EXCLUSIVE: Top 10 Contenders for Osun 2018 Governorship Election

As the September 22, 2018 Gubernatorial Election approaches in the state of Osun, many contenders are now gearing up for the state’s top job. Sodiq Yusuf of Osun Defender Online in this story presents the top aspirants from across the main political parties in the state.

Many contenders both known and unknown from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, have shown interest in taking over Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s job when he hands over on November 27. In this treatise, we try to present their resume, analyze their chances of emerging as candidates of their various political parties and winning the main election.

They say in politics, there are no permanent friend and foe, only permanent interest. As the D-day approach, alliances and dispositions will change, forces will merge to collaborate, many will decamp and cross carpet, but as of February, these are the top contenders for the job and how they stand.

The list of the top ten contenders is not arranged in any order.

  1. Lasun Yussuff

Party: APC

Current Position: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives

Previous Position: Member, House of Representatives

Local Government: Irepodun Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun Central Senatorial District

Date of Birth:October 4, 1960, 57 years

Lasun Yussuff

Since the beginning of 2017, the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has not hid his desire to rule the state of the virtuous. Having emerged a Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives in defiance to his party’s preferred candidate, a move which pitched him against the party structure in his home state and the south west where he hails, Hon. Lasun has proved he is a force to be reckoned with. With a somewhat heavy federal financial war-chest to fight the battle for who emerges as the APC flag bearer, he has some credibility issues to battle with.

Also of note is his hardline stance against the ruling administration of his home state. At the last Eid-El-Fitri celebrations, the Deputy speaker had openly criticized the education policy of the government, a move many see as being unnecessary all in a bid to prove he is anti-establishment. However, the move seems to have backfired as many political watchers in the state feel he should not have burnt the bridge that ultimately led him to his present position.

Despite all the baggage that trails Hon. Lasun, he may end up pulling a surprise for everyone. The only thing stopping him is the desire of people from the West Senatorial District who haven’t had the chance to hold the highest office in the state since the current political dispensation started.

  1. Moshood Adeoti

Party: APC

Current Position: Secretary to the State Governor, State of Osun

Previous Position: Pioneer Chairman, Action Congress, State of Osun

Local Government: Iwo Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun West Senatorial District

Date of Birth: 27th February 1953, 63 years

Moshood AdeotiMr. Moshood Adeoti who is an influential politician in his Iwo Local Government had his image boosted when he served as state Party Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria. His party then, led the current government to victory at the polls during the 2007 election which had a protracted legal battle that eventually led to the declaration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the duly elected governor of the state on November 26, 2010.

His political nest traverses the length and breadth of the state as he played pivotal roles in the acceptability of the then AC by Osun people. During the race for 2007, he was among the few who escaped assassination attempts, maiming from the then ruling party in the state.

His instrumental role in the emergence of the new government in November, 2010 led to his eventual selection as the Secretary to the State Government in December, 2010. Adeoti is a grassroots politician whose political history earned him several positions in the past.

Despite the widely acclaimed impression that he does not have the financial wherewithal to contest the seat, the current SSG is a man to beat any day anytime. He also comes from Iwo in the West Senatorial District of the state, a town aiming to produce the next Governor of the State of Osun.

  1. Gboyega Oyetola

Party: APC

Current Position: Chief of Staff to the Governor

Previous Position: Private Sector

Local Government: Boripe Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun Central Senatorial District

Date of Birth: October 1, 1954, 63 years.

Gboyega Oyetola

Before his appointment as the Chief of Staff to Governor Aregbesola in 2010, the name Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola might not have ringed a bell in the realm of Osun politics. Oyetola had been in the private sector all his life. His experience as a financial expert gave him a successful career in the private sector managing so many businesses.

Perhaps, the time and moment he had felt to resign and enjoy the dividends of his long service to humanity, the call beckoned on him to serve his people in the State of Osun.

His track record as a financial expert dates to about three decades where he showed responsibility, diligence and unrivalled service to humanity. His tenure in the last seven and a half years as the Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola has shown him as a man that has the technical know-how to govern a state like Osun.

His ingenuity in resolving several labour disputes on the side of government and contributions to improving government finances making people to point fingers at him as the next person to succeed Governor Aregbesola on November 27.

Recent events have also shown that a section of the party’s leadership in the Southwest is giving him the nod to steer the ship of the State of Osun.

  1. Bola Oyebamiji

Party: APC

Current Position:Commissioner for Finance, State of Osun

Previous Position:Managing Director, Osun State Investment Company Limited, OSICOL

Local Government: Irewole Local Government

Senatorial District: OsunWest Senatorial District

Date of Birth: 17th November, 1965, 51 years old

Bola Oyebamiji

With little or no background in Politics, another name that comes to the mind of many to take up the tough job is Bola Oyebamiji. The current Commissioner for Finance in the State of Osun is an administrator and financial/commercial guru per excellence. Oyebamiji boasts of a rich experience in the banking industry going to about 2 decades.

Though in Lagos, his contributions to the growth of businesses in the private sector endeared him to Governor Rauf Aregbesola when he appointed him to head the Osun State Investment Company Limited OSICOL in 2012. His efforts at revamping the hitherto moribund company yielded positive results when the company’s major product, the Essence Table Water gained recognition in the six Southwestern states of the federation.

Oyebamiji’s prudence in financial management also secured several investments for OSICOL. His sterling record of performance gave him the new task of managing the finances of the State of Osun.

From the West Senatorial District of the state, Oyebamiji also stands a rich chance to get the job if he campaigns vigorously and gets the people to support his candidature.

