Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
A National Assembly lawmaker from Ogun State, Oladipupo Adebutu, has declared that no â€˜Third Forceâ€™ can stop the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from regaining power in the coming 2019 general elections, both at the state and federal levels.
Adebutu, who represents Sagamu/Ikenne/Remo Federal Constituency at the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly, said though everybody has the right to freedom of association, but he was yet to fathom how the much-talked about ‘Third Force’ would prevent a formidable party such as PDP from winning all offices in the 2019 general elections.
Adebutu made the disclosure on the sideline of an interactive session with youth groups from Ogun West senatorial district, held in Ilaro, Yewa South local government area of Ogun State, on Saturday.
The lawmaker, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Rural Development and is jostling for the governorship position of Ogun State in the 2019 general elections, further remarked that while the ‘Third Force’ might give a fillip to democracy in Nigeria, he looked forward to the day the country would allow an independent candidate to stand for election.
â€œEverybody has the right to freedom of association. In fact, I’m longing and looking forward to the day where we will have an independent candidature. So, if there is a third force, there could be fourth force, fifth force and tenth force, so forth and so on. It doesn’t stop the PDP from regaining the power it lost in 2015 next year’s general electionsâ€, he said.
On the agitation of Ogun West to produce the next governor of the state, Adebutu, said the district has the right to vie for the number one position, noting that the zone should rather reciprocate the support given to it by Ogun East in 2011 and 2015 general elections respectively.
According to him, former governor Gbenga Daniel from Ogun East, had against all odds thrown his weight behind the candidature of an Ogun West person in 2011, while the same candidate was once again fielded by the PDP in 2015 election.
“At the end of Gbenga Daniel’s tenure in 2011, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka became our candidate, coming from Imeko-Afon Local Government in Ogun West, despite the fact that others could have contested from Ogun East, and nobody arose to challenge that position. We did our best. We fulfilled our obligations but by reasons, it was not our fault. Olurin as well contested and the strength of Ogun West was dissipated.
“Four years later, again, we presented Gboyega Nasir Isiaka. That means for a period of eight years, Ogun East kept the agreement and no Ijebu man contested. The question is, do we subvert our own right to contest forever? We have abided by that agreement and as such, we are now inclined to exercise our own right to be voted for as well. But that does not diminish the possibility of having an Ogun West that is properly enmeshed in the scheme of things in Ogun State.
â€œWhenever Ogun West cooperates with Ogun East, Ogun West succeeds a lot. In the days of Bisi Onabanjo, that cooperation was a very successful one; the cooperation with Otunba Gbenga Daniel was very successful and I am hoping and sincerely believing that in this new enterprise, the cooperation of Ogun West with my candidature will be very successfulâ€, he averred.