….His long walk to Govt House
…We’re studying outcome, Oyetola tells supporters
…Buhari, govs, others hail outcome
By Dayo Johnson, Regional Editor, South-West, Clifford Ndujihe, Kingsley Omonobi, Dapo Akinrefon, Henry Umoru, Samuel Oyadongha, Festus Ahon, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, John Alechenu, Joseph Erunke & Shina Abubakar, AKURE
After a tough electoral battle, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke was, yesterday, declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State.
According to the returning officer, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who is also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 375,027 votes.
The other results include Kehinde Atanda, ADP, 10,104 votes; Akinade Ogunbiyi, Accord, 4,515 votes; Yussuff Lasun, LP, 2,729; Awojide Segun, AAC, 2,148 votes; Ademola Adeseye, YPP, 1,303 votes; Awoyemi Lukuman, APM, 1,222 votes; and Ayowole Adedeji, PRP, 1,007 votes.
Adeleke’s 403,371 votes are more than the combined 401,083 votes polled by the other 14 candidates in the election. His victory did not come easy. It was aided by a number of factors including unresolved leadership crisis in the APC, mismanagement of the APC primary election, issues with selection of traditional rulers, peoples’ perceived anger with the ruling party and the governor’s inability to pay 30 months’ salary and pension arrears owed during the Rauf Aregbesola administration.
The governor-elect, Adeleke, who dedicated his victory to his late brother and botched Third Republic Governor of Osun, Isiaka Adelele, has promised to be committed to the interest and development of Osun.
Meanwhile, Governor Oyetola has told his supporters to remain calm as he studies the outcome. He also urged security operatives to ensure law and order in Osun as jubilant PDP supporters destroyed his campaign bill boards in the state.
Adeleke and PDP’s victory elicited torrents of felicitations and reactions across the country, yesterday. Those who spoke include President Muhammadu Buhari; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu; APC National Chairman, Senator Adamu Abdullahi; Governors Douye Diri (Bayelsa) Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; and the National Peace Commission led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd.
Unresolved APC leadership crisis
Prior to the election, Vanguard gathered that failure of the APC leadership to resolve the cold war between the Governor and his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola affected the party’s fortunes at the poll.
Unlike the PDP that mobilised its governors, under the leadership of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, to mediate between the warring factions, the APC went into the election as a divided house.
Though the Minister of Interior, prior to the poll, had summoned a meeting of his caucus, The Osun Progressive, TOP, where he told them not to leave the party and that he remained a committed APC member, a host of his supporters did not work for the party.
The Chairman, Ejigbo Area Office of the TOP, Mr Adeyanju Kolapo, said members mobilised against the APC in the area.
Similarly, in Osogbo and Olorunda local government areas, TOP members refused to vote at the poll, which explained the low votes recorded in the two local councils.
Issues with monarchy succession
Another factor that harmed the re-election of the Governor was the issue of succession in some towns with vacant traditional stools.
In Ikirun, headquarters of Ifelodun local government area, the community has been without a monarch since the demise of Oba AbdulRauf Adedeji.
Members of the community have been at war against one another over the issue of succession, to which the governor allegedly failed to give adequate attention.
The situation did not, however, go down well with majority of youths in the town and the election reflected the mood of the people, as the APC lost the local government to the PDP.
The same situation played out in Orolu Local Council, where the populace felt the state government tried to impose a candidate on the stool.
Post-APC primary crisis
Also, the party did not manage the fallout of its primary election adequately. After the conduct of the party primary, aspirants with grievances over the process refused to reintegrate into the party properly, hence worsening the already fragile unity within.
On the other hand, the last-minute reconciliation move by the campaign council of the PDP gave the party an edge during the poll as aggrieved members were asked to sheathe their swords.
PDP leaders like former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada; Senator Olu Alabi, Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, Dotun Babayemi and others were prevailed upon by PDP governors and reconciled with the Adeleke family. The strategic move paid off at the election.
Why we lost — APC leader
A female aspirant who was denied the ticket for House of Assembly, Olusola Adegbite, said the party leadership allowed many crises to fester, hence, many embittered party members did not show commitment to the governor’s project.
“The party leadership did not do well. When we are facing a critical election, they just left the party in deep crisis and still expected victory. It has now dawned on us all,” she said.
