By Olufemi Adediran, Abeokuta
Apparently replying a statement credited to some Elders in the Ogun West Senatorial District of the State, referring to him as a “Tekobo”, (stranger) a Governorship Aspirant in the State, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West) has said hardly would any democratically elected Governor who had served in the State would claim not to have roots in Lagos State, including Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
The Ogun West leaders had at a press conference in Abeokuta, the State capital, vowed to resist attempts by any individual or political party to impose any “imported” candidate who is not based in the State come 2019.
The elders who spoke under the aegis of Ogun West Elders’ Council labeled such candidates as “Atohunrinwas” and “Tekobos”, alleging that some “irrendentist enemies” were already sponsoring candidates to divide the zone and scuttle its longtime bid to produce Governor of the State.
Adeola who is popularly called Yayi spoke on Monday when he and his team, paid a visit to Onimeko of Imeko, Oba Benjamin Olanite in Imeko, Imeko/Afon Local Government Area as part of his on-going consultative meeting with Stakeholders on his ambition.
He specifically pointed out that former Governors, Olabisi Onabanjo, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Amosun had all made headways economically in Lagos before their emergence at various times.
Adeola who spoke in Yoruba said, “The truth is that if you want to run for Governor in Ogun State, you can’t find the huge amount of money required here in Ogun State except Lagos.”
According to him, the District had endured marginalisation long enough since creation of the State in 1976, insisting that it was high time the zone realised the dream in 2019.
While thanking former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Chief Olusegun Osoba for publicly declaring their support for a Yewa Governor in 2019, he cautioned against imposition, adding that the zone should be allowed to present its “qualified and competent candidate.”
Adeola told his host, “Your Royal Highness, they have been shouting that I am coming from Lagos. Is there anybody who has governed Ogun State without any root in Lagos? The point is this, the amount you require for governorship race can’t be found in Ogun, you can only make such in Lagos.
“Our Baba, Chief Aremu Osoba, he was MD of Daily Times in Ikeja, Lagos. Baba Olabisi Onabanjo came from Tin Can in Apapa, Lagos. Otunba Gbenga Daniel had his office in Maryland, Lagos as well. The present Governor, he has his, Amosun and Co in Palmgrove, Lagos.”
He queried, “Why is it now that it comes to Yewa/Awori’s turn that they are shouting Tekobo? Again, if you examine it critically, none of these Governors have emerged without the connection or support of Lagos.
“I put it on record, I am not fighting Amosun. He is my elder brother and present Governor of my State. The only issue between us is the claim that I am from Lagos. But Amosun was also from Lagos. This to me, however, should not create any issue.
“I was a member of the Lagos House of Assembly. I was at House of Representatives and now at Senate. I was Special Adviser to Asiwaju. So, I have the credentials to turn around the future of Ogun State.”
The Senator promised to appoint “100 percent of his cabinet members” from Ogun State and assured that all “neglected communities” would be given face lift through provision of roads, health centres, schools, tourist centres among other amenities when elected as the Governor.
In his response, the monarch lamented what he called neglect and sorry state of his town, saying “Imeko has been relegated to nothing.”
He recalled that Imeko was a district under Western province, a fall-out of the colony of Southern Nigeria, but expressed regret the development is nothing to write home about.
He promised to support Adeola morally and royally while challenging him to walk his talks when he emerge as the Governor of the State.
“Many politicians have visited us during campaign period and made empty promises. I want you to remember all the promises you have by the time God’s will for your life has come to pass,” the Monarch said.
Adeola also held various meetings with traditional chiefs, artisans, politicians across party lines and also with a renowned retired Professor of History, Anthony Asaju.