Posted by Laolu Afolabi | 13 November 2018 | 2,948 times
One of the most interesting states to watch in the 2019 election is Oyo. From its gubernatorial candidates to those of senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly, it is too close to call. The parties, notable among which are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Action Democratic Party (ADP), parade candidates to beat in the elections.
Prominent among the governorship candidate for 2019 election is a former governor seeking a return, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, on the platform of ADP; Chief Adebayo Adelabu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who resigned to join the governorship race, contesting on the platform of APC and Mr Seyi Makinde, a businessman cum politician, contesting the governorship election for a second time, this time on the platform of the PDP.
Another major contender is Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, a former lawmaker representing Oyo South, on the platform of the ADC. The list of candidates for the 2019 election, released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last week did not, however, have its name included. But the national leadership of his party has said one Bamidele Ajadi was used in the interim, as the party will use the substitution window provided by the electoral commission to replace it with Lanlehin. With that assurance, Lanlehin will be a force in the forthcoming election in Oyo State.
There are some others in the race, Akinwale Olaosun of AAC, Olaide Olayiwola of KOWA, Mogaji Odelalu of National Action Council (NAC), Hakeem Oyedele of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Saheed Ajadi of Accord, Olatunji Adigun Sadiq of Labour Party, Bamigboye Abiodun of Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), Bolanle Ashabi Sarumi Aliyu of National Interest Party (NIP), Bolaji Ayorinde of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Taiwo Otegbeye of PPC. Altogether, there are 37 candidates seeking the key to Agodi Government House in 2019.
For this analysis, some candidates in the election and their chances are hereby looked into:
A former governor of the state, seeking to complete his constitutionally-assigned two term if elected governor in 2019, had not hidden his ambition to occupy the Agodi Government House again since his exit in 2011.
Going by the result of the last governorship election, where he won Ogbomoso zone and had better outing in some other zones, Alao-Akala will not want to play a spoiler role this time. It is an election he must win.
He will also have better outing in Oke-Ogun. Alao-Akala will bank on support from his familiar terrains of Orire, Ogo Oluwa, Olorunsogo, Ogbomoso North, Surulere, Irepo, Saki West, Itesiwaju, Ogbomoso South, Iseyin, Akinyele, Ibarapa North, Atiba, Oorelope, Saki East and Afijio local government areas of the state to emerge victorious in the election. He will also slug it out in Ibadan/Ibarapa zone with the Ibadan candidates.
Going by the result of the 2015 election, it is not sure if Alao-Akala will not suffer the same fate as he did when he flew the Labour Party’s flag as his current party is not having its structures well established across the state. Also, the popularity of his running mate, Professor Abideen Olaiya, in Ibadan, where most governorship candidates come from, will also be a deciding factor.
The businessman cum politician had not hidden his interest to occupy the Agodi Government House from the outset. He had pushed aside all entreaties to him to drop his ambition and take senatorial ticket of major political parties in the state.
To bolster his chances in the 2019 election, he, alongside the Omi Tuntun campaign structures in the 33 local government areas of the state, returned to his former political party, the PDP, on September 4, 2017, after what he called an extensive, deep and wide consultations with national leaders, state leaders and elders of the SDP and cross sections of strategic partners within the state.
Makinde seems to enjoy the support of the traditional institution in Ibadanland. He also has a good relationship with members of the Ibadan elite, a factor that may swing Ibadan votes in his favour.
Since Ladoja is not a main contender in the election, one may hope that the Ibadan traditional institution may declare its support for him, especially now that it is seemingly not enjoying a smooth relationship with the incumbent government.
Makinde also enjoys the platform of a party with concrete structures across the state. Aside the ruling APC, only the PDP has structures in all the wards and local government areas of the state. This may be a plus for him. The hurdle before Makinde, however, is to penetrate other zones in the state and oil the existing structures. His lieutenants must do the legwork to sell his candidacy in other zones of Ogbomoso, Oyo and Oke-Ogun.
Solagbade Olufemi Lanlehin, popularly known as SOLAN, is not new in Oyo State politics. He has been in the limelight since the commencement of the present democratic dispensation, himself being the son of a famous Awoist.
Although controversies had trailed his emergence as ADC governorship candidate in the state, with many aspirants threatening legal action against it, Lanlehin is banking on support of his structure which had been collapsed into that of Ladoja to win the election. Like Seyi Makinde, Lanlehin too, being an Ibadan man, will enjoy the support of the Ibadan traditional institution. His leader, a high chief, is a staunch supporter of the Olubadan of Ibadanland and had been the lone voice against whatever he perceived as an attack on the institution by the Oyo State government. For that, Lanlehin may be a beneficiary, especially in local government areas where Ladoja holds sway.
Lanlehin is also going to enjoy the support of members of the Unity Forum who had dumped the APC to pitch tent with Ladoja in the ADC. Some of the critical members of the Unity Forum are now candidates of the ADC in the election and they will work to ensure the victory of the governorship candidate to prove their worth and relevance to their erstwhile party.
One major hurdle before the party in its bid to win the 2019 election is how to nip in the bud, the crisis arising from the emergence of Lanlehin as its governorship candidate. Many of the aspirants are aggrieved and spoiling for war. The development may force them to sit on the fence during the electioneering. The party is also new in the state. The potency of its senatorial candidates will determine where the pendulum swings in the March 2019 election.
Adebayo Adelabu may be new to some in the Oyo State politics, he is, nonetheless, enjoying the legacy of his grandfather.
As against crisis that normally trailed the emergence of a candidate, particularly for the position of a governor, his emergence came with serenity. At present, he is enjoying a rancour-free campaign with no legal tussle surrounding his candidacy.
Adelabu will also enjoy the power of the incumbency in deciding who holds the ace in the governorship election as his party is still in power in the state. He will, however, bank on the success of President Buhari in the February election to clear the coast for his victory. Another hurdle before him is his acceptance in other zones of the state. He will be banking on the party structure to win in Oke-Ogun, Ibarapa and Oyo.
•Excerpted from a Tribune report
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