A FORMER Minister of State for the Niger Delta, Tayo Alasoadura, has lost his bid to pick the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket that would have enabled him a possible return to the Senate in 2023.
The defeat has been interpreted in Akure as Alasoadura losing his grip on the politics of the senatorial district, which he had dominated for some years.
He lost to Adeniyi Adegbonmire, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
While Adegbonmire polled 144 votes at the election, Alasoadura garnered 88 votes in the election, which held on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at the International Cultural and Event Centre, Akure, the state capital.
Other contestants at the election were Ilesola Akinpelumi, Tola Awosika, Adeniran Oyebade, and Wumi Olatunji. They polled 45, 44, two and zero votes respectively.
The chairman of the Electoral Panel, Clara Njowku, said that out of the 325 registered delegates, 323 were accredited and they voted.
Alasoadura had resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet this month to vie for the Ondo Central senatorial seat.
A former commissioner for Finance in the administration of Olusegun Agagu between May 29, 2003, and February 23, 2009, Alasoadura was elected a senator in 2015 on the APC platform but failed in his bid to return to the red chamber in 2019.
President Buhari appointed him a minister of state for Labour and Employment in August 2019. But after a protest by Akure indigenes over the junior minister status for Alasoadura, the president redeployed him to the Ministry of Niger Delta.
Akure township takes charge, dislodges former minister
Alasoadura is from Iju, one of the two communities jointly serving as Akure North Local Government (LGA) headquarters.
Iju, Itaogbolu and numerous towns in the LGA had been under the old Akure South before the military government of General Sani Abacha split the Akure South in two, which produced Akure North in 1996.
Akure is the headquarters of Akure South, the state capital.
Since the APC took over the state in 2016, Alasoadura’s influence had been high in Akure politics because of his closeness to the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
He stamped his authority on Akure politics when his greenhorn anointed candidate, Alade Mayokun, a 39-year-old, defeated political heavyweights in the two LGAs in March to replace Omolafe Adedayo, who died in August 2021.
Adedayo, an Akure indigene, belonged to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), while Mayokun, also from Akure, won from the APC.
Mayokun’s emergence did not go down well with many think-tanks in the state capital.
At the just-concluded APC primary for the House of Representatives in the state, Mayokun lost his re-election bid on the APC platform to Derin Adesida, another Akure indigene.
Mayokun got 38 votes, while Adesida scored 68 votes.
To further prove its stronghold on politics in the two LGAs, Akure also produced the PDP candidate, Ife Adedipe (SAN), for the Senate in next year’s election.
Adedipe defeated a third-term senator, Ayo Akinyelure, who is from Idanre Local Government Area, one of the six LGAs making up Ondo Central Senatorial District.
Alasoadura’s candidate for the state House of Assembly was also reported to have lost in the APC primary election.