The Ondo State Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who was hitherto the only Labour Party (LP) governor may decide to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the conclusion of his nationwide consultation. Hints of this political movement have however begun to affect the political equation of Ondo State, the Southwest and indeed the nation-Nigeria.
Recall that Dr. Olusegun Mimiko grew through the political ladder from youth leader to Secretary to Local Government, two terms State Commissioner, Secretary to State Government, Federal Minister before ascending the position of Governor though after a protracted legal battle.
In all these he has continued to muster political energy devoid of any political vulture. This has also allowed him to know and understand the political structures and gladiators throughout the nooks and crannies of Ondo State in particular. Dr. Mimiko, contributed immensely in installing all his predecessors who became governors through the ballot. No wonder he was Commissioner under Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua and late Chief Adebayo Adefarati and later Secretary to the State Government under late Dr. Segun Agagu.
If Dr. Mimiko finally decided to re-join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he earlier joined in 2003 after his over six years sojourn in the Labour Party (LP), the entry or may be re-entry could only be described as triumphant for him and a game changer for several others. It must not be overemphasized that he will be joining the party not only with all the political gladiators in the state but also with all the apparatus of government in the state.
The question now is that what does this portend for the people of Ondo State? First, the movement would have returned Ondo State to the mainstream of Nigerian politics. This will further strengthen the already cordial relationship existing between the state and the federal government as led by President Goodluck Jonathan. Secondly, it will afford Mimiko the opportunity to wholeheartedly work for the re election of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, which majority of the people of the state have signify their support for. Thirdly, this will lead the PDP to becoming the only dominant party in Ondo State.
Another angle to the whole story would be “What will be the effect of this fusion to the 2015 general election in Ondo State? If Mimiko led the Labour Party (LP) on a winning spree since 2009, House of Assembly bye election in Akure North and Ilaje Constituency 2, House of Representative bye election in Akoko South East/Akoko South West, three senatorial seats in 2011, eight out of nine House of representative in 2011, twenty five out of twenty six House of Assembly seat in 2011 and the governorship election in 2012, then joining hand with the hitherto major opposition party in the state will have sealed victory for the state mega party, what some people refers to as the “new Ondo PDP” even before the polls.
Political analysts, watchers and even party followers and faithful’s have continued to argue that Mimiko’s joining the PDP will ultimately determine who succeeds him as governor in 2017. Analysts argued that the political goodwill which Dr. Mimiko have garnered and enjoyed over the years will be leaned upon to present a credible successor. This piece also subscribes to this position that Dr. Mimiko will be a major determining factor in deciding who govern Ondo State from 2017.
The template for the selection will now have to put a lot of things into consideration if the governor finally decides to join the PDP. One, there will be a larger pool of aspirants that will jostle for the position; some from the present PDP, some from the present LP and some who at present may not belong to any of the two but may decide to run on such a strong platform.
Before now, the PDP is seen to be stronger in the Southern Senatorial district of the state. This may be due to the fact that since 1999, the governorship candidate of the party have always emerged from the district. If this strength will cornered the governorship slot for the district, then it will be the fight among political titans such as Chief Olusola Oke, Chief Sola Ebiseni, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi and Chief Jimoh Ibrahim who has been in out of the governorship race since 2003 on different political platforms.
Chief Oke, a former member of the House of Representatives who represented Ondo state on the pioneer NDDC board and later Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) may enjoy the sympathy of being the former flag bearer of the party.
Chief Sola Ebiseni, a former Chairman of Ilaje/Ese Odo local government and the Ondo State Law Commission as well as being a three time Commissioner for Environment in the state, he is a confidant of the incumbent governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and late Chief Adebayo Adefarati. His perceived loyalty to whoever he has worked with may earn him the ticket of the party.
However, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi who has being an ally of Dr. Mimiko for years may beat all other contenders to the governorship ticket in the district if he decides to run on the ground he is perceived to be the person being groomed for the plum job by Dr. Mimiko.
