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FEATURE: Electoral Declination Of APC In Osun

FEATURE: Electoral Declination Of APC In Osun
  • PublishedJuly 29, 2022


Ismaeel Uthman

The 2022 gubernatorial election in the State of Osun will remain unforgettable in Nigeria’s political history, especially, in South West. The outcome of the July 16 election put an end to the 12-years of the progressive reign and returned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to government after losing power in 2010. Osun governorship election in the State always precedes the general elections and succeeds the Ekiti state governorship election.

These elections are important in marked ways. They are a stand-alone election; organised outside the regular Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) calendar. Since the highly flawed and condemned 2007 general elections, Osun, Ondo, Edo, and Ekiti states at different times have their elections conducted separately. Experience since 2014 has shown that the Osun election, perhaps because of its proximity to the general elections, which is often conducted in the first quarter of the election year, does have an impact on the general elections especially, the presidential election.

In 2014, the then governor who retrieved his stolen mandate at the court on November 26, 2010, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, defeated his major opponent, Otunba Iyiola Omisore in the election held on August 9, 2014. A total number of 20 parties and their candidates participated in the election. Osun had a total number of 1,407,222 voters registered for that election.

Out of the 696,329 electorates that voted in that election, Aregbesola polled 394, 684 amounting to 56.68 per cent (56.68%) of the total valid votes while Omisore secured 292, 747 which amounts to 42.04 per cent (42.04%). The closest to these two candidates was the Labour Party candidate who polled just 8,898 which translates to 1.28 per cent.

Aregbesola won in 22 Local Government Areas while Omisore won in eight LGAs. In terms of senatorial spread, Aregbesola won 80 per cent (80%) of votes in Osun Central and Osun West and won 60 per cent (60%) of votes in Osun East where he hails from. It is important to note that Omisore hailed from the same Osun east senatorial district. Omisore won all the local government in Ifeland (Ife Central, East, North, and South). He also won Ayedire and Isokan in Osun West, Boluwaduro and Odo-Otin in Osun central.

On the other hand, Aregbesola won Ayedaade, Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Ejigbo, Irewole, Iwo, and Ola-Oluwa in Osun West; Boripe, Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Ila, Irepodun, Olorunda, Orolu, and Osogbo Osun Central and Atakumosa East, Atakumosa West, Ilesa East, Ilesa West, Obokun, and Oriade in Osun East. Therefore, Aregbesola won all the three senatorial districts of the state in 2014. It was a landslide victory for Aregbesola with a winning margin of 101,937 votes, which amounts to 14.64 per cent (14.64) of the total votes.

In 2018 governorship election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) fielded Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff, Adegboyega Oyetola, as its candidate while the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had Sen. Ademola Adeleke as its candidate.

The governorship primaries of both the ruling APC and PDP created sharp division among these parties.  As a result, many members, including leaders of the APC and PDP defected to other political parties where they eventually became governorship candidates. Omisore of PDP decamped to the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) and was the party’s governorship candidate. Former Secretary to the State Government, Fatai Akinbade defected to the African Democratic Congress, (ADC), and emerged the party’s candidate while another former Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Moshood Adeoti of APC decamped to Action Democratic Party (ADP) and flew the part’s ticket at the 2018 governorship election in the state.

The divisions in APC and PDP affected the electoral fortunes of the parties. Unlike the previous election held in 2014 which was a two-horse race, the 2018 election was a five-horse race between the ruling APC, main opposition PDP, SDP, ADP and ADC.  

The election which was held on September 22, 2018, produced a lot of intrigues as no clear winner emerged from the first round. The first round of the election was declared inconclusive on the account of PDP candidate, Adeleke’s margin of victory being smaller to the number of canceled votes in seven polling units by INEC. As a result, the rerun election was slated for September 27, 2018. 

After the rerun election, the ruling APC polled 255,505 votes thereby defeating PDP which had 255,023. The closest was SDP which scored 128,053 votes. ADP received 49,745 while the ADC got 7,681. APC had 36.71%, PDP scored 36.64%; SDP 18.40%; ADP 7.15% and ADC 1.10%. The total valid vote was 696,007, a little decline from the 2014 turnout of 696,329.

