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As the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress draws near, the media is awash with activities of political personalities aspiring to the coveted seat at the Alagbaka Government House.

Although a handful of the aspirants are eminently qualified, some, notwithstanding, are mere pretenders.

The business of governance is a very serious one. It goes beyond promises made on political platforms and campaign rallies.

Although political campaigns thrive on promise-making and much of which is merely electioneering performances, the people must discerningly prove the characters of those who approach them for their votes and would keep their promises.

The questions that should be asked are: are they reliable and could they be trusted? What is their political pedigree, moral standing and altruistic disposition? Are they truly Democrats in their philosophical leanings or they are mere opportunists seeking to take advantage of the ill-informed?

Some aspirants have been rated by their deep pockets and others boast of their proximity to principalities and powers. For the people to move their political fortunes to the next level, they must look beyond the maze of politics crashing down daily on social media users.

A candidate such as Olusola Oke must be given a closer look as we search for the one who could step into the large shoes of the late Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. Chief Oke’s perseverance through the rough roads of Ondo politics set him apart in the race for the ticket of the APC come April this year.

Oke’s sojourn in the Peoples Democratic Party when it was in the opposition under the reign of Olusegun Mimiko and his Labour Party in Ondo State, marked his ascendancy in the hierarchy of statesmen beyond the shores of Ondo State.

Although he singlehandedly held the party together in those dark days, his efforts was not much rewarded when it mattered most. The party became so attractive so that Mimiko and his co-travellers made it a task to return to it in the wake of the Jonathan administration’s return bid.

It is trite to say Chief Oke was ill treated and humiliated by the pirates who sought to hijack the reigns of the PDP deploying a presidential blackmail, a scheme that ultimately backfired.

Worthy of note was the meekly response of Oke to all the attacks and flaks from those who wanted to pull him down or dwarf his political pedigree. He carried on committed to his political principles before finding a place with the APC.

His aspiration to govern the state was never diminished by the setbacks as it was his belief that to serve the people mattered more than serving ones ego.

His passion registered in the different attempts to emerge as the governor had been pursued in the spirit of fairplay and without any aota of desperation. As a loyal party man, he had consistently supported the party and the government it emplaced.

Many are likely to forget that Oke had represented Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in 1992. His stint with the NDDC remains a record. He had served as Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC).

He had also served as the National Legal Adviser of the PDP. His experiences have fully formed him to become well equipped for the task of governance.

He himself have stated clearly that he is the most experienced person among all the aspirants vying for the governorship seat.

“There are three fundamental considerations for defining a politician,” he said.

” These are experiences in the legislative business, in party administration and in executive positions. I have attained these feats.

“I have been a law maker at the highest level. I have been a party administrator at the ward level, local government level, state level and at the national level. I have also occupied several executive positions in government.

“Given my vast experiences in the various facets, it is easy for me, for instance, to take care of party members and leaders; to run a party fairly and seamlessly while carrying along all critical stakeholders.”

It will be recalled that as he prepared himself to step into the race for the governorship, the gangling politician almost lost his life on Friday, August 25, 2023, in a serious accident along Okitipupa expressway, as a wreckless road user made a contact with his vehicle, which tumbler several times throwing him out to a bare tarred road.

He suffered a number of broken bones, but recovered miraculously after several weeks of medical intervention. He has credited his survival to God who manifestly preserved his life when it was thought to be all over for him.

His survival is certainly a good omen for the state. He had survived many political downturns and persistently kept his focus. This focus is definitely for the people. And when the people decide, it should not be missed that only a committed and persistent leader will finish well.

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