If zoning is anything to go by, it will be right that the Central Senatorial district where the incumbent governor is from will be excluded from or take the back seat in the 2017 governorship race. But the Akure people have continued to argue that it is their turn to be at the Alagbaka Government house in 2017. Their argument hinges on the fact that out of the then five division that make up the Ondo State, only Akure division has not been elected as governor.
If this sentiment receives the support of the people of Ondo State with respect to the 2017 governorship, then Eyitayo Jegede SAN may spring surprises as he has been described as a member of the kitchen cabinet of Dr. Mimiko.
Prior to the 2012 governorship election, what was described as “Akoko Agenda” took several people out of the LP including Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Saka Lawal, Dr. Olaiya Oni, Prince Sola Amodeni etc. The 2017 may reenact the clamour for an Akoko governor even as the Owo people are strategizing to outsmart the Akokos if the governorship is finally zoned to the Northern Senatorial district.
In a situation where the “new PDP” ticket is exclusively domiciled in the Northern Senatorial district, the party will have an array of aspirants to choose from. The body language of Dr. Mimiko who definitely will be interested in who succeeds him may finally be relied upon in selecting the party’s candidate.
In Owo area of the Northern Senatorial district, two allies of Dr. Mimiko have signified their intention to run for the governorship of the state. Mr. Tokunbo Modupe aka TPT, a close confidant of Dr. Mimiko, from Ose Local Government and the convener of the Orange Family Initiative (OFI) is said to have concluded arrangement to run for governor.
Also a third republic Senator, Remi Okunrinboye who is from Owo, is said to be networking across the nooks and crannies of Ondo State to ensure that he clinch the ticket to pursue an ambition of decades. However, cross sections of the people consider him too old for the job.
It has also been rumoured that a former Presidential Aspirant in the Third Republic, Senator (Dr.) Bode Olajumoke who is also from Ose local government is also strategizing to emerge the candidate of the new PDP.
From the Akoko end of the Northern Senatorial district, they are avalanche of would be governor who are also planning to leverage on the proposed fusion to ride to the Alagbaka government house.
A former Minister of defence, Tokunbo Kayode SAN who would ordinarily have emerged as the candidate of the new party because of his cordial relationship with Dr. Mimiko is said to have lost favour with the Presidency. Also, his colleagues in the PDP have continued to accuse him of betraying the party in the 2011 general election. They have always boasted that such action will not cease hunting him.
Dr. Olu Agunloye popularly called Omoluabi from the same local government with Tokunbo Kayode has a very pleasant relationship with Dr. Mimiko and this would have earned him the ticket to occupy the Ondo Government house from 2017 but for his growing age. He may however have settled to go to the Senate in 2015.
For the incumbent Director General of the National Sports Commission and a former member of the House of Representative, Gbenga Elegbeleye he seems to have been enjoying the support of the younger elements in the political circle across Ondo State. The support base of this former Chairman of Akoko North East local government and Ondo State Waste Management Board is said to shore up since the rumoured defection of Dr. Mimiko and the entire Ondo State LP to the PDP. The successes recorded by the country in sports since his assumption of office may be the x-factor he needs judging by the fact that Nigerians are sports loving people, Ondo State not excluded. He (Elegbeleye) was said to have strongly supported Dr. Mimiko in the October 2012 election. This may therefore be his payback time.
The PDP deputy governorship candidate in the October 2012 election Mr. Saka Lawal, a former political aide of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who had hitherto laid claim to the PDP governorship ticket by ascendency is said to be jittery as his former boss is joining the PDP. His fear is that Dr. Mimiko may deliberately work against his emergence. But this may be far from the truth because Dr. Mimiko is a leader with a large heart who believes that only God anoints leaders. This fear may however limit Saka Lawal’s chances.
The list of aspirants from the north also includes a former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan who is presently a Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission. Olabimtan who was also considered for the PDP Deputy Governorship candidate in 2012 and could not make it because of the fear of the unknown, may still chicken out from the governorship race, as feelers have it that he is working to be Deputy Governor to another aspirant. The former speaker was said to have use his position to favour several indigene of the state particularly from the Akoko area. This would have added value to his aspiration only if he has the heart to take the big risk.
