Four aspirants will be slugging it out for the position of the National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party’s national convention on Saturday in Abuja. The position has been zoned to the South-west comprising Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun and Lagos states.
Those gunning for the position are Iyiola Omisore, Adebayo Shittu, Olaiya Olaitan and Ifeoluwa Oyedele.
He is a former deputy governor of Osun State between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and senator representing Osun East Senatorial District on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from 2003 to 2011.
In 2018, the 64 years old engineer from Ile-Ife, contested the governorship election in Osun State under the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) but crashed out of the race having come third after APC’s Gboyega Oyetola and PDP’s Ademola Adeleke.
But Mr Omisore became a beautiful bride as his support for any of the parties in the rerun ordered by INEC was crucial to all of them. The rerun was to take place majorly in Mr Omisore’s strongholds. His home became a mecca of sort.
A high powered delegation from both PDP led by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, met with Mr Omisore to support the party. On the other hand, APC led by the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, visited him.
Mr Omisore subsequently went into coalition with the APC for the September 28 rerun in seven polling units of four local governments, namely Osogbo, Orolu, Ife North and Ife South.
Mr Oyetola was subsequently declared winner of the election by INEC.
He was allegedly promised the senatorial ticket of Osun East by the APC in the 2019 general election though it never materialised.
In February 2021, Mr Omisore defected to the APC. His quest to occupy the position of the national secretary of the party might be a payback time. He is reportedly the anointed candidate of the National Leader of the APC and presidential hopeful, Bola Tinubu.
However, Mr Omisore ambition may be threatened by his alleged involvement in the 2001 murder of the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bola Ige.
Despite court rulings, the allegation is still hanging on his neck, with groups calling on the current AGF, Abubakar Malami, to reopen the case.
Besides, some political allies of Mr Ige may not back him for the quest to become the APC scribe at Saturday’s convention.
Adebayo Shittu is the immediate past Minister of Communication during President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term.
He had served as a lawmaker in the Oyo State House of Assembly where he was the youngest at the 26. Mr Shittu, 69, is a lawyer and Shittu, a three-time Commissioner in the state.
His last days in office was, however, characterised by NYSC certificate scandal. PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported how Mr Shittu skipped the mandatory one-year service despite graduating from the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU) at age of 25.
The controversy was believed to have played a major role in his failure to make the cabinet list for the second time.
Meanwhile, during the 2019 governorship election, Mr Shittu, who was from the CPC bloc that formed the APC, had wrestled to emerge as the governorship candidate of the APC but failed after the then Governor Abiola Ajimobi threw his weight behind Adebayo Adelabu, who later emerged the candidate of the Party.
Mr Shittu vowed not to campaign for Mr Adelabu, who eventually to the election to Seyi Makinde of PDP.
Mr Shittu is believed to be enjoying the support of some cabals in the Presidency in the desire to be the APC national secretary at the convention today.
The 55 year-old Olaiya hails from Ibadan in Oyo State. He holds a doctorate degree in Agronomy from the University of Ibadan.
His political experience dated back to 1995, when he contested for Chairman Ibadan South East Local Government through Zero party platform and subsequently under PDP.
He contested for Oluyole federal constituency seat in 2007 under Labour party. He joined defunct ACN in 2010 under the leadership of former Governor Lam Adesina of Oyo State.
He was the running mate of the deceased Alao Akala in the 2019 governorship election on under the umbrella of the ADP in Oyo State.
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Mr Olaiya currently lectures at the department of Plant Physiology and Crop Production, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Although his chances of clinching the position of the national secretary are not certain, Mr Olaiya is seen as Mr Shittu’s Plan B even when both are political foes back home.
Ifeoluwa Oyedele, an indigene of Okitipupa in Ondo State, was an Executive Director (Engineering & Technical Services) at Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited.
He was a governorship aspirant during the 2020 gubernatorial election in Ondo state. He also served as the head of media and publicity committee of Buhari Campaign Council in Ondo State during the 2019 presidential election.
Mr Oyedele is believed to be the preferred choice of Mr Buhari for the APC scribe position.
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