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Who is the Next Landlord of Agodi Government House?

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•Ajimobi? Ladoja? Akala? Folarin? Seyi Makinde?

In a rare analysis that pays attention to data, real but often ignored political permutations,

Kareem Amusat examines the chances of all the leading candidates in the 2015 gubernatorial election in Oyo State: Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), former governor Rashidi Ladoja of Accord, former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now Labour Party, Senator Teslim Folarin of PDP and Engr. Seyi Makinde of the Social Democratic Party (SDP)…

As the D-Day knocks on the door and the election is just a question of days, the people of Oyo State have been bombarded with lots of opinion polls on who is the next landlord at Agodi Government House? It’s a poll galore. One can predict that as the election approaches, there will be more of these ‘scientific’ opinion polls by politicians who want to win the election at all cost.

However, as these politicians try to tilt their opinion polls in their favour, the people of Oyo State must not be deceived. They must be clearly educated by the right data and analysis.

The result of 2011gubernatorial election in Oyo is a good reference here. It is a clear pointer to what the outcome of the 2015 gubernatorial election will be in the state.

In that 2011 election, all the three leading candidates of 2015 gubernatorial election participated. They are: Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ANC) now All Progressives Congress (APC), former Governor Alao-Akala of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), now of Labour Party, and Senator Rashidi Ladoja of the same Accord.

Senator Teslim Folarin tactically supported Governor Ajimobi while Engr. Seyi Makinde did not participate at all in the 2011 gubernatorial election.

The pertinent question that will support or give a lie to the rash of “scientific opinion polls”, rampant in the last one or two months, is what has changed between 2011 gubernatorial election and 2015 gubernatorial election in Oyo state?

One difference is the emergence of Senator Folarin as the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). With his emergence, his godfathers in PDP who worked closely with him to support the incumbent Governor Ajimobi in 2011 election are now solidly behind him in the PDP. Thus a seeming setback for Governor Ajimobi as the coalition that brought him has collapsed.

As Governor Ajimobi now suffers political setback in Ibadanland especially in Ido, Ibadan North, Ibadan North-west and Ibadan South-east, one will recall that Senator Folarin,Chief Yekeen Adeojo,Senator Lekan Balogun and other PDP chieftains worked for the success of Senator Ajimobi at the 2011 poll.  Governor Ajimobi is also losing the coalition members in Oke-Ogun. His benefactors have either resigned from active politics or are in Labour Party.

Going by this development and the people’s perception of his government as not having a human face, Governor Ajimobi’s stronghold has been reduced to Ibadan South-west, Oyo East, Oyo West, Afijio, Iseyin, Akinyele Local Governments due to General Buhari’s popularity among the Hausa communities and Lagelu Local Government. Senator Ladoja demonstrated with the 2011 gubernatorial election results that he’s a man to beat in Ibadanland where he garnered 207,308 votes. In other zones of the state, Ibarapa, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Oke-Ogun and Oyo, his performance was anything but woeful. In other parts of the state, Senator Ladoja had less than 70,000 votes.

The present predicament of Accord is the gale of defection by the aspirants who failed to get the party’s ticket. Accord had 241 aspirants, a majority of who have left the party today.

As Accord is trying to get over the defection of its loyalists, Engr. Seyi Makinde emerged the gubernatorial candidate of SDP. Engr. Makinde is from Ibadan North-east, the ‘headquarters’ of Accord. It will take a lot of efforts by Accord not to lose most voters in the area to Engr. Makinde given his resources and philanthropic activities.

The Accord’s stronghold remains shaky both in Egbeda where PDP’s House of Representatives’ candidate has taken most of Accord members along with him to PDP and Ibadan North-east, where he got the largest number of votes in both Ibadanland and Oyo State.

Accord had 38,282 votes in Ibadan North-east Local Government following the 2011 governorship election result, thus it will be very difficult for Accord to repeat the feat it recorded in the 2011 election in Ibadan. It is a known fact that Accord barely existed outside Ibadanland

The result of 2011 gubernatorial election showed that former governor Alao-Akala, formerly of the PDP, now of Labour Party, has its strongholds in Oke –Ogun, Ogbomosho and Ibarapa. His major advantage is the style of politics of Senator Folarin who has not ventured out of Ibadan to directly woo the people of Oke-Ogun and Ogbomosho; rather he leaves the job to the PDP leaders in those areas. These leaders may not be able to go against the wishes of their people as one of them is flying the flag of Labour Party. Senator Folarin, however, has the former Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs in Alao-Akala’s government, Senator Hosea Agboola aka Halleluyah as his main man in Oke-Ogun.

The Labour Party’s other advantage is the presence of Ibadan politicians who had decamped from APC to Labour Party before the coming of former governor Alao-Akala. The present Labour Party in Oyo seems a coalition of Oke-Ogun, Ogbomosho, Ibarapa and Ibadan. It may be difficult for other political parties to defeat this coalition.

More than any other political party, Alao-Akala’s Labour Party, seems set to win the gubernatorial election in 2015. Will the rotound Boodaa Baayo, enjoy an encore?

*Amusat is a political analyst based in Ibadan

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