Notwithstanding all these, the political development that will emerge in Ondo state in the nearest future including the 2015 general election and the 2017 governorship election will radiate around the final decision of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to join or not to join the PDP.
Olu Johnson Egbodofo is a Public Analyst and presently Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on OSOPADEC email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Profile of Chuka Umunna,his career and work.
Chuka Umunna was born 17th of October, 1978 to a Nigerian Father and English-Irish Mother, he was educated at Hitherfield Primary School in Streatham, south London, at the voluntary aided Christ Church C of E Primary School (Cotherstone Road) in the Brixton Hill area of Streatham,and at the independent secondary school St. Dunstan’s College in Catford in south-east London. He obtained a 2:1 degree in English and French Law from the University of Manchester and then studied at the University of Burgundy in Dijon in France, and Nottingham Law School in Nottingham.
Education, equality, and community and youth engagement.
He trained at Herbert Smith the large “Magic Circle” City law firm: about his decision to join the firm he said “I wanted to join Herbert Smith because they were a big international firm, very much at the heart of the City, business and finance. Having entered thinking I wanted to be a hotshot corporate lawyer, I ended up wanting to become an employment lawyer because employment relates to people and their relationships. In 2006, he moved to the central London law firm, Rochman Landau, where he mainly acted for individuals and small and medium sized companies. As an employment lawyer, Umunna often spoke in the media on employment issues.
He is “Labour through and through” and says the Tories aren’t serious about equality, “despite what Cameron tries to say with his spin and presentation” and says the BSS is a very positive development, long overdue. But he warns that although Labour has traditionally represented Blacks: “We are in danger of falling behind on that if we don’t increase representation in the future. It’s not just about representation, it’s also about increasing out communities’ general participation in the political process. That’s something we must work on.”
Influence and motivation
At 27 Chuka Umunna has been in main street politics, Influenced by his father who is a died when he was 13. Chuka recalls moment with his father saying “It had a huge influence on my life. I had to grow up very, very quickly.” He added: “Politically my father had a big influence on me. He spoke out against the corruption in Nigeria, for better governance and got involved in politics in Anambra state. He narrowly missed out on winning the governorship of that state shortly before he died in a car crash. He lost because he refused to bribe anyone and was standing on an anti-corruption ticket.
Also motivating were his experiences while growing – In my youth I also often visited my father’s native Nigeria and came face to face with the extreme poverty one sees in Africa in the heart wrenching appeal videos produced by the likes of Oxfam and Comic Relief every year. I simply could not understand why some had so much, whilst others had so little. From there sprung a desire to do something about it and the other challenges we face.
he is presently a School Governor of Sunnyhill Primary School and sits on the Board of Sunnyhill Children’s Centre, both in Streatham Wells. He lives on Streatham High Road.
In addition, he sits on the Board of Generation Next, a not for profit social enterprise which provides activities for young people in London, and has been involved charitable youth work in Lambeth too.
He is a patron of Latimer Creative Media, a social enterprise which trains young people in digital media and a supporter of Cassandra Learning Centre, a charity raising awareness and working to stop domestic violence.
Prior to becoming Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Streatham, Chuka was Vice Chair of Streatham Labour Party from 2004 to 2008 and had held a variety of positions throughout the local party.
In the May 2010 general election, Chuka was elected to represent Streatham having received 20,037 votes, with the number of votes received by Labour rising from 18,950 in the previous general election in 2005. Turnout in Streatham increased by 11.5 percentage points at 62.8% compared with 51.3% in 2005.
He is a member of the GMB and Unite trade unions and sits on the Management Committee of progressive pressure group, Compass.
Since becoming an MP, he has been elected on to the Treasury select committee and become Ed Miliband’s parliamentary private secretary.
In October 2011, Chuka was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, replacing the Rt Hon John Denham MP who announced his resignation from Shadow Cabinet.
In this role, Mr Umunna leads the Opposition Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) team, leading for the opposition on a wide range of issues including business, enterprise, science and universities.
