The early signs are that the Lagos West APC senate primary will be one of the most keenly contested and closely watched.
The incumbent senator, Solomon Yayi Adeola, intends to run for the Ogun governorship seat to replace Sen Ibikunle Amosun, whose second term ends in 2019. That leaves open a strong senatorial seat in a key Lagos district.
So who is interested?
- Early feelers indicate that former minister, Musiliu Obanikoro, who defected to the APC only two weeks ago is eyeing the seat.
- So also is the current governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola, who will round up his second term as governor next year.
- Also, a former senator representing the zone, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, is reportedly interested and has been building support on the ground.
- Lastly, the man who replaced Afikuyomi in the senate, Ganiyu Solomon, is also interested, according to some reports. Solomon is a former chairman of Mushin LGA.
And these are just within the APC.
Apart from Solomon, the other three men served as commissioners in the Bola Tinubu administration in Lagos state, and will now bid to be a colleague of his wife in the senate – if she retains her own seat in 2019.
Prior to Obanikoro’s defection, the ambition of the Osun governor Aregbesola was the most talked about issue. Aregbesola had said earlier this year that: “I am as large in Osun as I am large in Lagos. Not many politicians in this country can claim this. So, if I have to contest, I don’t need anybody’s permission. I can contest anywhere.” Since then he has been strengthening his structures in Lagos, with some of his loyalists responsible for the recent conflict within the Lagos APC.
Obanikoro previously represented Lagos Central in the senate but he intends to run for the Lagos West seat from Oriade local government area.