Posted by Moses Alao | 16 September 2018 | 1,441 times
In seven days’ time, the battle for the control of Osun State in the next four years will shift from campaign field to polling units, with 48 governorship standard-bearers to take part in what will be an epic battle of convictions, money and personalities.
For Osun voters, the choice is two-way: to either vote for the continuity of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which has been at the helm of affairs in the state for the last seven years and some months or switch allegiance to one of the opposition parties, whose campaigns have been focused on ending the APC reign in the state.
Of the 48 governorship candidates, bookmakers have zeroed in on five candidates believed to be capable of winning the September 22 governorship election, with some analysts even narrowing the contest to three candidates based on the visibility of their campaigns and the personalities flying the flags of the parties. Though informed political observers would contend that none of the 48 candidates or parties should be ruled out, political developments in Osun State in the last few weeks have pointed out that one of the quintet of APC, Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Action Democratic Party (ADP) will produce Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s successor. These five major parties, apart from their popularity across the 30 local governments of the state, boast of well-known individuals as governorship standard-bearers.
In what is considered the final push in the race for the governorship seat, candidates of the major parties, except the PDP’s Senator Ademola Adeleke, engaged in a debate organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where the quartet of SDP’s Senator Iyiola Omisore, ADC’s Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, APC’s Gboyega Oyetola and ADP’s Alhaji Moshood Adeoti outlined their programmes and focus if elected to govern the state.
For Omisore, the crux of the campaign had been about “freedom from bondage for Osun people,” with the former deputy governor of the state never failing to impress it on the electorate that the years of the APC in the state have brought economic hardship and bondage. The APC’s candidate, Oyetola, on the other hand, has premised his campaign on continued infrastructure development, building on what Aregbesola has started, but most importantly, putting the state on the path of economic growth through agriculture. For Adeleke, the welfare of the people of the state has been the most plank on which his campaign has been premised, while Akinbade and Adeoti have also continually stressed their determination to better the lot of the people if elected.
On Saturday, while the election will take place in all the 322 wards of the state, Sunday Tribune findings have indicated that the battle will be most fierce in some locations, where the major parties will do all possible to gain access or to retain its control.
However, while political observers have been at a loss as to which of the parties might emerge the overall winner in the state capital, bookmakers have maintained that depending on how well the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) handles the issue of vote buying, the opposition parties would have a good showing in the city and one of them might even edge the ruling party.
•Excerpted from a Sunday Tribune report
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