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Battle for Osun West hots up ahead of guber poll, with Sen. Oyewumi, Adeleke’s man at the centre

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Battle for Osun West hots up ahead of guber poll, with Sen. Oyewumi, Adeleke's man at the centre

Ahead of the next governorship elections in Osun State, politicians, and political parties are now intensifying efforts that would give them the lead above one another. As such, they have started engaging in power play, and all sorts of intrigues to consolidate their grips and acceptability in order to as well, out-shine one another in all ramifications known in the game of politics.

The two parties, the PDP and APC, have continued to be arch enemies and rivals, not only in Osun State but in virtually all the states of Nigeria and at the center, where the Presidency is determined. It is these two political parties that have always been at loggerheads and at each other’s throats, begging for attentions, acceptability and relevance, since the past years.

Presently, the PDP is in control and the APC, which lost power to it, has continued to engage in all sorts of tactics to wrestle power back to its side and to whittle down the relevance and influence of the PDP, before the next governorship and general elections.

Already, the immediate past governor of the state and now Minister of Marines and Blue economy, Mr. Gbeyega Oyetola is no longer hiding his interests to come back and he has even been endorsed by some groups and loyalists for the race. That is why his foot soldiers have started rolling out their arsenals to give the PDP, which is a threat and stumbling block, to a good fight to demoralize them as well.

One of the APC’s tactics, which they believed would cut the PDP to size, is to work on the Senatorial Zones, where the party and Governor Ademola Adeleke has weight and good strength with influential personalities, who could guarantee his second term.

The APC is not only working to dislodge the Adeleke’s influential people, it is also poaching people, who could help it and its candidate, (Oyetola or any other person), against Adeleke and the PDP.

The two major senatorial districts being targeted by the APC and Oyetola are the Osun Central and Osun West.

Although Oyetola is from Osun Central, but because he lost gallantly in the last elections in some of the key areas in the zone, he has gone shopping for those, who would help his chances and that may have informed the APC going for Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun, a founding member of the PDP from its inception in 1998, and, who, untill he crossed to APC just last month, was a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) and a strong elder of the party in Osun State.

Alhaji Oyedokun is from Odo Otin Local government in Osun Central Senatorial District, the same Local government of the former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who is still in PDP.

This is why people are doubting if the permutation of the APC would work with Alhaji Oyadokun, who is old and no longer with the driving force of the past now in its fold to drive their agenda in the area.

Oyinlola still command respect in the zone and as well the entire state because he has made and impacted on people while he was governor of the state, the kind of the gestures, which Oyedokun has never rendered to the people.

In Osun East, it is not certain if the former governor and his team in APC, would have easy inroads because Senator Iyiola Omisore from Ife Federal constituency, is being rumoured to be willing to have a go at the governorship, in the next election.

Also in the Senatorial District, is Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, former governor of the State and former Minister of Interior, who is at loggerheads with Oyetola. He has already drawn a battle line with the APC and waiting for them at the appropriate time as he did in the last election.

However, the Senatorial zone that concerns the APC most is Osun West, which is the base of the incumbent Governor Ademola Adeleke. The way the APC is going about the attack in the zone is to tackle individuals, who are strong and solidly behind Adeleke, to whittle down his base and build a strong inroads with their men.

One of the strong pillars of Gov. Adeleke in Osun West, who they believed should be demolished before the election, is Senator Lere Oyewumi.

Sources hinted to Business Hallmark that the moment they successfully work on Senator Oyewumi, who is the current Deputy Minority Leader in the Senate, their mission would be accomplished.

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But from what is going on in the state, it was glaring that both parties have read each other’s minds and that is why those in Adeleke’s camp and that of Senator Oyewumi have not gone to sleep as well and are determined to fight back and counter every steps taken by the APC and Oyetola.

One major onslaught, which has now triggered a war of words from both parties is the recent attack and confrontation on Senator Oyewumi by the APC.

The APC in what was described as its campaign of calumny came out to disparage Oyewumi, who is from Irewole Local government of Osun West Senatorial District, that he has lost grips of his home base, which is for Adeleke and that the party has taken over and solidly on the ground there.

In its propaganda, the party also argued that Senator Oyewumi admitted to buying votes, which he has denied, and now ready to sue the APC for false allegation and defamation. Other things which the APC insinuated about Senator Oyewum include “the distraught senator representing Osun West, Akogun Lere Oyewumi, has been running helter-skelter to prove to his paymasters in the Ede country home, that he is still politically relevant in the Irewole/Ikire politics”.

It was argued that he is jittery and uneasy because of the recent grading and rehabilitation of roads across the federal constituency energized by an APC Chieftain and former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Asiwaju Bola Oyebamiji, who is now the Managing Director/CEO of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) under the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy who they are planting to fight Oyewumi in the next election and due to the Eid (courtesy) visit paid on the NIWA boss by Lere Oyewumi’s arch rival, Dr. Peter Babalola (Peter Power). Both Oyebamiji and Peter Power are from Ikire as Oyewumi.

It was also said that the influx of angry PDP members into the APC, “a development that has got to the hearing of the feudal lords at the Ede Country Home” is making the Senate Deputy Minority leader to be weary.

The APC further said that the Senator is now afraid of tested APC leaders such as Rt Hon. Patricia Etteh (First female speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria), Ex-Deputy Governor Benedict Alabi (BOA), Hon. Ayo Omidina ( ex-federal legislator) and Hon. Remi Abass (ex- council chairman), who have over the years collaborated to make Ikire, headquarters of Irewole a no-go area for PDP.

