seat in the PDP. He has run for the ticket twice, once in the Labour Party and once in PDP.

 

He lost the ticket in the PDP primary to the late Omolafe ahead of the 2019 general elections and later became the State Vice Chairman (Central Senatorial District) of the PDP.

 

There are indications that Awude will take another shot at the ticket this time around and will be counting on the support of the former governorship candidate and leader of the party in the state, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, for the ticket. Awude had been one of the most loyal supporters of Jegede in the 2016 and 2020 governorship elections.

Abiodun Derin Adesida (APC)

 

From the Adesida Dynasty of Akure, Hon. Abiodun Adesida, popularly known as Derin, is also a former occupant of the seat, having served as a member of House of Representatives between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of the PDP.

 

He is now a chieftain of the APC and is said to be interested in returning to Abuja. Derin’s four year stint in the House of Reps is believed to have facilitated a lot of major projects to the constituency, including the installation of N6 billion power transmission sub-station along Akure/Owo Expressway and the installation of N15 0million Power Distribution Sub-Station along Igbatoro road, Akure.

However, Adesida failed in his attempt to return to the House of Reps in 2015. Bayo Alarapon (PDP) Hon. Bayo Alarapon is a former Chairman of Akure South Local Government and one of the chieftains of  the PDP in Akure. He is one of the major contenders for the PDP ticket for the byeelection but is said to be struggling to meet up with the challenges of some of the major aspirants.

 

Dare Aliu (PDP)

 

Mr. Dare Aliu is a former candidate for the House of Reps seat. He was a Special Assistant to Governor Olusegun Mimiko for almost seven years before becoming the Chairman of the State Signage Agency.

 

Aliu joined the PDP with Mimiko in 2014 and won the primary election of the party to run for the House of Reps in 2015. However, the huge division within the old and new PDP at that time contributed to his loss in the general election.

 

Jimi Faloye (APC)

Son of the late Chief Kayode Faloye, Jimi is a businessman and politician. He was an aspirant for the House of Reps seat ahead of the 2019 general elections, losing the APC ticket. He has indicated interest in running for the bye election.

 

Babatunde Faro (PDP)

 

Mr. Babatunde Faro is a banker and businessman and a rising star in the PDP. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Emerald Med  als Group and former Relationship Manager at Access Bank and Diamond Bank. Faro took an active part in the burial activities of late Omolafe and is popular among the young folks in the PDP in Akure. He has declared his interest in vying for the party’s ticket.

 

Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde (APC)

Former Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, is a two-time occupier of the House of Reps seat between 2003 to 2007 and 2011 to 2015. Abegunde, popularly known as Abena, had fallen out with his former boss, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, ahead of the 2020 governorship election but stayed in the APC.

 

Abegunde, who is the State Coordinator of the South West Agenda (a political group moblising for the presidential ambition of Bola Tinubu), had since reconciled with Akeredolu and will be relying on both Tinubu and Akeredolu to get the ticket to contest the bye-election and return to the House of Representatives.

 

Abegunde, who lost the Ondo Central Senate ticket of APC in a keenly contested primary to Senator Tayo Alasoadura ahead of the 2015 general election, might be willing to use the vacant House of Reps seat to launch another run for the Senate in 2023.

 

His posters for the bye-election have surfaced online and been shared by many of his followers.

Mayokun Lawson-Alade (APC)

 

Mr. Mayokun Lawson-Alade is one of the youngest among those who have already declared interest in the Reps bye-election. Popularly known as LAF, Mayokun, who is from the Alade Family of Oja Oshodi in Akure, is a businessman and founder of the Lawson Alade Foundation. Although new to community politics, he is said to have been making consultations within the APC for the ticket.

 

Omowumi Olatunji-Ohwovoriole, (APC)

 

Hon. Olatunji-Ohwovoriole is currently the Chairman, Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Nomada, Zamfara State. She is a former Commissioner for Women Affairs in Ondo State and former two-time member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency Two.

 

She is also a former member of Lagos State Sports Council. She had practiced her politics in Lagos before returning to her hometown, Akure, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Since then, she has been a force of reckon within the APC in and out of Ondo State. In January this year, the APC National Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee appointed Hon Olatunji-Ohwovoriole as a member of the Ekiti State APC Registration and Revalidation Committee.

 

Hon Olatunji-Ohwovoriole also runs a popular charity orgainsation named after her late mother, Monisola Adeniyan Eddo Foundation, through which she carries out regular empowerment of women and traders in Akure.

 

The former lawmaker had already shown interest in the Reps seat for the 2023 general elections and now has the chance to vie for it earlier than expected.

 

Taye Omolafe (PDP)

 

Mrs. Taye Omolafe is the widow of the late Hon. Omolafe and many members of the PDP are making the case for her to be allowed to clinch the PDP ticket to complete the four year tenure of her late husband in the House of Reps as compensation, an idea that is not popular with the elite.

Some of those in the inner cycle of the late Omolafe are the ones behind the push for his widow to take the vacant seat and have already been sharing her posters on social media but the woman, having just buried her husband, has yet to deny or confirm interest in such an adventure.

 

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