Oyetola, Adeleke, others back to ‘battlefront’ Saturday

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The Independent National Electoral Commission will on Saturday conduct the Osun State governorship election. BOLA BAMIGBOLA writes on the manifestos of the candidates ahead of the election

No fewer than 15 political parties will be fielding candidates in the July 16 Osun governorship poll. Some parties are perennial participants, while about five of the parties and candidates have been actively canvassing votes through many means.

From the incumbent governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, seeking re-election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, to the man he defeated in the 2018 poll, Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, there is also in the race, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi of the Accord Party, as well as the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Lasun Yusuff, who is the standard-bearer of the Labour Party, while Mr Goke Omigbodun is running the race to be governor on the platform of the Social Democratic Party.

While criss crossing the state, meeting people and speaking on their plans, the candidates prioritised job creation, agriculture, education, and security in their manifestos.


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Adegboyega Oyetola (APC)

An indigene of Iragbiji in Osun State also the incumbent Governor, Oyetola has been preaching continuity everywhere he has campaigned so far. As an alumnus of the University of Lagos, he came into the governance set up in Osun State in 2011, when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff by the immediate past governor of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola.

Before his venture into politics, Oyetola had 30 years of cognate experience in the private sector, engaging in diverse businesses. He held the position of Chief of Staff till the twilight of Aregbesola’s tenure in 2018 when he emerged as the APC candidate, and went on to win the governorship poll at the runoff, having trailed the PDP candidate in the first ballot.

Oyetola, backed by a campaign team led by the Senate spokesperson, Senator Basiru Ajibola, has visited all the 30 local government areas in the state, making specific promises based on the demands laid before him.

Specifically, Oyetola has promised to improve education, by ensuring more monitoring using the Quality Assurance Committee and Edu Marshal to check ruancy among the pupils.

He also assured more support for the Amotekun Corps to prevent crime, expressing a desire for the operatives to bear arms since they would be after criminals carrying sophisticated weapons.

Ademola Adeleke (PDP)

He replaced his elder brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, in the Senate at the demise of the man who served as the first civilian governor of Osun in the aborted Third Republic.

Adeleke’s political stock since his election into the Senate in 2017 has continued to rise, having been the PDP candidate in the 2018 election and then holding a slender lead over the candidate of the ruling party at the poll, Oyetola.

Although Adeleke eventually lost the runoff election to Oyetola, his party’s decision to give him another chance to run provides him with a second chance at the governorship in 2022.

He has promised improved security by providing better equipment for police and utilising neighbourhood watch to supplement the efforts of traditional security agents.

He has also promised investment in agriculture to empower unemployed youth, while education, if elected, he said, would be made more flexible to enable pupils to learn vocation alongside formal education.

Akin Ogunbiyi (AP)

The Chairman, Mutual Assurance Benefits, an insurance company, is contesting the governorship poll on the platform of the Accord Party and has traversed every part of Osun seeking votes.

Ogunbiyi cut his political teeth with the PDP, where he contested the 2018 governorship ticket of the party but lost it by seven votes to Senator Ademola Adeleke.

Since 2018, the Ileogbo-born businessman has remained one of the dominant forces in Osun political space, and his new party appears to have gained traction since he joined it. He was an alumnus of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) where he bagged a degree in Agriculture Economics.

Job creation through mining and agriculture topped the campaign promises of Ogunbiyi, as he assured that 100, 000 jobs would be created within one year of his administration, while security through recruitment of more capable men into the Amotekun Corps would also be given utmost attention.

Besides meeting different groups across the state and unfolding his plans before them, Ogunbiyi has also been using a mobile public address system mounted on vehicles to push his campaign messages in major towns.

Goke Omigbodun (SDP)

 Omigbodun of the SDP is the only indigene of Osogbo, where the majority of the voters are domiciled, in the governorship race and has a rich family history that he can leverage to ride into power.

His late father, Ven. Julius Omigbodun, was the first graduate in Osun Division, and he served as the pioneer principal of the Osogbo Grammar School and the first Chairman of the then Osogbo District Council.

Omigbodun is an alumnus of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), where he bagged a first degree and a Masters in Architecture. He worked with Chief Bisi Akande’s government, serving as the Chairman of Osun State Property Development Corporation.

He was also the State Programme Monitoring Adviser of the United Nations Development Program in Osun and also worked in the administration of the ex-Osun governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, as a Special Adviser to the Governor on Inter-Party Relations.

Omigbodun’s well-structured campaign has been based on education, revitalisation of the economy through trading and the use of technology to fight crime and generate income. Also, at every opportunity to campaign, Omigbodun has spoken on the need to block leakages in government finances.

Lasun Yusuff (LP)

The Ilobu-born ex-federal lawmaker was in the House of Representatives for two terms between 2011 and 2019, capping his tenure with the seat of the Deputy Speaker, which he occupied between 2015 and 2019.

Also, an alumnus of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), where he bagged a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Yusuff has been ever present in Osun’s political space, especially since the return of democracy in 1999.

His tenure as a member representing Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu Federal Constituency at the Green Chamber was a period of boom for many members that were either appointed as aides or empowered through other means.

Lasun Yusuff was a member of the APC until a few months back, when he resigned his membership. He later joined the Labour Party and emerged as its governorship candidate.

The ex-parliamentarian, who often prides himself on being one of the biggest investors in the economy of Osogbo, is promising economic empowerment for women and the creation of a strong economy that will be agri-based, where people can trade and make the taxable income that the government can use to run the state.

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