By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
As the 16 July, 2022 governorship election in Osun State draws nearer, political gladiators in the state are gearing for a massive showdown.
There are two main political parties in the state, who are dominant.
The two parties; the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are also the main parties across the country except in the Southeast where All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has established itself as a force to reckon with in Anambra State.
As part of the preparation for the election, both APC and PDP are in the process of picking their candidates.
For this governorship election, issue of zoning has been relegated to the background unlike before. What has been in the front burner going by feelers from across the state is the desire to elect the right person to move the state to greater heights. That’s not to say that few people are still not clamouring for the West Senatorial district to produce the next governor, but their voices have been drowned by those shouting merits and the ability to deliver on campaign promises.
APC as the ruling party is set to hold its governorship primary election on Saturday 19th, 2022. The primary is going to be a straight fight among the incumbent Governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon, Lasun Yusuff and former Secretary to the Osun State government in the administration of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.
Alhaji Moshood Adeoti
Moshood Adeoti started his political career from the grassroots in 1988. He was elected a councillor in lwo Local Government where he served as member, Health, Revenue Mobilisation Committee and the Directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructural (DFFRI), monitoring committee. He was also the secretary, committee on the creation of more local governments out of the then Iwo Local Government.
He was appointed local government supervisor in 1991. He later emerged as coordinator of the National Conference of Local Government, Iwo (August 1993-September 1993). Adeoti was also the administrative secretary of the defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) Iwo Local Government. Earlier in 1978, he was the general secretary, Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), youth vanguard, Iwo Local Government, elected delegate of UPN and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the governorship, national and state assemblies in 1983 and 1990/1993 respectively.
Chief Bisi Akande (ex-governor of Osun) also appointed Adeoti as the chairman, transition committee Iwo Local Government (June 2002- May 29, 2003).
Adeoti’s ability to relate with people at the grassroots cut across the state. He was the pioneer chairman of Action Congress (AC) which later metamorphosed to APC.
He was appointed as the Secretary to State Government in Aregbesola’s administration. He contested and lost the APC primary election to Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola before the 2018 election. After the loss, he joined the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and eventually contested the governorship poll on the platform of the party. He came fourth, garnering 49,742 votes.
He also has the support of the members of the factional The Osun Progressives (TOP), who has promised to dethrone Governor Oyetola.
Hon. Lasun Sulaimon Yusuff was the former House of Representatives member for Irepodun/Olurunda/Osogbo/Orolu. He was once a youth leader in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). He was also the state Public Relations Officer of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) before and during Chief Bisi Akande’s administration.
In 2011, he ran for a legislative seat in the 7th National Assembly as the representative of the Irepodun/Olurunda/Osogbo/Orolu Federal Constituency. He won on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He was appointed Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Water Resources. He was also a member of the Constitutional Review Committee.
Lasun was elected to the House of Representatives for a second time on the platform of the APC in March 2015. He was elected the Deputy Speaker of the 8th House of Representatives by 203 members of the House of Representatives, a position he held until he left.
His strength lies in his having occupied various political positions at both state and federal levels and also a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
However, the aspirant seems not to be deeply rooted in the three senatorial districts of the state. As such, he is not seen as being a serious contender in the race to fly the APC flag.
Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola is the incumbent governor of Osun State.
His political journey started with the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He was a staunch member of the party throughout its metamorphosis to AC, ACN and now the APC.
In July 2018, he contested the APC primary election with Lasun Yusuff, the then Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Nojeem Salaam, Dr Samuel Ibiyemi; Publisher, Nigerian NewsDirect Newspapers, Adelere Oriolowo, Moshood Adeoti amongst others and won.
He was sworn in on November 27, 2018.
He is the incumbent governor and the leader of the party in the state. He has all the party’s structure and apparatus with him. He also has the backing of the National Secretariat of the party.
Oyetola is also rooted in all the three Senatorial Districts because the majority of the political stakeholders are with him. He enjoyed the current political mobilisation through his special adviser on Civic Orientation and Engagement, Hon Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, who has worked tremendously to reach the nooks and crannies of the state to further enrich his political movement ahead of the primary and governorship elections.
Also, the political structure that Oyetola and his predecessor, Rauf Aregbesola built during the former’s tenure is being reinvigorated as the leader of the party.
APC Chairman in the state, Prince Gboyega Famodun has also been able to secure the loyalty of majority of the members of the party.