By Omolade Afonkara
The time for the purchase of APC nomination forms has closed, and indeed the race for the 2023 general elections is getting hotter by the day and several politicians have started presenting their manifestoes and programmes to the masses, and with this, contenders are being separated from pretenders.
One of the top contenders in the elections, who have gained the confidence of the people, is Otunba Oluseyi Oduntan, who we were told has the backing of the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) both in Abuja and in Ogun State to represent the people of Ogun East Senatorial District at the senate under the platform of the APC. Even the teeming residents of Ogun East have indicated their interest to support Otunba Oluseyi Oduntan as their representative in the red chamber in 2023 under the APC.
Otunba Oluseyi Oduntan has repeatedly said that he is in the race because the state needs members of the National Assembly that would partner and complement the efforts of Governor Dapo Abiodun in his developmental agenda.
Oduntan, a former Managing Director of the Honeywell Group, is not just an administrator per excellence, he is a man with vision and progressive ideas.
As part of his quest for the seat, Oduntan recently inaugurated his senatorial office and flagged off an e-Naira Youth Empowerment, which is an initiative backed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the e-Naira digital currency, in Ijebu Ode, where hundreds of youths across the Ogun East Senatorial District were trained as CBN agents on e-Naira.
It was revealed that Oduntan is the most preferred candidate for the ticket because he is an establishment person and he has the backing of the powers that be both in Abuja and the state.
Indications have also emerged that of all the aspirants, Oduntan is the closest to Aso Rock Villa in Abuja and Oke Mosan Government House in Ogun State, and these have placed him above all other aspirants for the office under the party and in other political parties.
His chances are very bright, being the most preferred option, and the name on the lips of most residents of the Senatorial District is “Oduntan” who they said knows what to do with the office, when he is eventually elected in 2023.
Contrary to insinuations in some quarters against his ambition, Oduntan is not a new comer to the race.
He contested for the same seat in 2015, campaigning round the towns and villages of the district for support.
His chances in the primary elections of the ruling APC are very bright, and his supporters say he is the aspirant to beat.
They pointed to his contributions to the success of the APC in Ogun State and how he has positively affected the lives of the people that come around him from all parts of the state.
Oduntan is described as a man that has the love of the people at heart without any modicum of pretence.
A resident of the area, who gave his name as Lawrence Ajayi, said that both the old and the young prefer someone like Oduntan, whose reason for seeking office is service to humanity.
“We love Otunba Oluseyi Oduntan, he is a man of the people. With a man like him in the senate, Ogun East will have better opportunities,” Ajayi said.
Talking about others, it was argued that Segun Sebanjo, an aspirant for the office from the area, has stepped down and is no longer active on the field.
Another aspirant, Deji Ashiru is said to be looking for House of Reps ticket “because he is unable to get the support of Governor Dapo Abiodun of the state.”
It was gathered that the incumbent senator from the area, Lekan Mustapha has burnt his bridges with the Governor and is not favourably considered by his constituents, who see him as ineffective in the chambers.
They said that it is hard to see anything he had been able to achieve since he got to the office few years back.
Another top contender for the office is former Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel aka OGD.
Sources revealed that OGD has made up with the Governor, but that he is still not trusted and has a structure that constitutes mostly of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) followers of 11 years ago, but who are in the vast minority in the APC structure, totally dominated by the Dapo Abiodun-led structure.
Information at our disposal indicated that the Governor is upset with OGD because having contested and run the state from Remo, he is trying to destabilise the Senatorial District by contesting, especially as the governor is also from the same Remo region, which might not go down well with stakeholders.
This is coupled with the fact that the Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is also from Remo region.
With this, the Ijebu people are already grumbling and resisting such offering as unacceptable.
“The governor knows this and is adamant that he could not support such an arrangement. Therefore, without the Governor’s support, OGD’s eggs are cooked and his chances are very slim indeed.
“This leaves the very wiley Otunba Seyi Oduntan, who has worked quietly behind the scenes in the grassroots, for both himself and the governor earning the huge trust and confidence of the governor, who has now pushed his formidable structure behind him, to eventually come up with the ticket,” a source said.
Otunba Oduntan of course is no spring chicken on the field. He contested against the Governor for this ticket in 2015.
It was gathered that Oduntan is well loved by the people of Ogun East, who remembered his huge efforts to earn the ticket and have backed him to earn their support for the ticket this time around.
Information available to us in Ogun East Senatorial District indicated that Oduntan is the anointed one, especially as the APC structure is gearing up to work for him both at the primaries and for the general elections.
And for those, who have been following the political dynamism of the Gateway State, it was agreed that “Oduntan would be a round peg in a round hole unlike some others, who have become spent forces.”
Omolade Afonkara wrote from Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State.