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Senator laments Nigeria’s lopsided structure

By Seye Olumide
02 August 2017   |   3:02 am
The lawmaker representing Lagos West senatorial district at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Olamilekan Solomon Adeola has faulted the lopsided structure of the country, particularly as it affected Lagos, which has been demanding for special status.....

Olamilekan Solomon Adeola

The lawmaker representing Lagos West senatorial district at the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Olamilekan Solomon Adeola has faulted the lopsided structure of the country, particularly as it affected Lagos, which has been demanding for special status and his district, which is considered as the largest in the country.

Speaking against the backdrop of controversies trailing the role of the senior lawmakers in the aborted opportunity to devolve powers to Nigeria’s federating states, Adeola noted that Lagos West makes half of the population of estimated 20 million population of the state.

According to him, “indeed our senatorial district of ten local governments or 28 Local Government Development Areas (LCDA) is far greater than many states in Nigeria. This imposes serious challenges on effective representation. What is due to the district’s 11 million persons is the same given to others with less than half of our population. You must agree with me that this lopsidedness in our political system is an unjust situation for me, my constituents and the senatorial district.”

Adeola who spoke during his second Town Hall Meeting and Empowerment Programme organised for his district in Badagry yesterday, also shed lights on his ambition to contest for the Ogun State governorship seat in 2019 saying the matter is still subject to consultations with stakeholders in the state and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

His statement however contradicts the affirmation in some quarters that the lawmaker has made up his mind to dump Lagos politics to actualise his ambition in his home state.

According to him, “The present state of my governorship ambition is that of wide spread consultations among stakeholders in Ogun State and in our party, the APC on the desirability of such a political move.”

It would be recalled that in the last few months since he started the move to succeed the incumbent governor of Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who is also one of the founding members of the APC, there had been insinuations of disagreement between the governor and the Lagos senator, over the latter’s ambition to transfer his political influence beyond the state he is currently serving.

While Amosun expressed readiness to support the desire of Ogun West, which comprises of Yewa/Awori people, to produce the next governor in 2019 on the premise that the zone remains the only one yet to produce the governor since Nigeria returned to civil rule in 1999, he however did not pretend over his distaste for Adeola becoming his successor.

Adeola in his speech yesterday said, “I consider it appropriate at this point to discuss a matter that is of topical interest among my constituents and elsewhere in political sphere. I am talking about the issue of my humble self possibly contesting for the governorship seat in Ogun State. Without mincing words and from the depth of my heart, I am full of gratitude for the rare opportunity given me to serve the people of Lagos, first as a state legislator representing Alimosho Constituency 2 and secondly as a member of the House of Representatives representing Alimosho Federal Constituency and now a senator for Lags West.”

He further craved the indulgence of members of his district that his ambition is does not necessarily means he was trying to take their generosity and magnanimity lightly, saying, “I hope I have not disappointed in the public office entrusted to me.”

According to him, “My dear people of Ogun State are earnestly yearning for my service as I have demonstrated here in Lagos. For now, no decision to contest election in Ogun has been reached and I pledged that I will always carry my constituents along in any decision to contest election in Ogun.”

The Guardian however learnt that the undercurrent of Ogun politics and the perceived tent pitching of the national body of the APC, may have been responsible for Adeola’s retraction especially if the fact of Amosun’s unsupportive posture is also considered

Some political observers have also sounded a note of caution that it may not be politically wise for now to abandon his political base more so when it is also being rumoured that the governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is eying the same Lagos West senatorial district in 2019.

Although, there is no aspect of the Nigerian Constitution that deterred him from contesting the Ogun governorship seat, some political stakeholders in the state are however not in tune with the development and have therefore expressed their readiness to stop him.

While several calculations, particularly in respect of Adeola’s ambition is ongoing, some stakeholders in Ogun East are already warming up to present their candidate in 2019 hinging on the fact that what was supposed to be the slot of Ogun West is what Amosun is currently using since the district failed to put its house in order during the 2011 governorship election.