Chief Kola Lawal (aka KLM), from Yewaland says he is the best man to replace Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Ogun State come 2019. Femi Ogbonnikan takes a critical look at his aspiration and chances
Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s resolve to pick his successor from Ogun West is still alive. On the long list of contestants of Yewa/Awori (Ogun West) extracts that have thrown their hats into the ring is Adele-Oba Kolawole Lawal, the current Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry. His popularity is growing on account of his strong grassroots appeal. He has also displayed a commitment to ameliorate the living condition of the people. KLM’s philanthropy is legendary.
Born 55 years ago, Lawal, fondly called KLM, who hails from Eyo Quarters, in Oke-Odan, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, is presumed as “the beautiful bride” of the Yewa/Awori men, women and youths. Many have come out openly to indicate their intention to join the APC if KLM emerges as the governorship candidate, as he has proven to be the only one among the many that could take care of their needs.
To elders within and outside the leadership of the APC in Ogun West, Lawal represents a paradigm shift in charting a new path that is not only full of shining potentials but one that affords an unhindered expression of values and beliefs.
Thus, his political trajectory, starting as a one-time governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 to his current bid to govern Ogun State on the APC platform, is anchored on how a decent society should evolve, relative to the growth of the people.
Besides, Lawal, intelligent and imbued with clear vision and goals, belongs to a school of thought that preaches truth, equity, and justice.
His rise to stardom has always been marked by sheer providence. In his West African School Certificate Examination at Area Community High School, Owode-Yewa, in 1983, he made the overall best results in the entire Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State. The same rare feat he exhibited during his Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND), both in Accountancy, at the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State.
He is also a holder of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in management and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Banking and Finance from Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, respectively.
While working at ExxonMobil Producing Unlimited, he was among the high fliers promoted every two years.
Thus, his entry into the Ogun governorship race is unsettling and also sending jitters down the spines of his rivals. He has been tactical and relentlessly taking his message across to the people at the grassroots,
An attestation to his acceptability has been the warm reception he has been receiving during his consultations across the length and breadth of the state. At a vantage position, Lawal, in his deft bid, has appointed a coordinator across each of the three senatorial districts, while the same has been replicated at the local government level, with two coordinators in charge of the council level.
From all indications, KLM is poised to realise his governorship ambition that kicked off in 2011 with a failed primary at the first attempt on the platform of the PDP and may eventually coast home to victory and would make history as the first indigene of Yewa, from Ogun West senatorial district to occupy the exalted office of the governor of Ogun State come May 29, 2019.
With his intimidating profile, KLM perfectly fits into the description of the much-touted “wizkid” that will take over the mantle of leadership from Governor Amosun.
He has had a 20-year stint with ExxonMobil Producing Unlimited where he rose through the ranks to the executive cadre. He is currently the President, Ogun State Council of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture. Also, he is an executive member of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).