OSUN DEFENDER’s ABDULAHI OMOTAYO and MARIAM BELLO engaged a Lawyer and Public Affairs Analyst, Yomi Obaditan on his forecasts for the coming governorship election in the State of Osun and other sundry issues.
OSDF: In your opinion what will be your forecast for the 22nd of September?
Obaditan: When you look at the development from 2007, a lot of things have taken place which reflected that there had been a sort of political ‘reshufflement’ (permit me to use that language) and there have been some alliances as well as sharing of political ideas. Sequel to the 2007 election when the struggle was on for the consolidation of Governor Rauf Aregbesola gubernatorial mandate, we will say that about 80% of those who openly declared governorship ambition were actually on the side of PDP, but with the judgment of the Court of Appeal that said Aregbesola is the governor, the situation took a new turn. Since November, 27, 2010, the dynamics of political processes as well as the dynamics of political cross-over, sharing of ideas have changed. I will give some instances whereby in 2010 the number of the PDP members in National Assembly and those who are in the local governments were at the upper side. Unlike now whereby, in the House of Assembly, for instance, the PDP has only 2 members out of 26, in the National Assembly, they have only one senator two House of Representatives members.
Also, looking at the last Senatorial election in Osun West, I think the APC members themselves gave it out, because there were cases whereby party members voted against their own candidate.
OSDF: … Are you saying the issue of senatorial district in selecting candidates of the major political parties will be a factor?
Obaditan: It could be a factor because almost all over Nigeria, there is this regional or senatorial agreement which they call zoning. The reason why it might be a factor is that if you look at the zone where former governor Oyinlola came from, it is not the same as Aregbesola. If anyone would come from Ijesa zone to contest for governorship now, it may not be so easy for that person to emerge because there has been a conventional agreement that when it’s one’s turn, the other might not have its ways.
From what have happened after the Osun West election, I think the APC has been able to make some corrections and there has been sort of harmonious relationship, better than what it was before those elections.
The APC should be able to explore the achievements of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. Just few minutes ago while passing by Ogo-Oluwa area, a man said, I am from Osogbo and even though, I have not benefitted in terms of contract but what Aregbesola has done, the people of Osogbo can never forget. When you look at the voting of Osun generally 50% – 58% is always from Osogbo. There is no way Osogbo will turn around with their 58% and Aregbesola will not be able to score 48%, all he needs to do is to get about 20% from somewhere else which will be equal to 68%. The major development has been centered in Osogbo. Even the Osogbo indigenes, the Oroki Social Group has presented an award. Also someone from chieftaincy in Osogbo has said, “I am a contractor but I have never been to the governor, yet, we in Osogbo can never forget that man because he has made impact”. When Osogbo 50% – 58% is delivered, whoever wins Osogbo has won Osun state.
If I get my data very well, Osogbo is central and have the highest number of voters.
OSDF: Do you think, the primary election will be free and fair in APC?
Obaditan: In human society, you can never predict, that is why we talk about the dynamism of human being. As a social scientist, when we look at the previous primaries that have taken place within the progressive, it is the direction that elders of the party go that come to pass. I remember few years ago when Baba Akande was speaking and he said, go to United Kingdom, find out from them if it’s not the party caucus that put up candidate, even in America you’ll hear of the Isreal Business Group. There are some other people who will sponsor candidate, but certainly an individual cannot just emerge because he has the money. It is the party caucus or party leaders who show the direction. Whosoever they support quite often emerges in the primary. The primary won’t be a problem as long as they put their hands on deck. Nobody can 100% predict that there will be problem.
What direction do you think the primaries will go?
Obaditan: I cannot answer for the party because there’s no data to that effect. As I have said earlier that politics is dynamics and when you are dealing with human beings, you can’t make such prediction. I know each political party have their strategies.