Osinnowo: Succession pendulum swings towards Epe
The sudden death of the representative of the Lagos East at the Senate, Bayo Osinnowo came as a shock to politicians and political watchers across the country. His untimely demise has thrown Lagos State and in fact, the whole country into a mourning mood.
The shock that the death caused must have informed keeping mute of those likely contenders to replace him at the Upper Chambers of the country’s legislative house in line of the Yoruba tradition of keeping calm to mourn the dead.
However, since it is imperative to choose a replacement to fill up the vacant seat, analysts have gone to town to sample various opinions about who should succeed the deceased lawmaker.
During the campaign for the seat last year, not a few contestants showed interests at occupying the seat to represent the Lagos East senatorial District at the Highest Law-making House.
All the aspirants, including the then incumbent, Barihu Olugbenga Ashafa showcased their high points that they considered effective political tools that could earn them their electoral successes at the polls.
While individuals are intensifying their efforts through mobilisation, sensitisation and consultations towards achievement of their goals, some groups have also sprung up as campaign mouthpieces either for some particular aspirants or for their catchment areas in their various divisions.
In this game of ‘It is our turn’ (Awa L’okan), Epe Division in the Lagos Senatorial District did not want to be left out. But at the end of the day, the slot went to Kosofe Division when the leadership of the party urged other aspirants to step down for the late Osinnowo.
And in the spirit of party loyalty and patriotism, when all the aspirants were asked to step down, only the Epe High Chief, Lanre Razak complied without minding the huge amount of money he had already spent to canvass for support across his districts. Analysts are of the views that, compensating Chief Razak with the slot this time to reward his loyalty to the party would serve as incentives to others that may be asked to step down in the future.
The lobbyist group reasoned that, out of the five (5) Divisions in the district-Ibeju-Lekki, Somolu, Kosofe, Ikorodu and Epe, only Epe has not been considered for the seat while a couple of divisions have had the opportunities to be there twice.
Here is how they stand since 1979 till date: Senator Adebanjo (Ibeju-Lekki); Anthony Adefuye (Somolu 1992 to 1993); Adeseye Ogunlewe (Ikorodu -1999 to 2003); Olorunnimbe Mamora (Kosofe -2003 to 2011); Olugbenga Ashafa (Ibeju-Lekki -2011 to 2019, and Bayo Osinnowo (Kosofe- May 2019 till June 2020)
From the above, while Ibeju-Lekki Division has enjoyed a second chance, and Kosofe also started its second term before its representative’s sudden death, Epe Division is yet to have a chance to occupy the seat, hence, the need for consideration for Epe in the spirit of fair play and principle of power rotation.
It is no gainsaying that Epe Division is never in short supply of highly experienced and eminently qualified materials to replace Osinnowo.
A source that spoke with our correspondent said: “The name of the former Lagos State Public Transportation Commissioner and current member of the State’s Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Lanre Razak severally came up as a suitable aspirant to take up the seat vacated by Senator Osinnowo.
“The reason for this is that apart from considering him as an Epe representative, the three years remaining could serve as a retirement parting gift for the elderly politician for his loyalty and patriotism.”
The source is of the opinion that such an arrangement would save the party any hassle primary electioneering could cause.
“I am of the opinion that, a formidable, highly experienced and eminently qualified chieftain of the APC like a former State Commissioner for Public Transportation, a philanthropist, business mogul and astute politician, Chief Kamorudeen Lanrewaju Mobinuori (KLM) Razak, would not be a hard sell in that district,” the source who craved anonymity said.