We avenged the rigging of 2018 — Odeyemi, ex-PDP NWC member
Speaking on the factors that led to Adeleke’s victory, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Diran Odeyemi, said many factors played out but noted that the people of the state avenged the alleged rigging of the APC in 2018.
He said: “The people of Osun State were ready to change the government in Osun State. They wanted to avenge the rigging of 2018 and perhaps, things would have changed a little if the Oyetola government had performed but the government did not do anything for the people of Osun State.
“Another thing that aided Adeleke’s victory is the commitment of the PDP members. Also, the strategy put in place played a prominent role in Adeleke’s victory.
“Also, what gave Adeleke and the PDP victory was the fact that the APC was too hostile; not only to the opposition but to the electorate. Part of the hostility was going to the campaign venues with guns and harassing the electorate and the opposition. They also denied the PDP the use of the stadium, engaged in thuggery and destruction of our banners. They made people look as if they were not stakeholders in the state.
“In fact, the APC played childishly. Davido came to play for his uncle and the APC thought they could counter him with Portable. That was how petty they were. The APC did not plan to succeed, they planned to fail and they got the result. Above all, God was on our side.”
On the tasks ahead of the governor-elect, Odeyemi said: “To whom much is given, much is expected. The people of Osun State have shown him love, their expectation is high; it is now left for us to put smiles on their faces again. We must restore their hope and bring sunshine into their lives. He will do this by implementing all our promises made to them which made them believe in us and follow our manifesto to the letter.”
Adeleke’s long walk to Govt House
The governor-elect had nursed the ambition of occupying Osun Government House since 2017 when he contested for the Osun West senatorial bye-election following the death of his elder brother, Isiaka Adeleke, a former governor of the state.
Because he couldn’t pick the APC governorship ticket to complete his brother’s tenure, he crossed over to the PDP where he became the candidate and won the Senatorial election.
He later vied for the governorship position but lost with less than 400 votes in 2018 in controversial circumstances. He tried again in 2022 and emerged victorious. He won in 17 of the 30 council areas while the governor won in 13 councils.
I’m committed to Osun’s interest, devt — Adeleke
Reacting to his victory, the governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke said his commitment is the interest and development of the state
In his acceptance speech, the PDP candidate promised to turn the state around.
Commending the people of the state for the tremendous support shown to him, he said: “I commend men and women of goodwill, the young and the old. I am overwhelmed by your love and support. Our state has turned a new page. We have launched a landmark path for progress and prosperity for our people.
“It is, therefore, with strong faith in God and trust in our people that I accept my election as the Governor of Osun State. I pledge my total commitment to the best interest of the state and her people.”
Dedicating his victory to his late brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, he said: “I dedicate this victory to my late brother, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke and every indigene of Osun State, and to all my supporters and friends.”
We’re studying outcome, Oyetola tells supporters
Meanwhile, Governor Oyetola, in his first reaction to the outcome of the election, said he has taken cognisance of the results of the governorship election, as announced by the INEC, saying he is studying the outcome.
Oyetola, in a statement by his media aide, Ismail Omipidan, urged his supporters to remain calm, and directed security operatives to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order across the state.
He, however, noted that the party would be responding appropriately after studying the results and consulting with critical stakeholders.
He said: “I am calling on our supporters to remain calm, and the people of the state to go about their businesses without let or hindrance. I also urge security operatives to ensure maintenance of law and order, to prevent breakdown of law and order.”
Why I told Ede people to vote Adeleke — Timi of Ede
Commenting on the outcome of Saturday’s exercise, the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal, yesterday, explained why he mandated his subjects to support Senator Adeleke in the governorship election.
He said he was forced to take the position after realising that the election might be Ede and Ademola’s last chance.
The monarch said: “I took the risk to mandate my subjects to support our son, Ademola Adeleke for the governor’s seat because it won’t just be his last chance but that of Ede too. Other towns in the district will want to give it a shot, hence, I had to tell my people to go in that direction and God answered our prayers.´’
Jubilant PDP supporters destroy Oyetola’s billboards
Soon after the announcement of Saturday’s election, jubilant supporters of the PDP went on a procession at Ola-Iya and other areas of Osogbo.
In the process, they vandalized billboards belonging to Governor Oyetola around the flyover at Ola-Iya area of the state capital. They chanted Imole de, which means, light has come during the procession.
Buhari, govs, Soyinka others hail outcome
Meanwhile, torrents of reactions greeted Saturday’s exercise as President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, governors, former Senate Presidents and other notable Nigerians commended the outcome of the poll.
