An All Progressives Congress gubernatorial aspirant in Ogun State, Otunba Jimi Lawal, was on Saturday presented to stakeholders of the party in Ifo Local Government by the its chairman, Hon. Saheed Ariyori, as a credible product that the APC in his constituency is proud to have as a candidate towards the 2019 general elections.
The Ifo Local Government APC Chairman spoke during Lawal’s visit to stakeholders of the party as part of consultations towards the gubernatorial primary of the party following an earlier one to those of Yewa South Local Government, which is the heart of Ogun West Senatorial District, at the Oronna Hall, Ilaro.
Lawal’s visit to the APC stakeholders in Ifo marked the 15th of such consultation to Local Governments across Ogun State with five others still pending on the former investment banker’s itinerary for the state’s 20 local governments. Lawal had also paid similar consultative visits to stakeholders in Ogun Central, Ogun West and Ogun East Senatorial Districts.
According to Ariyori, “Otunba Jimi Lawal’s elder brother, Hon. Remi Lawal, is complete gentleman, who is a former member of the House of Representatives. He may not remember the first time we spoke about this project, but I do. For me, a gentleman cannot market a bad product. Otunba Jimi Lawal is a good product, and we are proud of him. So, the product in our midst today is a good one, which I can attest to.
“With the enviable place Ogun State occupies today in terms of development, we will ensure that persons, who might take us back to the past and cause retrogression for our state, are not allowed near the Governor’s office. It is for this reason I welcome you on behalf of all our party members in Ifo Local Government and to let them know that your quality background and experience have sold you to us.”
Chairman, APC Yewa South Local Government, Hon. Salman Adesina, defended the reception accorded Lawal, despite the fact that the senatorial district is determined to have one of its own as Ogun State Governor in 2019. “Some people might feel, why did we allow an Ijebu to come and talk to us? Let such people know that Otunba Jimi Lawal had earlier visited our leaders in Ogun West Senatorial District to share his message with them. Since we are under these leaders, who received him, and nobody has been picked as candidate yet, we are duty bound to listen to him. Our members should tell those who might grumble that, we are not Yewa bastards; we are not Yewa traitors. We must give a level playing field to all aspirants in the spirit of a genuine democrat, despite our determination to produce a candidate.” Rounding off his speech in Yoruba, he prayed for the success of Lawal’s endeavours, saying, ‘Aseye ni alakan maa n se epo, e o se aseye l’agbara Olorun.”
But an APC leader in the local government, Hon. Mufutau Ogbe, who expressed admiration for Lawal’s determination to provide free education from 2019 including the payment of WAEC fees for final year students, observed that, “Your statement about WAEC fees is very important for us in this local government. The average parent here cannot afford the fees, so we thank you a lot for that. If you are able to do that, it would have been a God-sent gift to us.”
Speaking diplomatically about concerns that a Yewa should be the next Governor of Ogun State, Ogbe said, “Ajumobi o ka ‘taanu, eni ti Olorun ba ran si eniyan lo le se se eniyan l’oore (That you are siblings from the same parents does not automatically translate into assistance from a wealthy relation. It is only the person God has destined to assist you that’ll do so). If God has destined you to be our Governor, you need to do something about the deplorable infrastructural situation across Yewaland. The major reason for our agitation to produce a Governor in Yewa is the poor level of our infrastructural development.”