Wednesday, 21 February 2018

2019: Oyo residents begging Governor Ajimobi to run for Senate – aide

An aide to the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has claimed that the people of the state are pleading with the governor to run for the senate in 2019.

Morounkola Thomas, executive assistant to the governor on political affairs, said the people of the state, especially in Oyo South Senatorial District, have sent in messages requesting the governor to go back to the senate in the interest of the development of the state.

Mr. Ajimobi, who is serving his second term in office as governor, was elected senator on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy, AD, in 2003. He thereafter ran for the governorship seat in 2007 on the platform of the ANPP but lost the election to Adebayo Alao-Akala of the PDP. In 2011, he defeated the incumbent Mr. Alao-Akala and was re-elected for second term in 2015.

Mr. Ajimobi had vowed never to seek political office again at the end of his governorship tenure, but recently indicated he had changed his position.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Mr. Thomas said the governor has received pleas to replicate his developmental initiatives at the Senate but he had not made his intention known on the issue. He added that he was convinced the governor would yield to the demands of the people.

He said, “Governor Abiola Ajimobi was elected senator (in) 2003 on the platform of AD. I remember vividly well that he became the minority deputy chief whip in the senate chambers. All that time, he was always with his constituents and it was at that time that he set up a vocational training centre in Ibadan where youth were being trained in all kinds of vocation like computer engineering, IT etc.

“It was his performance at that time that served as the basis for his emergence as governor in 2011. You’d recall that in 2007 when he contested on the platform of the ANPP, it was because the Action Congress, AC, under the leadership of Alhaji Lam Adesina at that time denied him the ticket and offered the party ticket to a new comer in the party from the PDP, Professor (Taoheed) Adedoja.

“His ways into that election in 2007, beating the AC candidate at that time, is a testimony to the fact that he was the most popular in the party at that time. If he had been given the ticket, chances were that he would have emerged as the governor at that time.

“All of these combined to provide the opportunity to be elected in 2011 and since then, he’s been doing wonderfully well in many areas, including infrastructure, health, security, especially. Before his emergence, what we witnessed in Oyo State was more or less a state where lawlessness reigned.”

Mr. Thomas said that he has received numerous groups calling on the governor to run, in the interest of the people.

“Having been able to do these,” he said of Mr. Ajimobi’s records in office, “the people of the state, gathering together in various groups and urging him to contest for the senate seat and represent his senatorial district once again in the senate”.

“As his political adviser, I have received in audience several groups, political and non-political, from all the 9 local governments in Oyo South senatorial districts that are urging him to contest election. And most of the people in the party, from within and outside the party are also urging him to do so.”

The aide explained that the governor hasn’t made a categorical statement on the pleas, adding that “I am convinced that in the interest of good governance, he should be in the senate by 2019 by the grace of God.”

“I believe very strongly that our senate should be made up of matured and experienced politicians. The senate should not be for inexperienced and individuals with little exposure in governance. We should build our senate with the American model in which we have political giants in the caliber of Hillary Clinton in the Senate. That’s the reason why I have agreed with the pleas of the various groups urging the governor to run.

“We will await, very soon and at the appropriate time, his declaration on this matter. But I have advised him that it is in our interest as a party to yield to the request of our constituents,” he said.

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