A socio-political group, Concerned Youth Movement (CYM) has described the statement credited to the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu that Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s support for Oke-Ogun candidature for 2019 governorship election is a compensation for the role the zone played in Ajimobi’s victory in 2015 election as ruse and confirmation of incompetency of the zone to rule the state by the Minister.
The group noted that the position of any political office including governorship should not be seen as compensation rather it should be based on merit, competency and democratic tenet.
According to the group, “This statement from Minister simply means, Oke Ogun can only get APC ticket if Governor Ajimobi holds Ibadan and other zones down. That Oke Ogun has no capable person to navigate d political waters of Oyo State and win majority votes of d zones”
The Coordinator of the group, Adewale Adesope stated this while reacting to a statement by the Minister on a radio programme while reacting to a statement by governorship hopeful in All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan.
It could be recalled that recently Olaosebikan stated that Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi cannot be stampeded or blackmailed into submitting to the antics of any aspirant or group for the next year gubernatorial election as political expediency, competence, popularity and winning would determine the zone producing the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
Olaosebikan, a former Chairman of Oluyole Local Government stated that the expression of the wish of Senator Ajimobi for the party’s candidate to come from a particular zone was not a guarantee that the APC candidate must come from that zone and neither should it be taken as a license for blackmail.
Olaosebikan explained that the governor’s wish that the gubernatorial candidate of the party comes from Oke Ogun was predicated on the fact that Oke Ogun has many competent, popular and capable people that could navigate the political waters of Oyo State successfully and win majority support from all the other zones and not an overt or covert holding down of other zones in the contest.
“It is true that Governor Ajimobi had expressed his wish for the candidate of the party to come from Oke Ogun Zone which was based on his conviction that Oke Ogun has capable, popular and competent people that could navigate the political waters of Oyo State successfully and win majority votes from other zones. He never meant limiting the contest to Oke Ogun Zone alone”
The governor’s expression, Olaosebikan said, was an encouragement for the people of Oke Ogun to show keener interest in the governorship race with the possibility of having one of theirs as the next governor of the state adding that this has yielded good fruits with many aspirants from Oke Ogun now in the race to Agodi Government House, more than ever before.
Olaosebikan said that aspirants and politicians were at liberty to adopt any strategy they consider suitable for their campaigns and goals but frowned at a situation where aspirants would out of frantic politicking, resort to blackmail over a wish expressed out of genuine love.
“The reality of the prevailing political climate in Oyo State is for the party to maintain an objective stance leaving all the aspirants to contest based on their strength, competence, capacity and popularity among the party hierarchies across the state and not on where they come from.
“If it is Ayete in Ibarapa Zone, Kishi in Oke Ogun Zone, Fiditi in Oyo Zone, Akanran in Ibadan Zone or Oko in Ogbomosho Zone, let the number of political bridges you have built over time do the work for you. This is not the time to say because I am from a place and the governor has said it is our turn, and then you must give me the ticket. No! The All Progressives Congress cannot afford to do that now, as we want to win the gubernatorial and all other elections, landslide.”
But reacting to this on radio programme in Ibadan, Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu said in fairness to Governor Ajimobi who knows fully the role the Oke-Ogun people played in his victory in 2015 and as a way of showing appreciation, he would give the slot of governorship ticket to Oke-Ogun as compensation in 2019.
Adesope said this statement from the Minister underscore the competency of Oke-Ogun people, queried that, how can a governorship position be a compensation rather than merit,
competency, popular and capable person that could navigate the political waters of Oyo State successfully and win with majority.
He maintained that the democratic tenet gives room to everyone irrespective of the zone to exercise their civic right and show their popularity so that the best candidate can emerge under the platform of All Progressives Congress in the State.