The political situation in the South west in 2020 could not have been said to be very and calm and cordial as all the political parties witnessed one turbulence or the other.
It was a year, which was particularly that of crises here and there as the region was enmeshed in series of voices on various political matters and the polity, which gave the impression that the region would not hold.
But the dissenting voices on the agenda of the region made it came out at the end of the year, to be the strength of the entire people who were apparently fighting for common goals with different voices.
What actually made the different voices count and unique was the fact that virtually all the interactions of both in the political circles and various cultural organisations especially, the Pan Yoruba groups, was the fact that decisions, actions and implementations of their programmes were no longer in pretentious manner regarding the situations of the South West.
The issues which were their priorities and top most in their agendas bothered on security, restructuring, unemployment, and economy of the region, which particularly gave them serious concern during the closure of the borders.
While the ruling APC was trying to consolidate it’s gains, the PDP was also striving to find a new lease of the life to be relevant and not to be swept completely under. It was really amazing achieving this with just one state in the kitty against the APC that controls five states of the six in the region.
The Governor of Oyo State, the only PDP State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, made himself a strong rallying point and initiated series of reconciliation meetings to unite the erring members of the party for common goal to bounce back in order to win more states the coming 2023 elections. But unfortunately despite all these efforts, there was internal crisis in the party which they have not overcome up till now
The party now operates with different factions with one headed by Makinde and the other by the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose which rejected the overall leadership of Makinde.
This division in the party was exhibited in Ondo State during the governorship election last year.
Right now, the elders in the party like Chief Olabode George are now trying to mend the fences.
The crisis in the South west APC was the most grievous because there was no state in the region which did not witnessed one issue or the other. The first issue which they first faced together was that of who becomes the National Deputy Chairman APC South West. While those in Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu camp decided and went for the late former governor of Oyo State, Senator, Abiola Ajimobi.
However, those in the Dr. Kayode Fayemi presidency group apparently went for another person as they strongly argued that the post should be that of Ekiti because the person who left Chief Niyi Adebayo, also a former governor, is from the state. But those in Tinubu’s camp eventually got their way and Ajimobi got the position before he died.
Since then, there has been other issues in APC in virtually all the six states of the region. In Oyo, they had leadership crisis after Ajimobi died; in Osun it was a a big fight between the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and former governor; and the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola. In Ogun State, the immediate past governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s group and that of Chief Olusegun Osoba are still slugging it out with each other.
The state with more pronounced crisis is Ekiti State, where the Governor Kayode Fayemi battles the Dayo Adeyeye and the senator Femi Ojudu groups. The Ojudu/Adeyeye groups are still battling with Fayemi and the goal is who gets 2023 ticket..
It is also noteworthy to mention the issues in the Pan Organisatoons in the the South West like Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Yoruba Unity Group and the organisation headed tby Professor Banji Akintoye and other groups. Though they all operated as non political groups, their actions and agenda have political significance and undertones. They have all also stood with one voice to demand for the restructuring of the Nigeria.
It is believed that the presidential ambition of some of the key politicians in the region could further heightened the crises all over. This, it was said would be more pronounced in the APC, where there are more gladiators as no groups would want to back down in the pursuant of the presidential ambition of their principals.
What would also top the political agenda of the South West in 2021 is the issue of restructuring which virtually all the organizations both political and cultural have been involved in and clamoured for.
It was believed that all groups would put their differences aside and pursue the issue of restructuring, using the presidency, if the region is denied, as a strong peg to press for it. In all, it is believed that the region would be steeped in solving more political problems in 2021 than previous years in view of of the numerous challenges in 2020 and more issues to be faced in 2021.
Speaking on what 2021 portends for the region, former Deputy Chairman of a faction of the PDP in Ondo State and a solar system energy expert, Engineer Johnson said the region must take it easy in the new year and not allow the presidency to divide them. He agreed that more problems would be solved in the New year, especially, those that rolled into it from 2020.
He cautioned politicians not to undermine the people and do what would make them happy and not to subject them to more hardship but find means of alleviating their problems.
He was also sure that all the groups in the South West would stand in support of restructuring in 2021 because “they believe that the South west hope, both economically and otherwise, depends on restructuring which must hold, if Nigeria wants to stay as a united country.”
In his own reaction the Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr. Kunle Olajide said that the people of the region would pursue the issue of security, employment of the youths and true federalism in this new year than the previous ones.
He also said that the YCE would call for measures that would ensure adequate security of lives and properties in 2021.
The spokes person of Afenifere Yinka Odumakin said that what matters most is how to get the country restructured. He also warned that the South west would continue to speak against the nepotism and lopsidedness in the key positions by the President Muhammadu Buhari