By Josiah Oluwole
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf; a senator, Babajide Omoworare; members of the House of Representatives, Adeyinka Ajayi and Akintayo Amere Gafar, are among the 17 aspirants who will today battle for the All Progressive Congress governorship ticket ahead of the September 22 governorship election.
The arena is dotted by aspirants from the state house of assembly led by the Speaker, Najeem Abdulsalaam, lawyers, economists, bankers and engineers.
Below is a brief rundown of their personalities and capacities.
He is 65, and is a native of Iwo land, a major voting bloc in Osun politics and populated by a large number of Muslims. He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin. He is a successful farmer and businessman.
His involvement in politics dates back to late 70s and early 80s when he served as the General Secretary of the Youth Wing of the Unity Party of Nigeria(UPN).
He was elected councillor in Iwo Local Government Area, 1988. He was later appointed chairman of the local government in 2002 and then the chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before becoming the Secretary to the Osun State Government in 2011.
He is fondly referred to as Shehu Sheikh by his admirers within the APC to underscore his political dexterity and leadership qualities. He stands tall on the APC platform and is an aspirant to beat at the polls.
He is a member of the House of Representatives (Ifelodun /Boripe/ Odo-Otin Federal Constituency). It will be his second term at the green chambers. He is the Chairman of the House Committee on Aid, Loans and Foreign Debt.
He is a University of Wales trained lawyer of over 20 years post-call experience with core competence in the area of Transportation Law with particular emphasis on Aviation and Maritime.
He has vast experience in multi modal transportation issues and has delivered various papers at international conferences and seminars.
He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from University of Wales Cardiff. Mr Adeyinka, who began active politics in 1998, prides himself as an adherent of fiscal federalism.
He serves currently as a member of six committees of the House of Representatives namely, Public Petitions, Aviation, Inter Parliamentary Relations, Millennium Development Goals, Land Transport and Niger Delta Development Commission. His legislative experience and closeness to the people is seen as his greatest credentials to post excellent performance at the polls.
Akintayo Amere Gafar
Another federal lawmaker, representing Ayedire/Iwo/Ola-Oluwa federal constituency in at the House of Representatives. He is brandishing his credentials as a successful accountant and politician.
He heads the House committee on cybercrime and is a member of several other committees.
He has always been a party man, involved in political activities within the ACN and then the APC since 2007. He will be deploying his political experience in getting the needed support to fly the party’s flag at the end of voting on Friday.
Alamu Johnson Oyebisi
He was the commissioner for works and transport and later moved to Water Resources and Rural Development under the Bisi Akande governorship. He is a chartered accountant with a track record of success in private practice.
Alabi Benedict Olugboyega
He is 53 years old and is from Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area in Osun West. A banker, he hails from a background of hardworking and business-oriented family.
He has a degree in Banking and Finance and a Masters in Economics. He is said to be the first African to be qualified and awarded the Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) Certification by the International Facility Management Association, Houston USA.
He is the founder Eliezer Workplace Management Limited, and has worked as a successful entrepreneur.
He established the Osun Ajose Foundation as an empowerment programme to support indigent residents of Osun State. Although his CV is not spiced with much political activities, he looks forward to leveraging on his goodwill from his foundation and his competence in managing a dwindling economy like that of Osun.
Babalola Peter Adebayo
He is 62 years old and well known businessman whose business ventures cover oil and gas. He is the CEO Pebaylat Ventures Limited, Osogbo as well Pebaylat Oil and Gas.
He has also been involved in party politics at various levels. He boasts that he should be elected governor of the state as because he is the most experienced of all the aspirants jostling for the position.
Kunle Rasheed Adegoke
He is from Osogbo, capital of Osun State. Mr Adegoke is a managing partner M.A. Banire and Associates- Legal Practitioners, Notary Public and Capital Market Solicitors. He has behind him 15 years of legal practice and is largely seen as one of the leading aspirants for the governorship on the platform of the APC.
He is the founder and promoter of the popular socio-political movement, ‘Tiwa n Tiwa L’Osun Development Association’. He is fondly called ‘K-Rad’.
Layonu Ismail Abiodun
He is 58 years old from Ede, in Osun West senatorial district. A lawyer by profession with several years of legal practice since 1982 and had served on statutory Commissions in Oyo and Osun States such as Land Use and Allocation Committee and the Local Government Service Commission in 1991.
He was a member of the Vision 20:2020 Committee. He was Chairman Governing Council, Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State. He is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria, and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK [Nigerian Branch].
He is the Principal Partner of Layonu & Co. and has been a Senior Advocate of Nigeria since 2009. He will be relying on his political and business links across the state and the nation to secure the ticket.
Omoworare Babajide Christopher
He is lawyer and current senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and is considered one of the leading contenders for the ticket.
