Four years after outgoing governor, Rauf Aregbesola, won a reelection in tough circumstances, another governorship election holds today to produce his successor. As the electorate cast their votes, BISI OLADELE and ADESOJI ADENIYI analyse the likely voting patterns across the major towns and cities in the State of Virtues.
FIVE main gorvernorship contenders are set to battle for the votes of 1.24 million voters expected to turn out today to choose who should govern Osun State for the next four years. Although the available votes will be shared between 48 candidates of different parties standing for the election, Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Moshood Adeoti of the African Democratic Party (ADP), Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Fatai Akinbade of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) are considered as main contenders. The huge number of PVC holders presents both a challenge and opportunity for the candidates one way or the other. For candidates that are really popular in towns and communities with high number of PVC holders, it will be an opportunity to score high and vice versa.
The towns and cities include Osogbo, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Iwo, Ede, Ejigbo and Ikirun. Osogbo Osogbo, the Osun State capital, has the highest number of votes, judging by past elections. This is so particularly when joined with votes from Ikirun, a neighbouring town. Voters in Osogbo will more likely decide in favour of APC’s Oyetola because the city has benefitted most from the urban renewal project and education policies of the Aregbesola administration in the last eight years. The transformation of Osogbo has been massive under Aregbesola, and this has greatly enhanced the economic strength of the city. Besides, none of the five major candidates hails from the town. While Oyetola hails from Iragbiji, Omisore from Ile-Ife, Adeleke from Ede and Adeoti from Iwo, ADC’s Akinbade hails from Ogbagbaa, near Iwo. In fact, some opposition politicians have accused the APC of concentrating development on Osogbo alone, given the massive infrastructural renewal and beautification project of the Aregbesola administration. But that does not foreclose the chances of other parties from gaining some percentage of the votes as they all have their supporters spread in the entire state. But APC is tipped to score the majority of votes in Osogbo and its surrounding communities. Ede Adeleke is expected to pull a large number of votes from Ede.
APC strategists, however, believe that the party will get substantial votes from the town as many of its indigenes are not favourably disposed to Adeleke. The emergence of Adeleke as the PDP flag bearer has sharply divided the PDP faithful. The aggrieved among the members believe that the Adeleke family is cornering the privileges coming to the town even when it is obvious that other qualified people should be considered. Our reporter gathered reliably in the town that the emergence of Adeleke forced the former Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Adejare Bello, and his followers out of the party. His followers believe that Bello or other qualified Ede indigenes should have been given the opportunity to emerge as the PDP candidate instead of Adeleke who replaced his late elder brother in the Senate.
But Bello and his supporters are not alone, some other indigenes of the town also believe that it was wrong to have presented the new senator who has no higher education to represent the town as governor when there are well educated politicians who have also been contributing their own quota to the development of the town. Added to the above factor is the recent award of the contract for the rehabilitation of Ede-Ejigbo Road by the Aregbeshola administration, a decision that was applauded by many in the town. For these reasons, Adeleke may not enjoy block votes from Ede as it happened during his senatorial election. APC is likely to pull huge votes next to Adeleke in Ede. Iwo Though ADP’s Adeoti and ADC’s Akinbade hail from Iwo zone, many will be surprised at how APC will poll high number of votes in the zone. Though Adeoti and Akinbade are well known in the towns and communities in Iwo zone, their expected bloc votes are threatened by APC’s acceptance, particularly in Iwo town which has the largest population in the zone. The establishment in the town is largely behind the APC. This will weaken the chances of Adeoti producing bloc votes from the area. Even if the APC candidate comes second in Iwo, it will really weaken Adeoti’s chances because the town has a huge voting strength. Ilesa Ilesa, in this analysis, covers the entire Ijesa land, which comprises six local governments. The voting pattern in the zone is largely unpredictable. But APC will likely have a good showing in the area.
