By Moshood Adebayo
For many years, Chief Suara Alani Bankole, father of former speaker, House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, has maintained a “siddon look” approach to Nigeria’s politics, telling his political associates that he would make a big return when the time was ripe.
Bankole, 75, an astute politician, fondly called “caterpillar” by his admirers, made real his promise, when last week he was named the pioneer chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the newly registered Action Democratic Party, (ADP).
An advocate of Parliamentary System of government, Bankole’s return to active politics would definitely change the political calculation in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, if not in the entire State.
Although, he hails from Odeda Local Government area of Ogun State, he lives in Onikolobo, Abeokuta South- two politically vibrant Councils that made up Ogun Central Senatorial District, where the incumbent governor, Ibikunle Amosun also hails from.
It would be an understatement to say that Bankole’s political entry would not impact on the politics of the State, an insider told Daily Sun.
Daily Sun further gathered that he has maintained close relationship with many northern politicians, both dead and alive, adding that “at least, the veteran politician’s antecedents attest to this.”
An Egba kingmaker and Oluwo Iporo-Ake Egba, Bankole, at various times was a member of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN, the National Republican Convention, NRC, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He was also former National Vice Chairman and later acting National Chairman of ANPP, before he joined the PDP in 2000 and had in 2004 predicted a break-up of the then ruling party, PDP, including the ANPP and AD which he further said would fuse into one.
A major political and traditional factor in Egbaland, the septuagenarian, who is a close ally of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, has always been in opposition parties,
He once told Daily Sun that he joined the PDP out of the respect he has for Obasanjo, whom he always describes as an elder brother.
“He is older than me and as a Yoruba chief; I must always respect my leaders. So, Obj is my brother, I respect, him and I will continue to respect him”.
“Chief S.O.A Bankole was picked for the position, BOT chair, based on his wealth of experience in the nation’s politics, spanning pre and post independent”, chairman of ADP , Engr Y.Y. Sani had said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the party being touted as a new mega party for the 2019 general elections had started luring members into its fold in Ogun State. Already, a 72-member protem State Executive Committee of the party has been unveiled with a former Commissioner for Housing in the State, Chief Wale Egunleti, emerging as chairman.
A press statement issued in Abeokuta, a copy of which was made available to Daily Sun stated that:”The State protem committee as unveiled will midwife the activities of the party pending an approved congress”.
The committee has been charged with “the responsibility of harmonising its members with interested groups, associations and reputable party leaders into protem executives at the polling booths, wards and local governments across the State.”
ADP’s ideology, Daily Sun gathered, is based on an all-inclusive people driven government; re-engineering the various sectors of government; provide viable solution to the anomalies created by the successive administration in Nigeria among others.