The APC argued that, “even with the Ikire Agenda in his favour during his own election in 2023, Akogun Oyewumi struggled to deliver his hometown. He had to rely on Tsunami votes from Ede to scale through in the election.”

“Since that time, he has fallen out of reckon with the Adelekes as he is regarded as an expired politician with no credibility and electoral value at home.”

The APC pointed out that “another recent effort of Oyewumi designed to project his image is to celebrate the cross-carpeting of some political dregs from APC, led by one Tunde Ayandosu, a professional drummer who in recent past was given cash reward and four motorcycles by leaders of the APC without any traces of the largesse.

The offence of the leaders in the area was their decision to force Ayandosu to step-aside to give room for fresh minds to paddle the affairs of the party in view of the fact that he had been in charge as a ward chairman for close to 20 years. The disgruntled drummer, alongside few of the political ingrates, who are still nursing and questioning the decision of the APC to replace them with younger politicians after many of them had served for 16-20 years as ward executives, were the ones paraded”.

All the accusations against Senator Oyewumi described as a campaign of calumny by his associates, have caught the attention of the PDP, which has come out to lash out at the APC and his chairman, Sooko Tajudeen, in defense of their representative at the red chambers of the National Assembly.

According to the PDP, the Outstanding performance of Senator Oyewumi has become a big threat to APC In Osun West Senatorial District and, this, they claimed, informed the move to damage his reputation being an outstanding man of Gov. Adeleke.

The PDP argued that rather than the party and Senator Oyewumi being jittery or worried, it is the other way round because “the performance of Senator Oyewumi touches the grassroots of the ten Local Government Areas of the Osun West Senatorial District. The feedback is negative for APC and positive for the People’s Democratic Party. That was the reason APC chose to attack his personality on Social Media.

and jealous of his personality; if the results of the 2023 General Election in Osun West were critically examined, Akogun Lere Oyewumi won in nine (9) Local Governments of Osun West Senatorial District, out of ten (10), and even the remaining one. (Ejigbo Local government) was just a little different, which prompted him to be the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Osun West Senatorial District.”

The party through Comrade Samakin Abdul-Jeleel Abiodun (ORIWO)

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Director of Youth and Women Mobilization for Senator Olalere Oyewumi further argued, “the question is, can a candidate rig an election in the ten (10) Local Governments as claimed by the State Chairman of Osun APC, Sooko Tajudeen? That is not possible. Anyone who purports that must have proof beyond a reasonable doubt; otherwise, such personality should be properly examined”

The youth leader further said, “Akogun Lere Oyewumi is a grassroots politician. He is very close to the people at the grassroots. Since he assumed office, he has never abandoned the voters who voted for him. He usually makes himself available to the people at the grassroots.

The achievements of Distinguished Senator Olalere Oyewumi in Osun West Senatorial District within a year are also one of the critical surprises that shocked and affected the sanity of the opposition party (APC). Senator Olalere Oyewumi has touched the lives of numerous people in Osun West Senatorial District through various initiatives such as empowerment programs, construction of roads, installation of solar-powered streetlights in most local governments, donation of transformers for installation in various communities, provision of fertilizers for rural farmers, purchasing of Bajaj motorcycles to assist artisans across the wards in Osun West Senatorial District, donation of cash to the artisans, youth empowerment programs, and so on, just to mention a few.”

 

“His performance is giving the opposition party in Osun West Senatorial District sleepless nights, causing a nightmare. What they only do is launch a series of social media attacks on his personality, but unfortunately, they have failed because the good people of Osun State are very conscious of APC’s lies and fallacies. They are well-known for propaganda, mostly on social media.

There is no dispute about it, Osun APC is in serious confusion that needs no sympathy. To be candid, we understand their plight and political situation, but they should take it easy and prepare for the next election. Attacking the personality of a reasonable, vibrant, articulate, and very eloquent Senator who prioritizes the conveniences of his people whom he represents as his first charge responsibility, such performance is a defeat for the Osun APC. Osun West Senatorial District has never been so lucky to have a good representative in the Senate like Senator Olalere Oyewumi.”

But the APC chairman Sooko Tajudeen has said that the APC is determined to clip the wings of Adeleke and Senator Oyewumi in the coming elections as they would have no cover to hide.

He said that the APC would not relent in its efforts to keep taking critical look at the activities of both of them and that they are ever ready to expose their excesses.

Defending Senator Oyewumi, a stalwart of the PDP in Osun West Senatorial District, Alhaji Shikiru Atanda, when contacted, told Business Hallmark that the man is a grassroots politician, who has been in politics for a long time, and can’t be rubbished by the APC and its leadership.

While enumerating his political pedigree, he said that the APC is after him is because of his closeness to the Adelekes and his electoral value in Osun state,

Alhaji Atanda said Senator Oyewumi, who contested the House of Representatives in 1992 and won, was being attacked because of what he did recently by giving a Camry car to the Chief Imam of Ikireland, which the APC in power for 12 years in government, never did. His other offence, according to him, was the fact that he received members of Peter Power’s group to his fold and decamped APC ward chairman into PDP.

“For all these, he became an object of envy to the APC leaders in Irewole Local government and his rising profile threatens them.”

“Even the entire Osun State, as a man, whose relationships with people transcends politics.”

 

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