The political atmosphere in Osun State has continued to hot up ahead of the governorship election billed for July 16, 2022, as leading political figures in the state position to challenge the incumbent governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola who is seeking a second term in office.
Although there are more than 15 political parties in the state, two major ones, the All Progressives Congress(APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) are prominent and each has been battling to outwith and outshine the other.
The gladiators who are angling to step into Oyetola’s shoes have been engaging in one activity or the other, even as the battle has continued to cause crisis within the ranks of each of the leading parties.
In the APC for instance, the election is causing serious battle between the immediate past Governor of the State, who is currently the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the incumbent Oyetola.
The battle between them has been very intense to the extent that it has split the party into two strong factions, as those in Aregbesola’s camp are saying loud and clear that they would not back Oyetola for a second term, an indication that the primary of the party for the election is bound to be volatile.
This is the period that the two factions would prove how strong and relevant they are, though Oyetola as the governor may want to use the State apparatus at his disposal to ensure he coast home to winning the ticket of the party, Aregbesola’s camp too from the feelers in the State are waiting to show how strong they are.
In PDP as well, the battle will not be easy. In fact that is the party where there are more prominent personalities jostling for ticket.
Those known to have shown interests are not pushovers, as they have all it takes to go all the way.
With these in mind, we look at the gladiators and their pedigree.
It is glaring that the present governor Gboyega Oyetola of the APC is going to seek reelection. He has been doing everything to show that he is all out to win the ticket of the party and this has informed all his actions lately, with him stamping his authorities as the incumbent and as well uprooting whatever obstacles that could come his way either in his party or outside it.
One major obstacle which Oyetola would have to clear is the rift between him and his former boss Aregbesola.
Although they both belong to the same political godfather, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, they don’t seem to agree on anything.
It is, however, said that there is the likelihood of the duo being united by the leaders within the state and Abuja before the primaries as the APC would not want to lose the state to the opposition.
Since Oyetola succeeded Aregbesola in 2018, the APC has been in disarray. There has been no love lost between the political camps of the two politicians, despite the fact that both have been constantly denying that there is any rift between them.
But some moves by the two politicians as well as the actions and body language of their supporters have been reflecting that they are not on one page as far politics is concerned.
Despite their denials, top members of the party had one time or the other called them to a round table, urging them to come together as brothers and member of one family. Unfortunately, the more they tried to settle them, the more the rifts escalate.
Both Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Tinubu had made several attempts to reconcile them but up till now not much has been achieved.
It is being speculated that with the ongoing crisis between Oyetola and Aregbesola, the chances of Oyetola clinching the ticket of the party is slim, but those in his camp are in no doubt.
One of his aides confined in Business Hallmark that with the entire machinery of the party now in his hand, and so no one can stop him.
He said the the second term ticket of Oyetola is already settled and that is why members of the party across the state have endorsed him for second term.
“From what is on ground, he would eventually emerge as the consensus candidate of the party and there is nothing the gang up by those in Aregbesola’s camp can do to prevent him,” the source said.
Right now, only Oyetola’s name is prominent in APC. Political observers say that when the time actually comes, more people within the party would come out and those who are likely to show interest would be from the other group loyal to Aregbesola.
In the PDP, those interested have not hidden their intention. From the arrays and the growing list of contenders, the party is parading the majority of those who fought for the ticket of the party in 2018. They include:
He appears to be the top on the list and he has never relented since he contested under the platform of the party in 2018
Although he won the election glaringly at the first ballot, the election was declared inconclusive and there had to be a rerun which he lost narrowly to Oyetola.
Although he came out in 2018 in a controversial manner, battling such issues as questionable certificate, among others, this time around he may have overcome that because immediately after the election, he moved to the United States of America to perfect his certificate issue.
He is said to have now obtained a degree which he will be parading.
The successful completion of his studies in the US was celebrated and showcased to let the people know that he is a different Demola ready to fight on.
On his return to Nigeria with funfair he, disclosed that he is ready to flag off his campaign without blocking those interested in contesting for the PDP governorship ticket, saying that whoever is interested in should join him as he told Governor Oyetola to start preparing his handover notes.
“The ruling party has messed up the state since coming to power. I am appealing to the Governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola to start preparing his handover notes because his days as Governor are numbered,” he said.
