Transparency and Integrity

6/16/2020

3 Ardent Proponents Of Tinubu Likely To Replace Senator Bayo Oshinowo


On Monday, 15th June 2020, the people of Lagos east senatorial district and members of Lagos state chapter of All Progressive Congress were thrown into mourning as a result of the loss of their representative in the National Assembly, Senator Adebayo Osinowo, who succumbed to the cold hand of death after he suffered an undisclosed ailment.




Sen Osinowo

Before his demise, Senator Osinowo established himself as a very influential member of the Lagos state chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) and an influential personality in Lagos east senatorial district, especially Kosofe local government area. He was also a long time trusted loyalist and associate of APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, since they met as members of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992.

Furthermore, Senator Osinowo, who was 65 years old at the time of his death, represented the people of Kosofe state constituency in Lagos State House of Assembly for a record four terms of 16 years between 2003 and 2019. He served three successive governors, namely, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (2003 - 2007), Mr Babatunde Fashola (2007 - 2015) and Mr Akinwunmi Ambode (2015 -2019), during his 16 year stay in the Lagos state legislative house.

After his service to the Lagos state House of Assembly, he was elevated to the upper chamber of the National Assembly in June 2019 to succeed Senator Gbenga Ashafa as the Senator for Lagos east senatorial zone.

Indeed, the death of Senator Osinowo is a painful blow to the Lagos state chapter of APC and Asiwaju Tinubu political caucus, but the seat he left behind must be filled by someone else in line with the provisions of the Nigeria Constitution and Electoral Act as power abhors vacuum.

Furtherance to the above, the Lagos state chapter of APC and Asiwaju Tinubu political caucus is expected to commence the process of nominating a someone to stand as the party's candidate that would succeed the late Senator in a yet to be announced bye-election for the district.

In Lagos east senatorial district, there are three prominent politicians that belongs to the political caucus of Asiwaju Tinubu within the APC that may be favored by the Lagos strongman to clinch the nomination of the party in order to run as candidate for the Lagos east bye-election. They are;


1. Former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

 In October 2018, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the immediate past governor of Lagos state, found himself in the wrong side of history when he could not defeat his former appointee, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, in the 2018 governorship primary election of APC for the 2019 governorship election in the state. Mr Ambode, who before the primary fell out with the political caucus of his benefactor and godfather, Asiwaju Tinubu, was terribly humiliated at the primary to his own amazement.

Before the 2018 APC primary election, no sitting governor of Lagos state that contested for second term was defeated either at primary level of party or at the general election until Ambode was defeated in 2018.


Ambode

Since losing the his gubernatorial seat to Governor Sanwoolu in May 2019, Ambode has continuously made all efforts to return to the good book of Asiwaju Tinubu. It was not a surprised that he was among the members of the elite Governors Advisory Council of Lagos state that aligned with Asiwaju Tinubu to outlaw the existence of Mandate Group and other political groups of Lagos chapter of APC.

It is not unexpected that the Epe born politician, who have been out of job since he left power in May 2019, may throw his hat into the ring and make move to the Senate to succeed the demised Senator Osinowo in the bye-election. A place in the Senate Chamber would avail him fresh opportunity to return to political relevance in the state should he be favored by Asiwaju Tinubu and the electorate of Lagos east.

2. Former Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji

Rt Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Epe born politician who holds the record of being the longest serving presiding officer in any legislative house in Nigeria, is another political heavyweight from Lagos east senatorial district that may get the nod of Asiwaju Tinubu to throw his hat into the Senatorial race.


Rt Hon Ikuforiji

Ikuforiji, a prominent member of APC in Epe and member of Governors Advisory Council, was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA) in 1999 to represent Epe 1 state constituency and became Speaker of the House in July 2005 during the second gubernatorial term of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed. He held the position of Speaker for two more consecutive terms, and bowed out as Speaker and member of the LSHA in July 2015. Before he left office as LSHA Speaker in, Ikuforiji, who is also a trusted ally of Asiwaju Tinubu, contested for the governorship nomination of APC in 2015 but lost to the much preferred Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who expressed his readiness to run for senatorial or gubernatorial offices in future during an interview with a prominent newspaper in January 2019, may take advantage of this this opportunity to aspire to fill the vacancy that currently exists in the Lagos east senatorial race. It will not come as a surprised if he gets the APC ticket as a reward from Asiwaju Tinubu for his unwavering loyalty.

3. Senator Gbenga Ashafa

Following his retirement from the civil service as the permanent secretary of Lagos State Lands Bureau in 2010, Gbenga Ashafa wasted no time to join the Lagos east senatorial race for the 2011 general election under the platform of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN (the predecessor of APC); an election he won triumphantly. He was nominated by APC to run for a second term in the Senate that would keep him until 2019 during the 2015 election; which he won.


Sen Ashafa

Penultimate to 2019 general election, Senator Ashafa, an indigene of Kosofe local government like Bayo Osinowo, was engaged in a supremacy battle with the now demised Bayo Osinowo over the nomination of APC for the 2019 senatorial race. Senator Ashafa wanted the nomination of the party to contest for a third term as Lagos east senator that would see him remain in office until 2023, while Osinowo, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly as at then, was equally interested in the Senatorial race.

After the intense political battle that almost crippled the Kosofe chapter of the party, Senator Ashafa was defeated by Bayo Osinowo in the party's senatorial primary election that was held in October 2018. Osinowo further went on to win the seat at the February 23, 2019 general election with his tenure expected to terminate in 2023, but his demise has terminated the arrangement.

With the demise of Bayo Osinowo, Senator Ashafa may join the senatorial race in order to reclaim the seat that he lost in 2019 to Bayo Osinowo. But for this to come to fruition, he will have to get the blessing of his political mentor, Asiwaju Tinubu.

By : Tamunotonye Inioribo

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