As the race towards the senatorial primaries in Lagos State heats up, there are indications that the lawmaker representing Kosofe Constituency I, Hon. Adebayo Osinowo has been given nod by the top hierarchy of the ruling All Progressives Congress to contest Lagos East senatorial election.
However, Osinowo, an ally of Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, will still have to slug it out with his man challenger, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa and another party chieftain from Epe Local Government Area, Chief Lanre Razaq.
THISDAY checks revealed that the Mandate Movement, spearheaded by the party’s National Leader, Chief Bola Tinubu, and a former state vice chairman of the party, Cardinal James Odumbaku, had ceded the senate slot to Osinowo, an indication that the coming primary election might be a walk-over for him.
Osinowo, a fourth-time member lawmaker, had at his official declaration last week said having been a member of the House of Assembly since 2003, he claimed he had garnered sufficient legislative experience for the task ahead.
He also said having lived among the people of the senatorial district for decades, he was in the right stead to know where the shoe pinched them.
Besides, top politicians, local council chairmen and their deputies in the 16 local council areas that compose Lagos East senatorial district, reportedly met at various forums last week, with a unanimous decision to back Osinowo.
Last week, all chairmen of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) within the Lagos East unanimously endorsed the candidacy of Osinowo, at a parley with the aspirant in his Ogudu residence.
The motion for Osinowo’s endorsement was moved by the Chairman of Lekki LCDA, Mr. Mukadas Ogidan while the chairman of Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA, Comrade Sesan Daini seconded the motion on behalf of all the chairmen in the district.
The Committee of Council Vice Chairmen in the district also supported Osinowo’s aspiration for the aspirant. At the residence of the lawmaker, Mr. Sesan Dada and Mrs. Sade Oba, among other vice chairmen, declared their supports for him.
But the incumbent senator, Ashafa, is equally optimistic of getting the party’s ticket to return to the senate, as he has intensified campaigns to reclaim the ticket.
A group-Lagos East Youths for Good Governance recently endorsed Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Ashafa for another tenure, noting that they deserved the tickets, citing their sterling performance.
The group’s coordinator, Mr. Mutiu Lawal said that the youths unanimously endorsed Ambode and Ashafa, “based on their several achievements and pedigree in delivering dividends of democracy to the teeming populace.
However, the Mandate Movement has rejected both Ambode and Ashafa amid ongoing fence-mending efforts within the APC. The movement has already presented a former state Commissioner for Establishment and Pensions, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for governor. He has started campaigning.
However, it was gathered that the third senatorial contestant for Lagos East, Razak did not want Epe to lose out due to the possible loss of Governor Ambode at the September 25 APC governorship primary in the state.
A source told THISDAY that if Ambode, who is from Epe, was eventually edged out of the race, Razak hopes to replace the zone at the Senate in the spirit of fairness and quota system.