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EXCLUSIVE: Complete Story of YAYI’s Ogun Governorship Ambition -Why He’s At War With OBANIKORO

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That the race for the 2019 General Elections in 2019 has begun is not a news, what is yet to clear to many people is who will be given what to represent the different political parties.

Not even the least of the seats is taken for granted as aspirants for various political offices are battling hard to outshine one another to clinch the tickets of their various parties in the countdown to the elections.

However, one contentious seat that has been generating ripples all over the city of Lagos and even the entire South West is that of the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for Lagos West Senatorial District.

Indeed, two leading political gladiators are being touted to be interested in the coveted seat. They are the incumbent senator from the senatorial district, Senator Solomon OlamilekanAdeola aka Yayi and Senator MusiliuObanikoro.

On his part, Yayi has been a major player in the politics of Lagos since 2003, when he was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly from Alimosho Constituency 1, he went ahead to contest again in 2007 and he was returned.

In 2011, Yayi moved ahead to the green chamber in the Federal House of Representatives from Alimosho Federal Constituency and was made the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation.

In 2015, Yayi went to the Senate from Lagos West Senatorial District after he had toyed with the idea of going to the red chamber from Ogun State as an indigene of Yewa in Ogun West.

But, he was said to have been stopped by Governor IbikunleAmosun, who was reportedly intimidated by the way the senator was throwing money about prior to the main campaign.

Again, Yayi nursed the idea of taking over from Senator IbikunleAmosun as Governor of Ogun State in 2019, when the incumbent must have served two terms that is recognized by the constitution.

This appears to be a mirage as Governor Amosun has reportedly made it clear to the leadership of the party, including, a National Leader of the Party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that there was no room for Yayi in Ogun State.

With this, reports have it that Yayi is now planning to go for a second term as senator from Lagos West Senatorial District.

Talking about Senator MusiliuObanikoro, he used to be a favouriteof AsiwajuTinubu, which was why he went to the senate under the then Action Congress (AC) only for him to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Infact, Obanikoro contested as governor under the PDP against the candidate of theAction Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007, Mr. BabatundeRajiFashola, who eventually won the election.

The activities of Obanikoro in the PDP against the progressives are for the records. It got to a time that he did everything possible to make life difficult for members of the then ACN and later the APC.

All these continued until the PDP lost power to the APC in 2015.

After that, Obanikoro ran abroad only to come back to Nigeria to face corruption allegations as a top member of the PDP, which led to his being charged to a court of law that later granted him bail.

Afterwards, Obanikoro decided to go back to his roots in politics and started romancing the likes of Bola Tinubu until heeventuallyjoined the APC.

Shortly after that, news started spreading that the party has agreed to make Obanikoroits senatorial candidate from Lagos West in the 2019 General Elections.

Those who should know revealed that this was part of the agreement reached between the leadership of the party and Obanikoro before he joined the progressives.

The rumour kept flying until information got to town that Yayi has decided to retrace his steps and re-contest for the seat since the leaders of the party in Ogun State have reportedly told him that there was no way for him to contest as governor of the state in 2019.

With this, sources revealed that the two gladiators are battling to get the support of the party leaders, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Yayi is a favourite of AsiwajuTinubu because he is a loyal party member. He has paid his dues and he has supported the party financially and otherwise in the past elections. He is even close to Governor AkinwunmiAmbode of the state as they are professional colleagues; they are both chartered accountants.

‘Besides, Yayi is a top leader of the APC in Lagos State. The only problem is that he had indicated interest to go to his home state, Ogun to contest as governor and a lot of people have indicated interest to take over from him as Senator in Lagos West.

“Obanikoro is also a big fish and someone the party can rely upon to get votes. He is a factor in Lagos politics and he was one of the favourites of AsiwajuTinubu before he defected to the PDP in the senate.

“The only fear the party leaders has about him is that what is the guarantee that what happened in the senate during his first outing there would not repeat itself. So, the leaders want to take their time. They see Yayi as someone they could rely upon,” said a source.

Our sources insisted that the two politicians are seriously preparing for the seat and have started serious lobbying of the leaders.

A source reminded us of an incident at Blue Roof in the premises of LTV 8 in Agidingbi, Ikeja early in the year, when the supporters of Yayi and Obanikoro almost clashed and Yayi reportedly left the venue in annoyance, when the place became hot.

Whatever the case may be, we were told that the leaders of the party would prefer a known devil to an unknown angel and that they view 2019 General Elections as one they cannot toy with, and that they want to take their time and field candidates that would increase the fortune of the party in the elections.

However, when the media aide of Yayi, Chief Kayode Odunaro was contacted on the phone by First Weekly, he said that Yayi was still consulting on what to do in 2019.

According to him, “Why are people worried about Yayi’s next move. A lot of people are still serving and they have not made up their minds on what to do next or tell people their minds. Yayi is still consulting on his next move, but he is still a senator till 2019. We cannot tell you what we will do next; we will wait till 2019 before we make a final decision. For now, nobody should bother if Yayi would contest as governor of Ogun State or go back to the senate.”

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