He hails from Ile Ife, in the eastern senatorial district of Osun State, same senatorial district as the outgoing governor Rauf Aregbesola, a factor that could work against him. He became a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1990.
Mr Omoworare was a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ifako-Ijaiye State Constituency 1 between 1999 – 2007, chairing committees on Judiciary, Ethics & Privileges, Human Rights & Public Petitions. He was elected to the Senate in 2011 where he still serves as senator. He comes into the race with a lot of experience in the legal practice and politics.
Oriolowo Adelere Adeyemi
He is an engineer, is from Iwo land in Osun West. He served as a former focal point officer with the UNDP; he is also a former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Rural Development and Community Affairs.
Before then, he was the General Manager, Osun State Agricultural Development Corporation. He is a registered engineer with the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a member of professional groups like Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers, NIAE; Certified International Project Manager, CIPM; Institute of Strategic Management, Nigerian Institute of Management and member, Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators. He is rated as a home grown politician, whose presence in the political arena is already creating concerns among his competitors.
Oyebanji Julius Oludayo
He is an indigene of Ikire, in Irewole Logal Government Area in Osun State. Mr Oludayo graduated with a first class honours in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1991.
He obtained a Master of Science (MSc.) degree in Accounting at Babcock University, Ilishan in 2016. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Accounting (major in Public Sector and Fiscal Policies) in Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.
He runs an accounting firm and had worked with leading financial houses both at home and abroad. He approaches politics with a mix of economics and would be trying out his luck with other gladiators on Friday.
Oyemomi Ezekiel Oyebola
He is 59. He hails from Orile-Owu, in Ayedaade local council development area. He was largely educated in Ibadan, Oyo State, his maternal home, where he had obtained a teacher’s certificate at Wesley College, Ibadan. After a stint in teaching he proceeded to obtain higher qualifications in Business Administration from Yaba College of Technology and went on to qualify as a chartered accountant.
He has since cut himself out as a policy expert and a public administrator, whose political capacity could be revealing if given the chance to run for governor.
Oyetola Adegboyega Isiaka
He comes straight from the corridors of power brandishing the credential of the Chief of Staff to the governor. He is 64, from Iragbiji, in Boripe Local Government Area of the state.
He has degree in Insurance and an MBA from UNILAG. After a sojourn of several years in the insurance sector, he established his own insurance company, named Silver Trust Insurance Brokers Limited.
He was the Managing Director of that company until his appointment as Chief of Staff in 2011. Mr Oyetola is reputed to be a founding member of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and has been a chieftain of the party through its metamorphosis to Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now APC. His pedigree as an effective grassroots mobiliser is his added advantage in the current race.
Rafiu Mumini Adekunle
He is another Iwo-born governorship aspirant, one of the youngest in the pack. He is 46 and an engineer by profession.
The Abuja-based politician is a son of a popular politician in Iwo land. He spent 17 years in the federal civil service and rose to the position of Manager, Federal Capital Territory Water Board, Gwarinpa Area Office. His strength is famed to be his ability to connect between the older and younger generations.
Salaam Najeem Folasayo
He is 53, the current Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly. He is representing Ejigbo State Constituency.
Before he ventured into politics, he operated a pharmacy even though he obtained a degree in Political Science in 1993.
He was made a supervisory Councillor for Health in 1999. He has since obtained a PhD in political science. Although he was elected in 2007 as a member of the Osun State House of Assembly, his election was nullified in 2009 by the Court of Appeal on the grounds that a logo of one of the political parties was excluded from the ballot paper in gross violation of the electoral laws.
The Court of Appeal ordered a new election. He however was elected in 2011 and rose to become the speaker of the assembly. His entrance in the race is noticeable and as a political figure, stands a chance to pull votes on Friday.
Taiwo Babatunde Adedotun
He is 44 and apparently the youngest of the aspirants. He hails from Apomu in Isokan Local Government of Osun State.
He is a graduate of The Polytechnic, Ibadan in Oyo state and attended the Federal School of Survey in Oyo town of Oyo State. BAT, as he is fondly called, is a real estate mogul and whose political activities are yet to be well documented.
He says he has the intent to build on the legacies of the incumbent governor, Rauf Aregbesola.
Yusuf Sulaiman Lasun
He is the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, representing Irepodun/Olurunda/Osogbo/Orolu federal constituency. He is also the First Deputy Speaker of the Ecowas Parliament.
The 58-year old lawmaker, is from Ilobu, headquarters of Irepodun local government area. Despite being a chartered mechanical engineer, Mr Yusuf is a grassroots politician, for which he earned the knick name, “Homeboy.”.
He was Youth Leader(UPN); state PRO, AD; before he was elected in 2011 to the House of Representatives on the platform of the defunct ACN. In spite of his grassroots appeal, Mr Lasun would be coming into the race on the weight of his position as the prominent lawmaker at the federal level.