Osun 2018 Governorship Election Holds Sept 22

…..APC, PDP React

By Shina Abubakar

The Governorship election in Osun State would hold on September 22, 2018, while that of Ekiti State would hold on July 14, 2018.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) released the timetable on Thursday.

According to the timetable released by the commission, the commencement of campaign has been fixed for April 15, 2018 for Ekiti and June 24, 2018 for Osun.

Reacting to the timetable released by the commission, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi said, he has no doubt that the APC is a party to beat.

He said, the APC was ready for the election and sure of victory, saying, “We have the number and we are not in short supply of integrity and people’s support. We have done it once, twice and we are going to do it again.

“In 2014 when they were armed to the teeth and with huge resources from the Federal Government, we defeated the PDP. Whether in splinter or in whole, no party in Osun can upstage the APC.

“We are not swayed by their noise. That’s in their character. But just take away this: PDP is not an alternative to APC in this state. Quote me after September 22, 2018″, Oyatomi said.

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction through a chieftain of the party, Mr Diran Odeyemi described the situation as a welcome development, saying it would drive the PDP to hasten its reconciliatory process and reposition itself for the task ahead.

He disclosed that what INEC did was to number the days of the APC as the ruling party in the state, particularly now that the party’s congress to elect new executive members would end by November 4, emphasising that the PDP would ensure that its house is in order to take over from the APC come September 22, 2018.

He added that the leadership of the party is not relenting in its decision to pacify aggrieved members of the party and also appeal to the public, who, according to him, are already tired of the APC excesses in the state for over seven years.

Odeyemi disclosed that the party has confidence in INEC’s ability to conduct free and fair election, but quickly added that the electoral body should remember that it is a special election and should prepare for the complexities the governorship poll is likely to generate.

…Hawks And Sharks On The Prowl

Succession is probably one of the manifest problems of democracies anywhere in the world. Even the matured democracies are not left out.  We are all witnesses to the sharp divide between supporters of Mrs. Hillary Clinton and those of Donald Trump now the President of the United States. America was virtually on fire. Caustic words were employed by both sides. The resentment from both sides was palpable and it reverberated to the far ends of the world such that all discussions worldwide focused on the American succession. Mr. Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman did not help matters with his bold racist stance, which gave more vigour to the divides. The election has been won and lost but the scars still remain.

Well, coming down to Nigeria and a little further to the State of Osun, the drums are beginning to sound, but bitterly, unfortunately.  One would have expected a comical-drama type most often witnessed in the second republic when aspirants would want to display their prowess in control of local and English languages to mesmerize the voting populace. Uncle Bola of blessed memory won many hearts through this. Same goes for Adelabu Adegoke, alias Penkelemeesi (peculiar mess) and Ladoke Akintola, the oratory Lord, both of the first republic fame. One would have also expected intending aspirants of today to take full pages of adverts, advertorials or airtime in local newspapers and electronic media to marshal their antecedents, which they think qualify them for the numero uno position in the state.

I mean, one would have expected these politicians to go to the village squares or marketplaces, both physical and online, to display their political wares to the prospective (buyers) voters. One would have expected that they put decorum to display by restraining from uncouth tones. Worse is the half truths and utter display of ignorance by these latter day “redemptionists” who talk as if they wish to re-invent the wheel. But could they?

Continuity, irrespective of the succeeding person or political party, is necessary. Even the most vitriolic critics of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s government will attest to the fact that he has transformed the state from its hitherto glorified rural status to a modernized one; the government has put in place what is now popularly known as Social Protection/Intervention Programmes apart from the massive intervention in the education sector through infrastructural and contextual deployment, never witnessed before in the history of any state in Nigeria.

The state has witnessed massive community as well as urban renewal in roads, which hitherto were death traps. These are not just ordinary roads but durable ones that could stand the tests of time and adverse conditions of the elements. Stipends are paid to vulnerable elders and this is branded Agba Osun. The elementary feeding system which is being adopted at the federal government level is an initiative of the government of Osun just like the Sukuk Bond. Government of Osun, through this elementary school feeding system has provided employment to many people at the rural and urban areas while also spinning up commerce for farmers and other suppliers. The beauty of this scheme is that it is “home-grown”, giving all the benefits to residents of the State.

The State might presently not be in the first position in the West African School Certificate examinations probably because of the rot in the system that predated the current democratic dispensation, which the government is ameliorating. But one thing that is certain is that the government is doing everything possible to take education to enviable position, in functionality, not just in paper certificate, which many see as measure of performance. The Ukraine-trained medical doctors and the Germany-trained agriculturists are just few examples of a determined government, to make education functional.

