By Adekola Afolabi
Indications emerged yesterday that despite intensive lobbying mounted on chieftains of their respective parties both at the state and national levels to secure return tickets, many incumbent legislators in the Ondo State House of Assembly could still not make the final list of the INEC.
Though they still await the release of the final list of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), some of the lawmakers appeared to have known their fate at the weekend since their respective parties submitted names of their candidates.
It was not immediately clear whether the two out of seven PDP lawmakers the two who sought re-election will make INEC list, as one of them disclosed that they were not privy to the final list
According to him, everybody will know his fate when INEC releases the list
The Hope authoritatively gathered that the number of the APC lawmakers who got the return tickets and made the final list has, however, increased from seven to eight.
Speaking with The Hope yesterday, some of the legislators who made the party final list and spoke on conditions of anonymity attributed reason majority of their colleagues could not secure return tickets to the problems the lawmakers were having with the leaders in their respective constituencies.
According to them, those leaders vehemently rejected their return bid for one reason or the other and prevailed on the state leadership of the party not to return them to ensure peace, unity and victory of the party at the polls.
One of the lawmakers, who gave blow by blow account of those who made the list said four legislators from the Northern Senatorial district, two from the Central and another two from the South were able to secure the return tickets.
“One of us, Hon Oluyede Feyide, representing Ose State Constituency has finally made the list, making the total number eight”, one of the legislators said.
Other members who were lucky to make the list are the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, representing Ifedore State constituency; his deputy, Rt. Hon. Ogundeji Iroju, representing Odigbo State constituency 1; the Parliamentary Secretary of the Assembly, Hon. Jamiu Maito, from Akoko North-West State Constituency 1; and Hon. Sunday Olajide, Akure South State Constituency 2.
Others include; Hon. (Prince) Abayomi Akinruntan, Ilaje State Constituency 1; Hon. Felemu-Gudu Bankole, Akoko South-West State constituency 2 and Hon. Kuti Towase, Akoko South-East State Constituency.
“Out of the eight members who got the return tickets, four of us are from Ondo North Senatorial district, two came from the Central and two from the South. The two from South are Rt. Hon. Ogundeji Iroju and Hon. Abayomi Akinruntan.
“From Central we have Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun and Hon. Sunday Olajide. The four from the North are Hon. Felemu-Gudu Bankole; Hon. Jamiu Maito; Hon. Kuti Towase and Hon. Oluyede Feyide”, a lawmaker who pleaded anonymity explained.
He explained further that many of his colleagues did not make the list not because the state governor or the state leadership of the party did not want them but because of the crisis they have with their leaders in their respective constituencies.
“You see, even when the governor said he wanted a particular person and the leaders in such constituency said no they didn’t want the person, there is nothing the governor can do about it. Before Aketi does anything he will first ask from the leaders in that constituency. And if the leaders say yes or no, you know Aketi, he will want to know why they say yes or no.
“If you want to prove anything before Aketi, you must have your facts and figures and prove it beyond reasonable doubt before he can align with you. That is what happened”, the lawmaker added.
He, however, noted that the present situation will not in anyway affect legislative activities in the hallowed chambers, just as he advised those who could not make the list not to lose hope as tomorrow will be better.
Another legislator who also spoke agreed that leaders and supporters of their various constituencies have some level of influence on their political fortune, and as such can make or mar their chances in any contest.
He, however, charged them to remain faithful to the party, saying in any contest there must be a winner and loser.
He stressed that the House will continue to remain one and united despite the current situation, saying the hallowed chambers belonged to “all of us”.
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