The race is about to begin. Men who want Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s job badly in May 2019 are criss-crossing the three senatorial districts, making friends, erecting sturdy coalitions and assembling crack teams of political operatives and campaign machinery.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently released the timetable for the 2019 elections, indicating that it would hold the next Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 16, 2019. The Commission also said that Governorship and State House of Assembly polls would take place on March 2, 2019.
The gubernatorial gladiators are now openly speaking about their preparations, their chances of winning, their hopes and dreams for the Gateway State, what they stand for ideologically, their personal qualities, as well as the style and type of governorship they hope to run. While Governor Amosun has kept to his chest who he has in mind to succeed him, he (Amosun) has openly declared to hand over the baton of governance to someone from Ogun West. Of the three senatorial districts in Ogun State, only Ogun West is yet to savour the seat of power since the state was created in February 1976. The first civilian governor, late Chief Olabisi Onabanjo was an Ijebu indigene from Ogun East. He was succeeded by Chief Segun Osoba, an Egba from Ogun Central, followed by Otunba Gbenga Daniel from Ogun East. At the expiration of Daniel’s eight years in 2011, the incumbent, Amosun, an Egba man from Ogun Central stepped in. He will complete his second term on May 29, 2019.
In the months ahead, with some governorship contenders certain to drop out of the contest and some more aspirants sure to join the race, the picture may change and take a sharper perspective. For now, take a close look at the crowded pack from Ogun West: Adele Oba Wasiu Kolawole Lawal Mobolorunduro, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Prince Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, Chief Tolu Odebiyi, Prince Gboyega Nazir Isiaka, Chief Abiodun Akinlade and Prince Adekunle Akinlade. The big question is: Who will be the next governor of Ogun State in 2019?
The Man – KLM
To many party men, Adele Oba Wasiu Kolawole Lawal Mobolorunduro (KLM) is the man to beat. Some of his admirers already consider him as the Governor-in-waiting. The man has been associated for so long with the 2019 governorship race. He has more or less, become the issue in most political circles. Knowledgeable and widely respected, Kolawole Lawal, 55, accountant, and the incumbent Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry, has participated actively at the ward, council and state politics.
A thorough digest of his personality, especially his evolution from a humble background to stardom reveals him as an epitome of many virtues, ranging from resilience to self-motivation, hard work, vision, sagacity, integrity, kind heartedness and humility.
KLM possesses all those qualities. But besides, the 55-year-old politician is immensely smart and shrewd in his ways. He is an engaging speaker, who shoots straight. He is exciting, not a bore by any means. He has established himself as a serious political commentator whose views must be taken seriously because of his enormous capacity for good. KLM is by all accounts a man of enterprise, a diligent crusader for a wide range of genuine causes from which he does not retreat even when the odds are high and the opposition is thick.
To begin the story of KLM from the beginning: born on September 24, 1962 at Oke-Odan in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, he is a strong member of All Progressives Congress (APC). He belongs to Oke-Odan ward in Yewa South Local Government Area, Ogun West Senatorial District of Ogun State. He has been morally and financially involved in all party activities, from his ward and the wards around him, through to the state.
With providence propelling him all the way, he has been able to blend all the qualities, overtime, to reach the pinnacle of his chosen profession while impacting positively on humanity.
KLM started his formal education at St. James’ Anglican School, Oke-Odan which he completed in 1972. Unlike children born with silver spoon who enjoy smooth academic voyage, KLM had a chequered educational career, typical of children from humble background. It started with a six-year break after his primary education from 1972 to 1978, which was enough to drift him away from formal education at such an early stage.
In between the time, he moved over to join his uncle in Owode-Yewa where he became an apprentice in different trades including Bicycle Repairing, Houses and Vehicles Spray Painting, Public Letter Writing and Documentary Services until 1978. All the while, he did not give up the hope and possibility of better and higher western education. Providence was kind to him, in line with his vision, as he resumed school in 1978, this time, at Area Community High School, Owode-Yewa where he was a pioneer student.
As one cut out for greatness by destiny, the huge endowment in him began to manifest in diverse ways from his first year in the newly established school. He was exceptionally and consistently brilliant, cool headed and reliable. All these made him to be made the first Senior Prefect of the School. Despite combining academics with the leadership responsibilities, his brilliant performance never waned. He was not only taking the overall first position throughout his five years sojourn in the school, his West African School Certificate (WAEC) was the best, both in the school and the environs in 1983 that he passed out.
His determination for accelerated tertiary education made him seek admission into the University of Jos at that time. Though, he succeeded in getting the admission, his humble background again denied him the opportunity of taking it.
But like the biblical farmer, who, having set his hand on the plough, refused to look back, KLM maintained his focus. He was determined to acquire quality higher education no matter the cost. His resilience however paid-off in the end. Today, he holds an HND in Accountancy from the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, B.Sc.. in Banking and Finance, with the best result of 2nd Class Upper and MBA in Management all from University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. Giving his levelheadedness and strong appetite for knowledge, he is currently back in the ivory tower as he has a Law Degree in view from the University of Lagos. His work experience has been quite remarkable. More than his school days, it has offered him good opportunity to demonstrate in more concrete terms, those virtues that had defined his path and propelled his vision since his childhood days.
KLM had a five-year stint with Associated Breweries and Company Limited, Agbara Estate in Ogun State where he rose to become an Acting Distribution Manager. He left the employment for his HND programme in 1988. From 1990 to 1991, he underwent his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (an oil and Gas Multi-national Exploration and Production Company). Like a golden fish that has no hiding place, his sterling qualities soon stood him out such that he was adjudged the best youth corps member at the end of the service year. The feat was so endearing and irresistible that the management of the Company deemed him the only one out of the 50 youth corps members, worthy of offer of contract employment as an Accountant and later as a permanent employee.
He rose to various leadership positions including Regional Head of Accounts Payable for the company’s Eastern operations covering Bonny, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Rivers State with Headquarters at Eket, Akwa Ibom State. Due to the passion he has for the people of his state and his will to serve them, he opted for an early retirement from the company in February 2010 and left the company as a Management Executive in the Venture Relations Department of the organization. His work career has equally been enhanced by the many professional courses and e-training he has attended in Nigeria, Europe and the Americas.
He is an unrepentant cheerful giver to party leaders, elders, youth, women and entire followership. On a State-wide scale, KLM has made a greater effort at brightening the future of the youth of Ogun State.
He says he is taking part in politics because he has contributions to make and not because somebody wants him to run. He is much respected within the APC and his supporters say he is better-placed to take over from Governor Amosun in May 2019, because he understands the political terrain better than all his opponents.