As the Nation counts down to the 2023 general elections, political aspirants eyeing various positions in the forthcoming elections have began to strategize for the available elective positions.
In Ikorodu Constituency 1, Hon Sanai Oyeniran Bolanle (SOB) Agunbiade, a fourth term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly currently hold sway and has already launched his public campaign for a fifth term.
Ikorodu Oga Radio investigation has revealed that, many candidates have started consulting with party leaders and other stakeholders in a bid to warm themselves into the hearts of the party hierarchy.
A new dimension has however being introduced into the struggle for the Ikorodu Constituency 1 House of Assembly ticket as many youths, under 40 years and early 40s have publicly declared their intention to represent the area come 2023.
While it is too early to determine who gets the assembly ticket, one thing that is certain is that, it may not be business as usual for the older aspirants who seemed to have dominated the scene since the return of democracy in 1999.
Ikorodu Oga Radio private investigation revealed that, many of the younger aspirants believe that the incumbent State legislator and Majority Leader of the House, Hon SOB Agunbiade has already used up the chances of the over 40s and 50s whose generation they believe he represents.
They argue that, having spent 16 straight years in the House of Assembly from 2007 when he was in his early forty up till now that he is in his late fifties, it would be unfair to the generation next to allow the incumbent or any older candidates above 40 years to represent Ikorodu Constituency 1 from June, 2023.
Supporting their argument, the youthful candidates averred that, as leaders of tomorrow, they understood that power is not served a la carte, hence the reason why they have thrown their hats in the ring, and early enough so that the party leadership can have enough time to address the perceived injustice being done to their generation.
Meanwhile, we have it on good authority that, older candidates like the current Director-General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Hon Toyin Gafar a.k.a Bolowotan and a former Executive Chairman of Ikorodu North LCDA, Hon Adeola Jokomba has also declared intention for the seat. Ditto for a Lagos State Senior Civil Servant, Hon Nurudeen Yekeen Agbaje a.k.a Nero.
As at the last count, about four (4) Ikorodu youths have publicly and privately announced their readiness to join the Ikorodu Constituency 1 House of Assembly contest ahead of the 2023 general elections. They are, Comrade Samson Bisiriyu, the Executive Director of the Ikorodu Division Youth Initiative Movement (IDYIM) and also the Convener and Founder of the Ikorodu Division Not-Too-Young-To-Run, a body that canvassed for the inclusion of youths in political office in 2019.
Ayoyinka Adebola Ogbe is another young aspirant whose interest in the Ikorodu Constituency 1 Seat has become public knowledge. He is said to be currently busy consulting with key party leaders before launching his public campaign. Ogbe is a Level 12 Civil Servant with the Lagos State Government.
Another serious contender for the Ikorodu Constituency 1 Seat is Bolaji Isikalu, a young entrepreneur and media practitioner. Though, Bolaji is yet to formally launch his campaign, we were reliably informed that the young dynamic community activist who played key role in the rehabilitation of the Igbe Road, now Hon Jimi Benson Road as the Secretary of the Igbe Road Rehabilitation Committee (IRRC) will soon publicly launch his campaign.
Also, a former ally of Hon S.O.B Agunbiade and former Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Ikorodu Chapter, Com Akadiri Adeleke has recently joined the race. Adeleke, also known as Sayleke was the Director-General of the Second Term Campaign of the incumbent Chairman of Ikorodu local government, Hon Wasiu Adeshina.
One youthful aspirant who first stirred the waters for the Ikorodu Constituency 1 Seat is Adebiyi Eniola Adeyemi, son of a late frontline politician, Asiwaju Adesegun Adeyemi, popularly called Wake-Up. Eniola launched his campaign few weeks back with the message, ‘Wake Up Ikorodu’ adorning his black and gold coloured posters circulated across major locations in the community.
It is still very unclear if more youths would still join the House of Assembly race, or if more would still declare their interests on the platform of other opposition parties, but one thing is certain, the Ikorodu Constituency 1 Youths seemed determined to fight for what they say rightfully belongs to them as true leaders of tomorrow..