2023: How Abayomi Sheba Altered The Political Game Plan In Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency
August 11, 2021
A cross-section of politicians in Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of Ondo State has continued to react to the defection of a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Chairman of Federal Character Commission (FCC), Barr Abayomi Sheba to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Starnews Nigeria reports that Sheba formally joined the PDP in his ward in Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State on Saturday, August 7, 2021.
Starnews Nigeria had reported on August 5, 2021, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency of Ondo State may suffer a great loss following the decision of Hon Sheba, a member of the Federal House of Representatives for Irele/Okitipupa Federal Constituency between 1999-2003 to reunite with his former party, the PDP.
Sheba joined the PDP to realise his ambition of returning to the Federal House of Representatives ahead of the 2023 general election.
His reunion with the PDP has changed the political permutations in the constituency and it is currently threatening the reelection of Hon. Ikengboju Gboluga, the incumbent Member of the House of Representatives representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency.
Findings revealed that the return of Sheba as a marketable political material has boosted the confidence of the people and gingered the agitation by the good people of Irele Local Government who are currently calling on their neighbour in Okitipupa Local Government to observe the unwritten gentleman agreement for a rotational representation.
Two local governments are forming the Constituency – Okitipupa and Irele. Gboluga is from Okitipupa Local Government while Sheba is from Irele Local Government. Gboluga’s predecessor, Hon. Mike Adeniyi Omogbehin is from Okitipupa LG which means that at the dissolution of the 9th Assembly, Okitipupa Local Government would have completed 8 years at the National Assembly.
An interview conducted for the people of Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency over the weekend by Starnews Nigeria revealed that the defection of Sheba has altered the political game plan in the Constituency.
Before his arrival to the PDP, it was learnt that Sheba consulted widely for more than six months without public notice and he got the nod of many political bigwigs in the party.
Sheba told Starnews Nigeria on Tuesday in a telephone interview that he obeyed the decision of his people in the Federal Constituency to gun for the ticket of the PDP for the Federal House of Representatives. According to him, “my people told me not to eye the Senatorial race which would amount to swimming against the tide and against a performing Senator who is providing quality representation and loved by the people of Ondo South regardless of party affiliation,” he said.
Different reactions received by Starnews Nigeria at the weekend indicate that Sheba has developed a reputation as a powerhouse in Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency following his performance as the then Chairman of Federal Character Commission (FCC) where many people in his constituency were employed into Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies through him.
Power brokers in the party including party executives who worked for the success of Gboluga, in Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency during the 2019 election are already giving supports to Sheba. So many of them who spoke with our correspondent said Sheba will be a strong candidate of the PDP that could challenge the candidate of the ruling party being “a man with a track record and high pedigree.”
Some even alleged that the incumbent didn’t do well to deserve a second term. A member of the PDP State Executive from the Federal Constituency who spoke under the condition of anonymity said: “Apart from the fact that Gboluga performed below our expectations, he has also offended many leaders and the people by working against our interests in the Constituency. How can we elect a representative and he is only popular for working against the interest of his people? How can he think that the same people will support him for a second term? Never! He can’t have my support for a second term; and besides this, the rotation of this position in our constituency does not favour him. Thank God Sheba is interested. He is a good replacement because he would also be representing us as a ranking honourable member if Jesus is willing,” the source added.
When contacted for reaction, Gboula’s Media Aide, Oyeniyi Iwakun said: “Thanks so much…But I don’t think a faceless person deserves an official response,” he said.
The recent defection of Hon. Sheba Abayomi to the opposition PDP has kept the people of Okitipupa/Irele Federal Constituency talking in different social places as count down to 2023 commences, Starnews Nigeria can report.
If PDP will give Sheba the ticket, surely he will be the winner of the general poll. He represented us well in his first tenure and while in the office as FCC Chairman, he never employed partisan politics in assisting those who were gainfully employed through him. Though I’ve not benefited from him personally but I’d seen many beneficiary of his benevolence.
With Hon. Abayomi Sheba I stand!!!
The best thing for the leadership of the party is to zone the slot for 2023 to Irele people, Where Abayomi Sheba will have a sound victory at the primary and constituency election.by2023 civilian administration will be 24years, okitipupa people would have served or re-presented the constituency for ,16years While Irele served for 8yrs.
Very interesting developments