Last weekend, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented the names of 48 political parties cleared to contest the September 22 governorship election in Osun State.
Several crise trailed the conduct of primary elections in different political parties and till this period, some are yet to be addressed.
For instance, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) conducted two primary elections with two candidates emerging from same party.
The Bayo Faforiji’s faction elected Iyiola Omisore as the party’s candidate while another faction led by Ademola Ishola chose Kehinde Atanta as the party’s flag bearer. However, Mr Omisore was given the certificate of return by the national leadership of the party in Abuja.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) encountered several challenges following the adoption of direct primary method which was the first of its kind in the party’s history as party members chose the flag bearer from 332 wards.
The method was criticised by about 17 governorship aspirants of the party and many alleged that the method was adopted to favour Gboyega Oyetola tagged to be the anointed candidate of the outgoing governor, Rauf Aregbesola and the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu.
Some aspirants pulled out of the race while the Secretary to the State Government dumped the party to Action Democratic Party (ADP) to become the sole flag bearer of the party. Following his defection, several members of APC also left the party.
The crisis in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to be settled as some members have again filed a fresh suit against the party’s flag bearer, Ademola Adeleke, over his certificate.
Mr Adeleke emerged as the party’s flag bearer with seven votes more than that of Akin Ogunbiyi, who wrote a petition to the national body alleging fraud during the primary.
PREMIUM TIMES takes a look at the five major contenders and their experience in politics.
These include a former secretary to the state government, Fatai Akinbade of the ADC; immediate past secretary to the state government, Moshood Adeoti of the ADP; the candidate of the governing APC, Adegboyega Oyetola; a senator, Ademola Adeleke of the PDP; and a former senator, Iyiola Omisore of the SDP.
The winner will succeed outgoing governor, Rauf Aregbesola of the APC.
Iyiola Omisore – SDP
The candidate is not new to politics. He once served at the deputy governor of Osun state before defecting to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the platform which he used to emerge as senator representing Osun East Senatorial District.
Mr Omisore several times attempted to become the governor of Osun. He contested against the outgoing governor, Mr Aregbesola in 2014. The Ife-born politician dumped PDP to join SDP after he realised he was not going to secure the ticket of his former party.
Mr Omisore’s arrival in SDP brought about controversy after he allegedly installed his followers as executives of the party.
However, Mr Omisore being SDP flag bearer has made the party one of the leading parties in Osun State.
Gboyega Oyetola – APC
The rulling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate has been said by majority to be the continuation of Mr Aregbesola’s administration as he is currently the Chief of Staff in the state.
He is definitely the candidate to beat as he enjoys state support by both Osun and the federal government.
Mr Oyetola’s emergence was said to have been influenced by Mr Tinubu.
He bagged his first degree in Insurance and Master’s degree from University of Lagos. Mr Oyetola worked in several insurance firms before establishing his own firm, Silvertrust Insurance Brokers LTD.
The Iragbiji born politician in Osun Central Senatorial district became the state Chief of Staff in 2011.
Ademola Adeleke – PDP
The sudden death of his brother, Isiaka Adeleke in April 2017, brought Ademola Adeleke into lime light.
He joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the rulling APC failed to give him ticket to replace his brother. Mr Adeleke contested the by-election and emerged as the senator of Osun West Senatorial District.
He has been enmeshed in certificate scandal involving his secondary school certificate. He was also disowned by the American university he claimed to graduate from.
Fatai Akinbade – ADC
The ADC candidate, Fatai Akinbade, joined the Osun State government, working for over 16 years under three military administrators and then under a civilian governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
In 2003, he was appointed Secretary to the State Government by Olagunsoye Oyinlola and became the leader of the Party in the Iwo Federal Constituency in 2004.
Mr Akinbade was a contender to become PDP candidate for governorship of Osun State in the 2011 election.
He is seen as one of the major contenders in the September 22 governorship election.
Moshood Adeoti – ADP
The candidate once served as the state chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun.
Mr Adeoti was appointed the Secretary to the State Government following his role in the emergence of Mr Aregbesola. He left APC after alleging that all machineries in the primary were put in place to favour Mr Oyetola.
Mr Adeoti’s exit from APC has left the party with a major loss as 12 executive members and some other elders of the party followed him and declared their support for him.
The Iwo born politician in Osun West senatorial district is also a major contender in the race.