About one year to the 2023 general elections, different groups and political interests are already positioning themselves to grab power at all costs. Politicians of different shades are also warming up and rejigging their political machineries in readiness for the much-awaited polls.
In Ikorodu local government, the two state assembly seats are shared by Ikorodu Constituency 1 and 2, comprising of Ikorodu Central, Ikorodu West and North as well as Imota, Igbogbo-Baiyeku and Ijede LCDAs respectively.
While the Ikorodu In Constituency 1 Seat is taken by any candidate favoured by the party and community stakeholders, the Ikorodu Constituency 2 is usually rotated among the three local council development areas, namely Ijede, Igbogbo and Imota.
The position sharing arrangement of the Constituency 2 is traceable to an unwritten gentlemen agreement between stakeholders from the communities that makes up the Ikorodu Constituency 2 during the creation of the Irepodun local government where Hon Oredoyin from Imota was the Assembly member and Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Bashorun was the Secretary to the State Government; the stakeholders thought it wise to cede the position of Executive Chairman of Irepodun LG to Alh S.O Amusa from Ijede, as a way of ensuring justice and equity.
The arrangement above was also adopted by the leaders and stakeholders in these communities when the Ikorodu Constituency 2 seat was created. Ijede took the first shot with Hon Saheed Adefarasin from Ijede representing Ikorodu Constituency 2 from 1999-2007. This was followed by Hon Shotomiwa from Igbogbo, who represented the area from 2007 but could not complete his term due to his untimely death. His tenure was completed by another Igbogbo indigene, in person of Hon Gbenga Oshin, candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party and ended in 2011. In line with the agreement, Hon Adebimpe Akinsola, another Igbogbo indigene was supported by the communities to complete the second term of Igbogbo LCDA. She represented Ikorodu Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly between 2011-2015. Her attempt to go for a second term met with stiff opposition from stakeholders who argued that doing so will disrupt the rotational arrangement.
To this end, the incumbent, Hon Saka Sholaja from Imota LCDA emerged the favoured candidate to occupy the seat between 2015-2019; he also got a second term ticket which returned him to the assembly from 2019 till date. His tenure is expected to last till May 29, 2023.
Based on the foregoing, the next candidate to represent the Ikorodu Constituency 2 from 2023 should be from Ijede LCDA. But, feelers from many quarters indicates that the rotational arrangement may be disrupted by some interested parties who are arguing that, the rotational agreement was non-existent. Those in this school of thought stated that, what many called an agreement was only a mutual understanding between the communities during the days of the Irepodun local government, comprising of Imota, Igbogbo and Ijede communities. They further stated that the purported agreement died with the extinction of the Irepodun local government arrangement. They further buttressed their argument with the fact that, when the understanding only affects multiple position sharing, it was not for a specific political office, nor was the arrangement specifically for the Ikorodu Constituency 2 State assembly seat which had not been created then.
Consequently, the proponents of the above argument noted that, since the ‘gentlemen agreement’ has nothing to do with the State assembly seat, the purported agreement is null and void.
There is however, a last school of thought, these group of stakeholders believe that, even if the agreement truly exists, it should not be sacrosanct and should be open to reviewy concerned stakeholders. They argue further that, if truly the agreement existed, it can now be reviewed or trashed, since the three communities have had their separate eight (8) years shots from 1999 since the commencement of the current political dispensation. They avered that the Assembly seat ticket should now be thrown open to interested candidates from any of the three main communities with the hope that the best candidate should win and represent them in 2023.
In view of the above, some aspirants from Igbogbo and Imota are beginning to position themselves for the House of Assembly slot, come 2023. Meanwhile, stakeholders from Ijede LCDA who said they had waited patiently for their turn in 2023 said they will not hear of the argument about non-existing rotational agreement. These stakeholders felt it is their turn and should not be deprived of their right.
Another major twist to the developing scenario is the fact that, the incumbent, Hon Saka Sholaja who is from Imota is also warming up to represent the Ikorodu Constituency 2 for the third term. Sources close to N.S as he is fondly called argued that, Sholaja did not get the assembly ticket in 2015 on a platter of gold. They argued that the then occupier of the seat, Hon Adebimpe Akinsola from Igbogbo did not willingly relinquish the seat for Sholaja. It was stated that, she contested the party’s primary for a second term in office, which would have counted as third term for Igbogbo-Baiyeku but for the fact that she lost the party’s primaries to the incumbent.
While man observers have commended the rotational arrangement of the Ikorodu Constituency 2 as being driven by equity and justice, only time will tell whether the rotational ‘agreement’ will survive the current high-level politicking that has characterised the assembly ticket ahead of the 2023 general elections.