How time flies! Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who is the governor of Osun state will complete the constitutionally allowed two terms of eight years on the 27th of November and in order to ensure that a successor emerges before the expiration of his tenure , the governorship election has been fixed for the 22nd of September. Political parties have thus taken turn to unveil the faces of those who will stand as their candidates in the election and it was the turn of the ruling party, the APC, on Friday.
The party’s guber primary was largely peaceful as it was hitch free apart from minor skirmishes recorded in Ilobu, the hometown of a guber aspirant, Hon. Lasun Sulaiman Yusuf who is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. The party not only adopted the Direct Primary method but also strolled down the memory lane and resuscitated the Option A4 introduced by the evil genius, General Ibrahim Babangida during his days as the nation’s military president. There were 17 aspirants among who are; the state SSG, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Speaker Najeem Salaam , Alhaji Saka Layoonu, Senator Jide Omoworare, Taiwo Babatunde and Hon. Lasun Yusuf. Members of the party gathered in all the 332 Wards in the state to vote for preferred aspirants on Friday and it was an exercise that was done simultaneously. We gathered that the ‘Vote Buying’ challenge resurfaces as cash was freely shared to the voters at almost all the places visited.
Interestingly, there was no rigidity in respect of the amount shared as it varies from one location to another. While Hon. Lasun Yusuf distributed the sum of N1000 to the party members in all the other Wards across the state, it was N2,500 for the party members in his local government , ostensibly to avoid the idea of having him lose his base to the co-aspirants. The eventual winner of the primary, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola also had staggered amounts distributed to the voters , while it was N5000 for each of the party members in Boluwaduro local government, it was N1000 for those in Ilobu and N350 for party members in the Ota Efun area of Osogbo. Some who are not APC members and are known for fraternizing with a popular opposition party were sighted waiting in a queue at Salvation , Alekuwodo, Osogbo as they equally benefited from the largesse. In the end, the Iragbiji born Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola eventually emerged the winner of the guber primary and he is consequently to stand as the APC candidate in the forthcoming governorship election. Journalists , party members, agents of the aspirants and the supporters had a long day taking notes as officials of the party surfaces one after the other with results from the 30 local government areas of the state. The waiting game finally ended when Femi Siyanbola arrived from Gbongan to submit the result for Aiyedaade local government at 10.13 pm.
The Chairman of the Committee that conducted the primary, Senator Ovie Omo Agege who declared that the primary had ended on a ‘no victor, no vanquish’ basis began to announce the result a few minutes later and ultimately declared Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola as the party’s candidate. Though , Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and Peter Babalola had announced withdrawal from the race before the primary, Peter still got votes above hundred while Adeoti also had 128. A member of the House of Representatives, Akintayo Amere also had 1773 votes while Senator Jide Omoworare had a very poor outing by securing negligible 21 votes. Lasun Yusuf and Najeem Salaam showed good political strength by securing 21,975 and 17,958 votes respectively.
The winner, Gboyega Oyetola had 127,017 votes. In his acceptance speech a few minutes after emerging as the APC guber candidate , the light-skinned dude who was flanked by the Director General of his campaign group, Rep Ajibola Famurewa said he was humbled to have emerged through the Direct Primary method which was an expression of support by the members via voting, he thus, stated that he accepted the people’s verdict with humility.
While assuring the party members that the choice made through his candidature will not be wasted, Gboyega commended the co-aspirants for being peaceful and shunning violence asserting that the victory is for all, he also called on them to join him in winning the 22nd September election while also pledging to run a people’s oriented government. The guber candidate who promised to ensure continuity and the consolidation of the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s achievements and legacies also stated that he was aware that the opposition camp has increased what they have in their arsenals , the ruling party is according to him however, set and prepared to get such efforts end a mirage. He also noted that the ruling party has made history through the success of the Direct Primary system as it has gotten the state on the part of political rejuvenation