By Eric Elezuo and Timothy Edaki
Come September 22, 2018, a plethora of political gladiators will lock horns in election combat. The prize? The mantle and seat of Abere Government House, home of the Osun state governor. Already, campaigns have begun in earnest, promises to take the state to the apogee have been heard, ‘experience is all that counts’ is also a slogan; let new voices be heard is another mantra flying around but the big question on the lips of the voters is how will the elected fare and why should the promises each of the aspirants is spitting be believed?
Importantly, one must commend the women in the race; Mrs. Mercy Ayodele of the Restoration Party of Nigeria and Ms. Jumoke Lawoyin of the National Rescue Movement. Their presence is a testimony that the womenfolk is gradually and steadily rising to the challenge, and picking up the mandate hitherto left with their male counterpart. Whatever the outcome of the election on September 22, the women in the folk will be praised for their efforts – it is a step in the right direction.
Already the Independent National Electoral Commission has said that 48 parties have been cleared for the election, however, it is common that while some are real contenders based on their popularity and structure already put in place, many others are pretenders. Going by the fires the aspirants are spitting, the election promises to be very interesting and keenly contested even as the primaries presented no less an intriguing contest. One cannot therefore, but consider the prism of fireworks the election promises to dispense.
For the ruling party in the state, the All Progressive Congress (APC), a new card was played which practically deviated from using the delegate system of election which is in fact the routine and opted for the direct method which gave power and franchise to members of the party in the various wards to choose their own aspirants. This move elicited a number of controversies as some of the party’s members were against the move, stating that it smacks of favouritism and was filled with shenanigans of unfairness to favor the eventual winner, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.
Following the drift in the APC, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti defected to the Action Democratic Party on the last day of submission of candidates name to INEC and following a hurried primary, he was crowned as the sole candidate for the party.
Meanwhile, the major opposition party was having its own crises as Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi who came second has vowed to get to the end of the earth to get his mantle from the said winner, Senator Ademola Adeleke. Petitions were written for the exercise to be conducted again or the votes be recounted but everything seemed a futile approach.
Senator Iyiola Omisore, a former deputy governor of the state emerged as the flag bearer of his new party, the Social Democratic Party in what could be termed a landslide victory in a primary election led by Dr. Bayo Faforji. However, that was not without its own raise of dust as another primary led by Chief Ademola Ishola using delegates method produced Mr. Kehinde Atanda as its candidate.
The Accord Party on its part gave its mandate to a United States of America based cleric of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Olopade Okunola.
While a number of the candidates have experience having served in one way or the other in the political space, the people of Osun State would be looking forward to voting that person who appears certain of fulfilling promises made during the campaign, not one who would turn a deaf ear to their pleas once they assume power. They will be seeking to vote an individual who has what it takes to lead the state to the proverbial Promised Land.
Below are the men and women, one of whom will occupy the prestigious Abere government House.
IYIOLA OMISORE – SDP
A former deputy of the state of the state, Iyiola Omisore was born on September 15, 1957, into a royal family in Ile-Ife, where he also grew up. He is the son of Oba David Olajide Omisore and the grandson of Lowa Omisore, both of Ayepe, Olode.
Iyiola is also the grandson of the Late Olufewara Kabiyesi Oba Titus Adetoba of the Oseganderuku ruling house in Ifewara where his mother, Princess Emila Adejola ruled as Regent until her death in 2006. In August 2006, his father was crowned as the first Olu of Olode Town in Ife South Local Government Area of Osun State.
Senator Omisore began his educational career at the SS Peter and Paul Roman Catholic School in Ile-Ife before proceeding to St. John Grammar School Ile-Ife, Osun State, for his secondary education between 1972 and 1977.
He later attended Federal Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State and the Technology College, Reading UK. Where obtained a diploma Certificate in Electrical/Electronics Engineering.
With two engineering degrees and a postgraduate certificate from Brunel University Uxbridge, as well as a Ph.D in Infrastructure Finance from the International School of Management, Paris, France, Omisore was set to excel. He is currently undergoing his DBA programme at the same institution.
A Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, England and Wales, he has undergone several courses in different high profile institutions including Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA; ABS Academy, Athens, Greece; University of Carolina; West London College; Harvard University and the Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklungg GmbH, Germany.
In January 2013, he completed and was awarded a Doctorate Degree by the International School of Management in Paris.
Omisore commands so great an influence in the political space of Osun that he won an election while in detention. He has held so many offices as a legislator including chairmanship of committees.
