AJIF HOUSE OF REPS: IS THIS THE TIME FOR KAP?

Apr 4, 2022 | Politics | 0 comments

Written By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

There is no gainsaying on the conceivable inevitability for the recurring political temerity of a man, who in some quarters is expected to claim what is long overdue and what he should have been assigned to rightfully, in the race for Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency. Like it or not, the body check provided by his political allies, coupled with the 2020 Pact and the eventual leadership consensus in this race, are probably some of the arrays of light that have positioned Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul {KAP}, with the ‘Right of First Refusal’ when the situation finally gets to the negotiation table in AJIF LGA, as the Primaries of the All Progressives Congress {APC}, continues to draw closer. Despite how sound and appealing these premises are, the validity of the political personality of KAP for the APC slot in Ajegunle still remains at the mercies of hatchet men in corridors of power at the top, writes Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo.

Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul, who was the former Special Adviser on rural development to Governors of Lagos State; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola {SAN}, has earned his political status on the radar of Lagos State politics meritoriously. A situation that enabled him further, and was subsequently appointed as the Chief Executive Officer {CEO}, for Lagos State Ferry Services, under the administration of the former Governor of Lagos State; His Excellency, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Back home in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul is politically synonymous with standards, ethics and proactive administrative demeanour in his personal and social relationship with the political class, electorates, and the masses in general.

His political strength has enabled successive governments in the grassroots of Ajegunle to be reckoned with when it matters most at the corridors of power in Lagos State.

He was instrumental to the successive political transition of council chairmen in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area from 2003 to date. Like the Rock of Gibraltar, Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul is undeniably the brain box and the ‘Mannschaft’ of Ajegunle politics. His leadership input within AJIF LGA G-16 is sacrosanct, timeless and technically indispensable.

For a man like Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul to be endowed with such academic versatility and entrepreneurial acumen deserves electoral empathy in order for him to lead the revolution for objective and democratic social reforms in the distribution of commonwealth among the people of Ajegunle.

In view of these, Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul has paid his dues, he was not economical about his desire to represent the good people of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency at the red chamber in Abuja after three attempts, and now to the fourth time according to his political allies and protegees, it is now or never for Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul, as the lawmaker representing Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency!

THE 2020 PACT

Information gathered reliably from the former executive chairman of Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, Hon. Shuaib Abdul-Fatai Ajidagba, during an interview session, reveals that a letter titled: ‘Joint Resolution of Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA and Ifelodun LCDA on Federal House of Representatives, was signed by the political leadership of the All Progressives Congress {APC}, in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA and Ifelodun LCDA respectively, on December 18, 2020, and was sent to, and acknowledged by the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The leaders who were signatories to the letter at both LGA and LCDA include…

AJIF LGA: Prince Rabiu Adio Oluwa, APC Lagos-West Senatorial leader, Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola who is the incumbent executive chairman of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, Hon. Fatai Olatunji Oluwa, member of Lagos State House of Assembly {The lawmaker denied appending his signature on the said letter}, Chief Samuel Adeyemi who is the party chairman of APC, Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul, Alhaji Garuba Adewunmi, Alhaja Moriliat Arogundade,  Alhaji Lukmon Jimoh, Elder Wemimo Awolowo, Alhjaji Mudashiru Afolayan, Chief Tajudeen Ogunoike, Chief Kola Balogun

Ifelodun LCDA:  Hon. Olusegun Ogunbanjo, former Federal House of Representatives member, Hon. Taiwo Adenekan, a former member of House of Representatives and former Council chairman, Ifelodun LCDA, Hon. Lukmon Olumoh, member of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Fatai Ajidagba, executive chairman, Ifelodun LCDA, Hon. Ajijola Abiola, first executive chairman Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, Hon. Sulaimon Atoyebi, Party chairman, Ifelodun LCDA, Hon. Adebayo Adigun, former executive secretary, Ifelodun LCDA, Hon. Giwa Kayode, Hon. Lateef Lamina, Chief Remi Williams, Alhaji Muda Kuti, S.A. Ayodele and Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, member, Federal House of Rep[resentatives, representing Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency {He denied appending his signature to the said letter}.

Contending issues raised in the letter includes:

  • Lopsidedness of representation at the Federal House of Representatives.
  •  The recurring political imbalances since 1999 over equal representation on both LGA and LCDA.
  •  Issues bothering on Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA having just ‘One-term’ slot as against Ifelodun LCDA, which has benefited with ‘Four-term’ slots till present.
  •  That the 2023 slot should be ceded to Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA, and of which the slot should become rotational afterwards.
  • That change of residency from Ajeromi-Ifelodun to Ifelodun by any potential aspirant is prohibited.
  • That Permanent Voters Card number of any aspirant shall not be transferrable.
  •  And finally, that the document shall become a reference point and biding document on any matter relating to this agreement in the future.

Sequel to the aforementioned, Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul could be the obvious aspirant who may be considered on the issue of ‘Right of First Refusal’ during the negotiation table at the party leadership here in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA and Ifelodun LCDA. The reason being that, he had aspired in 2011, 2015, 2019 and now for 2023!

Just like the former council chairman in Ifelodun LCDA, Hon. Fatai Ajidagaba, he argued that Hon. Kolawole Taiwo had been in government since 1999 {Four terms in Lagos State House of Assembly inclusive}, hence the need to step aside and honour the ‘2020 Pact’ by giving room for another candidate of the party to represent the good people of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency.

