- Parties Not Campaigning Are Not Well Grounded In Osun Politics – Analysts
- We Are Not Aware of Other Parties – Residents
Ismaeel Uthman, Sodiq Yusuf
TWO weeks to the July 16 governorship election in the State of Osun, eight political parties and their candidates are yet to begin campaigns for the poll.
The parties and candidates, OSUN DEFENDER gathered, are yet to either begin ward to ward, local government, mega rallies, paste posters or erect campaign billboards ahead of the election, 74 days after INEC lifted the ban on political campaigns.
According to the list of governorship candidates released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), 15 political parties are contesting the July 16 governorship election in the State of Osun.
It was noted that aside the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party (AP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Labour Party (LP), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), other political parties and their candidates have not put up any campaign measure.
The situation, it was reliably learnt, is evident throughout the state as many citizens of the state are not even aware of the parties and their candidates.
Findings by OSUN DEFENDER also revealed that most of the political parties do not have functional secretariats, while some hurriedly put up office months leading to major elections in the state.
Some political analysts who spoke with the medium yesterday contended that the reason behind the inability of the political parties to campaign for the governorship election is based on their numerical strength, especially at the grassroots.
While the medium noticed the campaign billboards of some candidates of the non-major political parties in Osogbo, the state capital, others are nowhere to be found in major towns like Ife, Ilesa, Ejigbo, Ede, Ikire, Gbongan, Okuku, Ibokun, Iwo, Ikirun, Ila among others.
Some of the other parties contesting the election are the Young Democratic Party – YPP, Zenith Labour Party – ZLP, New Nigeria Peoples Party – NNPP, Allied Peoples Movement – APM, Action Peoples Party – APP, Boot Party – BP, National Rescue Movement – NRM and African Action Congress – AAC.
Some of the political parties and governorship candidates, it was learnt, were waiting to step down for either Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the APC or Senator Ademola Adeleke of the PDP.
Investigations revealed that some of the political parties were running a ‘one man show’ in which there are no other members of the parties than its chairmen and the handpicked secretaries.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the Chairman of Boot Party, Prince Adesoji Masilo, is also the governorship candidate of the party, while Adesuyi John Olufemi who is the Chairman of ZLP is also the flagbearer of the party.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER, a resident of the state, Mr. Abiodun Gbolagade said aside the dominant parties and their candidates, he was unaware that other parties are contesting the July 16 election.
He said from his observations, only the APC, PDP, Accord Party and Labour Party are serious in the contest.
According to him: “I do not even know their names or where their secretariats are. It is only during the election period that we hear about them. I do not know that they are even contesting. I work in the metropolis, I do not see anyone around here campaigning for either Boot Party or ZLP or that parties.
“The truth is that these parties are not visible. They are just there to make the list of those contesting. They do not have any structures to win. Just ask an average resident of the state if they know these parties. I am sure their answers will concur with mine. They are not on ground. They are not serious.”
Corroborating him, a trader at the popular Orisumbare market in Osogbo, Mrs. Kehinde Adegoke said she only knows of the candidates of the APC and PDP as contestants in the forthcoming election.
Asked why, she explained: “I am a trader. I come to Orisumbare everyday. Ever since the contest started, I have only been seeing APC and PDP people. They come to campaign to us almost every week. Some of their candidates have even met our leaders and those are the ones I know.
“Honestly, I just heard the names of these parties from you for the first time. The people do not know them. All they know is APC and PDP. I know Lasun and Ogunbiyi are contesting too but I cannot even remember their parties at my fingertips. I just know they are contesting. But, the APC and PDP are the ones our people know very well.”
Commenting on the development, a political analyst, Comrade Dare Alabi, said it is unsurprising that the situation is what is obtainable two weeks before the governorship election in Osun.
Alabi argued that the parties are not serious contenders because they do not have the numerical and financial strength to mobilise the electorate to support their aspirations.
He said: “Unless we want to lie to ourselves, these political parties do not have the strength to face the dominant political parties in the election. This is because they do not have the required internal structure to convince the over five million residents of Osun to support their aspiration.
“Another huge factor is that their candidates are not popular. The people do not know them. So, why would they worry on campaigning when they do not even have the resources? They are only there to get the pride of governorship candidates and that is all. They are not in for any serious business.”
Reacting to comments in the media of the non-visibility of his campaign, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Hon. Lasun Yussuff, said his party had resorted to strategic in-depth campaigns, which as at June 23, had covered 16 local government areas of the state.
He confirmed on a private radio station programme to also hold public campaign outings after the local government tours before the election.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that only the deputy governorship candidates of the Peoples Redemption Party, Comrade Emmanuel Olowu, is campaigning for the party. The flagbearer of the party is unknown to the residents of the state.
Political parties contesting the Osun Governorship election, are expected to round off their campaigns on July 14, 48 hours to the much anticipated election.