Osun PDP: A decade of waiting By Samuel Ogunyinka

A mission impossible as the game of thrones it has being for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State after leaving the governor’s seat in 2010.

It calls for not a load of empathy for one to come to the realization that the reign of PDP in the State of Osun has become a one-time tale, of which only its narration often calls either a light of smile or a bulky frown to the face of a teller, always.

Ten years, still counting and the wait of the umbrella party seems to be proving a one with no definite end, considering the manner at which the political tradition and ruling culture of the state in recent years often gives a fitting sitting governor the chance of spending a second term to make a cumulative eight years in office, the record which the incumbent governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, of the All Progressive Congress (APC), will undoubtedly love to use all the power within his reach to defend.

Although, that the record will be successfully kept by APC or woefully broken by PDP, is in the hands of the people of the land of the virtue to decide, in 2022.

However, it must be noted that the political system of the country has always been a two-party system that one may link to the reason these two parties are always each other’s strongest oppositions, of cause many other parties also do contest in elections, the likes of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) among others, but these political parties haven’t gained their stand well in majority of local governments, states and the nation at large.

It would be recalled that the state which was created in 1991 was being administrated by a military man called Leo Segun Ajiborisa, till the time of Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, the first governor to be elected in 1992-1993, from him to different military administrators; Anthony Udofia 1993-1996, Anthony Obi 1996-1998 and Theophilus Bamigboye 1998-1999 who succeeded each other accordingly.

The Home Coming of Agbada (Democracy)

In April 1999, the people of Osun state leaped for joy, as they opened their eyes to their dream of having a democratic government again in the state coming through Chief Adebisi Akande of Alliance for Democracy (AD), a party which was later formed as a political arm of the Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere. He was elected as the second civilian governor, and he succeeded Colonel Theophilus Bamigboye, who handed over power to him on 29 May, 1999.

While many have regarded the building of the State Secretariat, Abeere as Akande’s greatest achievement, some have continued to knock him for his inability to manage insecurity that arose from his feud with his deputy, Iyiola Omisore.

In the titanic sweepstake, extraneous actors such as party leaders, presidency, inspector general of the police, Afenifere (a yorubal socio-cultural group) and traditional rulers were not left out of the crisis that led to the impeachment of the first Deputy Governor of Osun-State in the Fourth Republic, Otunba Iyiola Omisore and the subsequent assassinations of Hon Odunayo Olagbaju the then Osun State House of Assembly member and, the Federal Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, who was also deputy leader of Afenifere.

2003: The Umbrella Year (Oyinlola)

The umbrella reign began in 2003 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dominated the AD at polls. The PDP governorship candidate, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola defeated Akande, the sitting governor. The party also cleared the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate elections.

Against all odds, Oyinlola was reelected in 2007, after the election, the candidate of the Action Congress (AC) that was later changed to All Progressives Congress (APC), Engr. Rauf Aregbesola filed a petition with the Elections Petition Tribunal against his victory. The tribunal rejected his petition. Aregbesola appealed the decision, leading to a fresh hearing in 2009.

On 26th November, 2010, the court of appeal in Ibadan presided over by Justice Clara Ogunbiyi ruled that Oyinlola had not won the 2007 election and that Aregbesola should be sworn in as governor.

Oranmiyan: A New Dawn (Aregbesola)

Rauf Aregbesola took his oath of office as the 4th Executive Governor of Osun on the 27th November, 2010. Ogbeni (Mister), like the tittle he adopted while branding the state’s citizens as Omoluabi (the virtuous one), in his first term as governor of the state, Argebesola outlined his goals for the state: to banish poverty, banish hunger, banish unemployment, restore healthy living, promote functional education and enhance communal peace and progress which he pursued and achieved to some extent.

2014: The Return of Oranmiyan

After weeks of trading accusations between the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party, the Osun gubernatorial election came to end on August 10, 2014, nearly 24 hours after polling units commenced.  At 7:30am, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that incumbent Governor, Rauf Aregbesola of the APC, had been reelected by a margin of more than 100,000 votes. 

The final vote count was 394,684 for Governor Aregbesola, 292,747 for PDP candidate Senator Iyiola Omisore and 8,898 for Labour candidate Fatai Akinbade.

In his second term, Aregbesola faced an impeachment attempt, as an Osun State Judge, Justice Oloyede Folahanmi, wrote a petition to the State House of Assembly in June 2015, requesting his impeachment on claims of financial mismanagement despite owning government workers some months salaries.

After many delay, a panel was set up by the House to probe Aregbesola, who appeared before the panel, which later found him not guilty of the allegations raised by the judge.

2018: The Lord’s Promise (Oyetola)

Unlike the national and state level elections which held in 2019, the Osun state gubernatorial elections took place on 22nd September, 2018, due to the year Aregbesola was sworn in which changed the cycle entirely.

The election was won by Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of APC, and this makes Aregbesola the first governor to handover power to his party candidate in the history of the state.

Although, the umbrella party strived to gain back the seat of power as their candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke, won at the first ballot.

He later lost after the rerun but dragged the election results that announced Oyetola as the winner in court. Many believed the election result was manipulated and that Adeleke who won clearly should have been returned elected.

The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Joseph Fuwape, who was the State Returning Officer (SRO) explained that the election was declared inconclusive based on the ground that the total registered voters in different seven polling units where elections were cancelled because of some indecent acts of over-voting and violence was 3,489votes and since the figures were more than the 353votes difference which PDP led APC with.

The 2022 Gubernatorial Election

As of this moment, it is difficult to predict a winner for the 2022 guber election considering the crisis between the two major parties, the ruling APC and opposition PDP.

The cold war between Governor Oyetola and his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior, escalated over the past ten days. While Oyetola failed to attend nor congratulate Aregbesola’s wife, Sherifat, during her 60th birthday last week, Aregbesola returned the favour during the Governor’s 66th birthday on Tuesday. Aregbesola, an avid twitter user who had several tweet engagements on Tuesday failed to acknowledge the birthday of his successor.

After so many denials, it is safe to conclude that there exist a difference between the camp of Oyetola (IleriOluwa) and that of Aregbesola (Oranmiyan).

The PDP is however not left out of crisis as the recent removal of the state party chairman, Mr Soji Adagunodo, by the National Working Committee (NWC), over alleged malfeasance, maladministration and anti-party activities, seems to be taking a toll on the party.

Moreover, days count as time ticks, the end of time is yet to be certain, only an end of term and here in life, it is yet to be over until it is over. The eagerness of the people of the State of Osun will be quenched in the 2022, the year of another election when the 10years would be 12, and all will see if a dozen of years will be enough years of grooming for an umbrella to prevent the broom from the showers of power, or the broom will still be fit enough to sweep the umbrella back to his place, again. All with peace, and fairness!

Samuel O. Ogunyinka, a social analyst wrote in from Agunbelewo, Osogbo.

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