Eye on Ogun Gov­er­nor­ship

Chief Kola Lawal (aka KLM), from Ye­wa­land says he is the best man to re­place Gov­er­nor Ibikunle Amo­sun in Ogun State come 2019. Femi Og­bon­nikan takes a crit­i­cal look at his as­pi­ra­tion and chances

THISDAY - - POLITY -

Gov­er­nor Ibikunle Amo­sun’s re­solve to pick his suc­ces­sor from Ogun West is still alive. On the long list of con­tes­tants of Yewa/Awori (Ogun West) ex­tracts that have thrown their hats into the ring is Adele-Oba Ko­la­wole Lawal, the cur­rent Ogun State Com­mis­sioner for Forestry. His pop­u­lar­ity is grow­ing on ac­count of his strong grass­roots ap­peal. He has also dis­played a com­mit­ment to ame­lio­rate the liv­ing con­di­tion of the peo­ple. KLM’s phi­lan­thropy is leg­endary.

Born 55 years ago, Lawal, fondly called KLM, who hails from Eyo Quar­ters, in OkeO­dan, Yewa South Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Ogun State, is pre­sumed as “the beau­ti­ful bride” of the Yewa/Awori men, women and youths. Many have come out openly to in­di­cate their in­ten­tion to join the APC if KLM emerges as the gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date, as he has proven to be the only one among the many that could take care of their needs.

To el­ders within and out­side the lead­er­ship of the APC in Ogun West, Lawal rep­re­sents a par­a­digm shift in chart­ing a new path that is not only full of shin­ing po­ten­tials but one that af­fords an un­hin­dered ex­pres­sion of val­ues and be­liefs.

Thus, his po­lit­i­cal tra­jec­tory, start­ing as a one-time gov­er­nor­ship as­pi­rant on the plat­form of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) in 2011 to his cur­rent bid to gov­ern Ogun State on the APC plat­form, is an­chored on how a de­cent so­ci­ety should evolve, rel­a­tive to the growth of the peo­ple.

Be­sides, Lawal, in­tel­li­gent and im­bued with clear vi­sion and goals, be­longs to a school of thought that preaches truth, eq­uity, and jus­tice.

His rise to star­dom has al­ways been marked by sheer prov­i­dence. In his West African School Cer­tifi­cate Ex­am­i­na­tion at Area Com­mu­nity High School, Owode-Yewa, in 1983, he made the over­all best re­sults in the en­tire Yewa South Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Ogun State. The same rare feat he ex­hib­ited dur­ing his Or­di­nary Na­tional Diploma (OND) and Higher Na­tional Diploma (HND), both in Ac­coun­tancy, at the Fed­eral Polytech­nic, Ilaro, Ogun State.

He is also a holder of a Mas­ter of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion (MBA) in man­age­ment and a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (B.Sc) de­gree in Bank­ing and Fi­nance from Rivers State Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Port Har­court, re­spec­tively.

While work­ing at Exxon­Mo­bil Pro­duc­ing Un­lim­ited, he was among the high fliers pro­moted ev­ery two years.

Thus, his en­try into the Ogun gov­er­nor­ship race is un­set­tling and also send­ing jit­ters down the spines of his ri­vals. He has been tac­ti­cal and re­lent­lessly tak­ing his mes­sage across to the peo­ple at the grass­roots,

An at­tes­ta­tion to his ac­cept­abil­ity has been the warm re­cep­tion he has been re­ceiv­ing dur­ing his con­sul­ta­tions across the length and breadth of the state. At a van­tage po­si­tion, Lawal, in his deft bid, has ap­pointed a co­or­di­na­tor across each of the three se­na­to­rial dis­tricts, while the same has been repli­cated at the lo­cal gov­ern­ment level, with two co­or­di­na­tors in charge of the coun­cil level.

From all in­di­ca­tions, KLM is poised to re­alise his gov­er­nor­ship am­bi­tion that kicked off in 2011 with a failed pri­mary at the first at­tempt on the plat­form of the PDP and may even­tu­ally coast home to vic­tory and would make history as the first in­di­gene of Yewa, from Ogun West se­na­to­rial district to oc­cupy the ex­alted of­fice of the gov­er­nor of Ogun State come May 29, 2019.

With his in­tim­i­dat­ing pro­file, KLM per­fectly fits into the de­scrip­tion of the much-touted “wizkid” that will take over the man­tle of lead­er­ship from Gov­er­nor Amo­sun.

He has had a 20-year stint with Exxon­Mo­bil Pro­duc­ing Un­lim­ited where he rose through the ranks to the ex­ec­u­tive cadre. He is cur­rently the Pres­i­dent, Ogun State Coun­cil of the Cham­ber of Com­merce, In­dus­try, Mines and Agri­cul­ture. Also, he is an ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber of Nige­rian As­so­ci­a­tion of Cham­bers of Com­merce, In­dus­try, Mines and Agri­cul­ture (NACCIMA).

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