By Taiwo Adeyemi
Ahead of September 22 governorship election in Osun state, Osogbo the state capital is agog with invasion of potential successors of Governor Rauf Aregbesola across all political parties.
Political Party meetings that used to be scanty is now beehive of activities. Each political party throwing spanner to work in order to sway electorates against their opponents, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has fixed its primary election to hold on Saturday, 7th July while the major opposition Peoples Democratic party will hold its on Saturday 21st July. Alliance for Democracy (AD) 95 man primary election delegate ended in hullabaloo with lyrics of imposition and inconclusiveness from sambaing party members.
A drive from Abere to Osogbo, a visitor will be welcomed by billboards of Babatunde Adetoun Taiwo (Igaba Otun) of APC, Akin Ogunbiyi (Idera de) PDP, Pade Okunola of Accord Party (AP), Najeem Salam (Iwaloye) APC, and Olugbenga Akinola (AD).
Driving through under the magnificent November 27, interchange bridge ushers one to different edifices converted to campaign offices. Senator Akinlabi Raheed of PDP campaign office is very close to the Dream Center. Moshood Adeoti, Secretary to the State Government office is located very close to state headquarters of Department of State Service. Gboyega Oyetola, another member of Aregebe’s kitchen cabinet who is serving as the Chief of State at the office of the Governor billboard on his ilerioluwa house which serves as his campaign office.
Former Deputy Governor, Iyiola Omisore of Social Democratic Party (SDP) has turned his recovered property from PDP to his campaign office.
Adebayo Babalola Peter (Peter Action), a former Chief of State to former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola campaign office is standing very close to FCMB. Amere Gafar Akintayo (Itesiwaju) of APC is next to incumbent Governor Oranmiyan house. Opposite his office is where picture of smiling Speaker of the State house of Assembly, Najeem Salam planted his office.
Abiola Ismail Saka-Layonu (Agbajoowo) of APC office is standing close to Zenith Bank, sharing the same building with rejuvenated Social Democratic party (SDP).
Olaiya Junction welcomes someone with two gigantic billboards of Akin Ogunbiyi of PDP and Gboyega Oyetola of APC. Driving towards Oke-Fia is the Imole Osun of Senator Ademola Adeleke of PDP, he is the only candidate having two pictures on his boards. One of his late brother Senator Isiaka Adeleke and the other his.
Opposite Osun state Secretariat Annex office is the office of Soludero of osun politics, Fatai Akinbade of PDP.
Osun State versus State of Osun
Rauf Aregbesola rechristened the state from popular Osun state to State of Osun. The action generated controversy with allegation of planned secession of the state from Nigeria.
Opposition Parties aspirants in the state billboards read Osun state. Only APC campaign posters show state of Osun. It is obvious an opposition emergent will return the name to old order.
Osun west Senatorial District Agitation
Since creation of the state, a candidate from the senatorial district has ruled the state for two years in person of late Isiaka Adeleke while other senatorial districts have been in the Governor’s house for eight years each (after Aregbesola might have completed his second term on November 27 2018).
All political parties in the state have declared the race open for all candidates from all senatorial district.
Governor Aregbesola’s Dilemma
It is the dream of an outgoing Governor to install in office as successor his anointed candidate but with APC having over 20 aspirants, the Governor has not openly endorsed any aspirant. He is trying to avoid repeat of Osun West Senatorial district bye election APC debacle where he openly supported Mudashiru Hussein against the eventual winner, Ademola Adeleke.
The APC in the state is also polarized between home base and Lagos state Politicians. Aggrieved members in the home base camp want the next Governor to come from one of them to prevent what is termed continuous annexation of Osun state by Lagos state.
Lagos State base politicians are not resting on their oars by putting up arguement that a native of the state can base anywhere and come back home to contest in an election.