As the 2019 election primaries slated between February 2018-April 2018 draws nearer, the leaders of Ijebu/Remo today met amidst tight security to ratify the screening process conducted by eminent and seasoned administrators comprising of Sen. Odujinrin MFR, Bashorun Adebisi Adesanya, Pa Aare T Olu Dawodu and the permanent secretary emeritus in Ogun State, Chief Olu Okubadejo -Chairman.
According to the report presented to the house led by the Chairman of the screening agenda Chief Olu Okubadejo, but read out by the Chairman of the Ijebu/Remo agenda, Dr Osinowo Gbolade opined that, all the aspirants did well and are all men of valour but it is of necessity that only one of them will emerge.
He said during the screening process endorsed by the Paramount ruler of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, the panel gave out questionnaires to all aspirants which they answered under sweaty conditions.
He therefore presented the score sheet as below;
(1) Abayomi Ogunnowo 52/110
(2) Prince Segun ADESEGUN 55/110
(3) Dr. T. Kazeem 58.5/110
(4) Arch. Opayemi 70.25
(5) Jimi Lawal 77/110
(6)Alh. Adegbenga Kaka 80.25/110,
(7) Hon. Muyiwa Oladipupo 88.25/110
(8)Senator Mamora 88.25/110
(9) Bimbo Ashiru(89)
The committee therefore recommended, Bimbo Ashiru as preferred aspiration among the others APC aspirants
In his acceptance speech, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru incumbent Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Ogun State, applauded the Committee for finding him worthy to fly their trust. He said the trust is a collective task for him and other aspirants declaring that he cannot do it alone without their support. He therefore called on them all to sheath their sword and work together for the benefit of Ijebu Remo. He assured the house of being the Governor of the State and not a marginalized Governor if elected in at the primaries and general election in particular.
Earlier the Chairman of Ogun East Senatorial District All Progressive Congress (APC) Pa Elias in his address said it is pertinent that Ijebu/Remo comes up with a candidate and plead that whosoever the panel choose should be supported for the sake of Ijebu’s/Remo’s Unity.
Also Speaking, a former Special Adviser to President Obasanjo who is also the Chairman of Ijebu/Remo Agenda Dr Gbolade Osinowo noted that the aspirants had all signed to accept whatever decision the screening panel will bring forward without threats to the unity of the senatorial district. He commended the screening committee for a thorough job appreciating them that posterity will not forget then. He assured that all hands will be on deck to promote and sell their candidate in all Senatorial District and the party, APC. He submitted that of the four members of the panel, three were from Remo Axis while Ijebus only have one.
While responding to questions from journalists, Dr Osinowo alluded that the members of the committee are all integrity personified, men who had national honour, men who have all achieved great things in life and can never be compromised.
The selected candidate, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru (OBA) noted while responding to questions that the mission to rebuild agenda of Sen Ibikunle Amosun is what he is part and parcel of not just as a member of the state executive but being an insider of how the government is achieving greatness. He reiterated his commitment to the agenda as well as banking on the relationship that exist between him and the Governor who he described as a leader, mentor, boss and friend.
Also at the meeting the Paramount ruler of Ijebu Land Oba Sikiru Adetona sent his emissary to inform the house of his support for whatever decision taken by the screening committee, he said no matter how pained it might be to some people they should put Ijebu/Remo’s interest above personal interest and aspiration.
The meeting was attended by four of the five aspirants while Sen Mamora sent his apology for not attending. Also at the meeting are Party Chairmen, Local Government Chairmen, Consultative and Advisory Chairmen, Party Leaders, Dr Tokunbo Oshin, Serving Commissioners, Board Menbers, Ijebu/Remo Agenda Youth members, Party members and other dignitaries who are not partisan.
Profile of OTUNBA BIMBOLA ASHIRU: He was born in Ijebu-Ode to the illustrious Ashiru family. His father, late Pa Simeon Adeyemi Ashiru, was a distinguished Ijebu statesman while his mother ‘Omo’ba (Princess) Moradeun Ashiru, is from the Fidipote royal family of Ijebu Ode and the ruling house of Owu-Ijebu.
Ashiru bagged a degree in Marketing, Purchasing & Supply, and a Masters’ Degree in Strategic Management. With this background, he entered the services of the then Chartered Bank in the year 1989. In a successful career that has spanned two decades and taken him to various institutions, he has served in various capacities of Management (Head, Private Banking Unit; Branch Manager; Head, Institution & Professional Banking; Regional Coordinator; Country Director, Personal and Business Banking; Director, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Investments; until his last position of Group Head, Public Sector with Stanbic IBTC Bank which he was the pioneer head of the department.
Otunba Bimbo Ashiru according to different version of those who knows him, is a man with a desire for developing people around him and this translated into his appointment as the representative of the Awujale of Ijebuland on the Ogun State Poverty Alleviation Task Force. He distinguished himself in this field and represented his people favorably to the best of his ability and well commended by the Awujale himself. He was also on the Technical and Communications Committees of the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (2011).
He is a member of The Metropolitan Club, Ikoyi Club 1938 and a member of the Ijebu Heritage Group and Ijebu Renaissance Group.
Otunba Ashiru is a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria; National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria [FNIMN] and Chartered Institute of Commerce of Nigeria.
In recognition of his selfless service to society and having distinguished himself as a true son of Ijebu land and an astute banker of repute, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru was presented with the royal title of Otunba Adeona Fusigboye of Ijebu land in December, 2006 by His Royal Majesty, The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebu Land, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR.
He is a recipient of numerous awards which include the following:
Best Commissioner of the Year – Nigerian NewsDirect Award 2015;
Most outstanding Commissioner – Efizzie Magazine;
Most Proactive Commissioner – FIBAN Excellence Award 2013
Award of Honor for Outstanding Leadership – Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
Ijebu Man of the Year 2013 – Ijebu Flavours
Capacity Man of the Year – Diocese of Lagos West, Anglican Communion
Pillar of Support Award – Timothy Adeola Odutola Foundation
Recognition Award for Excellence – Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
Recognition Award for Excellence – Armed Forces Command & Staff College, Jaji
Service Excellence – FITC
Award For Excellence in Banking 2017 – Ijebu Professionals Excellence Foundation
Award for Excellence, Outstanding – Fed. Technology Incubation Center, Ogun State contribution to Commerce & Industrialization in Ogun State
Integrity Stewardship Award – Centre for Save & Serve Humanity Organisation
Recognition Award of Excellence – Nigeria Union of Journalist – Ogun State
He is the Honorable Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun State. A position he has held since 2011 after being re-appointed to the same ministry in 2015.
Under his stewardship, the business environment of the state developed beyond imagination with over 1, 279.84% increase in internally generated Revenue of the State. More than 120 new companies established their presence in Ogun State with a cumulative investment profile of about N691.77 Billion in 2014, compared to N377 Billion in 2013.
This placed Ogun State in first position in Nigeria, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. During his time, approximately 75% of Foreign Direct Investment into the country between 2011 – 2016 came into Ogun State.
Also, during his tenure the World Bank Group, in its Doing Business in Nigeria 2014 Report, ranked Ogun State as one of the best five States in term of ease of doing business against the 36th position in its 2010 report. He also facilitated the creation of a One-Stop Shop Investment Center (OSSIC) which sits within the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to assist potential investors with procedures for investment and documentation processing.