Two governorship candidates have emerged after factions of the Osun State chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) concluded their primaries ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state.
The faction led by Ademola Ishola produced Munirudeen Atanda, as candidate, while the Bayo Faforiji-led faction elected Iyiola Omisore as candidate.
The development is an offshoot of the leadership crisis within the party occasioned by the defection of Mr Omisore to the party from the Peoples Democratic Party.
The leadership contention, which is now a legal matter, arose due to failure of the party to harmonise the various interest groups within the party following the arrival of Mr Omisore.
Mr Ishola, supposedly suspended by the party, had continued to lay claims to the leadership of the party along with his executive members.
Pointers to Wednesday’s outcome were the separate congresses earlier held by both factions where delegates were elected for the primaries. This is in spite of a court order secured by Mr Ishola forbidding the other faction from holding a congress of wards, local governments and state.
However, the primaries by the Ishola-led faction was held at on Wednesday, at the SDP Secretariat on Gbongan road, Osogbo to elect its candidate.
Mr Ishola, after the exercise, urged members of his faction to disregard the exercise carried out by the other faction.
He said there was no division in the party, and urged them to campaign vigorously for Mr Atanda.
At a separate primary where Mr Omisore emerged, Rufai Alkali, the returning officer and chairman of the party’s electoral panel said Mr Omisore polled 123,485 votes to defeat Mr Atanda, who scored 1,617 votes from all the 31 local government areas in the state.
In his reaction, Mr Omisore said he was excited that he emerged the candidate of the party, adding that he had earned the confidence of party members in electing him as the candidate.