The race towards 2023 gubernatorial election in Oyo state is gathering steam. Various gladiators in the opposition party have thrown their hats into the ring; with each picking the fifty (50) million naira expression of interest and nomination forms without batting an eye.
There is Chief Bayo Adelabu, former Governorship candidate, Senator Teslim Folarin, Engineer Akeem Alao Oyedele, and Professor Adeolu Akande running for the party’s flag. In all, about six aspirants will jostle for the party coveted ticket in the primary. The eventual winner will then slug it out with the incumbent Governor, Seyi Makinde in the general election.
As it stands, most of the contenders appear relatively calm in matters of political clout, financial war-chest and the wider reach that can unseat a sitting Governor. Keeping in mind the numerous crisis rocking the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). From the planned defection of the deputy governor, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, to the neglected cries and hues of the aggrieved party members, most of whom are waiting to fleece on the party for what they perceived as imposition, unfair and unjust treatment meted out to them. The list of troubles facing the ruling party is enormously overwhelming.
Should APC come out stronger after its primary (which is very unlikely), it has the clear chance of dislodging GSM from Agodi government’s house. In other words, the race for the party ticket appears too close to call but with the knowledge of hindsight, one can predict with accurate degree of certainty the likely aspirant who may clinch it. Needless to say the victory appears tilted towards one aspirant ahead of others.
For instance, the strongly worded declaration speeches of both Chief Adebayo Adelabu and Senator Teslim Folarin caught the state government off guard and appear critical. They both lampooned the government’s handling of security and other vital issues around the business of government. Separately, their scathing speeches reflected some unimpeachable realities, party of which forced the government to launch a counter attack; while in others their speeches sounded far from the reality. As expected, it didn’t take long before the state government fought back in its characteristic manner.
Through its mouthpiece, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the government promised to take the two opposition bigwigs on a tour of the various infrastructural strides embarked upon and commissioned by Governor Seyi Makinde in the last three years. It is unclear whether that invitation would be honored by the two notable politicians.
In the essence, the crucial question remains whether APC has what it takes to defeat the incumbent in the next election. First, there is no ambiguity in that. In so far as government is run by people, they can never be perfect. In other words, once imperfect sentient continue to rule over the affairs of the people, there will always to shortcomings and deficiencies, the likes of which opposition can always bank and capitalize on to win election and blackmail occupants of positions they are also eyeing.
Given that the current government has its iniquities, part of which are in the public knowledge, the question of whether it can lose next election or not appears inconsequential. Just like APC lost to PDP in the last poll despite the latter’s eight years rule, the current PDP can also lose if care is not taken. The mighty power of incumbency is no longer a big factor in winning election, in the light of the current political reality that seems to push people towards the rough edges of ethno-religious divides. For example, late Senator Abiola Ajimobi, with all his astuteness and artistry could not even stop the imminent defeat of his party in 2019 elections despite his jinx and record breaking eight years rule.
In short, time will definitely tell whether Governor Seyi Makinde is going to survive the political tsunami that is about to descend on his party in the next year election.
OYO101, is Muftau Gbadegesin’s opinion on issues affecting Oyo state, is published on Saturdays. He can be reached via email@example.com and 09065176850