3a Mount Ephraim Road, Streatham, London, SW16 1NQ
Tel: 020 8769 5063
Spotlight on Gbenga Elegbeleye’s contribution
“Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was recently appointed as a Member of the CAF Disciplinary Board. He is a member of IBB Golf Club and a recipient of several awards”
Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye motivated by the desire to serve his people in higher capacity, resigned his appointment as Chairman Ondo Waste Management Board in 2006, to contest elections into the Federal House of Representatives.
- Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports
- Member House Committee on Defence
- Member House Committee on Appropriation
- Member House Committee on Works
- Member House Committee on Environment
- Member House Committee on Rural Development
- Member House Committee on Inter-parliamentary Affairs
- Member House Committee on Solid Minerals
As a member of the House of Representatives, he attracted several projects to his Federal Constituency. These include:
- Neighbourhood Sports Centre Iye road, Arigidi
- Sports Stadium at Oyinmo St, Ikare
- National Library Ikare
- Extension of electrification poles to Ojeka camp road; Odo Irun electrification, Oyimo, Ogunsusi road, Ilepa Ikare
- Erosion control and school furniture in Ogbagi
- Block of classrooms in the following schools, St George’s Pry School, Okeagbe, Salem School, Ekan Ikare, AUD School V Ishakunmi, Ikare, AUD School 2, Iku, Ikare, Local Govt Pry School Ajowa, Ebenezer Pry School Okorun, Ikare
- Several boreholes in most towns and villages, among many others
After serving as Director General, National Sports Commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was recently appointed as a Member of the CAF Disciplinary Board. He is a member of IBB Golf Club and a recipient of several awards and honours. These includes, Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Local Govt and Public Administration; Fellow, Chattered Institute of Public Administration; Fellow African Business School; Fellow, Certified Institute of Sales Management; Patron, SWAN, FCT; Patron SWAN, Ondo State; Patron NUJ, Ondo State; Gold Personality Award by Skye Sports; African Film Academy Award for Sports Development; National Youth Council Award for National Development; City People Award for Excellence in Politics; African Leadership Award for Sports Development among several others.
Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye is happily married to Solape, they are blessed with four children
HON. GBENGA ELEGBELEYE – OTOLORIN
“Further motivated by the desire to serve in higher capacity, he resigned his appointment as Chairman Ondo Waste Management Board in 2006, to contest elections into the Federal House of Representatives. Between June 2007 and June 2011, Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, where he served as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports;”
Hon. Gbenga Otolorin Elegbeleye, popularly called “Otolorin” by his admirers was born in Ikare, Akoko North East Local Government Area of Ondo State. His educational background is made up as A.U.D Primary School, Ikare, St. Patrick’s’ Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka, University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) Ile Ife and Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti.
He obtained the following qualifications in his educational sojourn:
- Primary School Leaving Certificate
- West African School Certificate
- B.A. (Ife), Ile-Ife
- MPA (UNAD), Ado-Ekiti
As a result of his exemplary leadership qualities, in the Nigeria Youth Service Scheme, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was made the Administrative Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Zone RS3 Kaduna, between 1988 and 1989, from where he ventured into private business.
Motivated by the desire to serve humanity, Hon. Gbenga in 1997 contested and won election as the youngest Chairman, Akoko North East Local Government Council in Ondo State. As a Local Government Chairman, he was also a member of Board of Ondo State Primary Education Board between 1997-98. Before this period, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye was the Assistant State Secretary of the National Republican Convention, NRC for the old Ondo State between 1990 – 1993.
Impressed by his achievements as Local Government Chairman and his successful exploits in other areas of human endeavour, the then Governor of Ondo State, Late Chief Olusegun Agagu in 2003 appointed him Chairman, Ondo State Waste Management Authority, and under his erudite leadership, Akure was adjudged by the then Federal Ministry of Inter-Government Affairs, the second cleanest State Capital in Nigeria, after Calabar, in 2004.
