Here are the top five aspirants in 2027 Ogun State governorship race.
With Governor Dapo Abiodun winning a close victory at the Ogun State Governorship poll on March 18, 2023, political watchers in the state are already seeing the alignment and realignment of political heavyweights, who want to have a say on who succeeds him in office when he finishes his second term on May 28, 2027.
As the results of the election show, only two political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have the network, structure, and financial muscle to win the race to Oke Mosan in 2027. But who are the leading contenders for the ticket in both parties?
Here are the five leading aspirants (in no particular order) for the job of the Executive Governor of Ogun state come 2027 in my estimation, based on their popularity, acceptability, and demonstrated political ability to marshal forces for their victory:
1) Dimeji Bankole: The baby-faced former Speaker of the House of Representative has already shown his political dexterity by emerging as the youngest Speaker in the history of Nigeria, while being a bachelor. Since he was swept away by the gale of ACN in 2011 from public office, he had tried unsuccessfully to get back into public office via botched run for the PDP governorship ticket and APC presidential ticket, with a run at Oke Mosan with the ADP ticket in between.
Born November 14, 1969, he schooled at BBHS in Abeokuta before proceeding to the UK to further his education. His father, Alani Bankole, a former National Vice-Chairman and acting Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party is seen by many as a political juggernaut who can make things happen for him to clinch the APC ticket come 2027, as he did in 2007 during the speakership contest.
2) Ladi Adebutu: The former House of Representative member is the main challenger under PDP to the incumbent Governor Dapo Abiodun in the last election, and has said he will challenge his defeat by all legal means possible. If he however fails to win at the tribunal, appeal court, and finally the supreme court, many political watchers expect him to throw his hat into the ring once again to vie for the post.
Born February 25, 1962 in Lagos, Ladi hails from the renowned Adebutu Family of Eti-Obale, Iperu Remo, and the Apondele royal family of Ode Remo. He schooled at Igbobi College in Lagos before proceeding to Republic of Ireland for higher education. He has proven his political acumen, having won his first election in 1992 under SDP at the age of 30. However, there are already grumblings in political circles that it would be hard for an Iperu son to succeed another after 8 years in the saddle.
3) Olamilekan Adeola (YAYI): The senator representing Lagos West is known for scoring a number of firsts in his stellar political career so far, the latest being the first Nigerian to win senatorial elections in 2 different states. Come June 2023, he will leave his seat as the senator of Lagos West, and take his newly one role as the senator of Ogun West, a role most pundits believe is in preparation for contesting for the Ogun state governorship seat under APC.
Born 10th of August 1969 in Lagos, he grew up in Alimosho, Lagos but maintained a strong connection to his ancestral root headquarters in Ilaro Ogun State. In fact he initially sought to be a Senator in Ogun State as far back as 2015 but the then governor reportedly was on a war path with him. Since then, he had built his political engine in Ogun State which most people insist delivered the seat to the incumbent in 2019 and in 2015. He would be backed by the strong sentiment that he is the best option for the Ogun West folks to have one of their own govern Ogun State for the first time.
4) Segun Showunmi: Sagacious and media savvy, the chieftain of PDP Segun Showunmi has earned his stripes in the field of politics, including contesting the ticket to vie for the Ogun State highest office with the PDP candidate in 2023 elections up till the last minute. The former spokesman to PDP Presidential Candidate Waziri Atiku Abubakar, served during the Otunba Gbenga Daniel administration in Ogun State, as Deputy Chief Press Secretary, and later Senior Special Adviser on Media.
Born in February over 5 decades ago, the University of Lagos graduate has earned the accolades of all political pundits for his media acumen and ability to pierce through political fogs with his oratory power. Coupled with the strong sentiment that it is high time the PDP give an Egba man its gubernatorial ticket for the first time, many watchers think his chance in clinching the ticket of PDP come 2027 is very high.
5) Bukola Olopade (Ozogula): A successful sports administrator, politician cum social advocate, Bukola Olopade, has shown that one can make big social in insight after public office. The former Commissioner for Youths and Sports under Otunba Gbenga Daniel is widely adjudged as the best commissioner of the ministry since the inception of the state, and has further proved his mettle in sports administration and marketing, being the brains behind the top-rated Access Bank-sponsored Lagos City Marathon, Abeokuta Marathon 10km race, Remo ultra-race, and Nilayo Football Club.
Born 54 years ago in Ughelli, he got his popular nickname, Ozogula during his BBHS, Abeokuta playing days as a student, and studied English at the then Ogun State University before going to England to study law. Seen by many as a man of the streets, his aspiration is see as one which will cause excitement amongst the youths of the state, given his performance as youth and sports commissioner. He followed Otunba Gbenga Daniel from the PDP to the APC, and will be one aspirant that pundits see as a one to watch.