Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who was declared winner of the Ogun central senatorial seat by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), appears to have made history, as the first senator from the zone to be re-elected after a first term in the Senate.
He was declared winner at the Ogun Central Senatorial Collation Centre, Centenary Hall, Ake, Abeokuta, by the Returning Office, Professor Idris Akanbi. He was said to have polled a total votes of 88,110, as against his closest challenger, former Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Titi Oseni-Gomez of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), who polled 37,101 votes.
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Apostle Biodun Sanyaolu came a distant third with 33,276 votes.
The Ogun Central senatorial zone comprises six Local Government Areas. They are: Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, Odeda, Obafemi-Owode, Ewekoro, and Ifo.
The zone, mainly of the Egba extraction of the state, is not only peopled by educated and enlightened personalities, but high politically-conscious natives, who were and are key players in the country. These personalities include former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; and Head, Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Others were: Ransome-Kutis, winner of the annulled June 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola; Chief Adetokunbo Ademola, renowned doctor and owner of the St. Nicholas Hospital Lagos, Dr. Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi, and foremost banker, Oluwole Adeosun, among several other illustrious sons and daughters of the zone.
Amosun, Daily sun recalls, represented the zone as a senator, from 2003 to 2007 on the platform of the PDP after which he lost out in the power game with the then governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
In the then emerging political scenario, he could not seek re-election, as his party from where he later defected to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) tactically replaced him with daughter of former President, Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, who also hails from Owu and Abeokuta North Local Government Area of the state.
Since 1999, when the country embraced democracy, no senator from the zone has been lucky to have represented the district for two terms at the Red Chamber of the National Assembly.
For the records, Senators, who represented the zone since the return of democracy in 1999 were: Dr. Femi Okunrounmu, of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), from1999 to 2003; Ibikunle Amosun, PDP, from 2003 to 2007; Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, PDP, from 2007 to 2011; Gbenga Obadara, of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), from 2011 to 2015; and the incumbent Senator Lanre Tejuoso, APC, from 2015 till date.
Attempts by Senators Obasanjo and Obadara, to return for second term in 2011 and 2015 respectively were rejected at the polls, just as history also repeated itself in 2015 when Obadara, who tried to return to the Red Chamber in 2015 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was defeated by Senator Tejuoso.
Daily Sun gathered that Amosun’s ambition to return to the Senate on the platform of the APC had initially forced Tejuoso to defect to the PDP. However, Tejuoso, the heir apparent to the Osile Oke-Ona Egba, had to “swallow his vomit” and returned to the APC.
He linked his return to the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as a close friend of his royal father. Despite his return, he has not been fully integrated into the party by the Chief Derin Adebiyi-led executive, investigations further revealed.
Tejuoso, the medical doctor-turned politician, as a member of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP), narrowly escaped death in the build up to the 2007 general election when Senator Amosun contested for the governorship.
Gun men, believed to be assassins struck at an hotel in Abeokuta, where he was lodged and had to be immediately flown out of the country for medical treatment. His current representation at the National Assembly was therefore seen as compensation for his steadfastness and loyalty to Governor Amosun until their relationship became frosty.
Challenges ahead of Amosun
Daily Sun gathered that much is expected from Senator Amosun, since the lectorate of Ogun Central have once again, after 12 years entrusted him with their representation at the National Assembly.
It is widely believed that during his first appearance at the Red Chamber, no concrete achievement could be recorded in his favour, not even in area of constituency projects, unlike his two successors, Senators Obasanjo and Obadara. Many people believed that it was as a result of this alleged non-performance as a lawmaker that as a governor, he concentrated most development projects in Abeokuta, the state capital, which incidentally doubles as the political headquarters of the Egba, to the detriment of other two senatorial zones.
As he breaks records of being the first senator from the zone to taste the luxury of the Red Chamber twice, pundits say Amosun may perform better this time around as a lawmaker than he did in his first term in the Senate.
Meanwhile, the senator has expressed gratitude and thanks to Ogun Central Senatorial District people for what he described as “display of uncommon loyalty and commitment to my senatorial election”.
In the statement he personally signed, Amosun said”Words are not enough to express my deep appreciation to the good people of Ogun Central Senatorial District for their uncommon display of loyalty and commitment to my senatorial election of Saturday 23rd February 2019.”
He added: “I am overwhelmed by your continued support. In year 2003, you gave me a mandate to represent you at the Senate and you have by this election renewed this mandate.
“I pledge to effectively and efficiently represent you in the 9th Senate. I also want to thank all the good people of Ogun State for the support given to my administration in the governance of Ogun State. It is also pertinent to commend you for the overwhelming votes given to President Muhammadu Buhari in the just concluded Presidential election. On behalf of Mr. President, I say a big thank you. “