Many however, believe that his administration, if he wins, will be full of excuses and complaints having been quoted as saying that it will take 22 years to clean up ‘Aregbesola’s mess’ in Osun State. they said he will blame whatever inadequacy on previous administration.
ADEMOLA ADELEKE – PDP
The PDP flagbearer gained political limelight when his brother, a serving senator, died in mysterious circumstance. He promptly filled the vacuum after winning the by-election in what many called ‘sympathy vote’.
A serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ademola Adeleke was born to the family of Ayoola Adeleke – a Muslim father and Nnena Esther Adeleke – a Igbo Christian mother on May 13th, 1960 in Enugu. His father was Late Senator Raji Ayoola Adeleke the Balogun of Ede land in Osun State, a second republic Senator with the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Adeleke commenced his primary education at Methodist Primary School, Surulere Lagos then relocated to Nawarudeen Primary School, Ikire in the Old Oyo State. He progressed to The Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School, Ede also in the then Old Oyo State and later moved to Muslim Grammar School Ede. However, he did not finish his education at Muslim Grammar School[ as he later left Nigeria to study abroad with his two other brothers on a scholarship. He started higher studies at Jacksonville State University Alabama in United State of America where he was majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Political Science.
He is known as an accomplished businessman and administrator, making waves with lake brother, Isiaka. The man who has come to be known as ‘dancing senator’ will need to fight off the stigma of certificate forger to lure voters to his side if he must have anything to do wit Abere Government House after September 22.
GBOYEGA OYETOLA – APC
Currently the Chief of Staff to the Governor of State Osun, Gboyega Oyetola is described as a man endowed with untold skills that cut across politics, finance management, business and public administration. Through a dint of hard work, Oyetola has steadily progressed in the affairs of life.
Born in his native native Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of Osun clan, Oyetola attended Ifeoluwa Grammar School in Osogbo for his secondary school education which he completed in 1972 and proceeded to the prestigious University of Lagos where he bagged a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Insurance in 1978. He followed it up with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the same institution in 1990.
Oyetola’s professional life kicked off in 1980 when he joined Leadway Assurance Company Limited as Area Manager and worked there till 1987 and joined Crusader Insurance Company Limited as Underwriting Manager between till 1990. He moved again in 1990 to Alliance and General Insurance as Technical Controller and served in that capacity until 1991. In the same year, he set up his own Company, Silvertrust Insurance Brokers Limited, which he managed until his appointment as Chief of Staff in 2011.
A technocrat of great repute, Gboyega Oyetola’s progress in politics has been encouraging. He was a founding member of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the state of Osun and has been a chieftain of the party through its metamorphosis to Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now All Progressives Congress (APC). Also, he has assisted the party nationally, particularly in the State of Osun.
Political watchers believe he can swerve the votes to his side with the help of the much-touted Federal might. Already, his party has unleashed a 63-member committee comprising men versed in election matters.
Below are the parties and candidates ready to slug it out on September 22
- Party – Accord
Governor – Julius Olapade Okunola
Deputy Governor – Azeez Kayode Jimoh
- Party – AA
Governor – Ogunmodede Adeloye
Deputy Governor – Adepoju Timothy Adetunji
- Party – ABP
Governor – Oludare Timothy Akinola
Deputy Governor – Halimat Bunmi Ibrahim
- Party – ACD
Governor – Genga Afeni
Deputy Governor – Oni Esther Oluwatoyin
- Party – ACPN
Governor – Rufai Adebisi Mujidat
Deputy Governor – Agboola Peter Oluremi
- Party – AD
Governor – James Olugbenga Akintola
Deputy Governor – Abdulhakeem Oyeniyi Bello
- Party – ADC
Governor – Fatai Akinade Akinbade
Deputy Governor – Arowolo Oladele
- Party – ADP
Governor – Adeoti Moshood Olalekan
Deputy Governor – Durotoye Adeolu Akinbola
- Party – AGA
Governor – Kehinde Olufemi Lawrence
Deputy Governor – Lawal Oluseyi Afusat
- Party – AGAP
Governor – Adejola Adebayo Rufus
Deputy Governor – Adebayo Adewale Olaolu
- Party – ANRP
Governor – Alarape Babatunde A.
Deputy Governor – Adelu Ayoade David
- Party – APA
Governor – Adeleke Adesoji M.A
Deputy Governor – Agbonmagbe Tosin Omowumi
- Party – APC
Governor – Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola
Deputy Governor – Benedict Olugboyega Alabi
- Party – APGA
Governor – Oluwatoki Adetokunbo Adedayo A.
