THE RISE AND RISE OF AKINLADE
At 46, he has carved a niche for himself in the world of politics and today he is perhaps one of the youngest politicians on the bloc whose influence is not in doubt. However, what a lot of people do not know is that this Federal lawmaker from Owode Yewa in Ogun State, representing the Yewa South/Ipokia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in Abuja, wields so much political power so much so that his name is on the front runners’ list for the Ogun State’s highly coveted governor’s seat in 2015. A graduate of Accountancy from The Polytechnic, Ibadan and an (MBA) degree holder, Akinlade appears to have traversed the political landscape of his home state, having won his elections the three times he contested. What is most interesting is that he had won on the platform of two different political parties (PDP in 2003 and 2007, and ACN in 2011) and this has accounted for why many see him as one of the most influential politicians in the Ogun West senatorial district. As the race towards the 2015 general election in Ogun State gathers steam, a lot of people have come to see this young politician, who is also the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, as one politician who can give the incumbent governor, Ibikunle Amosun, a run for his money. Not only on account of the fact that Akinlade is loaded financially, but more importantly because this former General Manager of Automania, an auto company in Lagos, also has a track record of community-based activism. He has been in the forefront of the agitation to have a person from his Yewa region, believed to have been marginalised over the years, run the affairs of the state.
As a treasurer of the Yewa Awori Youth Front since in 1998, Akinlade has been known to be representing the political interest of his Yewa people. Many in Ogun State today are of the opinion that if there is one politician who gives Governor Amosun a lot of headache in his build up to returning to the state House in 2015, that person is Hon. Abiodun Akinlade. Akinlade is said to have used his influence to assist a lot of Ogun indigenes, especially people from his Federal Constituency, to secure lucrative federal appointments and employments. He was also said to have influenced the location of several federal agencies, especially those bordering on science and technology, in the state.
Many believe this must have accounted for his meteoric rise politically in the state in the last ten years. Others however believe that this young man is highly connected to all the people that matters in Ogun State, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Governors Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Gbenga Daniel. Notwithstanding his closeness to the high and mighty of politics in his state, Akinlade is seen by most of the citizens as highly independent and the boss of his own mind and actions; many also agree that he follows his actions through, no matter whose ox is gored.
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