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{SPECIAL REPORT} 2023: State Of Play Of APC, PDP Candidates In Osun

{SPECIAL REPORT} 2023: State Of Play Of APC, PDP Candidates In Osun
  • PublishedFebruary 24, 2023


  • PDP Likely To Win 6 Reps, 2 Senatorial Seats
  • Osun Central, 3 Fed. Constituencies As Battlegrounds

Ismaeel Uthman

THE much anticipated 2023 general elections will hold tomorrow, February 25. 

Tomorrow’s elections are for Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates. 

Osun has three senatorial districts (Central, West and East) and nine House of Representatives seats. 

A total of 30 candidates are contesting the senatorial election across the three senatorial districts of the state. 

Also, a total of 78 candidates are contesting for the nine House of Representatives seats.

All the 18 political parties have candidates for the National Assembly election, according to the final list of candidates released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

However, few of the political parties have noticeable presence in the State of Osun, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) have consistently remained dominant parties in the state. 

Labour Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM) are part of the noticeable parties in the state. 

OSUN DEFENDER observed that the presidential candidates of the APC, PDP, LP and NNPP, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso are the most popular in the state.

But the presidential election is largely between the APC and PDP candidates, while either of the LP and NNPP candidates will come a distant third. 

The medium noted that there are some prevailing factors that will shape the outcome of the presidential election for both APC and PDP.

Besides, each political party and their candidates need extra effort to mobilise the electorate down to their various polling units to avoid low turnout of voters, according to findings.  

The current cash crunch and fuel crises have dampened the morale of some of the electorate, especially those that need vehicles to convey them to their various polling units. 

Presidential Election

OSUN DEFENDER noted that ethnic sentiment favours Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC, to some certain extent among the electorate in the state.

The medium noted that some electorate who are not members of the APC have decided to vote for Tinubu for being their kinsman. 

Some of the potential voters who spoke with the medium in Osogbo, Ife and Iwo on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, said: “We are voting for Tinubu because he is a Yoruba man. We don’t want another Fulani man to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Among the potential voters who spoke with the medium were PDP members who believed that it is Yoruba’s turn to produce the next president. 

However, it was not certain whether the sentiment will take Tinubu far in the election. 

This is just as some electorate have vowed to vote against Tinubu because of their impression that his emergence would further put a threat to Governor Ademola Adeleke’s mandate. 

The electorate alleged that the tribunal judgment that nullified Adeleke’s mandate was influenced, adding that “If Tinubu emerges as the President, both Appeal Court and Supreme Courts will be manipulated to declaring former governor Adegboyega Oyetola as the winner of July 16, 2022 governorship election.”

OSUN DEFENDER noted that Tinubu’s large chunk of votes will come from Osun Central Senatorial district, while it was expected that his votes in Osun East and Osun West senatorial districts will be abysmally low.  

Investigations by the medium revealed that APC’s campaign structure is weak in both Osun West and Osun East senatorial districts. 

Besides, the medium noted that the noticeable disunity among members of the APC will tell on the electoral fortune of the party’s presidential candidate. 

The medium had in its last edition reported that the internal crisis rocking APC is yet to be settled.

OSUN DEFENDER noted that former governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s camp known as IleriOluwa and loyalists of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, are yet to close ranks as of the time of filing this report.

This is happening in spite of the dissolution of The Osun Progressives (TOP), a group populated with Aregbesola’s loyalists in December 2022. 

It was noted that the Presidential Campaign Council in the state are dominated by the IleriOluwa camp of the party, while Aregbesola’s loyalists were not being carried along in the campaign.

A political analyst, Segun Akinola, said the presidential election may go the way of the July 16 governorship election, stating that Tinubu will not win Osun.

In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari polled 347,634 votes to defeat his closest contender, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP who had 337,377 votes in Osun.

 National Assembly Election

A noticeable factor that will affect Tinubu’s electoral fortune in Osun is the strength of his party’s candidates for the Senate and House of Reps election. 

The votes for each of the national assembly candidates will also shape the outcome of the presidential election in the state. 

Findings by this medium revealed that PDP will retain its current three House of Reps seats (Oriade/Obokun, Ife and Ede/Ejigbo/Egbedore Federal Constituencies). 

The PDP is also likely to win Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu, Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin and Ila/Ifedayo/Boluwaduro federal constituencies. 

However, Ayedaade/Irewole/Isokan federal constituency is a battleground for APC and PDP. Hon. Taiwo Oluga, the incumbent lawmaker representing the constituency is a member of APC and she is a candidate to beat. But Irewole local government was, as of the time of filing this report yesterday, posing a threat to her return to the green chamber. 

The Osun West Senatorial candidate of the PDP, Akogun Lere Oyewumi, is from Ikire, headquarters of Irewole local government of the state, while the House of Reps candidate of the party, Mr. Akin Oladebo, is from Apomu, Isokan local government.

In 2019, Oluga polled 36,876 (48.78%) votes to defeat PDP candidate, Bukola Adebisi who had 31,956 (42.27%) votes. Also, the total number of votes for the APC in the federal constituency during the July 16, 2022 governorship election was 43,558 (51.45%) while PDP had 38,373 (45.33%) votes. APC won Ayedaade with 14,527 votes, Irewole with 18,198 votes and Isokan with 10,833 votes. 

