‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Osogbo
Daily Courier – The defeat of the incumbent governor of Osun state, Gov Gboyega Oyetola by the ‘dancing’ senator, Ademola Adeleke has left sweet-and-sour reactions across the country.
Sweet for the winners and democracy as many have said, it is becoming clear that power truly belongs to the people and using the power of the ballot may show under performing politicians the exit every four years.
Sour for the entrenched political interests whose hold on power and vision have been thwarted by the new power blocs in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The Osun State Governorship Election Returning Officer, Prof Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos who announced the result, said Adeleke polled 403, 371 votes to defeat the incumbent Oyetola who scored 375,027 votes.
Below are the scores of the remaining 13 political parties as anounces this morning: A – 4515; AAC- 2148; ADP – 10104; APM – 1222; APP – 601; BP – 374; LP – 2729; NNPP – 393; NRM – 777; PRP – 1007; SDP – 515; YPP – 1303 and ZLP – 364.
From the results above, it is obvious the election was a two horse race similar to the 2018 polls between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Adeleke won in 17 of the 30 local governments making in roads into part of the Progressives strongholds of Ife North and Ilesa West while the incumbent, Oyetola won marginally in 12 local governments and overwhelmingly only in his Boripe local government with over 20 thousand votes.
Daily Courier went across the 3 senatorial districts and here are the 7 sins of Oyetola that sealed his defeat at the polls yesterday:
1. The 2018 Governorship Bile
The strong showing of Adeleke in the 2018 election which ended up being thrown out at the apex court on technical ground spurred him and his party to be more clinical in this election.
Recall the variables which led to the emergence of Oyetola despite losing to Adeleke in the first ballot in 2018 include: alignment with the Ife gatekeeper, Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) then . Also, the ignoble role of state security apparatus to suppress opposition supporters during the rerun in Ife and of course the legal tussle which led to technical knock out at the Supreme court.
Hence, this time Adeleke and his party provided answers to tame the Ife swing factor by narrowing the margin of lead around the ancient town and even winning one of the local governments, Ife North. The security apparatus were subtly shoved to embrace best practices which was demonstrated on Saturday.
2. Oyetola’s APCness
Due to a multiplicity of factors among which are: insecurity, corruption, the economic crunch that is seen daily in high inflation, unemployment, among other things since the assumption of office of President Muhammadu Buhari since 2015 has pitched the APC against many Nigerians.
Oyetola’s membership of APC no doubt reduced his political goodwill across the length and breadth of the state. Most citizens who spoke with our Correspondent insisted that the change APC promised has turned tortuous and all well meaning Nigerians must vote against anyone on its platform. A motorcycle operator, Rotimi said; “I can’t feed my family despite working from morning till night daily. APC brought hardship in ways we have never seen before in this country.” A private citizen, Olorunda Hakeem shared the same sentiment: “APC promised us change but we didn’t ask which type of change, now what we have is change for the worst in education, economy, security and all areas” he said.
The feeling across the state shows that all factor being the same, Oyetola’s second term would have been a tall order on the APC platform.
3. Oyetola’s frosty relationship with Obas
While Oyetola may not be confrontational in approach, his lackluster attitude to the traditional institution came to hurt him from our findings.
Apart from the revered Oni of Ife, HIM Ogunwusi and the Oluwo of Iwo, all other traditional rulers in Osun state paid the governor back with lackluster commitment in his reelection bid. Video of the Ataoja of Osogbo was trending days to the election urging his subjects not to vote for the governor. Also, the Timi of Ede, another respected traditional ruler was seen using the ‘imole’ campaign slogan of the PDP candidate to guide his subjects.
Daily Courier learned that the Aragbiji who is the king of Oyetola’s town did not rally his colleagues royals for the governor reelection.
Efforts to speak with some of the traditional rulers proved abortive as they all declined to comment on political stories.
Observers were of the opinion that the result may have turned out differently if all the traditional rulers showed a supportive demeanor to the ‘ileri Oluwa’ project.
4. Oyetola’s thawed relationship with the organized labour
Osun state is a civil service state which means that the bloc support of the organized labour is a major decider of where the pendulum swings in Osun.
Oyetola inherited an ill motivated workforce, owed months, some years of salary arrears by his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Though, all the civil servants who spoke with Daily Courier admitted that he tried in the area of payment of salaries and allowances but rue his inability to rouse a batted workforce.
Osun workers have been stagnant on the same level for a decade, Mr Ayola, a civil servant told our Correspondent. “His last minute rush to promote workers without commensurate financial incentives made a charade of his gesture” he said.
A staff of the state judiciary bemoaned the governor’s neglect of other areas of staff welfare apart from salary payment. He said, “no worker in the state judiciary has gone for training for almost four years and you know our work is ever dynamic.”
Probably, the outcome of Saturday’s poll may have been different had Osun workers queue behind their governor, Oyetola.
5. Oyetola’s fall out with his predecessor, Aregbesola
The fall out between the former allies who worked together for eight years in the same office has left many wondering why it was left to become intractable.
Daily Courier recalled the endearing role the current minister of interior, Aregbesola played in installing Oyetola against all odds and how he ‘stole’ victory for him in 2018.
Immediately after their disagreement, a group loyal to the ex-governor under the aegis of The Osun Progressives (TOP) had constituted themselves into a parallel party in the All Progressives Congress (APC) having parallel excos at all levels at the height of the disagreement.
According to a statement released by the group, hours to the polls, the group neither supported the governor’s reelection bid nor were they leaving the party. The group simply listed its grievances and the ill treatment of their principal by the incumbent.
The outcome of the election has shown that the party lost in practically all the local governments with loyal TOP stalwarts which hitherto used to be APC’s fortress including: Egbedore, Atakumota East, Odo-Otin, among others.
6. Oyetola’s unpolitical mien
Their is minimal attack on the governor in the area of performance since he assumed office in Abere. He has moved the states IGR from his predecessor’s high of 10.9 percent to 19.7 percent, an almost double digits rise despite the pandemic and global economic crunch. His health insurance scheme, welfare and educational initiatives have all been commended and most importantly the payment of salaries and pensions which was a total departure from the harrowing fate workers suffered under Aregbesola.
The question our Correspondent asked Osun voters is why change a performer?
Mr Oluwole who resides in Osogbo said: “The governor does not know how to mobilize politicians to connect with the grassroots”. Prod if he meant dolling out state resources for political expediency, he insisted that is how to do politics in this clime.
Akeem Olusoji from Ikirun who spoke in Yoruba said that Oyetola is too frugal to remain in politics. He added, that he has not learned politics well enough from Asiwaju his mentor who is known for his generosity.
Another sentiment shared by some political appointees who spoke in anonymously with Daily Courier said Oyetola is too urbane for our kind of politics here. “He has won the hearts of all patriotic citizens of Osun state and he will be leaving the stage as a hero” one said.
Another opposition politician said, “Oyetola came as an unpopular candidate that was heavily doubted but he will be leaving as one of the highly respected governor this state has provided”.
“Oyetola’s defeat is not a victory by any single politician, it is the victory of the politicians he turned his back against for the interest of Osun state” another said.
7. The zoning factor
Historically, Osun with three senatorial districts had had governor for eleven years in the central district, and twelve years in the East district while the West only had twenty two months stint .
The perceived marginalization which Oyetola typified was reflected in the wide acceptance across the West senatorial district.
Citizens of Osun state will be hoping not to have another four years governor in Senator Adeleke because he will be coming to Osun state to wear a big shoe left behind by Oyetola but the months ahead will tell.