By Olusegun Adedayo
Barring any last minute change, the All Progressive Congress (APC) will hold its primaries across the country in the third week of September, to elect candidates that will fly its flag in the various elective posts in the 2019 General Election. Unlike the usual hand picking process, where party candidates emerge from a proclamation by party leaders, the process would no longer be business as usual, as the open ballot system would be adopted during the primaries.
This was so affirmed following the announcement by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu while addressing party faithful at the State Secretariat of the party recently. Tinubu told Stakeholders at the gathering to go and showcase what they think to make them the right persons to fly the party’s flag for the election. He stated categorically that the era of favouritism has become a thing of the past in the party.
Consequently, all the aspirants into the various positions have commenced both covert and overt strategies in wooing support to their camps. Banners, flyers of different sizes and shapes, with colourful and heart-warming campaign messages have been dotting frontage of the party, council secretariats and strategic locations across the country.
One of the aspirants that seem to be a threat in this race in Kosofe Federal Constituency according to observers is the young and dynamic gentleman, Mr Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, and a lot believe he is the candidate to beat, due to his intimidating credentials, wealth of political experience and distinguished/glowing performance while at the National Assembly.
A former two-term member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Nigeria, representing Kosofe Federal Constituency of Lagos, Alebiosu was elected and re-elected into Parliament in 2007 and 2011 respectively, where he served till 2015. In 2007, Dayo gathered 100,000 votes, more than any elected Representative in Nigeria. The dexterity and the law-making excellence of Bush manifested when he served as the pioneer Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties and Agreements; and also served as the Chairman of the Sub-Committee on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He also at several times, served in different committees including National Security, Petroleum (Upstream), Gas Resources, and Justice.
Bush passion for young people’s participation in politics and governance led him to form an alliance with some young people to form a group known as Young Alliance. This group is saddled with the responsibility of mobilizing young people into politics. His belief is that young people should concentrate on occupying the legislative arm of government, through this, they can better influence policy making and also prepare themselves for governance in the nearest future. This is also reflective in the nature of bills and motions he sponsored when he was in the green chamber.
Although there are other contenders who are jostling for the ticket of the party, some of the aspirants include, Yetunde Arobieke, a former chairperson in Agboyi-Ketu LCDA between 2003 to 2011, which pundits have described as too little for parliamentary assignment. Just like Arobieke, there is also Hon. Kunle Soname, who was a council chairman in one of the councils in the constituency. Until his emergence as the pioneer chairman of the Council in 2003, Hon. Soname was not a known name in the political circle.
But for Hon. Bush, there was never a dull moment in his eight years at the Green Chamber of the National Assembly, judging by the numbers of Bills sponsored and motions moved; that earned him the respect of his colleagues. Among some of the motions moved, just to mention a few are: The motion to request the house to direct an outright proscription of sales, distribution and consumption of all brands of caffeinated energy drinks in Nigeria in 2013; the motion to appeal the decision of the international court of Justice (ICJ) ceding Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon and the violation of the green tree agreement entered into between Nigeria and Cameroon over the cession and administration of Bakassi to Cameroon (2012) and many others, according to his parliamentary records available.
Prior to his emergence as a federal lawmaker, Hon. Bush served as Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos State on Housing from 2003 till 2007, a position that enriched him the strategies for effective governance. Mr Bush-Alebiosu, described by many as an embodiment of academic excellence, is a qualified Architect and excelled brilliantly in this profession before venturing into his lifelong desire of being an agent of change through his involvement in politics.
The race is also said to be open to a fourth timer at the state House of Assembly, one does not really know his true stand for the race, as keen watchers informed that he has his eyes on the Lagos East Senatorial ticket to become a Senator, that is Hon. Sikiru Adebayo Oshinowo representing Kosofe Constituency 1.
Inside source disclosed that Oshinowo may be trying to run away from Seye Ogunlewe, the thirty-year-old PDP candidate he contested against in 2015. It will be recalled that Oshinowo won with less than 65,000 votes and for a 3-term lawmaker like him, it is an embarrassment. Some are also saying he may eventually trade off his political god-son, Rotimi Agunsoye who is seeking another term. It is believed in the constituency that it was Oshinowo’s political and rigging mercenary that ensured the success of Agunsoye in 2015, and so he (Oshinowo) may be asking for payback in 2019.
It was also reported that Oshinowo has continued to turn a blind eye on a dilapidated Primary School located opposite his residence at his Oshinowo close Ojota, even as most of the pupils sit on the bare floor, in spite the huge constituency allowance available to him. He is also reputed to be addicted to the use of flashy cars and expensive wears.
One must also know that there is Hon. Oluwarotimi Ojo Agunsoye, the incumbent lawmaker Representing Kosofe Federal Constituency, as he seeks re-election. Political watchers in the constituency have said the big shoes left by Dayo Bush more than three years ago has been difficult for this former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Lagos state to fill.
Born in 1963, Oluwarotimi attended the Mount Olivert Grammar School, Ibadan Oyo State for his post-primary education between 1980 and 1985 and proceeded to the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Bachelor Degree in 1989. He was actually brought to political limelight during the tenure of Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola as governor of the state when he was appointed a Commissioner.
Since he became a member of the National Assembly much has not been seen or heard about his legislative prowess in terms of contribution at the floor of the Green Chamber. It will be recalled that he emerged as the representative of Kosofe in a controversial manner; the primary that gave him the ticket also had series of violence and it took place almost three times before results were allegedly announced by leaders of the party. The announcement of the results actually took place when delegates have been asked to go home and come back the following day.
Dayo Bush as a lover of learning, with an ardour of advancing himself to the 21st-century leadership platform, attended numerous courses in Leadership and Decision Making at Harvard and Dynamic Leadership at UCL. He went further to obtain a degree in Leadership and Management from (Northumbria University), where he is also currently completing his Master’s degree in Leadership and Management, and rounding up on a Postgraduate Executive programme in Strategic Leadership at the Warwick Business School, England.
He worked as Architect/Chief Operating Officer at Jaseal Construction Limited and Aron Construction Nigeria Limited where he served as one of the On-site Architect for the building of the Ogun State Stadium, Abeokuta. He also worked with Deji Oyenuga & Partners and was also a Partner at Counterpart Architects.