Further motivated by the desire to serve in higher capacity, he resigned his appointment as Chairman Ondo Waste Management Board in 2006, to contest elections into the Federal House of Representatives. Between June 2007 and June 2011, Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, where he served as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports; Member House Committees on Defence, Appropriation, Works, Environment, Rural Development, Inter-parliamentary Affairs and Solid Minerals. As a member of the House of Representatives, he attracted several projects to his Federal Constituency. These includes the following: Neighbourhood Sports Centre Iye road, Arigidi; Sports Stadium at Oyinmo st, Ikare; National Library Ikare; Extension of electrification poles to Ojeka camp road; Odo Irun electrification, Oyimo, Ogunsusi road, Ilepa Ikare; erosion control and school furniture in Ogbagi, Block of classrooms in the following schools, St George’s Pry School, Okeagbe, Salem School, Ekan Ikare, AUD School V Ishakunmi, Ikare, AUD School 2, Iku, Ikare, Local Govt Pry School Ajowa, Ebenezer Pry School Okorun, Ikare; several boreholes in most towns and villages, among many others
Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Ondo State Football Association between 1998 and 2000, Chairman Ondo State Table Tennis Association (2004-2007), Vice Chairman Ondo State Sports Development Committee (2005-2009) and Chairman Rising Stars Football Club, Akure from 2004-2007, Proprietor, Ikare United Football Club, Member, NFA Fair-Play Committee, from 2004-2007, President Youths Sports Federation of Nigeria, Ondo State Chapter from 2003-2009. He also served as a member of the Ministerial Committee on the Reform of Football Administration in Nigeria between August and November 2011 and Member, Board of Directors, Abuja Investment Company between 2011 and 2013.
On May 15th 2013, the then President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, found his rich credentials in Sports Administration irresistible and appointed him, the Director General of the National Sports Commission. President Jonathan made the announcement during the Federal Executive Council meeting of May 15th, 2014.
During his stewardship as the Director General of the National Sports Commission, the Commission has experienced a change in fortune as Nigerian athletes, sportsmen and women have been winning international laurels across the globe.
On Friday 8th November 2013 at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria defeated Mexico 3-0 to win the FIFA U- 17 World Cup a record fourth time having won it in 1985, 1993 and 2007 to emerge as the most successful country in the competition up to date.
This was also followed by another laudable achievement in the 2013 Commonwealth weightlifting game tagged Malaysia 2013 where the Nigerian female lifters won the women’s category of the competition with 8 golds, 3 silvers and 3 bronze medals in the competition held in Malaysia in November 2013. This was also followed up with a 3rd placement of the Home based Super Eagles in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) held in South Africa. Nigeria had never qualified for the competition, but the Eagles not only qualified but went as far as winning the bronze medal of the competition after beating hard-fighting Zimbabwe 1-0 in the 3rd place match decided at the Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on Saturday February 1st, 2014.
He was Head of Delegation, Nigeria U-17 African Youth Games in Botswana, tagged “Gaborone 2014” where Nigeria gathered a massive 41 medals the best outing so far against the record of 10 medals, to emerge overall 3rd best in the Games after winning 19 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals.
Still under the leadership and stewardship of Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, also as Head of Delegation, Team Nigeria also finished strong in the Glasgow, Commonwealth Games in Scotland. It was Nigeria’s best outing in the history of the Commonwealth , winning 11 golds, 11 silvers and 14 Bronze medals in the 20th edition of the Games held between July 23 and August 3rd, 2014. Team Nigeria also emerged the best team at the 2014 Marrakech Africa Athletics Championships held in Marrakech, Morocco in August, 2014. The Super Falcons beat all African countries to emerge Champions of Africa Women’s Championship (AWC) held in Namibia in October 2014.
Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was recently appointed as a Member of the CAF Disciplinary Board. He is a member of IBB Golf Club and a recipient of several awards and honours. These includes, Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Local Govt and Public Administration; Fellow, Chattered Institute of Public Administration; Fellow African Business School; Fellow, Certified Institute of Sales Management; Patron, SWAN, FCT; Patron SWAN, Ondo State; Patron NUJ, Ondo State; Gold Personality Award by Skye Sports; African Film Academy Award for Sports Development; National Youth Council Award for National Development; City People Award for Excellence in Politics; African Leadership Award for Sports Development among several others, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye is married to Solape, they are blessed with four children
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