Deputy Governor – Adefila Mary Olaitan (Nee Olaleke)
- Party – APP
Governor – Ekundayo Ademola Precious
Deputy Governor – Ojo Olugbenga Samuel
- Party – BNPP
Governor – Olapade Olajide Victor
Deputy Governor – Dunmade Adejoke Wuraola
- Party – C4C
Governor –Ilori Titus Oluwafemi
Deputy Governor – Alabi Temitayo Kadijat
- Party – DA
Governor – Mutiu Abiodun Ibrahim
Deputy Governor – Fafioye Hammed Abiodun
- Party – DPC
Governor – Aderemi Aree
Deputy Governor – Onitayo Yemisi Mary
- Party – DPP
Governor – Solomon Ayodeji Oni
Deputy Governor – Issa Ademola Aderibigbe
- Party – FJP
Governor – Babatunde Salako Joseph
Deputy Governor – Onifade Saheed Alade
- Party – GDPN
Governor – Adetipe Adebodun Abiola
Deputy Governor – Ajiboye Funke
- Party – GPN
Governor – Rafiu Shehu Anifowose
Deputy Governor – Oluwatoyin Adebayo
- Party – HDP
Governor – Adedoyin Adegoke Joshua Oluwole
Deputy Governor – Olawale Adesoye Adewumi
- Party – KP
Governor – Fabiyi Oluseyi Olubunmi
Deputy Governor – Ibrahim Adekunle Akande
- Party – LP
Governor – Babatunde Olaniyi Loye
Deputy Governor – Aderonke Adebayor Jabar
- Party – MMN
Governor – Raphael A. Feranmi
Deputy Governor – Ariyo Sunday Sina
- Party – MPN
Governor – Lawal Ganiyu Akanfe
Deputy Governor – Idowu Kayode Olusegun
- Party – NCP
Governor – Kamarudeen Kalemi Abiodun
Deputy Governor – Lawal Temitope Serifat
- Party – NPC
Governor – Olaniyi Anthony Fadahunsi
Deputy Governor – Abdulrasheed Afusat Olanike
- Party – NEPP
Governor – Jegede Hannah Taiwo
Deputy Governor – Rebecca Adeleke Oladepo
- Party – NNPP
Governor – Adefare Segun Adegoke
Deputy Governor – Adeyeye Nurudeen Adeyemi
- Party – PANDEL
Governor – Adebayo Rasheedat
Deputy Governor – Ajibola Fatimat
- Party – PDC
Governor – Kolawole Rafiu Ojonla
Deputy Governor – Oladapo Deborah Oluwatoyin
- Party – PDP
Governor – Ademola Nirudeen Adeleke
Deputy Governor – Albert A. Adeogun
- Party – PPA
Governor – Adedokun Musbau Olalekan
Deputy Governor – Ibrahim Bukola
- Party – PPC
Governor – Ifeolu Kehinde Adewumi
Deputy Governor – Sunday Makinde Babawale
- Party – PPN
Governor – Akintunde Adesoji
Deputy Governor – Akanmu Saheed Abiodun
- Party – PRP
Governor –Badmus Tajudeen Adefola
Deputy Governor – Olajire Gbolahan
- Party – PT
Governor – Adegboyega Aderemi
Deputy Governor – Usman Omobolaji Taofeek
- Party – RP
Governor – Ayodele Mercy Tosin
Deputy Governor – Adejumo Mukaila
- Party – SDP
Governor – Iyiola Omisore
Deputy Governor – Lawal Azeez Olayemi
- Party – SNP
Governor – Ayoade Ezekiel Adegboyega
Deputy Governor – Omolade Anike Adebayo
- Party – SPN
Governor – Alfred Adegoke
Deputy Governor – Lameed Gafar
- Party – UPN
Governor – Adediji Olanrewaju Adewuyi
Deputy Governor – Alabi Ola-Olu Adeniyi
- Party – UPP
Governor – Odutade Olagunju Adesanya
Deputy Governor – Karonwi Festus Olamilekan
- Party – YDP
Governor – Adebayo Adeolu Elisha
Deputy Governor – Aleem Atinuke
- Party – YPP
Governor – Adetunji Olubunmi Omotayo
Deputy Governor – Salawu Kareem Adeniyi
The pertinent question however remains, who will wear the crown?