“I am back and ready to kick start my campaign. PDP belongs to everyone, I can’t stop anyone interested in the party’s ticket from contesting it, but l appeal for decency among everyone for peace within the party and the state.”
With the support of his brother Deji Adeleke who is expected to bankroll his campaign just as he did last time, Demola is ready to fight to the last and put everything at his disposal to win the ticket of the party.
Ogunbiyi is also warming up for the contest like Adeleke.They both contested the primary of the party in 2018.
Recently he lamented that he lost the primary in 2018 and said he is now determined to enter the ring again and fight, claiming that the last primary was manipulated and that he has learnt a lot from that experience.
He noted that he would be more vigilant this time around to avoid what happened the last time.
He assured that his newly acquired political experiences will assist him to steer the ship of the state to a promise land.
“I actually won the ticket of the Osun gubernatorial race in 2018 but my political inexperience made me lose it,” he said.
“Today, I assure the entire people of Osun state that I will contest in 2022 under the platform of PDP. 2018 has come and gone. It is a fool that will fall and be discouraged. If I had known this much in 2018, I would not have lost. I won glaringly but now the oppressor is the one being oppressed,”
Hon. Wole Oke
One of the pillars of PDP in Osun, Oke is the lawmaker representing Ijesa-North Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
He has shown interest too, and will be looking to outmanoeuvre other aspirants to clinch the opposition party’s ticket.
Some of his associates have said that he is ready to go for the race.
He appears to be the longest serving member of the House of Representative in Osun State even in Nigeria now, because he is serving his fifth-term at the Green Chamber.
It was learnt that he has been reaching out to leaders of the party within and outside the state, to inform them of his governorship intention.
He has the experience, and one of the aspirants well equipped both politically and other wise, for the contest and to rule the state.
Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi was a Minister of Youth Development and he too was in the race for the ticket of the party for the 2018 gubernatorial primary.
At the age of 64, he is capable and as well as an experienced politician.
The Ode-Omu, Ayedaade Local Government Area born politician who represented Osun West Senatorial district, under the PDP between 2003 and 2007, and later served as Minister of Youth Development from 2007 to 2011, is well battle ready.
The speculation about Olasunkanmi contesting is very high and sources hinted that he too has been making underground moves, though he has not openly declared his intention.
This would be his fourth time of coming out for the governorship race. Akinbade had come out previously during Aregbesola’s first and second terms, and he even came out last time under a different political party African Democratic Congress (ADC)
He served under Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the Secretary to the Government (SSG)
The parties he previously contested are the PDP, during Aregbesola’s first term but lost the primaries to Senator Oyinlola Omisore.
During the second terms of Aregbesola he moved to the Labour Party where he ran as the candidates of the party and came third.
Prince Ayoade Adewopo
Of all the aspirants for the coming governorship election, he appears to be the youngest.
He was in the race for the first time in 2018 and which actually was his first time in the political arena of Nigeria.
He is a United States and British trained lawyer with a Doctorate Degree; a vibrant energetic young politicians who said he likes to operate where the Lions are.
He is also the Convener of “Ayombo Si Ipinle Osun Movement”,
Adewopo who is fondly called Double Prince with his mother a Princess from Ede and father a Prince from Ife, has been making moves within the state and in Abuja where he is currently making waves and associating with the top brass of his party.
He had a good showing in the last Primary and up till now, he is still a young and promising politician to watch out for
He has spread his tentacles across the state and he is regarded as a very close associate and confidant of the Oni of Ife Oba Enitan Ogunwusi
According to sources, he has so many things going for him. He commands a very strong respect as a youth who is regarded as very reliable and his tentacles are spread among both the PDP and APC youths who were said to be clamouring for him to come out again.
Though he lost in his bid last time, he still remains a force to be reckoned with because he is regarded as very humble and accommodating.
He recently grant an interview where he said that he is still very young and ready to lead if given the chance by his party and the people of Osun state.
“Like I said before I am not afraid and being a young man gives me better advantage, and just like others, I have all it takes to govern Osun state,” he said.
Dr. Musbaudeen Oparinde
He is of the Young Progressives Party, (YPP) and recently declared his intention to go for the governorship race in 2022.
He is not well known but says he is ready to take Osun State out of the woods.