Osun people expressed their will—Buhari
President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, yesterday, noted that “the people of Osun have expressed their will through the ballot, and the will of the people must always matter and be respected in a democracy.”
The President said that the successful conduct of the election was a further testimony to the maturity and commitment of all stakeholders – the electoral body, security agencies, political parties, the media, civil society and the electorate- to further strengthen the integrity of the electoral process in the country.
He reassured the nation that “the commitment of this administration towards having credible elections remains unshaken.”
Voice of slain Ige resounded from beyond the grave — Soyinka
Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said those who conspired to catapult the slain Bola Ige’s destroyers to unmerited national prominence have been justly served by the outcome of the Osun governorship election.
Soyinka, in a statement, yesterday, said the voice of Ajibola Ige, slain Minister of Justice, resounded from beyond the grave by APC’s defeat.
“Those who conspired to catapult his destroyers to unmerited national prominence, to insult the memories of the living, and jettison basic ethical constraints, have been justly served,” he said, adding that the outcome was “a lesson that speaks to other zones of rightful public expectations, equity, and just entitlements. One despairs but continues to hope that there are still receptive minds in which such lessons will germinate.”
Obi congratulates Adeleke, Lasun Yusuff
Presidentia candidate of Labour Party LP, Mr. Peter Obi also congratulated Senator Ademola Adeleke over his victory, and the candidate of Labour Party, Lasun Sulaimon Yusuff and his running mate, Adeola Adekunle Atanda, “for a hard fought battle and their spirit of resolve and sportsmanship, despite the outcome.”
Obi said, “To our the Obidient Movement Family and our supporters nationwide, the outcome of this particular election is not a verdict on our exponentially growing strength nationwide especially when viewed against the fact that we are barely one month old in the party and we had to contend with forces that have been entrenched in the state for the last two decades.
“However, within this very short period of only a few weeks, the Labour Party has made its presence and political impact felt nationally. We must strengthen our collective resolve not relent in our noble march to take back our country.
Much work remains to be done, hence we must focus the totality of our efforts now on the forthcoming 2023 General elections. In the fullness of time, our message of rescue and recovery will resonate through out the length and breath of the Nation and most Nigerian electorate will buy in into our mission to take back Nigeria, for the purpose of rescuing it from continued decline , shift the National psyche from consumption to production and from sharing dwindling resources to creating wealth and frontally combating poverty.
Democracy triumphed over violence — Nat’l Peace Committee
The National Peace Committee, NPC, hailed the outcome of the Osun State governorship election, and congratulated the people of the state for eschewing violence, saying their conduct “is an admirable example of proper voter behaviour to the nation, even as we look forward to the general elections in 2023.”
In a statement, yesterday, the committee said: “While the elections were not devoid of incidents, particularly the scourge that is vote trading, we commend the efforts of all stakeholders who have tirelessly worked either as ombudsmen or observers or participants to ensure that the elections were conducted according to the rules.”
The statement, tagged: Osun Election:”How Democracy Triumphed Over Violence”, was signed by the committee’s chairman and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd.
It, however, decried incidents of vote-trading recorded during the elections, advising that the criminal offence should not be treated with levity because it threatens the credibility of the process.
“We strongly decry the incidences of vote-trading recorded during the elections.
This criminal offence should not be treated with levity because it threatens the credibility of the process. It reduces the privileged selection of those who steward our commonwealth through our electoral processes, as being transactional.
“We must hold to account all who would muddy the springs from which we as a people seek to drink from collectively by such actions of bribery, both the giver and receiver,” it added.
The committee commended all stakeholders for the peaceful and credible conduct of the poll. The committee called on the winner of the election, Senator Adeleke of the PDP “to be benevolent in victory”, urging him and his political party “to eschew triumphalism that may make peace-building difficult after what at certain moments was a fractiously fought election.”
PDP sets sights on Villa after Osun victory, says Ayu
The National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyiochia Ayu, said the party has now set its sights on the Presidential Villa in 2023, after its victory in the Osun State governorship election.
Ayu, in a statement said the victory of Adeleke was a referendum of the people on the APC-led administration at all levels.
He said: “This election was a referendum on the disastrous APC stewardship, and proves conclusively that Nigerians want PDP back. And, indeed, PDP is coming!
