By Mumini AbdulKareem
Strong indications emerged last night that some local governments may end up settling for consensus candidates for the November 4 local government election in the state.
National Pilot gathered last night that aspirants who have indicated interest to run for the race have “started serious and highwired politicking to outwit one another to emerge as elected chairmen.”
Towards this end, National Pilot gathered last night that some local councils may finally settle for a consensus candidate in order to properly manage what a source described as the bad blood that might be generated as a result of the contest.
Some local government councils concluded their caucus meetings on Wednesday after it concluded the zoning arrangement adopted over the issue.
Several council members and party supporters took to the social media to announce the result which has gone viral.
But it was gathered that the issue of zoning has caused serious disquiet in some local government councils after some influential members disagreed with the arrangement earlier adopted by the state leadership of the party.
Some caucus members who spoke on the issue on strict anonymity said the various local governments in conjunction with the leadership of the party is on top of the situation.
A top source who spoke on the issue last night confirmed that some local governments may go for the consensus arrangement at the appropriate time.
“For now, there are many candidates that have signified interested and more are still coming daily despite the zoning arrangement adopted by the leadership of the party. Even some local councils have disagreed with the state leadership decision because of the peculiarity in their local government.
“So, we have not restricted anybody from indicating interest but at the end of the day, most of the local councils may adopt consensus candidate. And the way the issue is going, that might be the necessary thing to do to bring everybody together again in the party and work for the bigger election going into 2019”, he added.
A source in Oyun who was present at the caucus meeting held in Ilemona yesterday told National Pilot last night that although the state leadership zoned the chairmanship to Oke-Ogun, some prominent members in Odo-Ogun which produced the last elected council chairman are now pleading and lobbying that it should be returned to them contrary to the arrangement on ground.
Meanwhile, more candidates have emerged following the conclusion of the zoning arrangement at their local governments.
In Oke-Ero, stakeholders rising from its meeting have now zoned it to Idofin-Igbana I, thereby disqualifying Idofin-Odoase and Idofin-Igbana II.
Out of the 93 delegates that attended the meeting on Wednesday, 63 people voted for the decision, six voted against while 7 abstained including the chairman of the party.
Those from Idofin-Igbana I that have now emerged in the race include an ex councillor, Bayo Oni; immediate past supervisory councillor and former party chairman, Michael Ajamu; another former councillor, Joshua Abolarinwa; Sunday Olajide, Femi Oladipo and Ishola Jacob who are said not to have held any position.
In Ekiti, although it was gathered that no candidate has been endorsed from those that have so far shown interest, the caucus meeting reportedly agreed that Koro, Eruku, Isapa and Obbo-Ile should forward their candidates within one week.
According to the party Chairman, Mr Raji Ganiyu, “Everybody is still an aspirant. We will determine who fits from the number that have indicated interest,” he added.
But there were conflicting reports of recent development last night over the issue in Ekiti.
Some highly placed sources in the council told this medium that Comrade Yinka Dallas has emerged favourite owing to a number of factors which gave him the edge over others.
A top caucus member who spoke on the issue strictly on anonymity said factors that played out in Dallas’ favour include his comradeship and camaraderie coming at a time the ‘Not too young to run bill’ is gaining popularity, adding that his eventual emergence will signal the end of opposition in Ekiti politics.
“Dallas has emerged the most preferred aspirant in Ekiti for the election. Three of them were considered. Olu Dada, Shayo Amos and Yinka Dallas.
“Apart from the fact that many youth groups have thrown their weight behind him, he is seen as a comrade and very loyal member of the party who has the required political knowledge to advance the politics of Ekiti. He is young and has not held any position like some others in the race”, the source added.
But another source insisted that Hon Olu Dada remains the candidate to beat, adding that most of the past members of the councils are in his support.
“We are totally in support of Reuben Olu Dada (ROD) and he has the experience which has come with his age”, the source added.
In Asa some of the new entrants after the confining arrangement include Alhaji Muri Akanbi from Aboto-Ode who is presently a board member of College of Education, Ilorin, Wahab Opakunle; former commissioner from Ila-Oja, Wahab Akande who was also a former councillor, Isiaka Ibrahim from Ogbondoroko/Reke; former state electoral officer, Abdulrahman Iyanda from Ibudo-Egba who is a former council vice chairman in Asa and one Saidu Habeeb from Ibudo Egba ward, a retired education director.
In Ifelodun, “the present list of interested aspirants are Alhaji Abdul-Rahman, Share ward II; A. Muhammad from Share ward 4; Mallam Yakubu Abdullah, Oke-Ode II; Hon Jamiu Akano Baba, Oke-Ode III; Alhaji Fatai Adeniyi Garba, Ilere; Alhaji Omoniyi Mukaila Ayinla who is the present TIC chairman and Prince Agboluaje David Ladi.
Others include AbdulGaniy Abiara from Share II who is a former councillor and has signified his intention but has not made it known to the ward chairman.
But, speaking with the Chairman of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last night, Hon Ishola Balogun-Fulani on the disquiet that has trailed the zoning in some councils, he said what is paramount to the party is winning the election, hinting that some of the agitations might be entertained.
“Let those who are aggrieved over the issue come and tell us and we will look at the merit and demerit of the argument, nothing has been brought to my attention as regards that.
“All we are interested in is winning and as for consensus candidate, other guidelines will come later, but for now we have only considered zoning,” he explained.