See who-is-who in the 2 factions of APC in Ogbomoso
The race for 2023 general elections is gradually picking up across the country, expectedly with intensive realignment taking place among political gladiators of all hues and cries. 2023, (if it holds) will be the 24th year of the current democratic dispensation in the country and it is no wonder the political field has gotten excessively flooded with many embracing partisan politics. The old breeds and the new breeds and even newest of the breeds are coalescing all aiming to grab the little available top prizes that will make them have unfettered access to the proverbial national cake.
In Ogbomoso, partisan politics has gone full circle, it is not unanticipated, a community that produced premier and governors (both military and civilian) especially cannot expect to experience less. Oyo state is locked in a cutthroat battle between the two main political parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). APC controls the federal level while PDP takes charge of the state. While PDP appears settled in who controls the party in particular at the local government level, APC is still entangled in a fierce contest for the control of its soul at the state, local government and ward levels.
There is no doubt that APC in Ogbomoso zone is populated by heavy weights in politics. If names alone win election, one would have concluded that in Ogbomoso zone, the 2023 battle is no contest, in view of the intimidating profile of politicians paraded by APC. But election winning is more than that. Anyway, we will leave that to the future.
Interest is the prime thing to be trusted in politics, this is incontrovertible. All politicians more than anything else and irrespective of affirmation of being propelled by love for the masses and advancement of society, are locked in the grips of parochialism and never of altruism. All their actions are geared towards self preservation, to gain advantage over allies and rivals.
APC in Ogbomoso is polarized into two main camps, which are equally formidable, this is remarkable and interesting. This piece therefore, sequel to an investigation, highlights the gladiators in each of the two main APC camps in Ogbomoso. Camp Akala and Camp Adeseun are the camps. Camp Akala consists mostly of politicians loyal to late Governor Abiola Ajimobi while Camp Adeseun is a haven of mostly members of the Unity Forum who parted ways with Ajimobi, joined Action Democratic Alliance (ADC) and some, PDP. They are mostly returnees or neutrals.
Senator Chief Ayoade Ademola Adeseun heads Camp Adeseun. He was a former chairman of Surulere local government, two-term member of House of Representatives (Surulere/Ogo-Oluwa federal constituency), one-term Senator (Oyo Central senatorial district) and former gubernatorial aspirant. He boasts a frightening resume in politics. He defected from PDP into APC after what he considered an intolerable treatment from the PDP in 2019. He is the incontestable leader of this faction. Some other leaders of the camp are Barrister Dapo Atanda, a lawyer and former member of the Governing Council, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso; Alhaji Ibrahim Gbodeniyi, a former chairman of Surulere local government; Alhaji Bashiru Akanbi Akatapa, a former state secretary of PDP; Alhaji Femi Yusuf, a former chairman of Alliance for Democracy in Ogbomoso North local government; Alhaji Yekinni Edison, a former chairmanship candidate in Ogbomoso North local government; Barrister Daudu Abese, a former chairman, Ogbomoso Central LCDA; Alhaji Abass Bello, former vice chairman, Ogbomoso North local government; Chief Ademola Olawale Agba Demo, former vice chairman, Ogbomoso Central LCDA; Hon Mrs. Gidado Fatimo, a former chairperson in Oriire North LCDA; Hon Sunday Adedeji, former caretaker chairman, Ogbomoso South local government; Chief Matthew Fasola, former caretaker chairman, Ogbomoso South local government. And recently, many leading members of African Democratic Congress (ADC), have shown movement into the camp such as Hon Biodun Alade, a former caretaker chairman of Ogbomoso North local government; Mr. Solomon Ayanlola, a former APC chairman in Ogbomoso North local government. Also, several leaders of Oyo state former governor, Senator Adewolu Ladoja have pitched tent with APC in line with the directive of the former governor and have found convenient allying with Camp Adeseun: they included Baba Wahab Gbadebo Oyelade, a former TESCOM chairman in Oyo state; Mr. Femi Oke, and many other formidable politicians loyal to former ADC governorship candidate, Senator Femi Lanlehin.
Former Oyo state governor, Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, is the indisputable leader of this camp. He has been the political numero uno in Ogbomoso zone though his magic wand seems to be waning especially with how his candidates suffered defeats in Ogbomoso zone outside his Ogbomoso North constituency in 2019. But the political old horse still parades a fearsome warhead in politics. He had decamped few weeks to the governorship election in 2019 from Action Democratic Party, ADP, to APC, apparently aftermath coercive influence brought upon him by APC national leaders. He had jettisoned his ambition to rule Oyo state once more via ADP to join the then ruling APC in the state. In spite of that, APC was trounced in the guber election, losing to incumbent governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, who is of the PDP. Some of his co-travelers in the APC in Ogbomoso zone today are Dr. Fatai Buhari, Senator representing Oyo North senatorial district; Chief Akin Oke, APC chairman in the state; Chief Olusegun Odebunmi a.k.a. Bunvic, three-term member House of Representatives (Surulere/Ogo-Oluwa federal constituency); Hon. Jacob Bamigboye, member representing Oriire state constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly (OYHA) and former chairman of Oriire local government; Mr. Zach Adedeji Adelabu, a former Commissioner for Finance in Oyo state and currently, Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC); Hon Wumi Oladeji, two term member, OYHA, currently representing Ogbomoso North state constituency; Hon Simeon Oyeleke, two-term member OYHA, representing Surulere-Ogo-Oluwa state constituency presently; Hon Jacob Ajao, currently representing Ogbomoso North/South/Oriire federal constituency; Engr. Open Salawu, a wealthy businessman who held offices as aide to late Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The non-committed, the neutrals
Two prominent politicians are recognized in this category; they are not totally committed to either camp though both appear more comfortable with the Camp Adeseun. They are Chief Sunday Dare, Minister for Youths and Sports Development. He is an associate or disciple of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of APC and leading presidential aspirant on the platform of the party. Dare recently was installed as Agbaakin of Ogbomosoland. The second political juggernaut in this class is Rt. Hon. Gunju Ojo, immediate past Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly. He was also once Deputy Speaker in the OYHA. He contested but lost the last Ogbomoso federal constituency election to Hon Jacob Ajao.