21st June, 2010
At least, four members of the Governor Babatunde Fasholaâ€™s cabinet and a former member of the cabinet are seriously eying the National Assembly, Abuja, Nigeria either as senators or members of the House of Representatives.
Having tasted power at the state level, they now want to go higher to represent their people at the Federal level and perhaps have their share ofÂ the â€˜national cake.â€™
Notable among the cabinet members are the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, who has already made his interest known to the public, that he is contesting for the Ekiti Central Senatorial Seat.
Others said to be eyeing seats in Abuja are Hon. Oyinlomo Danmole, Special Adviser to the Governor on Central Business District (CBD); Prince Lanre Balogun, Commissioner for Rural Development and Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation.Â Â Former Head of Service, Mr. Yakub Balogun is said to be one of them.
Bamidele is contesting the Ekiti Central Senatorial Seat with Mr. Dele Alake, the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the former Governor Bola Tinubu administration and Mr. Babafemi Ojudu, the Managing Editor, The News/PM NEWS, veteran journalist and human rights activist.
Bamidele had told newsmen that before taking his decision to vie for a senatorial seat, he prayed and fasted and that God told him to go ahead as he would surely emerge victorious.
It will certainly be a keen contest that will produce the Action Congress, AC, candidate to represent the party in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, that is, if the candidate defeats the Peoples Democratic Partyâ€™s candidate during the election.
Also Danmole is said to be eying the Senatorial Seat of Lagos Island Central and has been campaigning underground.Â A former House of Assembly member, Danmole has the pedigree that may give him the AC ticket.
He was also a former Special Adviser to Tinubu on Political Matters and Powers Bureau and was an AC governorship aspirant in the 2007 election in which Fashola emerged winner.
What Danmole has going for him is that he is a grassroots man and has a great deal of political clout. His ambition will pit him against other contestants, which may, or may not,Â include the incumbent senator, Muniru Muse and the wife of a powerful figure in the Lagos State politics.
Lanre Balogun, a â€˜rural manâ€™ is aiming to represent Ikorodu in the House of Representatives next year and he is working assiduously to ensure that his dream comes to a reality.
Undoubtedly, Balogun is a son of the soil in Ikorodu and has been a Commissioner in Lagos State for over seven years, garnering a lot of experience, especially from the grassroots as Commissioner for Rural Development.
With the recent tour of projects in rural areas across the state, Balogun has familiarised himself with the problems of his people, especially those in Ikorodu where many of the rural projects were sited and he has been enjoying the support of his people, who have been urging him to go ahead.
Former HOS, Yakub Balogun resigned his position to have enough time to prepare to contest the House of Representatives seat of Lagos Island Central.Â Â Balogun, last Wednesday formally joined the AC after picking up a registration form at the partyâ€™s secretariat with leaders of the party and hundreds of supporters there to give him a rousing reception.
Balogun said he joined the AC because the party stood for equity and justice and is progressively minded, adding that all through his tenure as HOS, he had time to study the manifesto of the party and discovered that he could serve his community better by contesting under the banner of the AC, having served as a public servant for 33 years.
According to the former HOS, â€œmy people are calling me to join the race for the House Representatives seat.Â Â If the party will choose me to go to the House of Representatives, one of the issues I will fight for is for Lagos State to be given a special status.
â€œLagos State is being short-changed as a former Federal Capital Territory.Â Former capitals all over the world are recognised.Â Â My community also has the problem of potable water, which I would like to address when I get the seat.â€
With the grand reception given to the former HOS by party leaders, political watchers said he is likely to get the ticket to represent his people at the House of Representatives.Â Already, fliers of Balogun are everywhere.
As for Opeifa, sources said he is eying the Abuja job to represent Agege Constituency in the House of Representatives, but Opeifa denied that he was gunning for the seat.
Be it as it may, former governorship aspirant, Otunba Niyi Raheem is also gunning for the House of Representatives seat in the same constituency and he is likely to get the ticket if Opeifa refuses to go for it.