Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
The Osun State governorship election is around the corner. Based on the time table released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), September 22 is the D-Day.
Daily Sun’s investigations revealed that about 22 aspirants have already indicated interest in the race.
Although the aspirants cut across different political parties, majority of them are from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
However, the leadership crisis rocking the PDP appears to be a huge source of discouragement for the chieftains of the party who may want to go for the party’s ticket.
Also in the APC, those in key government positions who would want to succeed Governor Rauf Aregbesola are yet to declare their ambitions because of what many refer to as “party protocol” and fear of losing their current appointments.
Others, have, however, declared their interests and have since begun campaigns with their posters and secret visits to party leaders and supporters, as well as holding nocturnal meetings with them to canvass for support. Regardless, the race appears largely going to be a straight contest between the APC and the PDP.
Those that are likely to run are: Kunle Rasheed Adegoke, a.k.a K-RAD, Dr. Basiru Ajibola, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Babatunde Loye, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf among others.
He is one of the major contenders in the APC. He is a Lagos-based legal practitioner and human rights activist. He hails from Osogbo, the state capital. His posters have already flooded the nooks and crannies of the state.
Also, his campaign billboards are all over Osogbo and the major towns within the state. One of the major factors counting in his favour is the fact that Osogbo has never produced a governor since the creation of the state and the people’s agitation to produce the governor this time round appears very strong.
K-RAD is not leaving anything to chance in his quest to emerge the governor as he is in the vanguard of the current ‘Tiwa N Tiwa L’Osun’ Socio-political movement, which is spearheading the “Osogbo l’okan” (meaning it is Osogbo’s turn to produce governor) campaign. The crusade is against the backdrop of the fact that Osogbo, which is a part of the Central Senatorial District in the state, has never produced a governor. The campaign has indeed reawakened the consciousness of the people to give their votes to an Osogbo man. K-RAD is most likely to benefit from this permutation at the end of the day.
Dr. Basiru Ajibola
He is the current Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state. He, too, hails from Osogbo.Though SRJ, as he is popularly known, is an APC man; he is yet to declare his intention publicly because the party has not given aspirants the go-ahead to begin electioneering.
In any case, there are indications that he, too, is hoping to fly on the Osogbo l’okan wings to the Government House. He had, during one of his previous interviews with newsmen asserted that he is eminently qualified to be the next governor. To some extent, he seems to be in control of the political structure of the APC, especially in Osogbo and its environs. His closeness to the outgoing governor is another plus for him.
Alhaji Moshood Adeoti
He is the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). He is from Iwo in Osun West Senatorial District. Fondly called Sheu, Adeoti is a key factor in Osun politics. He was erstwhile chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which produced Aregbesola for his first term, after which he (Adeoti) was appointed as the SSG. Adeoti is a strong stakeholder in the APC.
The Iwo-born politician is a strategist in terms of political manoeuvring. The Iwo area of the Osun West Senatorial District, too, has never produced a governor. Therefore, the hope of people from the senatorial district to produce Aregbesola’s successor is also a strong factor that favours Adeoti.
He also seems to be the choice of most local politicians in the state. Their insistence to have a home-based politician as governor is also counting for him. Though he has not announced his ambition, his supporters have been urging him to declare his intention. Sources said they have begun “secret” mobilisation for him.
He is from Iwo in Osun West Senatorial District. The philanthropist and UK-based business magnate is warming up for the race. Though he has not revealed his platform, Loye said he would join either of the two major parties (APC or PDP) to test his might against other strong contenders in the zone.
According to him, he had opened discussions with some party stakeholders to get their nod after which he would disclose the party of his choice.
If power sharing formula is anything to go by, then Loye stands a chance since Iwo Zone has not produced a governor before. Also, his philanthropic gestures and exposure in global business management and administration will count for him.
He said that he has all it takes to rescue the state from its present financial constraints through proactive prosperity and wealth creation measures if he becomes the governor.
In a chat with newsmen, Loye said that given his global connection and dynamism in the business world, he would work vigorously to develop Osun State and make it a self-reliant state through local and global investments. His youthful age and track record of achievements in business seem to be counting for him.
Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola
Oyetola is the Chief of Staff to Governor Aregbesola. He hails from Iragbiji in the Osun Central Senatorial District. He is another strong force in the Osun governorship race.
Though his Central Senatorial District has produced governors before, Oyetola believes that factor is not enough to stop him. Interestingly, majority of the people in the state believe that he is Aregbesola’s anointed.
It is also believed that he is a complete gentleman and one of the technocrats that have been assisting Aregbesola to run the affairs of the state in the face of the economic crisis rocking the state.
Oyetola too has not announced his intention. But many people are tipping him as the next governor, particularly because of his closeness to the APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu.
He is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. He too, is in the race. The lawmaker has been moving round the state consulting stakeholders, including traditional rulers to seek their support. He was at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, as well as the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, to seek their blessing. Unlike other APC aspirants, he has since made it clear that he would run for the governorship. And as things stand, he may end up running on another platform other than that of the APC.
Chief Gbenga Owolabi
A business tycoon and technocrat, Chief Owolabi, who hails from Ile-Ife, is one of the aspirants on the platform of the PDP. He is determined to run and win the election. In one of his previous interviews, Owolabi, who is the Oluomo of Ile-Ife, expressed certainty that he is the one to succeed Aregbesola.
Those that are close to him say that some powerful personalities in the state are backing him. Political observers have also said that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, would not mind an Ife indigene to be the next governor because Ife in Osun East has never produced a governor before since the creation of the state.
He was former speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly for eight years. He has declared his intention a long time ago. He is from Ede in Osun West Senatorial District. He has served three governors in the state, including Chief Bisi Akande from 1999 to2003, just as he served in the Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration from 2003 to 2010.
He also worked briefly with Aregbesola when he reclaimed his mandate from Oyinlola through the Appeal Court in November, 2010.
Though Ede has produced a governor before, in the person of the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Bello is resolute in running and winning the race in September because he is confident that he has the people’s support as well as what it takes to be the next governor of the state.
Dr. Kayode Oduoye
Oduoye is another major contender in the Osun governorship race. He enjoys massive support of members and stakeholders of the PDP. He contested for the House of Representatives in the last election but lost.
His late father, Senator Simeon Oduoye, was a military administrator of Niger and Ebonyi States. He represented Osun Central Senatorial District from 2007 and 2011. He is enjoying the goodwill of many people because of his late father’s kind gestures.
Also, the Ikirun-born politician is one of the major financiers of the PDP in the state. During a chat with newsmen recently, Oduoye expressed confidence in the people’s support for him and promised to serve them with the whole of his heart if he emerges as the governor.