“I also salute the Independent National Electoral Commission as well as security agencies for toeing the path of neutrality and ensuring that the votes counted. The task before us now is to transit from opposition to governance. This we shall do. With Osun done, Next is VIlla!”
Osun has provided compass into brighter future — Atiku
Similarly, former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said Adeleke’s victory has provided the compass into a brighter future.
Congratulating Adeleke on his victory, he said: “I have always had affection for the people of Osun State for obvious reasons. Yes, my wife hails from there, but if you have to walk a difficult path and you need men and women of courage and astute valour, the people of Osun will never be a disappointment.
“The referendum on the administration of the APC has commenced with the verdict of the people of Osun State in electing Senator Ademola Adeleke, while we know that the 2023 general elections will be a full referendum.”
PDP, Adeleke’s victory, affirmation of Osun peoples’ will — Okowa
In his reaction, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and Vice Presidential Candidate of the PDP, yesterday, described Adeleke’s victory as the affirmation of Osun people’s will.
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said: “The electorate across the 30 local government areas of Osun state spoke loudly and very clearly in their affirmation of their choice of Adeleke as next governor.
“The mission has just begun. Let me congratulate my brother, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on his victory in the July 16 governorship election in Osun.”
Osun PDP’s victory, a test case for 2023 general election- Diri
Similarly, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, said the victory was a massive one for the party and the candidate.
Diri, who was Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the election, in a statement by his Director, New Media, Dr Kola Oredipe, said: “I am here in Ede with my colleague, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and my very senior colleague, former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. We have been here to support our brother.
“If you will recall that on the day of our mega rally, I sang a song, and the song says “power belongs to God.” With this result by INEC, it has been proven that power belongs to God.”
It’s PDP gateway to 2023 — David Mark
Likewise, former Senate President, Senator David Mark, described Adeleke’s victory as the PDP’s gateway to the 2023 presidential and general elections.
Senator Mark, in a congratulatory message to Adeleke, said: “Your perseverance, steadfastness, focus, determination and unwavering commitment to the well-being of the citizens of Osun state has paid off. Their votes are investments and trust in you to lead them to the Promised Land.”
Adeleke’s victory was not easily attained — Saraki
Also, former President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said that Adeleke had by the victory reclaimed the stolen mandate of the PDP.
In a statement on his social media handles, Saraki said: “Today, all across Nigeria, the nation has watched as the people of Osun State have delivered a clear, loud, and strong message: Imole De— which means that light has come.
“We have watched, as the people of this great state have reclaimed their mandate and the mandate of my dear friend and brother, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP Governorship candidate, which was surreptitiously stolen at the polls exactly four years ago.”
Good beginning for PDP — Tofowomo
The lawmaker representing Ondo South Senatorial District,Nicholas Tofowomo, said Adeleke’s victory is a good beginning for the PDP. Tofowomo said: “This election is a sign that Nigerians are done with the ruling APC despite a standby bullion van for vote-buying brought to the state by the failed party.”
Use mandate to make Osun pride of all states, IPAC tells Adeleke
The Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, in Osun State, yesterday, urged the governor elect to make the state a pride of all states during his tenure.
IPAC’s chairman, Mr Wale Adebayo, in a congratulatory message, said: “We at IPAC urged Adeleke to use the mandate given to him by the good people of state to make Osun the pride of all States.”
Osun people were resilient — YIAGA Africa
Reacting to the outcome of the Saturday’s exercise, an election observer group, YIAGA Africa commended the people of Osun State for their resilience during and after the exercise.
In its report, Board Chair of YIAGA Africa, Dr Hussain Abdu, said: “YIAGA Africa commends the people of Osun for their resilience and commitment to a non-violent election. We encourage the voters to sustain their participation in the electoral process beyond the elections by holding political parties and candidates accountable for their campaign promises.
“Yiaga Africa calls on INEC to audit the newly created polling units and ensure equitable distribution of voters to the polling units. In cases where voters have been allotted to new polling units, INEC should update the voter records on its website and communicate the changes to prevent voter disenfranchisement.”
IGP hails security operatives, electorate for peaceful conduct
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali Baba, yesterday, commended security operatives and the electorate in Osun State for the peaceful conduct of the election.
In a statement, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi said: “The IGP applauds the massive deployment of Police Operatives, Specialized Units, and other human and operational assets including 3 Helicopters and a couple of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for aerial surveillance in the 3 Senatorial Districts.
