By Solomon Odeniyi
As the struggle for the topmost seat in the state of Osun hots up, a Coalition of Osun Youth Organizations led by Development Advocacy Group (DAG) has warned against strategies devised by some contenders in the race to appease the party through the campaign for zoning.
Though, it admitted that struggle for power is fundamentally a matter of strategy, but they argued that such strategy must be deemed appropriate.
They maintained that their examination into the political field suggests evidently that those agitating for zoning and their likely beneficiaries are people who have dominated the political space for over three decades.
The groups gave postulations to affirm that zoning or no zoning is not a convention and has never dictated political direction, describing it as petty and shenanigan for the benefit of politically desperate elites at the expense of the masses.
“In 1991 Isiaka Adeleke of SDP from Osun west won against Alhaji Bayo Salami of NRC from Osun Central. It’s important to note that during the primary of SDP Hon. Dosu Ladipo from Central and Prince Adesuyi Hastrup from east contested the primary. In 1999 Chief Bisi Akande, PDP Osun central, against Isiaka Adeleke, APP, Osun west, and Dr Olu Alabi Osogbo, AD Osun Central. Chief Akande won. In the primary, Chief Abiola Morakinyo, Osun west, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, East and Senator Mojisola Akinfenwa, from East slugged out with Akande who was picked through consensus.
In 2003, Chief Bisi Akande contested against Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, PDP, Osun Central, Oyinlola won. Senator Isiaka Adeleke and Elder Peter Babalola, both from west , Remi Olowu and Adesuyi Hastrup from the east contested the primary with Oyinlola. In 2007, Aregbesola, East, ACN contested against Prince Oyinlola. Court restored Aregbesola’s mandate. More than 20 aspirants contested with Aregbesola scattered across all regions in ACN, same in 2014” the coalition recalled.
The spokesperson of the coalition, Dr. Ademola Oyedokun-Alli stressed that aside the fact that zoning finds no expression in any extant laws, party’s constitution and ethics, the political culture is retrogressive and undemocratic.
He wondered, if the international political community is now inclusive-driven, development inclined and individual, sectarian and regional focused, where Nigerians and people of other races and colour are voted as mayors and chancellors in white dominated European countries, why would anyone fan the ember of division and discord in the state.
He demanded transparent, participatory primary and appealed to political parties and gladiators to preserve the sanctity of the liberal democratic process which forbids the restriction of political office of this nature to a geographical or ethnic location.
Wasiu Ibrahim, the publicity Secretary of DAG disclosed that what the ordinary man in the state is concerned with is living a decent life as poverty, hunger, illiteracy and insecurity are no respecter of zone, hence, the need for a a cerebral, exposed and a leader who has a good grasp of the issues in the state as well as someone who would sustain the transformation started by Ogbeni Aregbesola.