DESMOND EKWUEME writes on the likely two-horse race in the forthcoming Gubernatorial election in Osun State between Senator Iyiola Omisore and incumbent governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola…
Though there are other top contenders in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Osun State but from all indications and political permutation it is likely going to be a battle of wits between Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples Democratic Party and incumbent governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Political observers opine that it is going to be a roller coaster ride to a deserving second term for Aregbesola a strong lieutenant of the National leader of his party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has severally remarked in political gatherings that Osun State governor is the most loyal of his lieutenants. They say Aregbesola has proven that he is the kind of leader that the state needs and as such has been the best governor Osun has ever had. In the words of APC interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, “anybody contesting the gubernatorial election in Osun State is just fulfilling the democratic parlance which says the more, the merrier. The only man that can stop Aregbesola is Aregbesola himself. He has delivered to Osun people and there testimonies flowing. Just visit the state or take a drive round Oshogbo, Ife and anywhere for that matter, you will see dividend of democracy, you will see the true meaning of power and you will understand why we believe that every other candidate in the election is a joker.”
But for the PDP candidate, Senator Omisore, he thinks otherwise. In his words, “only those who benefit from the shame called governance in Osun will think that power cannot return to PDP. I make bold to say that power must return back to PDP because that is the only party that can liberate the Osun people from the exercise of running government from Bourdillon Road in Ikoyi. It is a shame that our people have been subjected to slavery of waiting for someone who has no business with Osun people to decide what happens to them. The future of Osun people should be in their hands and not under the control of a stooge who takes orders from Ikoyi in Lagos. Sadly if the man who runs Osun State is out of town, the so called governor will have to wait for him to return or travel abroad to meet him wherever he is to seek approval on how the rest of us will be governed. This madness must stop. It was not so when PDP was in control of the state when people are free to air their views or speak their minds.”
The battle has been drawn between both men. For Aregbesola, he is the single candidate coming on as the flag bearer of the APC but the same cannot be said of Omisore who still has to engage some other aspirants in the primary election of the PDP before laying claim to the party’s ticket in guber race. Analysts say that PDP will face more trouble since it is evident that other aspirants in the party like Hon. Oluwole Oke, Senator Olusunkanmi Rasheed Akinlabi and Alhaji Fatai Akinbade are working seriously against the senator. And it is believed that should the National executive of the party work in favour of Omisore, it could lead to massive defection of aggrieved members of the party to APC which will further cripple the party’s activities in the state.
It is also alleged that the national leadership of APC has gained entrance into the PDP in Osun State and has been working with some key figures that are bent on Omisore’s fall. They believe that Omisore cannot be the right man to succeed Aregbesola even if a change is needed.
In the light of this, it does appear that a popularity war is evident. It is not just going to be between Aregbesola and Omisore but other candidates like the Labour Party flag bearer Niyi Omolade a former Attorney General and commissioner for Justice between 2007 and 2010 who has been an advocate for change. He commands great respect among the youths. It is thus going to be a matter of who are you among Osun people? For Aregbesola he has little to prove as an incumbent governor, for Omisore who has been a senator, it could be time to test how much of the peoples lives he touched while serving.