From this argument, the coast may be technically cleared for the emergence of Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul as the party choice for Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency at the 2023 general elections, because of the following reasons:

  • That the present chairman for Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Hon. Kamal Ayinde Bayewu is occupied with administrative activities that will keep him in office till 2026.
  • The cameo declaration of intention to contest by Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola, the incumbent executive chairman of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, could be regarded as a body check and political shield, geared to pave way for the emergence of Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul.
  • That the ‘Political Pecking Order’ may not be in favour of enterprising Alayabiagba strong politician, Ladi Balogun, because he is a first time aspirant in this category, if one were to compare to Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul {4}, Fatai Adekunle Ayoola {3}, Kamal Ayinde Bayewu {2} and now himself; Ladi Balogun {1}.
  • And that the leadership structure in the Federal election that comprises of Ward A to G, will likely follow the choice of Prince Rabiu Adio Oluwa and Fatai Adekunle Ayoola, which in essence are for the greater benefit of Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul.

THE FEDERAL VOTING SYSTEM AND WARD FACTOR

In order for the emergence of Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul to become a reality, the former special adviser on rural development to Governor Raji Fashola {SAN}, must contend with the eleven wards at the election for the Federal House of Representatives in 2023.

For simple analyses, Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA comprises seven {7} wards. And Ifelodun LCDA comprises Four {Wards}.

Charity they say begins at home. Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul must be politically diplomatic in securing the votes from the 7 wards of Ajeromi-Ifelodun LG Federal Constituency. More so, there is a likely partnership with the leadership of Comrade Chris Ogunbanjo, Hon. Adebayo Adigun, Hon. Taiwo Adenekan, and Hon. Shuaib Abdul-Fatai Ajidagba, in order to split and block votes from Ifelodun LCDA in favour of the former CEO of Lagferry, during Governor Ambode’s administration.

INTERNAL DEMOCRACY FACTOR

It is beholden to the leadership structure in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA and Ifelodun LCDA to collectively decide and agree on what method of voting would be adopted for the Party Primaries in order to present a candidate as the party flagbearer. Any of these methods may be adopted in the course of negotiation…

Direct Primaries – This will enable members of the party to choose their candidate. The aspirants will be expected to garner votes from the 11 wards through a direct voting system in order to become the party’s flagbearer. And judging from history, the party may not adopt this process for fear of violence and political intimidation.

Indirect Primaries – This will enable voters to elect delegates that will be responsible for choosing the party’s candidate at a designated convention. This also may not be ideal in the current political atmosphere in the country, owing to the sensitive and emotional affinity, some delegates bear for a prospective candidate of their choice.

Consensus Candidate – The hierarchy of the party leadership may decide to agree on a particular aspirant and adopt such as the consensus candidate of the party.

The consensus candidate may be adopted by the leadership structure of APC in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency, and this may favour Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul.

LOBBYING, THE SEVEN WARDS ADVANTAGE AND INTRICACIES FOR KAP

If the party accepts to adopt a Consensus Candidate: It may interest readers to note that, out of the 16 leaders {famously regarded as G-16} in charge of Ward A to Ward G {7 Wards} in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, eight {8} of them are politically in the camps of Prince Rabiu Adio Oluwa, and which will bring the total to 9, after inclusion of the Apex leader too. They are: Prince Rabiu Adio Oluwa, Hon. Fatai Adekunle Ayoola, Alhaji Lukmon Jimoh, Chief Samuel Adeyemi, Alhaja Moriliat Arogundade, Hon. Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul, Elder Wemimo Awolowo, Hon. Shina Ogunkoya, and Alhaji Mudashiru Afolayan.

The remaining seven members include Chief Dele Fayemi, Chief Bola Badmus, Prince Taju Ogunoike, Chief Gabriel Babalola, Hon. Kamal Bayewu and Hon. Morufu Bayewu and Hon. Kola Balogun, are the major intricacies, which Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul must lobby in order to garner their votes.

However, the greatest herculean task for Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul would be in IfelodunLCDA. For this part, the leadership may be wavy when it comes to their consensus candidate because the major coup in Ifelodun has been orchestrated with the alleged removal of party chairman, Alhaji Sulaimon Atoyebi, paving way for the choice of the current executive chairman. And with such a move, the game is on, especially on which sides of the party leadership, the pendulum of Kalejaiye Adeboye’s potential candidacy will swing!

WILL THE LEADERSHIP AT THE STATE SPEARHEAD THE CONSENSUS CANDIDATE?

The obvious reality in this political permutation is that the party leadership in the state, led by the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may ‘influence’ the consensus candidate for Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency. The political arrangement from the leadership of both Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Ifelodun may become less significant in the eventual outcome of who becomes the consensus candidate of the party when it finally matters most.

This is where tactical diplomacy, political accountability, bargaining power and logical presentation of facts and figures become prominent at the negotiation table.

Where does the political power of KAP rely, in this regard? This is where the versatile political statesman in Ajegunle needs all his political arsenals and allies to intercede for one of his greatest favours before the party leadership in Lagos State, and secure the most imagined elusive seat in the political trajectory of Kalejaiye Adeboye Paul inside Ajegunle and Lagos State!

Written By Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo

Fakunle Sheriff Ekundayo is the editor at Project 3:16 Metro, an online news platform for rural and urban areas. He is also the Principal Partner and Editor-in-Chief at Project 3:16 Metro Newspaper. His youth advocacy and academic drive have made him discover the need to bridge the gap between youths, communities, and government institutions through his journal; Project 3:16 Metro. This he has also modified with the company’s website page, www.metro316.com.ng.

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