Jaiyeola Andrews writes that the recent victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s All Progressives Congress (APC), in Osun West Senatorial by-election, is a pointer to what to expect in the 2019 elections in APC controlled states.
The Osun West Senatorial by-election may have been conducted, won and lost, but there is a political lesson to be learnt in the outcome of the election. During the run up to the election, it was a straight fight between the ruling – All Progressives Congress in Osun State and the opposition – Peoples Democratic Party.
The occupier of the seat at the Senate and the first civilian governor of the state, late Isiaka Adeleke had died under questionable and controversial circumstances leaving his seat at the Senate vacant culminating into a by-election for the vacant Osun West Senatorial district.
The candidate of the PDP in the election, Alhaji Ademola Adeleke, who is the younger brother of the late senator, was a member of APC before defecting to PDP after his candidature in APC was annulled by perceived powers that be in the state. It was glaring that Governor Rauf Aregbesola, preferred Senator Mudasiru Hussain who was eventually cleared to run on the platform of APC having been earlier disqualified by the party.
Prior to the by-election, both parties threw caution into the wind, engaged in bitter war of words all in an attempt to swing voters to their side. Even, Adeleke’s family who were miffed by the role of Osun State government in the handling of the autopsy of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke strategised on how to defeat the choice of the governor at the by-election which came to pass.
`At the end of the contest, Ademola Adeleke of PDP won 9 out of the 10 local council areas polling 94, 480 votes as against the 66,116 votes secured by Aregbesola’s anointed candidate, Mudashiru Hussain.
In Ede North Local Government Area, Adeleke of the PDP polled 18, 559 votes, while Hussain of APC got2, 784 votes. Also in Ede South, Adeleke secured 13,406 votes while Hussain got 2,096 votes. APC polled 7,179 votes in Ayedade Local Government Area to PDP’s 9,061.
In Iwo Local Government Areas, the PDP secured 12,547 votes, while APC got 12,205. Also in Ejigbo, the APC secured 12,229 to PDP’s 9,723. In Irewole Local Government Area, APC had 8,952 votes while PDP got 9,096 votes. PDP equally polled 5,789 votes in Ayedire Local Government Area to APC’s 5,360 votes.
In Olaoluwa Local Government Area, Hussain secured 5,316 votes to Adeleke’s 5,618, while in Egbedore Local Government Area PDP secured 7,142 votes to defeat APC which had 4,768votes. In Isokan Local Government Area, Adeleke defeated Hussain with6, 539 votes to 5,227.
At the end of the exercise, observers adjudged the election to be free and fair saying there was lno room for manipulations.
The outcome of the by-election is a pointer to the fact that as obtained in the past, the might of the ruling party may not decide the outcome of elections but performances and good governance will.
APC Kicks, Senatorial Candidate Accepts Results
After the declaration of the result which went in favour of the PDP, Senator Mudasiru Hussain in the spirit of sportsmanship, accepted the outcome of the election and vowed not to challenge it at the court of election tribunal.
Hussain was quoted to have said; “The election was free and fair. I am very satisfied with the result. I will not contest it in court.’’ This comment from the APC candidate is commendable as this will in no small measure douse tension in the senatorial district if he had taken a contrary stance.
But the Acting Chairman of Ondo State chapter of APC, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, held contrary position to the defeated candidate of his party in Osun State. He was quoted to have said at the party’s secretariat in Akure, the Ondo State Capital that ‘’the last Saturday senatorial by-election in OsunWest Senatorial District was between the APC and the APC.
“The victory recorded in the election was not for the PDP but for the aggrieved members of the APC in the state.’’
However Adetimehin sees the outcome of the result, the PDP won the election and sending strong signal to the ruling – APC that winning the governorship election in the 2018 governorship polls may be a herculean task for Aregbesola and his party.