Permutations of political analysts as to who wins Ayedire/Iwo/Olaoluwa federal constituency, was still dicey as of the time of this report, yesterday. The APC candidate, Hon. Yinusa Amobi, who is currently representing the constituency, is facing a serious challenge in Iwo, headquarters of Iwo local government. Amobi’s major contestant, Mr. Mudashiru Lukman of the PDP, is from Iwo and his campaign structure spreads across the nook and cranny of the ancient city. 

Findings by OSUN DEFENDER also revealed that the APC in Ayedire local government is engulfed in internal crisis which may negatively affect Amobi’s electoral fortune. But Olaoluwa local government is a promising ground for Amobi. He defeated Lukman in 2019 with 7621 vote margin. Amobi polled 29,229 (42.82%) votes against Mudashiru’s 21,608 (31.66%) votes. But the July 16, 2022 governorship election result indicated that PDP and APC were neck-to-neck in Ayedire and Iwo local government. APC polled 17,421 (48.89%) votes while PDP got 16,914 (47.47%) votes in Iwo local government. In Ayedire local government, APC got 7,868 while PDP polled 7,402. But APC defeated PDP with 1,918 votes in Olaoluwa local government. APC polled 9,123 against PDP’s 7,205. 

Ijesa South Federal Constituency (Atakunmosa East/West/Ilesa East/West) is also a battle ground for the PDP and APC. The incumbent lawmaker representing the constituency, Hon. Babatunde Ayeni, is from Ward 10, Ilesa West local government while his opponent, Sanya Ominrin is from Ward 10, Tobalase village, Atakunmosa East local government. Both Ayeni and Ominrin are grassroots politicians who have their campaign structures across the federal constituency. Ayeni polled 41,867 (57.65%) votes to defeat PDP candidate, Dapo Adelowokan, who had 30,760 (42.35%) votes in 2019. But PDP won the federal constituency in the 2022 governorship election. The total number of votes got by PDP was 39,480 (49.10%) while APC had 38,279 (47.60%) votes. PDP won in Atakunmosa West and Ilesa West while APC won in Atakunmosa East and Ilesa East local governments. 

However, the scale of political violence in the federal constituency could reduce the turnout of voters in the Saturday’s election. The APC and PDP had been trading words on the trend of political violence in the federal constituency. OSUN DEFENDER noted that no fewer than seven persons have been killed by political thugs in the federal constituency. 

On the senatorial election, PDP will retain Osun East Senatorial Districts and likely to win Osun West Senatorial District. Findings by this medium revealed that the incumbent Senator Francis Fadahunsi is a leading candidate in Osun East. Besides, the APC candidate, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, has a very weak campaign structure in Ife federal constituency and Oriade/Obokun federal constituency, according to observation. In 2019, Fadahunsi polled 114,893 (50.49%) against Famurewa’s 105,720 (46.47%) votes. However, APC defeated PDP in the senatorial district with a margin of 1,793 votes in the July 16, 2022 governorship election. APC won in Atakunmosa East, Ilesa East, Ife Central, Ife East and Ife South while PDP won in Ilesa West, Ife North, Atakunmosa West, Obokun and Oriade local governments. 

In Osun West Senatorial district, findings by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that the APC candidate, Dr Amidu Tadese, was as of the time of filing this report, finding it difficult to convince aggrieved members of the party to support his ambition. In spite of having the incumbent Senator Adelere Oriolowo as the Director General of his campaign, Tadese, it was observed has a noticeable weak campaign structure in Ede/Ejigbo/Egbedore Federal Constituency. This is just as his chances in winning the election in Iwo and Isokan are very slim. His opponent, Akogun Lere Oyewumi is contesting for the second time. He was defeated by Oriolowo in 2019 with 4,863 votes. Oriolowo polled 102,157 (41.38%) votes against Akogun’s 97,294 (39.40) votes. But PDP won the senatorial district with 27,698 vote margin in the last guber poll. The total number of votes gotten by the PDP was 144,558 while APC had 116,860 votes. PDP won Ede North, Ede South, Ejigbo and Egbedore while APC won in Ayedaade, Ayedire, Irewole, Isokan and Iwo local governments. But PDP is likely to win Irewole and Isokan this time around because of the Senatorial and House of Reps candidates in the two local governments. 

The PDP and its candidate for Osun Central Senatorial district, Olubiyi Fadeyi, popularly known as Ajagunla, are confident of winning the senatorial election, while incumbent Senator Ajibola Basiru is struggling to return to the Senate. OSUN DEFENDER noted that PDP’s confidence was built on the result of the 2022 governorship election in which the party won in eight local governments. The party won in Boluwaduro, Ifelodun, Ila, Irepodun, Odo-Otin, Orolu, Olorunda and Osogbo local governments while APC won in Boripe and Ifedayo local governments. 

However, it was noted that complacency has set in for the PDP and its candidate, Fadeyi. There were complaints from electorates who spoke with the medium that Fadeyi was not accessible and does not make himself available for them. 

But Basiru, popularly called SRJ, is running an intensive campaign, having realised the weakness of his political party. This is just as the Senate Spokesperson is facing an homebased challenge, as the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun Oyetunji and some other prominent indigenes of the state capital are not supporting his ambition. The turnout of voters in Osogbo for one of them will go a long way in determining Basiru’s fate. 

OSUN DEFENDER noted that the power of incumbency will assist the PDP in getting more votes in all the elections

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