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Waiting For Victory Dance In Osun By Kunle Oyatomi



Observers and commentators who are waiting for fireworks and tremors during the campaigns and build-up to the governorship poll in the State of Osun in July this year may be in for a delectable shock. As they hold their breath for a competitive and exciting political outing by the players, they may be given a one-sided show, where all the world would be witnessing is a monopoly by Governor Gboyega Oyetola, candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Somehow, the candidate is dominating the political discourse, such that he appears to be the only figure on the ballot paper. No one seems to be noticing the others, especially the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Osun. Strangely, it is the pestilent visibility of PDP which has prepared the grounds for its ouster as a winning contestant at the election, even before the D-day.

Let’s see how the party has shot itself in the foot. First, it is a divided house, with the emergence of two candidates arising from parallel congresses. When this occurs, the affected party is not the only one that carries the can. Citizens who are non-party members get drawn into the fray. They also become split, queuing behind the factionalized personalities. In the melee, sympathy votes build up to either go the way of the opposition candidate or withheld altogether from the ballot. That’s loss for the party

The second defeatist factor brought in by PDP is one of its candidates, Ademola Adeleke. He’s a recurring bad penny. He’s a kind of abiku in Osun politics. He goes and comes every election season. He comes to take part in the poll and loses, dashing the hopes of the party and its loyalists and sends them into a mourning mood. Then he recedes into abeyance or hibernation and returns when the whistle blows for the next poll. It is a cycle that has consistently featured Adeleke.

The third factor that will work against PDP is the tag of monetized politics its candidate is bringing along. The people of Osun are not in a hurry to forget what Adeleke did the last time he had a date with them in 2018. He allegedly spent billions of naira in order to defeat Oyetola. He lost as the electorate overwhelmingly rejected him and said they preferred APC. There are fears Adeleke might break the bank this time around to get the elusive diadem.
But will the people eager for robust and principle-based politics tolerate such drab money-driven system in Osun? Of course not, given the fact that they have been exposed to a sophistication beyond the pedestal of pecuniary politics.

Having tasted the sweet and exciting pudding of governance the APC Administration of Oyetola has been giving them for nearly four years, they will not trade off that for the pittance Adeleke and his PDP will be presenting to entice them. Bi omode ba ri oyin, aju akara nu. (The child will always jettison the bean cake to make way for honey.) Oyetola will always be the preferred oyin to the undone, unturned and unformed akara of Adeleke. The people of the State of Osun are now light years away from the base valley of materialistic politics.

They can only be swayed by those who empower them through performance, ideas, integrity and visionary leadership. Money politics, as far as Osun is concerned, is now history.

So, while PDP and its choice(s) are unwittingly undermining themselves and already positioning themselves for a heavy and irrecoverable loss, APC and its confirmed and incontestable pick are flying on the wings of the great achievements of Oyetola towards the ballot day in July.

Therefore, on the one hand, the world is happily expecting the spectacle of a resounding victory for APC and Oyetola, on the other hand, it will be facing a show with a landslide triumph for the victor. True, the people are going to be excited having Oyetola back to continue with his good work. But the thrill of stout fireworks featuring strong candidates in contests of this nature is dim, no thanks to a PDP with a lackluster personality flying its flag.

The July 2022 gubernatorial poll in the State of Osun has been won and lost already. But that’s not saying anything profound. There are always winners and losers in elections, no matter how keenly fought. But according to pundits, what stands out the July poll from the crowd is that the main opposition party has worked out its own defeat with its choice of a recycled figure as its candidate, while the ruling party has earned itself an encore through the wise choice of the incumbent as the man to hoist its banner.

Oyatomi Esq is the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the APC in the state of Osun

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