Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Saturday, formally presented the party’s consensus governorship candidate, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, at an expanded meeting witnessed by major stakeholders from the three senatorial districts of the state. APC also seized the opportunity to nominate the Commissioner for Agriculture, Adepeju Adebajo, as deputy governorship candidate. It unveiled 38 other consensus candidates for elective offices, including Ogun Central senatorial seat, which Amosun is aspiring to occupy.
Adebajo, who was Managing Director of Lafarge Africa PLC before her appointment as a commissioner in 2016, is from both Ikenne and Sagamu local government areas of the state.
While addressing the party leaders from the three senatorial districts, who had come to present Akinlade as the party’s consensus governorship candidate and Adebajo as his running mate after unanimously adopting them, Amosun said APC in the state had embraced the consensus arrangement to select all 40 candidates. He said arrangement was the smartest option, noting, however, that the party will not rule out direct primaries if there were persons opposed to the consensus option.
Akinlade’s official unveiling followed the announcement of Adebajo by the APC chairman in the state, Chief Derin Adebiyi, saying the elders of the party from Ogun East had met with the state party leaders to take the decision.
Apart from Adebiyi, other APC leaders present at the meeting were the National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Tajudeen Bello; Ogun East senatorial chairman, Bayo Yakubu, and his Ogun Central counterpart, Yomi Ademefun, among others.
Commending the consensus option adopted by the party, Amosun said, “In all our positions, we are going to have consensus candidates. We are going to make available our list, including our deputy governor. All our leaders are aware, we have sat, we are going to announce and anybody that wants to do any other thing is free to do so.
“On the day the national body of the APC has set for the primaries, we will be waiting for them. Let them come. So, we will do the primaries. We have said we are having consensus. We have done the consensus, we have arrived at the candidates, not just for the governorship, we have arrived at all the 40 candidates in Ogun State.”
Breaking down the 40 elective offices, Amosun said, “We have 26 Assembly members, nine House of Reps members, three senatorial members, deputy governor and the governor. We are going to display the names of the 40. If anybody is not in agreement, we are not going to say he is not a member of our party, they will come and try and that is the beauty of democracy.”
The governor advised members of the party to work hard for the party’s victory, reminding them that failure is an orphan whom no one desires to associate with, even as he maintained that there was no disagreement in Ogun APC, otherwise, it would have been difficult to pick consensus candidates.
The governor said the party would campaign vigorously and not take the people for granted, noting that he laboured hard to grow a party that was in tatters. “We know ourselves,” he said repeatedly, urging members not to fight anyone, because “it is not our style in Ogun State.”
Speaking earlier on behalf of Ogun East, Yakub said the leaders and members of the senatorial district agreed with the zoning arrangement and were ready to support Akinlade as the governorship candidate. He hinted that Akinlade had been endorsed by members of the senatorial district through a motion moved by Tunde Oladunjoye, a former chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, and was supported by Majority Leader in the Ogun State House of Assembly, Yinka Mafe, who represents Sagamu Constituency I.
On the fate of other governorship aspirants from Ogun East, Yakub said the “disgruntled aspirants” who had collected the nomination forms for governorship from the Ogun East were not “genuine members of the party and they are on their own.”