The ruling political party in Lagos State, All Progressives Congress (APC), has finally decided on the succession battle for the Lagos East Senatorial seat that greeted the aftermath of the death of the last occupier, Senator Bayo Osinowo a.k.a. Peperito.
Mr Dele Alake, a former commissioner for Information and Strategy in the government of then Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Lagos State, has reportedly been picked to replace Osinowo at a party stakeholders meeting which held within the week.
Since nature abhors a vacuum, permutations to fill his vacant office begun almost immediately after Osinowo’s death on 15th of June, 2020.
Osinowo, a power broker in Kosofe area whose influence cut across the state as a loyalist of the APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was elected in 2019 after serving as a member of the House of Assembly for sixteen years.
The inside source told Global Excellence that the party leaders after careful deliberation on the strengths of gladiators in the succession race, who all paraded intimidating credentials, resolved to give the ticket to Alake.
In 2010, Alake had revealed his intention to contest the senatorial seat of Ekiti Central in Ekiti State. However, his political aspiration was cut short by an intra-party crisis which made him quit the senatorial race. He is now set to fly the flag of the Lagos East which is made up of five local governments, Somolu, which produced Senator Tony Adefuye in the Third Republic; Ikorodu, which produced Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe; Kosofe, which produced Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and Osinowo; Ibeju-Lekki, which produced Senator Gbenga Ashafa. The only local government that has not produced any senator yet is Epe.
Earlier, eyes were on some of last year’s senatorial aspirants like Senator Gbenga Ashafa, a former Permanent Secretary; Mr Abiru, former Clerk of the House of Assembly and Chief Lanre Rasak, an experienced politician, Balogun of Epe Division and member of Governance Advisory Council (GAC), who stepped down for Osinowo, shortly before the shadow poll.
Apart from these personalities, other chieftains said to have shown interest in the slot include Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos State; Yemi Ikuforiji, former Speaker; Joko Pelumi, his predecessor; Tola Kasali, former commissioner; Alebiosu, former House of Representatives member; Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Diaspora Commission and Kunle Soname, former council chairman.
Meanwhile, for the Epe turn, had former Governor been in good term with the party leaders in the state, he probably would have been handed the ticket on a platter of gold, the source stated.
It should also be noted that the contest is not an exclusive APC affair, although the APC flag bearer is the candidate to beat. Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants, particularly Abiodun Oyefusi and Babatunde Gbadamosi, are said to be preparing to challenge the APC flagbearer in the contest for the soul of Lagos East Senatorial seat.