The outgoing governor hails from Ilesa. The current Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, also hails from the area. It is, therefore, expected that their kinsmen will reward their sons’ selection and successes by voting massively for the APC candidate. One of the major roads leading to Ilesa will soon be awarded for reconstruction by the state government. But Omisore and Adeoti will also corner some votes from the area. While Omisore represented the area at the Senate twice, Adeoti’s party has some juggernauts in Ijesa land. Nonetheless, APC is expected to score the majority votes in the area. Ile-Ife This is the base of the SDP candidate, Omisore. Ile-Ife has the second largest voting strength in the state due to the Obafemi Awolowo University community. Omisore, who is a former deputy governor and senator, has proved to be a dogged fighter since his crisis with his former boss, Chiefs Bisi Akande and the late Bola Ige exploded in 2001. He was then the deputy governor under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He won his first senatorial election while in detention at Agodi, Ibadan prison during his trial over Bola Ige’s murder.
Since then, he remained very popular in his town. This time, THE NATION gathered reliably that Omisore is sure to poll the highest number of votes in Ile-Ife and its environs. The surrounding communities include Garage Olode, Ifetedo and Ipetumodu. But the APC is hopeful; it believes it will poll sizable votes in these areas, given the number of people that have benefitted from the Aregbesola administration in the last eight years. Ejigbo Ejigbo is another town within Osun West Senatorial District which has a good number of voting population. The current Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salam, is a native of Ejigbo. Feelers from the town show that he is well loved due to his accessibility, love and philanthropy. For the above reason, the APC will likely win in the town with wide margin.
Iragbiji In Iragbiji, Oyetola’s home town, he is sure to poll the highest votes while in other towns such as Ikire, Gbongan, Odeomu, Ila, Iree and Okuku, the candidates will enjoy patronage based on the strength of their parties and candidates. Omisore is popular in some parts of Ikire zone. For being in government in the last eight years, it is expected that the APC will enjoy a good patronage from the voters across all parts of the state. Ikire Ikire is another town with sizable number of voters, particularly when joined with its surrounding communities such as Orile-Owu, Apomu and some surrounding villages. Oyetola’s running mate, Benedict Alabi, hails from the zone. Omisore’s running mate Lawal, also hails from the zone. But due to the influence of some PDP juggernauts in the zone, Adeleke’s PDP is tipped to have a fairly good showing in Ikire Zone.
Oyetola, Omisore and Adeleke are likely to garner high number of votes in the area. Obviously, votes in the zone are most likely going to be divided. NEWS THE NATION I SATURDAY I SEPTEMBER 22 I 2018 3 Osun 2014 governorship election results LG APC PDP Ifedayo 4,225 3982 Boluwaduro 4,891 5,035 Ilesha East 16,106 5,913 Odo Otin 11,950 12,902 Ilesha West 15,427 5,449 Orolu 8,558 6,786 Oriade 12,523 10,214 Atakumosa 6,928 5,142 Ede South 11,738 7,462 Ila Oragun 10,825 7,916 Boripe 12,723 9,344 Irepodun 13,314 7,386 Ife Central 9,680 24,555 Ife East 13,821 20,831 Ola Oluwa 7,927 4,963 Isokan 9,758 10,028 Ife North 8,603 9,841 Ede North 15,403 10,427 Ifelodun 17,447 12,442 Ayedaade 12,801 11,255 Obokun 11,696 8,618 Irewole 18,328 10,330 Egbedore 10,215 7024 Aiyedire 7,724 7,813 Iwo 20,827 15,493 Osogbo 39,983 11,513 Olorunda 26,551 8,483 Ife South 7,325 12,811 Atakumota East 9,287 6,294 (Election did not hold in Alarere polling unit) Ejigbo 17,700 12,495 (11 polling units had over voting and forged signatures) Gbongan and Odeomu These are towns whose voting patterns are unpredictable. There are supporters of each of the five leading parties in the two towns. Yet, the majority may vote for the APC, the party having been impacting their lives and communities in the last eight years. In all, the four candidates that will most likely have the highest votes are Oyetola, Omisore, Adeoti and Adeleke in that order.
SOURCE: THE NATION