Osun Political Transfer and The Intricacies By James Bamgbose

Osun Political Transfer and The Intricacies

By James Bamgbose

Analyzing Nigeria’s political system, especially within Osun State, requires a multifaceted approach considering its complex dynamics. Nigeria operates as a federal republic, with power divided between the federal government and 36 states, including Osun. Like many other African countries, its political landscape is often characterized by issues such as corruption, ethnic and religious tensions, and governance challenges. However, the Nigerian political landscape is often characterized by complex dynamics, including ethnic and religious diversity, corruption, and power struggles.

In Osun State, like in much of Nigeria, the political scene is dominated by two major parties: the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). However, smaller parties also play significant roles, especially at the state and local levels.

I have no intention to ruin the excitement of Osun APC about their new brides, Omooba Dotun Babayemi and Dr Akin Ogunbiyi. The tumult surrounding the political event is unconscionable. Despite the change of leadership, Osun APC sustained its befuddled path in its quest to get power.

The two biggest political events that shook Osun political wave were the amalgamation of the 2018 SDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, which handed the APC candidate, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola a paltry lead of fewer than 500 votes in a controversial and violent-ridden 2018 gubernatorial rerun poll and the official political transfer of the SDP candidate to APC in 2021.

Despite the political muscle of Omisore adding to the APC and the then incumbency muscle, one could have expected the 2022 gubernatorial election to widen the difference, but it could only get APC 46.62% of the total votes while PDP got 50.14% of the total votes. I will not disparage Otunba by trying to draw a comparison between him and the new brides.

From my observed Osun voting trend, one can discover that politicians can only account for less than 25% of votes in any poll in a free and fair election exercise, which emphasizes the importance of recognizing the role of other factors such as grassroots mobilization, socio-economic conditions, and identity politics. While politicians may wield considerable power, especially in terms of resource allocation and policy decisions, the electorate’s choices are influenced by a myriad of factors beyond just political affiliations.

While I’m not going to play the card that Dotun Babayemi is a nobody in politics. He has been a “visible player” in the West Senatorial District since 2011. The first and the only time his name appeared on the ballot (to contest) was in 2019 under ADP, and he got 42,915 votes in the Osun West Senatorial District election. Just like many people believe, the 40 NASS members from LP were only favored with political calculations, so I believe that the 40,000+ votes Omooba got were through political calculations.

The gubernatorial candidate of ADP in 2018 was the former SSG, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, who got 49,743 votes. Alhaji and Omooba are from the same district, so it could be easy to point out that one impacted the other. To tell who impacted the other, let’s fast forward to June 2019 when Dotun Babayemi decamped to PDP. He only crossed ADP with an imaginary 4,000+ followers out of the 42,915 voters. Amazingly, this happened in less than 5 months.

I sincerely appreciate the sullen act of Baba Mutual Benefits Assurance. However, it has already been reported by Osun defenders that he already decamped in July 2023. But for jamboree and attention, his name was included in their boorish statement. If Omooba Dotun Babayemi can only move from ADP to PDP with less than 10% of his 2019 vote number less than 6 months after election, I wonder what percentage Akin Ogunbiyi will migrate from his 4515 votes 21 months, maybe less than 10% too.

The timing of APC’s move to incorporate Babayemi and Ogunbiyi is critical as it reflects an underlying strategy to bolster the party’s standing ahead of future electoral contests. However, this does not correct the prevailing dissatisfaction with the APC’s past governance by Osun people.

If an election were held tomorrow, I believe that Governor Adeleke would not only win but do so with a significantly larger margin than before. The people of Osun State appear to be leaning towards leaders who offer tangible changes and practical solutions over those who engage in political grandstanding and cosmetic adjustments to their ranks.

While the APC’s initiative to welcome Babayemi and Ogunbiyi might yield their media optic anticipation, the “defection party” might create a buzz and draw some attention. However, it will never translate into regained trust or improved public perception. The APC lost this even before it began and the desperation to welcome whoever knocked on its door just to sell a nonexistent political standing says it all.

James Bamgbose writes from Ward 4, Igbajo, Boluwaduro East LCDA, and can be reached via email at bamgbosejames9@gmail.com.

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