By Ismaeel Uthman
The State of Osun has set a new national record in political history of Nigeria, becoming the first state with highest number of governorship candidates for the September 22, 2018 gubernatorial election.
A total of 48 candidates from different political parties are aspiring to succeed Governor Rauf Aregbesola whose tenure would end on November 26, this year.
Anambra state had the record of 37 contestants, followed by Ekiti which had 35 governorship candidates.
Out of the Osun 48 gubernatorial candidates, only five of them are popular by names and political parties. They are: Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Alhaji Fatai Akinbade of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
This is the first time Osun would be parading such high number of governorship contestants in the history of the state.
Only 17 candidates contested the August 14, 2014 governorship election which was won by Aregbesola to secure his second term, why less than 10 candidates participated in the April 14, 2007 gubernatorial election in the state.
Within the APC, over 27 members of the party aspired to be governor while just 17 aspirants were able to pay for nomination form to participate in the primary election of the party.
Oyetola emerged as the APC flag-bearer of the APC on July 20 after winning the direct primary election of the party.
Adeleke won the governorship ticket of the PDP with seven votes to defeat his major opponent, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi on July 21, while Adeoti was affirmed the candidate of ADP through affirmation on July 22.
Omisore beat two other contestants to win the governorship ticket with 125,485 votes in the primary election conducted by Dr. Bayo Faforiji-led faction of the party.
Earlier, two governorship candidates emerged after separate primaries conducted by the two factions of the party in the state.
The Faforiji faction adopted a direct primary mode of election and the Returning Officer, Prof. Rufai Alkali, who announced Omisore as the winner of the contest Wednesday, July 18, said the direct primary was a good party nomination method.
An indigene of Iwo town, Muniruden Atanda, also defeated two other aspirants to win the governorship ticket of the SDP faction led by Chief Ademola Ishola.
The matter was latter resolved by the national leadership of the SDP which finally settled for Omisore.
ADC had earlier fielded former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Kazeem Adio and later replaced him with Akinbade, a former SSG as well.