With PDP And APC in Crossfire in Osun, ADC May Become the Beautiful Bride

By uche Mbah

The Osun election is close by, and the two major contending parties, PDP and APC have been aggressive in their bid to convince the electorates-or rig the election. With the legal huddle off the neck of Senator Ademola  Adeleke, and the reconciliation meeting effected by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the PDP has kicked off their campaign in earnest. And the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola,  has been optimizing the Adeleke scandal to pursue his campaign vigorously.

But that is on the surface. Unhealthy doings are said to pervade the political atmosphere, with the fielding of Asiwaju Tinubu of his cousin as a replacement of the incumbent, who was ostensibly installed by Tinubu over seven years ago. And APC, in their characteristic way, are leaving no turns unstoned to actualize the mandate-as an analyst called it recently, by hook or by crook. For the APC it is war. First, the governor, who was reputed to be owing Osun state indigenes many months of unpaid salaries(they have even been placed on half salary), then suddenly Governor Rauf Aregbesola paid them full salary last month. Then the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was in Osun state to give soft loan of N10,000 to market women, with a caveat, that they must show their Permanent voters card. According to Adeleke, the PDP candidate, the aim is to clone and deploy false data in favor of the APC candidate, Oyetola. He also alleges that unclaimed PVC are being used by the state government for manipulation purposes. But the heaviest allegation is that of diverting the Paris Cub refund for elections purposes. This was a fund that the Federal government has not shared to other states, but about N17 billion, which was meant for staff salaries, has been diverting to electioneering activities. The PDP has accused the ruling party of planning to divert the money for bribery purposes to “INEC officials, compromised international observers as well as pay hoodlums contracted by the APC in its desperate plot to rig the September 22, 2018 Osun Governorship elections”. The Osun government, at press time, has not denied the allegations, though they are expected to. But other happenings tend to lend credence to the tale. {In a bizarre twist the Osun Accountant General Alaba kolwole, resigned his appointment under controversial circumstances, resigned. It was alleged that he resigned because he does not want to be party to the diversion of the funds meant to pay backlog of salaries to Ekiti indigenes. He immediately directed banks to stop honoring any cheque that bears his signature. Kolawole was billed to have retired since last July, but his tenure was extended by the governor till the end of Aregbesola tenure.

Governor Aregbesola has come out to accept his resignation, claiming that he is going because he has reached his mandatory retirement age. He had served the state for 31 years.

These issues may give the new party in the block, ADC, a chance to become the dark horse of the election. ADC, former President Obasanjo’s brainchild, has been dismissed by analysts as of no consequence. But sources indicate the Obasanjo wants to make a statement in Osun through the party. Since the APC candidate, whose emergence has brought so much bad blood within the party because he was practically imposed on them, is said to be Tinubu’s cousin, there is palpable anger in the state, particularly as Asiwaju was reported to have insulted the state by boasting that he is personally richer than the state. The ADC candidate, Fatai, has been an Oyinola boy-referring to former osun governor, Olagunsoye Oyinola-and supported by Obasanjo. But the driving force of the party is his running mate, Folahinmi  Oloyede, a High Court Judge retired under controversial circumstances. She became popular with he principled stand over the excesses of the Osun state government-a position that cost her her job. She became popular in the state, and in this election period, she is the beautiful bride. Sources indicate that the PDP candidate, Adeleke, invited her to be his running mate. They were still negotiating when she was summoned by the former president Obasanjo, who urged her to pitch her camp with the ADC. She finally accepted the offer from Obasanjo, based on the personality involved.

Obasanjo appears to be seing the Osun election as an opportunity to square up with Tinubu. He was said to want to make a statement by registering a presence in South west through Osun. The bitter rivalry between the two on who actually is the leader of the Yorubas is promising to turn the new party into the dark horse of the election. Tinubu, on the other hand, will not want Osun out of his hands, and will also want Aregbesola to come over to Lagos for senatorial seat. Some APC stalwarts are said to be in contact with Obasanjo’ particularly those that are not in the good books of Jagaban. Hence, as it stands now, the Osun election is too close to call. And it is promising to throw up Oloyede as deputy governor.

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