In the above context, it will be wiser for those inordinately jostling to take the baton from Ogbeni to play it according to the rules since it is their inalienable rights to seek the position. They should stop peddling falsehoods as they will lose at the end of the day when their falsehoods and shenanigans would have come to the open. A serious contender willing to take on the baton will, no doubt, go for tutorials from no other school but from the same man, Ogbeni, whom he or she wants to take over from. The shoes are too big for the tiny legs of hawks and legless sharks. They (the Sharks and Hawks) should rather be contented with where they are now…the Killer Squad of the opposition.

Osun 2018: PDP Plots Hate Campaign Against Aregbesola, APC

To launch itself back into the heart of the people of the State of Osun ahead of the 2018 governorship election, some characters in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were alleged to have decided to launch hate campaign against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

A source within the PDP in one of the faction said the party has concluded arrangement to whip up community sentiments against Aregbesola and his party with a view to getting towns and cities to reject them in 2018 at a meeting held with leadership of the newly inaugurated Caretaker Committee.

PDP sources who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER on condition of anonymity confessed that the newly elected Senator Ademola Adeleke and two wealthy Nigerians in Lagos have been contacted to bankroll the project.

According to the PDP sources, the PDP has also set up a committee to work on aggrieved members of the APC, particularly the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Lasun Yusuff and Alhaji Fatai Diekola with a plan to get them to continue undermining the leaders of the APC and causing crisis.

The PDP sources disclosed that the party could not win election in the state with fair campaign, hence it has resolve to recruit people and engaged them to smear Aregbesola’s image and discredit his achievements in the state.

The hate campaign is said to be centred on ongoing projects, religious and community crisis, among others.

According to the PDP sources at the meeting, the PDP concluded to set discontent for the APC by selling messages of hate, peculiar to a locality, to the people with a view to getting members of the public in such locations to hate Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the APC.

Specifically, the hateful messages are to be designed to stress a problem in a locality is meant to whip up community sentiment against Aregbesola and the APC in towns and cities.

For instance, Governor Aregbesola is to be held responsible and made the scapegoat of any wrong in any town or city using uncompleted projects in such place as a deliberate wish of the governor and the APC.

According to the sources, the PDP is working seriously to ensure that Aregbesola and the APC lose the strong base it has in Osogbo, the state capital by watering down his love in the heart of Osogbo residents.

To achieve that, the PDP allegedly resolved to sell a story that Osogbo is being marginalised in the Aregbesola’s administration with too little number of appointments and that the governor is victimising prominent Osogbo indigenes who are members and supporters of the APC.

The PDP also resolved to discredit the Aregbesola’s achievement in Osogbo by watering down their essence and dissuading indigenes of the city from commending him on the ground that Osogbo deserved more infrastructural development than what it is on ground, compared to the votes given to the governor.

The medium learnt that the PDP has been recruiting people to carry out the hatchet job.

For Iwo Federal constituency, the PDP sources disclosed that the dilapidated Osogbo/Iwo road was chosen to launch the hate campaign against Aregbesola and the party.

The story to tell the people of the Federal Constituency, according to the sources, was that Aregbesola deliberately refused to reconstruct the road as a mark of lack of concern for the plight of the people of Iwoland.

It was also gathered that the PDP members resolved to play devil’s advocate by telling the people of Iwoland that Aregbesola did not treat the Secretary of the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti well and attempted to frustrate him out of office.

“They wanted to paint a picture that Aregbesola does not like Iwoland and that is why the SSG is being marginalised by his administration”, said the sources.

The sources also said that the PDP allegedly concluded on embarking on campaign of calumny with the ongoing Gbongan/Osogbo road dualisation which has gone on for more than two years which was initially earmarked for it.

“At the meeting, the party concluded to poison the mind of the people of Gbongan, Ode-Omu and other communities that the Gbongan/Osogbo road is serving. The people engaged for the job will be telling the people that Aregbesola has bastardised the economy of the area with the non-completion of the road”, the source disclosed.

It was gathered that the PDP has begun move to source for fund to implement these strategies.

Senator Ademola Adeleke, who is representing Osun West Senatorial District at the Senate, two other people in Lagos and one of the recently inaugurated caretaker committee members have been penciled down as financiers of the project.

