A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Niyi Akintola, has declared his intention to contest for the governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
Aside Akintola, about 15 other politicians are eyeing the Agodi Government House, Ibadan, after the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent, Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the senator currently representing Oyo North, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari; Commissioner for Lands, Isaac Omodewu; Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan; a lawmaker at the state House of Assembly, Honourable Temitope Olatoye, aka Sugar and another prominent lawyer and SAN, Ahmed Raji, are among notable contestants.
Others gathered to be eyeing the seat on the ticket of the APC were former Chief of Staff, Dr Adeolu Akande; former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Zaccheaus Adelabu and the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Adebayo Adelabu.
The current Minister of Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, is also said to be among those nursing the ambition to become the state governor on the ticket of APC.
Aspirants from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigerian Tribune learnt, were former Senate leader, Senator Teslim Folarin; former Minister of Sports, Professor Taoreed Adejumo; former deputy governor, Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi and former SUBEB boss, Professor Soji Adejumo.
Senator Femi Lanlehin is eyeing the seat on the ticket of Accord, while Mr Seyi Makinde may jostle for the seat under the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP).
One of the aspirants was said to have been introduced on Monday at a forum of old students association of his alma mata as a governorship aspirant in the state and for which the support of members of the association was sought.
Akintola, a member of the last Sovereign National Conference, was also a former member of the state House of Assembly.
He unveiled his plan to contest the 2019 governorship election when he visited a political leader in Omi-Adio, Iddo Local Government area, Ibadan, Alhaji Kammadeen Ajisafe.
Receiving Chief Akintola, Alhaji Kammaden Ajisafe said “we are impressed by his humility of coming home to roost. Coming here to his Ward nine to seek support of his people has greatly endeared him to us.”
The development came as a political pressure group, Niyi Akintola Solidarity Organisation, commended the boldness, temerity and determination of Chief Akintola to publicly declare his ambition to govern Oyo State.
In a release signed by the spokesperson of the group, Mr Yemi Oginni, the group said “tt is gratifying to see someone in the person of Chief Akintola showing interest at becoming the chief servant of Oyo State.”
In his response, Chief Akintola thanked the group for rising up to be counted and supporting his ambition.
“Apart from being a political entity myself, with a burning desire to serve my people and raise the status quo ante beyond our imagination, I am also responding to the prodding and counsels from prominent Ibadan indigenes who believe that I can add value to the state.
“Thus, I have to, in my own usual way, come home here to my people not only to inform them but also to seek permission and their support,” he said.