  1. Kayode Oduoye

Party: PDP

Current Position: Legal Practitioner,

Previous Position: Unknown

Local Government: Ifelodun Local Government

Senatorial District: OsunCentral Senatorial District

Date of Birth: October 6, 1970, 47 years.

Kayode Oduoye

Barrister Kayode Oduoye comes from a rich political family. His late father, Senator Olasunkanmi Oduoye was a former Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District from 2007-2011. He hails from Ikirun in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state.

He contested the 2015 Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin Federal Constituency seat with Hon Yinka Ajayi of the APC which he lost. Since the build-up to the 2015 elections, he has been in the forefront of rescuing from total collapse, the Osun chapter of the PDP.

Super Kay as he is fondly called is a minnow in the game of racing for the Governorship election in the state.

  1. Senator Iyiola Omisore

Party: PDP

Current Position: Nil

Previous Position: Two-term Senator (PDP, Osun East)

Local Government: Ife Central Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun East Senatorial District

Date of Birth: September 15, 1957, 60 Years

Iyiola Omisore

Christopher Iyiola Omisore is a known face in Osun politics dating back to the 3rd Republic. An electrical engineer by profession, Omisore has been in the murky water of politics for long.

His sojourn into political limelight dates back to 1999 when he emerged as the Deputy Governor to Governor Adebisi Akande. After he was impeached and imprisoned as the number 2 citizen of the state in 2002 due to controversies that surrounded the death of the Former Governor of the Old Oyo State, Chief Bola Ige, Omisore returned to politics as he became the Senator representing Osun East Senatorial District in 2003 and was returned in 2007.

He contested against the incumbent Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in 2014 and lost. Omisore has had the opportunity of winning his Ife stronghold in most of the elections he has contested.

One thing that has continued to dent Omisore’s political career is the widely believed hooliganism, election rigging, manipulation and politics of bitterness which has in many years damaged his reputation in the minds of the Osun electorate.

His influence in the crisis currently rocking the Osun PDP is not far-fetched with many pointing accusing fingers at him of unsettling the party because his point man, Bayo Faforiji who can secure for him the 2018 Governorship Ticket did not win the disputed state congress that produced Soji Adagunodo in 2015. He was also seen recently in a widely circulated video on social media distributing N500 each to would-be voters at a privately organized empowerment programme.

Despite all, one major impediment to the acceptability of Omisore’s aspiration to govern the state of Osun is the Osun East senatorial district where he hails from which produced the incumbent governor of the state.

  1. Lere Oyewumi

Party: PDP

Current Position: Nil

Previous Position: Former National Commissioner, National Population Commission

Local Government: Irewole Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun West Senatorial District

Date of Birth: January 5, 1960, 57 Years.

Lere Oyewumi

Akogun Lere Oyewumi as he is fondly called is a former Chairman of Irewole Local Government of the State of Osun. After his sojourn as Chairman, he was appointed as a national commissioner of the National Population Commission.

A key member of the Iyiola Omisore faction of the PDP, fillers in the camp of Lere Oyewumi see a last minute stepping down from the Ikire born Politician for his boss, Omisore.

  1. Fatai Akinbade

Party: PDP

Current Position: Nil

Previous Position: Former Secretary to the State Government

Local Government: Olaoluwa Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun West Senatorial District

Date of Birth: April 1955, 62 Years.

Fatai Akinbade

Fatai Akinade Akinbade is one of the few politicians that have a rich history for being a part of the government structure in the state since the days of the military administrations. Akinbade served as Commissioner for four successive military administrators before becoming the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP that brought in Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in 2003.

Akinbade was later appointed the Secretary to the State Government and left office when the Appeal Court declared the then government invalid in 2010. When the disintegration that tore the Osun PDP apart came in, Akinbade and his supporters moved to the Labour Party where he contested the gubernatorial seat in 2014.

Now that he’s back in the PDP, the Ogbaagbaa born politician is in the race to get the PDP ticket. Political watchers in the state have however wondered how a candidate that got just 8,000 votes in the last election will get the nod of Osun people to lead them for the next 4 years despite his background from the West Senatorial District.

  1. Kunle Adegoke (K-RAD)

Party: APC

Current Position: Legal Practitioner

Previous Position: NIL

Local Government: Osogbo Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun Central Senatorial District

Date of Birth: September 5, 1969, 48 Years

Kunle Adegoke

Popularly called K-RAD, Kunle Rasheed Adegoke, the Osogbo born lawyer cum politician was a key figure in the protracted legal battle that saw Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola returned as Governor of Osun in 2010.

His ideologies as seen in his campaign billboards looks like a replica of what is contained in Aregbesola’s Green Book. With no political history, his chances might be too slim to get the ticket of his party, the APC.

  1. Najeem Salaam

Party: APC

Current Position: Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly

Post Held: Member representing Ejigbo Constituency, OSHA

Local Government: Ejigbo Local Government

Senatorial District: Osun West Senatorial District

Date of Birth: August 8, 1965, 52 Years

Najeem Salaam

Najeem Folasayo “Iwaloye” Salaam is the current Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, a position he has held since 2011. He was robbed off his mandate as a member of the Osun Assembly in 2007 through the court.


Since he became speaker, he has been a force to reckon with in his hometown of Ejigbo and his West Senatorial District. He is seen by many as another politician who has the requisite political, academic and financial wherewithal to govern the State of Osun with his leadership style in the House of Assembly.


His senatorial district is also a key factor for him going into the APC Primaries.


The indigenes, residents, political watchers and the international community are keeping tabs on the state of politicking in the State of Osun in the coming weeks with political activities gradually building up for the September 22 election.