PDP Is Unhealthy To Rule Osun – APC

By Toba Ajisafe

All Progressives Congress, State of Osun has maintained that Peoples Democracy Party is unhealthy to rule the State, irrespective of their gubernatorial candidate.

This assertion was contained in the statement by the Party’s Directorate of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barr. Kunle Oyatomi, made available over the weekend to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo.

APC reacting to speculations circulating concerning gubernatorial candidate of PDP, said, “whether or not the opposition plans to entice some elements in APC to make the PDP win, they will lose.

It was also noted that, “no matter who is chosen as PDP flag bearer  for the 2018 governorship in Osun, or whoever jumps ship from the APC to gang up with the PDP,  the ruling party will still win convincingly”.

According to the Statement, it was highlighted that,  “what the PDP failed to understand, is that it has such a terrible image in the state that no matter who, from the APC defects to PDP,  the good people of Osun can’t choose PDP as an alternative to APC, notwithstanding what happened in Osun West Senatorial District in June this year.

”So, those who may be tempted to jump ship and aligned with the PDP are very well aware of the monstrosity they will be moving into; an action that will amount to cutting their noses to spite their faces.

“PDP in Osun suffers multiple political defects, which worsen by the day, as a result of the lack of respectable, focussed and dignified leadership that Osun people can trust.

The APC further argued that, although a personality appears to encapsulate everything that’s wrong with the PDP leadership, the problem however runs deep in the rank and file.

“Osun PDP appears to be structured on a heartless, capitalist business model which end-goal is profit at all cost, no matter whose ox is gored’, the APC alleged.

APC accused PDP has been riotous, it was also alleged that , ”the use of violence by the PDP has become such a nasty part of their DNA, that rather than gain the people’s confidence,  they earn rejection – that’s why the PDP can’t win the governorship election in Osun.

” The PDP’s reckless and baseless antagonism to virtually everything Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has done since 2010, including the party’s proclamation to reverse all of it, make the PDP not only detestable, but also unelectable in the state of Osun.

‘”The party is terribly unhealthy politically to govern the state ‘, the APC concluded.

Odds Aregbesola Must Surmount

The season of politics and politicking is nigh, no doubt! This is particularly so of the State of Osun where the tenure of the incumbent Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, is gradually winding down. It is therefore natural that those who want to succeed the ebullient governor should be putting their acts and political wiles together. This is also a season that witnesses countless endorsements, anointment and preferences of one politician or candidate over the other. This is the season of rumour, believable and unbelievable. This is the season of harvest of falsehoods, blatant lies and utter untruth. And, most of the time, the incumbent is always at the receiving end of this political tricks and subtle blackmails from within and without his political enclave.

The Guardian newspaper publication of Sunday, March 19, 2017 entitled, “Osun 2018: Odds Aregbesola Must Surmount,” is one such political propaganda weaved together to score cheap political goal.

The writer, Leo Sobechi, chronicled an omnium-gatherum of lies and hearsay about the incumbent wanting to contest a senatorial seat and planning to install an amenable successor. It is ideal to start the response by stating that Governor Aregbesola is a Nigerian and a bonafide indigene of Osun with the inalienable right to vote, be voted for, even nominate aspirants for elections, if, where and when he so desires. Besides, he is the incumbent governor, who has not only done well for the State, but also has the right to a “favoured successor,” whom he believes can continue with his visionary leadership and ambitious development of the state. To an understandable extent therefore; and like any other political leader worthy of his office, it will not be out of place for him to be honoured with the right of first refusal – of putting forward an aspirant, who he thinks shares the same vision with him and will not derail from the ruling party’s progressive ideals.

This exactly is what has been working for Lagos. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not only exhaust his two terms tenure, he shopped for and left Lagos in the hands of a competent administrator.
This philosophy has continued till date and that is why Eko has been on a developmental pedestal unrivaled by any state in the country. Aregbesola is not losing his sight on this if Osun should – and Osun must not derail – to continue its developmental ascension.
This said, Sobechi’s ignorance of the facts on ground even manifested in his inability to understand that Aregbesola’s Chief-of-Staff bears Gboyega Oyetola, and not Diekola Ejigbo as he would want Nigerians to believe. Again, while most Nigerians had hitherto been of the opinion that the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun and Senator Isiaka Adeleke were in the same camp and that the former was even the latter’s political stooge, for reasons known to him, the writer betrayed the man behind the mask too early in the day with his portrayal of Adeleke as an unstable politician – unstable as water; and a rank bigot; and that’s not good enough for the image of either the former governor of Osun State or the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.

