Politics

Amosun, GNI, Odunsi in battle royale over Ogun number 1 seat

– How each party fairs at the moment

As the 2015, elections berth, political gladiators are in the final onslaught towards outsmarting one another for the soul of Ogun.

ENCOMIUM Weekly, however, has it that only three major political parties: Peoples Democratic Party, Social Democratic Party and the incumbent All Progressives Congress will partake in the final show anytime the election is conducted in the state, while both UPN and Labour Party will be trailing behind.

The incumbent Governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, recently inaugurated his campaign. Party members trooped out en masse to support his re-election bid but he is likely to face the stiffest political battle as some odds seem against him.

Our findings also have it that the popular word on the lips of the opposition parties is Amosun must go. The large followership being enjoyed by the governor would be put to test in a few weeks. The numerous achievements of the incumbent, notwithstanding, the Amosun must go singsong is not fading away.

ENCOMIUM Weekly can reliably inform, the battle the incumbent is facing is both internal and external. The internal wrangling in the party, mainly between Amosun and former leader of the party, Chief Olusegun Osoba, led to the defection of Osoba and some other party loyalists to the SDP.

Since the defection, things have fallen apart in the party, while all entreaties to make Chief Osoba and other aggrieved members return have hit the rocks.

As it is, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, Sen. Akin Odunsi and Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, the standard bearers of APC, SDP and PDP respectively, will be slugging it out at the polls on Saturday, February 28, 2015.

But before then, political observers believe that the result of the presidential election slated for February 14, 2015, will certainly have a bandwagon effect on the governorship polls.

If General Mohammed Buhari (rtd) wins, it may influence the reactions at the state level towards some of the voters pitching their tent with APC, while same movement will happen if President Goodluck Jonathan eventually retains his seat.

Nevertheless, the three major contenders in Ogun state are battling for the support of the electorate in the three senatorial districts – Ogun Central, Ogun East and Ogun West.

ENCOMIUM Weekly investigations have it that the bulk of votes in the state comes from Ogun Central which has five local governments with over 800,000 registered voters, followed closely by Ogun East with nine local governments and last Ogun West with five LGs.

Sen. Amosun hails from Owu in Ogun Central, and political observers said this is Mr. Governor’s strongest political base. It was alleged that 70 percent of his project lies within this senatorial district. Apart from this, Amosun’s lieutenants in Ogun West and East will also be making things go in his favour.

As it was also gathered, Amosun will have a tough time in Ogun West and East. The two other major contenders with him, Sen. Akin Odunsi and Gboyega Nasir Isiaka are from the West. While Isiaka comes from Imeko, Akin Odunsi hails from Ado/Odo-Ota local government area. Ado/Odo-Ota produced the largest votes in Ogun West senatorial district.

In Ogun East, which has nine LGs, Amosun’s administration reportedly has scanty presence. Some of his major political enemies like Prince Buruji Kashamu, Sen. Adegbenga Kaka, Hon Ladi Adebutu, Alh Rafiu Ogunleye and Alh. Agboola Alausa, are all from these senatorial districts.

But recently, the entrance of Sen Dapo Abiodun into the senatorial race has changed the gameplan in the area. Abiodun was a founding member of PDP in Ogun state, but he is the APC senatorial candidate in Ogun East. Findings revealed that Dapo Abiodun’s wide influence in the district will win more votes for APC in the general elections.

However, the state publicity secretary of the APC, Sola Lawal, is confident that the incumbent governor has performed creditably, and the people know this.

He said, “Definitely, Governor Ibikunle Amosun will be re-elected by the people. He has performed well in the area of infrastructure development and delivered the dividends of democracy to the people.”

The birth of SDP has further depleted the rank and file of APC in Ogun state.

Sources revealed that the influence of Osoba can’t be ruled out in Ogun Central politics. While majority of APC supporters are from the township, Chief Osoba’s SDP has major connections with the villages which have the bulk of votes during elections.

Apart from the central, political analysts believe SDP will have a good outing in Ogun West where the governorship candidate hails from, while they will be banking on the influence of Sen Gbenga Kaka to deliver Ogun East.

Another major contender, who has been giving the incumbent governor sleepless night is Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, the PDP standard bearer in the 2015 governorship election. Isiaka was the Peoples Party of Nigeria candidate in the 2011 governorship election in the state. Isiaka, who hails from Ogun West, an area that has long been clamouring for power in Ogun state came second in the then elections.

While Isiaka is said to be comfortable with his Ogun West political base, same could not be said of the central where some of the PDP candidates are said to be still nursing the anger from the outcome of the PDP governorship primary in the state.

ENCOMIUM Weekly, however, gathered Isiaka and his think-thank committee are working round the clock, to have a surprise show in the central.

In Ogun East, PDP is more pronounced here, with the presence of Prince Buruji Kashamu, the party’s major financier who himself is the PDP senatorial candidate in Ogun East. Prince Kashamu commands large followership in the district. His mega empowerment scheme has benefitted several thousands of people even beyond the senatorial district. Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka’s chance in Ogun East is more pronounced.

Be that as it may, a political analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: As things are now, nobody can say where the pendulum will swing. Almost all the parties have one issue or the other. Hence, predicting who will win the governorship race to Oke Mosan for now may end up an exercise in futility.

 

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