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Strong Contenders For Ondo State Ministerial Slot Revealed

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After the May 29 inauguration of the Nigerian President-elect, Asiwaju Bola, he is expected to announce his cabinet ministers in the month of June, all things being equal. It is, however, believed that political search lights are already being beamed on Ondo State to spot a ministerial nominee for the Sunshine State.

 

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Although it has been gathered, several factors will be considered in determining the nominee to represent Ondo State in the next Federal Executive Council. Aside from being an active and highly committed member of the All Progressive Congress (APC), other factors to consider in choosing a ministerial nominee from Ondo State may include track records of performance, age, closeness to the President-elect, and the capacity to change the narrative in favour of the new administration.

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It has, however, been gathered that Asiwaju is very likely to make Ondo State one of the states where he plans to strongly identify with the youths. This may then explain why age has been made one of the criteria for the would-be ministerial nominee from Ondo State. The Sunshine State, as gathered, is also seen as one that is not in the stranglehold of any politician. Although Governor Akeredolu is seen as the natural leader of APC in Ondo State, past experiences and the present face-off between Aketi and the NWC of APC on the party’s choice for National Assembly leadership may have foreclosed the chances of appointing the governor’s preferred choice.

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Also, the robust and long-term relationship of certain Ondo State indigenes with Asiwaju Tinubu is being leveraged to give the Sunshine State the slot of a senior minister in the new political dispensation. The argument has always been that Ondo State, which has consistently been an APC state, is only considered good enough to fill the slot of a ‘junior minister’. Meanwhile, in light of factors to be considered to fill the ministerial slot in Ondo State, some individuals have been deemed qualified and suitable to represent the Sunshine State in the new Federal Executive Council.

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Olusola Alexander Oke, SAN

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria is truly desirous of the ministerial slot in Ondo State, as it is believed that he intends to use it as a springboard to actualize his unhidden governorship ambition. It is also believed that Oke intends to take after the duo of the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, who both leveraged their ministerial offices to become the governors of Ondo State.

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The 67-year-old Olusola Oke is indeed qualified to represent the Sunshine State as a minister in view of his political antecedents and professional accomplishments. He got elected in 1992 to represent the Ilaje/Ese-odo federal constituency of Ondo State. He was appointed as a pioneer board member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2000. On account of his achievements and experience as NDDC federal commissioner, he was again appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) in 2004.

Olusola Oke was nominated in 2005, and he served in the National Political Reform Conference. He again served as a member of the Presidential Technical Committee on the Niger Delta in 2007. He had also served in 2009 as the Chairman of the Federal Polytechnic Bida before being appointed yet again as the Chairman of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency from 2009 to 2011.

Chief Oke contested but lost his first bid to occupy the governorship seat of Ondo State on the platform of the PDP in 2012. He again vied for the governorship position of the Sunshine State on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2016 but disputably lost the primaries, albeit narrowly, to the incumbent Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. The displeased Olusola Oke decamped to the Alliance.
for Democracy (AD) on account of his displeasure with the outcome of the APC primaries. The man has since returned to the APC, and he is hoping to pick up the ministerial slot in Ondo State.

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Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa

The 58-year-old Lucky Aiyedatiwa
is the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, and he is unpretentious about his desire to succeed his boss, Governor Akeredolu. Before his election as Ondo State Deputy Governor, he had earlier served as a commissioner on the board of
the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

It may be surprising that the Master’s degree holder in Business Administration (MBA) from
The University of Liverpool could still nurse ministerial ambition instead of the widely believed governorship aspiration. The businessman turned politician is, after all, hoping to use the office of minister as a major springboard to realise his governorship ambition.

Judging by all parameters, Aiyedatiwa is qualified to take up the ministerial slot in Ondo State, having been in office as a Deputy Governor since February 25, 2021, when he and his boss were sworn in. The Obe-Nla-born Aiyedatiwa has been carrying himself with the candour and sense of responsibility expected from a deputy governor. The man has also not fallen short of admirable discharge of his official responsibilities in his capacity as a deputy governor or anytime he acted as the acting governor of Ondo State.

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nominated asOrimisan had earlier been nominated one of the national delegates from Ondo State at the Abuja national convention of the APC in 2014. Earlier in 2015, he had contested to represent the people of Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency. As a Federal Commissioner, he represented Ondo State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2018 to 2019.

Hon. Tajudeen Adeyemi Adefisoye

Tajudeen Adeyemi Adefisoye is popularly known across the country as Small Alhaji. He is a grassroots mobilizer, and he enjoys the large support of the youth in his federal constituency and the state at large. The Idanre-born politician is still very young, and he may just fit into Asiwaju’s plan to accommodate youths in his administration. The young man had surprisingly, at the age of 34, contested and won a House of Representatives seat in
2019. He did achieve this feat by defeating some political heavyweights.

Small Alhaji is the outgoing member representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency of Ondo State in the House of Representatives. Although he lost his bid to become a ranking member of the House of Representatives due to conspiratorial gang-ups against him by certain leaders in his political party, the APC, It was rumoured that some leaders in the Idanre chapter of the APC became uncomfortable with his meteoric rise in politics and chose to work against him in the last election so as to curtail his speedy and steady political rise.

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He is the Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Army. It is on record, however, that he, along with the Chairman of the House Committee on Army, achieved marked improvement in the welfare of Nigerian Army personnel. Transformative measures have also been put in place in the Nigerian Army through the ingenious efforts of the Army Committee, which has Tajudeen Adefisoye as deputy chairman. Impacts of the
Excellent legislative oversight duties by Small Alhaji in the Army can be directly linked to the obviously improved and clinically professional output by Nigerian soldiers in the last four years.

The 38-year-old graduate of business administration from the University of Ekiti State is also known to have performed excellently as a federal legislator. A number of his constituents also give him deserved credit for his transformative representation as well as his numerous projects and welfare intervention programmes. However, it is still very much unknown whether the young legislator enjoys a good relationship with the new set of power brokers.

Hon. Prince Ademola Adegoroye

The Akure Prince is a member of the recently dissolved Federal Executive Council. Adegoroye served as the Minister of State for Transport. He was able to make his mark within 10 months of being in office.

Prince Ademola is believed to be highly instrumental in the approval of the licence for Ondo Multipurpose Port. He is definitely still very popular amongst the people of Akure and Ondo State at large for his undeniable landmark impact while in office as a minister.

The lawyer and former member of the Ondo State House of Assembly is also believed to have played a crucial role in the award of the Akure-Ikere federal road that has become impassable. Recently, the minister deemed it necessary to pay a ‘thank you’ visit to the Minister of Work and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over the award of the Akure-Ikere road.

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Moreso, Adegoroye, who only last year contested and lost the APC primary election in his bid to secure the party’s ticket for Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency,
He, however, quickly rose above the defeat and positioned himself for a higher responsibility. He has also done well with the facilitation of federal employment for some of his constituents. It is not in any way hidden that Ademola Adegoroye is very much desirous of returning to the Federal Executive Council, and he is largely banking on Governor Akeredolu to once again pull the strings for him.

Meanwhile, it has also been gathered that a former Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde, popularly known as Abena, is equally interested in the ministerial slot in Ondo State. Also, the Ondo State Commissioner for Finance and a front-line governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC are equally interested in the slot. The same thing goes for the member of the House of Representatives who has won re-election to represent Akoko North East/Akoko North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo. He is definitely a super-performing legislator and the Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC. The young and cerebral Tunji-Ojo is also keenly watching, monitoring, and gauging the situation in the Ondo State ministerial slot.

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