Oyetola of the APC won 15 (50%) LGAs – a decline from the 22 won by his predecessor in the 2014 governorship election. Adeleke of PDP won in 12 LGAs constituting 40%. Omisore of SDP won in two LGAs (20%) and Adeoti of ADP won in just Iwo local government (10%).

In terms of senatorial district, in Osun West, APC won in Ayedaade, Egbedore, Ola-Oluwa, Ayedire, and Ejigbo. PDP won in Ede North, Ede South, Isokan, and Irewole. while ADP won Iwo. In the central senatorial district, APC won in Boluwaduro, Boripe, Ila, Odo-Otin, Olorunda and Osogbo. PDP won in Ifedayo, Ifelodun, Orolu, and Irepodun. In the eastern senatorial district, APC won in Atakumosa East, Ife North, Ife South, Ilesa East, Obokun, and Oriade LGAs, while PDP won in Atakumosa West and Ilesa West and SDP won in Ife Central and Ife East.     

In the just concluded July 16 governorship election, it was not a direct two-horse race between APC and PDP. The ruling APC fortune got deflated as the party was roundly defeated by the main opposition PDP. Many attributed the defeat to various reasons, ranging from intra-party conflicts to losing hope in the APC program in the state and nationally. Some people claimed that the crisis between Aregbesola and Oyetola cost the governor his reelection. Some said that the defeat was the fallout of the influence of the APC Presidential candidate, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, at the primary, and some considered his Muslim-Muslim ticket as the basis for not voting for APC. Whatever the reasons, APC fell flat at the poll. 

Record indicates that the July 16 election had a total of 1, 955, 657 registered voters. Of this figure, 1, 463, 047 collected their Permanent Voter Cards and were eligible to vote. However, only 823,124 electorate voted in the election. This amounts to 42.16% of total registered voters.

Adeleke, the winner of the election, polled 403,371 votes, amounting to 50.14% of the total vote. The incumbent governor, Oyetola, got 375,027 votes, amounting to 46.62% of the total vote. APC narrowly defeated the PDP in Osun East Senatorial District with 121,873 (48.7%) votes against PDP’s 120, 080 (47.99%). APC won in Ilesa East, Ife Central, Atakumosa East, Ife South and Ife East, while PDP won in Ife North, Ilesa West, Obokun, Oriade and Atakumosa West.

In Osun West, APC won Ayedire, Ayedaade, Irewole, Isokan, Ola-Oluwa, and Iwo LGAs while PDP won Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Ejigbo. In terms of votes, APC polled 116, 860 (43.24%) while PDP scored 144,558 (53.49%).

In the Governor’s Osun Central senatorial district which has former National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande (Ila), current State Party Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun (Boluwaduro), Director General of Oyetola’s Campaign, Senator Ajibola Basiru (Osogbo) and a host of others, the party capitulated, losing 90% of the LGAs. APC won in the Governor’s, Boripe LG, and Ifedayo. APC scored 136,294 (47.99%) while PDP scored 138,733 (48.85%). APC further declined in the number of local governments won from 15 in 2018 to 13 in 2022.

The winner of the election, Ademola Adeleke, polled a total of 403,37, amounting to 50.14% to defeat Oyetola who had 375,027, representing 46.62% of the total vote. The difference is 28,344 votes. In 2018 APC polled 255,505 thereby defeating the main opposition, PDP, which had 255,023 votes. The difference was just 482 votes. In 2014, the winning margin between APC and PDP was 101,937 votes. That shows a sharp declination of electoral fortune of the progressive government and party. 

The 2014 governorship election supposed to have recorded defeating votes for the APC, considering the controversies that surrounded the administration of then Governor Aregbesola and the deployment of federal might. It was an election year that had issues like delay in the payment of workers salary (because of the national economic downturn), protests on merging of schools, same school uniform and usage of hijab against Aregbesola. The President Goodluck Jonathan led Federal Government massively deployed security personnel, money and other logistics in support of the PDP candidate, Omisore, with a plan to intimidate the voters and defeat Aregbesola at all cost. But majority of residents of the state were in love with the governor, even after he demolished houses and other buildings to create way for the transformation of the state capital. The people happily voted for Aregbesola’s second term in the August 9 election in which the progressive party recorded the highest winning margin so far – 101,937 votes.

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