By Adams Akorede
Fourteen African Democratic Congress (ADC) members in the Oyo State House of Assembly have commended the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) for sticking to the choice of Senator Olufemi Lanlehin as the governorship candidate, describing him as the right choice whose popularity and connectedness with the masses will deliver the state to the party in 2019.
The lawmakers, who constituencies spread across local government areas in Ibadan city, Ibadan outer city, Oyo and Oke-Ogun and Ogbomosho zones, said the voting masses had been waiting for the choice of Lanlehin as the one worthy of their votes in 2019, having distinguished himself prior to and while serving as Senator for Oyo South district between 2011 and 2015.
The lawmakers, who spoke through their spokesperson, Hon. Gbenga Oyekola representing Atiba State Constituency, urged the ADC NWC “to discountenance any orchestrated dissension over the choice of Lanlehin, tasking the party leadership not to listen to the purported choice of another aspirant within the party.
Some of the lawmakers are the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Musa Abdulwasi (Saki West State Constituency), the Minority Leader, Hon. Ademola Akeem Ige (Ibadan South-East II); Hon. Adesina Fatai (Ibadan South East I); Hon. Olusegun Olaleye (Ibadan North State Constituency II); Hon. Lukman Balogun (Oorelope State Constituency).
Others are Hon. Ganiyu Oseni (Irepo/Olorunsogo State Constituency); Hon. Afeez Adeleke (Iseyin/Itesiwaju State Constituency); Hon. Muyideen Olagunju (Oyo East/Oyo West State Constituency); Hon. Waheed Adeniyi Adeoye (Ibadan North-East II State Constituency); Hon. Bolaji Badmus (Akinyele State Constituency II); Hon. Biliaminu Azeez (Ona-Ara State Constituency); Hon. Lasun Oguntade (Egbeda State Constituency II); and Hon. Peter Oyetunji (Ogo Oluwa/Surulere State Constituency).
Oyekola said it was strange for a group of 12 governorship aspirants to oppose the choice of Lanlehin and be clamouring that they should be allowed to pick the party’s governorship candidate from among them, adding that no serious party would cede the power to pick candidate to a group of aspirants.
“The aggrieved aspirants submitted themselves to a process approved by the NWC and when the outcome did not favour them, they started kicking against the decision of the leaders arising from the assignment given to them by the NWC. Can they be the judge in their own case?
“It is a good thing that they are in court to challenge how Lanlehin was arrived at by the leaders and the NWC of the party. They will have their day in court if they are hell bent on slowing down the wheel of progress of Oyo ADC.
“The pensioners, traumatized lecturers and depressed segments of the state are waiting for Lanlehin to come and pay them their pension arrears and salaries and put smile on the faces of populace.
“The feedback from the voting masses since the announcement of Lanlehin has been very positive and comforting. We recall that one of the aspirants was on a radio station ranting weeks ago and one of those who called into the programme told him Lanlehin is a popular choice that the people will vote for.
“We stand by the decision of the collegiate leadership of the party led by Senator Rashidi Ladoja; Chief Michael Koleoso; Dr Adebisi Busari and Chief Layiwola Olakojo supported by the NWC of the party. We dare these 12 aspirants to test their collective and individual popularity in another party rather than slowing down ADC unnecessarily.
“We task the NWC to wield a big stick on any erring member or aspirant against the choice of Lanlehin, while we forge ahead with campaign and strategy for the election. ADC, we are convinced, is a government-in-waiting,” Oyekola said.