…48 candidates in the race
…4 major contenders in focus
As the campaign for the Osun State governorship election came to an end on Thursday, the The Daily Times reports that though it is still foggy who the eventual winner of the contest will be, it is crystal clear that a candidate must surely emerge as winner of the contest today.
Whoever will emerge will be decided by the electorate who have taken account of some factors that have informed their mindsets.
The stage is now set for today’s governorship election in Osun State as the political landscape witnessed intense maneuverings and machinations in the last two months with political Goliaths and Lilliputians alike to woo the electorate in a bid to win the governorship race today.
It has been a season of intrigues, scheming, accusation, counter-accusation surprises, back-stabbing and betrayals.
However, nothing less than that is expected, because the higher the stakes, the more intense the contest.
Although, about 48 political parties are participating in the contest for the Oke-fia Government House, only 4 are prominent and stand a chance in the election.
They are the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidate, Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola, is the former chief of staff to outgoing Governor Rauf Aregbesola; the Social Democratic Party (SDP), whose candidate, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, is a former deputy governor in the state;
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose candidate, Senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke, is the senator representing, Osun West Senatorial District at the National Assembly and the former Chief of Staff to Aregbesola, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti of the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
The electioneering had been exciting and engaging. Despite the inevitable mudslinging, the four leading contestants, over the last two months, have shown that they possess the political and physical prowess to build on the legacies of past leaders of the state with a view to leading Osun State to a greater height.
They have all combed the state from coast to coast, exuding vividness and vigour, thrilling the electorate with their plans for them, not just as a means of winning their support, but backing their campaigns with facts and figures.
The four candidates are clearly diametrically opposed to one another with respect to how to prosecute the project of improving the lot of the citizenry, but there is a convergence in their desire to improve the welfare of the people as well as the profile of the state.
But as important as this election is, according to The Daily Times findings, the polls will enjoy primacy as more voters are expected to be recorded in the exercise believed to be mother of all elections.
Hard as the four prominent political parties have tried to carry the electorate along during their campaigns and rallies in all the 30 local government areas of the state, fillers from the PDP, SDP, APC and ADP secretariats in Osogbo indicate that today’s election will be fight to finish among the four parties.
The PDP said that it is fully prepared to dislodge the APC and its candidate, Oyetola, during today’s governorship poll.
According to the Osun State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Chief Soji Adagunodo, ‘‘our people have seen that PDP is the only party with solution to their problems’’.
He said majority of the people are tired of APC administration and they are ready to dislodge the party with the coming election.
The PDP chairman said that the APC is just pretending, adding that the party and its Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, have failed the people of the state for eight years.
He said that PDP is not a pretender party but rather understands the plight of the people and that the party is ready to offer it.
Adagunodo stressed that if the election is truly one man, one vote as claimed by the INEC, the PDP would defeat the APC government and other political parties and institute the government that cares in the state.
The Osun PDP chairman noted that given the public perception of the PDP by the people of Osun State, the party has won the election already, stressing ‘we all soon know who is who after the exercise’.
He said that APC is already afraid of defeat judging from the numerical strength of the PDP, explaining that this party would not deceive people through any fake membership drive as PDP is fully on ground in all the electoral wards of the state.
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) on its part said the endorsement of the party’s governorship candidate, Otunba (Dr.) Iyiola Omisore by the generality of the people of the state, coupled with his transparency and his love for the people of Osun will see him to success in the election.
According to the State Chairman of the SDP, Prince Faforiji, the Social Democratic Party is fully on ground and well prepared for the election, which he added would be won by the party.
He said that his party has done the registration of their members across the state with not less than 250,000 membership, explaining that this large turnout showed the enthusiasm with which people of Osun have accepted the SDP and its governorship candidate, Omisore.
Faforiji said the only fear the party has is the unnecessary involvement of Abuja in the election.
He said, “We are weary of the so-called federal might and we have been saying that we should be allowed to do our things in Osun”, adding “we will not allow what happened in Ekiti to repeat itself here in Osun State”.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) on its part believe that the track record of the achievements of APC led-government in the state in the last eight years, coupled with the dividends of democracy so far recorded in the state, placed the party ahead of any other political parties in the race.
According to the Osun State APC Director of Media and Publicity, Kunle Oyatomi, the APC-led administration since 2010 through a court order that restored the people’s mandate, has turned things around for the better.
He said the administration has made good its promise to rescue the state from the state of anomie and want, noting that the APC government led by Aregbesola did not wave a magic wand to achieve this fact.
He said Aregbesola and his cabinet, like the good captains, did not go to sleep after formulating their policy direction, stressing that since then they have been putting their hands on the plough to see it to fruition.
He stated further that the result is what is been celebrated today in the area of motorable roads, free health care, job creation, education as well as welfare, programmes for the aged.
He said with all these achievements on ground, the APC seed today’s governorship election as a very good opportunity to retain power in Osun State for unbroken 10 times.
For the ADP, the party reiterates that it will shock Nigerians today, as it claim that its candidate, Adeoti, will emerge victorious at the end of the poll.
It added that Adeoti is the man to beat, saying that as a former SSG, he is a grassroots politician with track records.
The four leading candidates, Adeleke – PDP; Omisore – SDP; Oyetola – APC and Adeoti of ADP have demonstrated so far that they could tame one another notwithstanding their antics.
As the people of Osun State go to the poll today, which would be a watershed in the history of the state, many voters would have taken account of some factors that have informed their minds to vote for the candidates of their choice.