An All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant in Ogun State, Otunba Jimi Lawal, was on Saturday endorsed as the preferred candidate for the 2019 Governorship by leaders of the party in Remo North Local Government Area, as they insisted that a pressure group with no constitutional role in APC should not arrogate the power of picking candidates to itself.
A pressure group, Ijebu Agenda, aligned to one of the APC governorship aspirants had recently anointed a candidate with controversy trailing the selection process, which was later voided by traditional rulers in Ijebuland. Seven of the nine Ijebu governorship aspirants, who participated in the selection process had kicked against it with four of them formally denouncing it. Five of the nine local government APC party chairmen also signed a petition distancing themselves from it, as they insisted that the party’s constitution did not assign any role to a pressure group in picking candidates.
The APC Organising Secretary in Remo North Local Government, Hon. Gbolahan Ogunfowodu, who was mandated to announce the resolve of leaders in the local government, during a consultation visit by Lawal, said, “We are not Ijebu. We are Remo. Those Ijebu Agenda people do not represent us, we do not even know them as members of our party. Apart from that, they have no constitutional position to proclaim anybody as candidate. But having listened to you and what you want to do as governor, we hereby pronounce you, Otunba Jimi Lawal, as our choice.
“A Commissioner, who has been in office for years without anything for the people or even common feedback to members now want to come through the bac door as governor is only deceiving himself. He has played the ball over the bar. We reject corner talk. We are saying our own openly that Jimi Lawal is our choice and we will prove that on the day of the primary.”
Thanking the APC members for their resolve, Lawal reiterated his position about the need for free and compulsory education for primary and secondary school students in Ogun State, adding that it is also the responsibility of government to pay the West African Examination Council fees of all public school students. “We are determined to have enough women in government and we are determined to empower them. The fact is that, when men have more money they go for more wives. But once you empower a woman and she has more money, she will take care of her children. Without government deliberately taing care of women, our society will be doomed because it is our women who takes care of young people, who are their children.”
Lawal pledged to establish skills acquisition centres in each of the state’s 20 local government to teach young people and women in particular needed skills that will enable them to be self-employed with access to credit facilities that will be guaranteed by government.
At Odeda Local Government, where Lawal was also hosted by the APC leadership, Chief M. S. Oke, who spoke glowingly about Lawal, said in Yoruba, “Omo ti o see duro ti ni e. A jeje ni Ijoba Ibile yi wipe awa a duro ti e. Oro re wu wa l’ori. Awa kan mo e tele, o si da wa l’oju wipe gomina gidi ti o maa se ise takun takun fun Ipinle Ogun ni o maa je.” (You are an aspirant that is worthy to be supported and we pledge our unalloyed support for you in this local government. Some of us know you earlier before now, and we are persuaded that you’ll be a governor that’ll work to bring quality development to Ogun State.)