“The IGP appreciates the electorate in Osun State as well as critical stakeholders for their role in collectively maintaining decorum and cooperating with law enforcement agencies, noting that the professionalism displayed by officers deployed for the election equally helped to garner trust, and ultimately led to the success of the process.”
Winners and losers
SATURDAY’s governorship election held across the 30 local government areas of Osun State threw up the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke as the governor-elect.
Many party leaders in the PDP and APC worked to ensure their parties won but some party leaders played the role of spoilers.
The major winner of the election is the Adeleke family.The patriarch of the Adeleke family was the Balogun of Edeland, a Senator.The late Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, whose iconic cap, Ademola replicated, was a Governor for two years in Osun between 1992 and 1993 before he was elected as Senator.
Ademola was fully backed by his elder brother, Deji Adeleke, in 2018 though he lost. But this time around, the whole family threw their weight behind him, both morally and financially.
Popular artiste, Davido, also mobilized to ensure his uncle emerged victorious at the poll.
The major beneficiary of the poll is the PDP. Since it was ousted in November 2010, the party had been left to sulk. But with the turnout of events, it will later this year be referred to as the ruling party in Osun.
Timi of Ede
The Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Lawal is a major winner as he committed everything towards the election of Adeleke. The monarch, however, took the risk of publicly instructing the indigenes of Ede to support their son.
Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola
The Okuku-born prince was at war with the Adeleke family over some interests in the party and had stayed away from the party activities.
But the leadership of the party prevailed on him. He did not only heed the pleas, he also attended the party’s final rally in Osogbo and delivered his local government, Odo-Otin, for the party.
The former APC chieftain and an ally of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, took a calculated risk by defecting to the PDP against all odds.
Alimi had in a chat said he does not care if Adeleke wins or loses, but he just does not want to be in the same party with Governor Oyetola.
Another major risk taker is Mr Dotun Babayemi, who contested the PDP ticket with Adeleke, which eventually factionalised the party.The Gbongan-born Prince eventually led advocacy among PDP members to allow unity and it paved the way for Adeleke’s victory.
The Osogbo grassroots politician was on the verge of leaving the party when he was prevailed upon. He stayed back and with the collaboration of other stakeholders, Osogbo was delivered.
The PDP Vice Chairman, South-West, Soji Adagunodo is the reason the party was factionalized at the beginning but he later led the peace advocacy bringing the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa team to the founding fathers in the state.
The ex-PDP Chairman in the state had wanted to leave the PDP for not getting the party’s Osun Central senatorial ticket. He, however, resisted moves to be lured into the APC at the last minute.
Odeyemi has consistently stood with the Adelekes despite insinuations that he was not committed. He proved his critics wrong. He delivered Obokun Local Government Area for Adeleke.
Professor Wale Oladipo
The former PDP scribe was focused and he did not waver despite attacks that he supported a candidate without credentials that matched his.
Francis Fadahunsi & Wole Oke
The two lawmakers, towards the election, mobilised support for the party’s candidate. Not only that, they ensured Adeleke was elected, thereby safeguarding their re-election bids in 2023.
The incumbent Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is the major loser as the internal crisis within his party worked against his re-election. Though considered a nice person and a gentleman, many opined that he did not get his politics right in the state.
Another loser is the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, whose crisis with his successor factionalised the party to the point that the progressives lost the state it went to battle to win from the PDP in 2010. Aregbesola stayed away from the state and did not mobilize support for his successor.
The former governor of the state and leader of the party also lost out, and will now be a leader of opposition in the state.
Akande made several efforts at reconciling the governor and his predecessor but his efforts yielded no result.
Senator Basiru Ajibola is another major loser in this election. He was the Director-General of the governor’s campaign council. Except he works hard for his re-election next year, he might be on the way out of the Senate.
The incumbent party chairman in the state, Gboyega Famodun, in office since 2015, will be relegated as chairman of the opposition party.
The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale, pledged to deliver 90,000 votes for Governor Oyetola. With Adeleke as the governor from November, the monarch will have to reconcile with the incoming governor.
Ex-speaker, Najeem Salaam
Also in the losers’ category is immediate past Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Najeem Salaam. He was said to have mobilised his supporters to vote for PDP which was the reason the party lost in the local government. He will have to return to the trenches but for his present federal appointment.
Incumbent Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Owoeye might be serving his last term as speaker, except the APC dominates the chamber next year. APC candidates for next year’s general election may lose if the Adeleke winning streak continues.