It’s also common knowledge that a writer bereft of history is a writer adrift. Otherwise, how on earth could Sobechi have forgotten that Adeleke’s senatorial nomination and eventual victory at the 2014 election were tied to the benevolence and popularity of Aregbesola? How soon has he forgotten that, but for Aregbesola’s insistence to field him, despite serious objections from his Federal Constituency, Lasun certainly wouldn’t have been elected a House of Representatives member, let alone his elevation to the position of Deputy Speaker of the Lower Chamber? When these facts are placed on the table, will it be out of place to say that Sobechi’s highly flawed piece was sponsored only to promote backstabbing and conscience mortgaging as trades?

Had Sobechi been conversant really with the political structure of Osun, the attempts to make him elevate an Osogbo-based politician, Fatai Oyedele Diekola to the level of a significant political figure in Osun would not have been. Sobechi’s reference to Diekola’s recent outburst where he castigated the Governor and threatened to make impossible Aregbesola’s desire to anoint and produce a successor flies in the face of logic. Indeed, his celebration of this comment by Diekola makes more manifest, the fact that Sobechi was invited to chronicle an affair the substances of which are not available to him. From his ward, to his senatorial levels, Diekola’s leaders have disowned him. His royal father, the Ataoja of Osogbo and his entire chiefs recent courtesy call on the Governor was a tacit move by the entire Osogbo establishment to disown him.

In the words of Seneca, “a person’s fears are lighter when the danger is at hand.” Matter-of-factly speaking, one does not know whether or not the governor has a candidate or will be presenting or supporting an aspirant for elections to the coveted seat. However, contrary to the fallacious allegation of non-performance on the part of governor, let it be restated here that when the succession battle eventually takes-off, Aregbesola’s achievements and track records, especially, in infrastructure and human development, will be more than sufficient to take the battle to the doorsteps of those who have turned themselves into his adversaries.

On the used, dumped and disgraced Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, well, though a bit too late, the patient, eloquent truth is that the dismissed jurist has learnt some salient lessons enough to last a lifetime. Any wonder discerning minds saw quickly the motive behind the feigned Internally Displaced Pensioners (IDP) protest where she was sighted recently in Osogbo; another instance of the many evil machinations targeted at the person and government of Aregbesola.

There’s no doubt that Aregbesola is still the man to beat in Ife-Ijesa zone, where he comes from (assuming you narrow it down to a senatorial relevance.) Of course, what further evidence do you need than the humiliating trouncing of Iyiola Omisore of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the 2014 governorship election in the state? In spite of the massive deployment of Federal Government’s military might and resources in support of the carcass called PDP, Omisore’s defeat at the election no doubt asserted Aregbesola’s popularity in the zone. That’s not all! It is also a confirmation that, given the opportunity again, the governor will not only repeat the feat of August 9, 2014 judging from massive jobs done by him between then and now, his sterling performance will also go a long way in translating into votes in his favour.

The Osun East Senatorial District, where the bellyaching adversaries want Nigerians to believe that Aregbesola is unacceptable is one that has witnessed massive development in six years of the Aregbesola administration. Not only the prominent cities of the zone -Ife and Ilesa- have witnessed massive transformation, the entire district continue to be home to new roads, new schools, and other facilities that define the infrastructure provisions of the moment.
By now, right-thinking persons have reduced the ‘joke’ of “Lagos-based” as bandied by the so-called “home-based” politicians to a wicked comedy. Maybe be Diekola has also forgotten that all who’ve governed Osun State since inception were not living in the state as at the time of their elections. While Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke reportedly came from the United States to contest in 1992, Bisi Akande was living in Lagos before he became, first Secretary to the Oyo State Government (SSG), later Deputy Governor to the late Bola Ige, following the impeachment of Sunday Afolabi. They need to be reminded also that Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola was a ‘Lagosian’ before he came to govern Osun State between 2003 and 2010. Here again, one wonders if the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is so much favored in Sobechi’s tale by moonlight, is “home-based” going by the warped arguments of the sponsors of this campaigns against Aregbesola.

From the foregoing, though politraders may always want to have their say, it is an unambiguous truth that what Osun needs at a time like this is visionary leadership as typified by the likes Aregbesola. Where they come from is immaterial. And that is and should be our take in selecting Aregbesola’s successor.

• Komolafe and Owolabi wrote in from Osun State