Three major candidates stand out in the race for Oyo South Senatorial District.
They are Barr. Sharafadeen Alli (APC), Mogaji Joseph Tegbe (PDP) and Chief Kolapo Kola-Daisi (Accord).
The three have outstanding academic qualifications and experience in their chosen careers. They are running on good political platforms and also running massive campaign.
Tegbe is a management consultant with decades of experience, consulting for national and international agencies. He has brought his intellectual prowess to bear in policy formulation and implementation.
But he has not held any political position which has not allowed a direct test of his capacity and integrity.
In a society where there is a huge distrust of political office holders, serving in such position whether appointed or elected is a test of politicians’ true attributes.
Besides, having been forced on the PDP leaders and members by Governor Seyi Makinde, only few PDP members trust and are campaigning for him. They believe that Tegbe can easily return to APC if he loses the election.
A young and successful professional, Kolapo Kola-Daisi is a fresh blood running against old folks. Riding on his famous and wealthy background, young Kolapo is also succeeding in carving an independent identity for himself as a politician. He is campaigning in all the nooks and crannies of the district, donating to meet the needs of people in the district.
But Accord is a weak platform compared with the APC and PDP which have national appeal and are rooted in all communities in Nigeria.
Accord’s presidential candidate is unknown. With the election holding the same time, a party with an unknown presidential candidate will most likely struggle in the National Assembly election.
He also lacks public service experience which is key in determining the ability to deliver on promises.
Analysts say that Kola-Daisi’s good outing this time may serve as a good foundation on which he can build in the future.
The APC candidate, who is a lawyer of many years practice and rich political experience stands out in several ways in the crowd.
- Capability. As a lawyer, Alli is most suitable as a lawmaker. Having studied Law and familiar with the defects of the Nigerian constitution in fostering a united and prosperous Nigeria, it is safe to conclude that Alli will hit the ground running from his first sitting after his swearing in at the Senate.
- Experience over experiment. A one-time chairman of Ibadan North Local Government, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), and Chairman, Board of Directors of Odu’a Investments Ltd., Alli has gathered enough experience in public service to navigate his way through the Senate in achieving his goal for a prosperous Oyo South Senatorial District.
- Platform. The platform of APC is so strong in Nigeria today that the party’s candidates are the ones to beat in this election. With federal might and governing the majority of Nigerian states, APC is the strongest political platform in Nigeria today.
- Selflessness. In all his public service positions, Alli has proved to be selfless in whatever he does for his people. He is simple, humble and connects with people in all strata of the society. He has constantly demonstrated that he is not desperate for anything.
- Understanding of the terrain. As an Ibadan-based politician, Alli grew up in politics as a grassroots practitioner. He is popular in his Ibadan North Local Government and is friendly with all elders, gate keepers and the masses in Ibadan and Ibarapa. The contacts and relationships which he has gathered over the years are a plus for his candidature this time.
- The Ladoja connection. Sharafadeen Alli is one of Chief Rashidi Ladoja’s trusted and loyal political sons. All Ladoja’s followers across Oyo State know this, meaning that a vote for Alli is interpreted as a vote for Ladoja. With the large followership still commanded by Ladoja in Oyo State, it is safe to predict Alli’s success in the February 25 election.
- Integrity. Alli has been tested well in the past, and has proved to be a worthy servant of the people. As local government chairman and SSG, he never placed money, greed or personal interest above service, thereby keeping his integrity intact.
Besides, the popularity of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the APC in the entire South West will help the National Assembly candidates of the party in the region.
Alli’s election is, therefore, seen by analysts as one that will enrich lawmaking and bring immense benefits to Oyo South Senatorial District.