By: Babs-Oluribigbe Adeoye
The just concluded governorship and state constituents assembly elections in Oyo state has come and gone. But one particular thing that caught the attention of the people of the state is clear pattern of voting in Ogbomosho axis, which was totally different from what it used to be.
Prior to the governorship election, precisely after the presidential and national assembly elections held on February 23, 2019, the All Progressives Party, led by its national leader, Bola Tinubu succeeded in wooing to their camp, the strongman of Ogbomosho politics, a former governor of Oyo state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala.
This is not far fetched. Over the years, Alao-Akala due to his ability to mobilise grassroots support, has become so powerful, built loyalists around himself and used his influence to whip the rest of Ogbomosho axis into a particular line of his choice during elections.
Mr. Akala, since leaving Agodi Government house has dominated the political landscape of Ogbomosho, including Surulere, Ogo-Oluwa and Irepo. His word has always being a command, so it is not surprising when the leadership of the APC turned to him to save the day for its governorship candidate, Adebayo Adelabu.
By the time the election results are trickling in, many observers were looking forward to know the Ogbomosho axis results. When the Ogbomosho South Local Government result came in and PDP’s Seyi Makinde, who Akala had derided as “inconsequential” in politics scored higher votes, many saw it at the beginning of the end of the former governor’s political influence.
The total votes scored by APC, with the backing of Akala in Ogbomosho South were 10,984 while the PDP polled 11,236 to emerge winner in the local government. Though, the difference in number of votes, between the PDP’s candidate and his APC’s opponent were very slim, the same thing occurred in the Ogbomosho North Local Government, where Alao-Akala comes from. He (Akala) could only manage to win with just a difference of 1,407 votes, with APC’s governorship candidate, Adelabu scored 14,442 to defeat the PDP’s Makinde, who polled 13,035.
Nonetheless, the governorship election results in the whole of Ogbomosho especially that of the South, seem to have cut to sizes, the larger than life image of Mr. Alao-Akala.
That was the first time that people of the area would say ‘o to ge’ (meaning ‘it is enough’) to Akala in any electoral contest, thus made him suffered a major electoral blow in the area.
Counting the electoral success recorded by the opposition in the area without mentioning the gallant efforts and determination of the people of Ogbomosho South, will not suffice. Their independent-minded, readiness to support good causes and refused to be treated like commodities were expressed loud and clear through their votes of March 9, 2018.
Like in any struggle, where you found followers, there must also be leaders, who navigate, for people not to be misled. To achieve this laudable feat, the people of Ogbomosho South, led by leaders drawn from opposition political parties like New Progressives Movement, Social Democratic Party, Peoples Democratic Party determined to put the political influence of Mr. Akala under check.
Westernlifenews brings you the following names, among other notable individuals, whose influence brings a change to the political order in Ogbomosho South Local Government
Col. Feyisayo Ladoye (retd),
Widely respected and loved by the people, Col. Ladoye is the governorship candidate of the New Progressives Movement. His party is one of the coalition parties, aligned to displaced the ruling APC during the March 9, governorship election.
Having seen the need to dismantle the overbearing influence of Mr. Akala, sacrificed his ambition for the purpose of emancipating his people from the grip of what he called “political hawks”.
“I have seen the circling of political hawks over the state, as external forces dabble in the state’s affairs with a view to installing their acolyte. Therefore, I recognise that all well-meaning politicians and people of the state should resist such conspiracy by coming together. This is why I am backing Seyi Makinde and calling on my supporters and other smaller political parties to line behind this movement to liberate Oyo State”, the former military officer said in an interview with Nigerian Tribune.
Mr. Ladoye is one rallying point of the opposition in the Ogbomosho South. In 2015 election, he contested as a member of house of representatives under the platform of the Accord, since then, his popularity in the area continue growing in leaps and bounds.
Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola
Though, the former House Leader of House of Representatives in the 7th Assembly hails from Ogbomosho North, her beautifully well-laid structure in Ogbomosho South was part of co-ordinated arsenal that ensured victory for the PDP in Ogbomosho South during the governorship election.
Mrs. Adeola, who was once a political ally of Alao-Akala, contested the senatorial seat of the Oyo North in 2019 general elections and lost to APC’s candidate and current occupier of the seat, Sen. Fatai Buhari.
She remains one of the strong forces of the PDP in Oyo state, given her contribution to the re-branding of the party after surviving its turbulent period, as a result of leadership tussle between 2016 and 2017.
Chief Matthew Oke
Chief Oke, popularly known as Baba Ilu Oyinbo is the leader of the SDP in Ogbomosho South local government and highly regarded among the politicians in the area. He joined other opposition leaders to dictate, this time around, where the pendulum of new political order in Ogbomosho South should switch to.
Apostle Moses Olamoyegun
Apostle Olamoyegun is the chairman of PDP in Ogbomosho South and one of the strong pillars of politics in the area. His wide knowledge of the electioneering game helped bring down the influence of Akala and switched victory to the side of the governor-elect, Seyi Makinde.
The gallantry efforts of the students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology before, during and after election were considered significant to change the politics of Ogbomosho South. They were at the forefront of the campaign against Akala, immediately after the leadership of APC approached Akala to ensure the party’s victory in Ogbomosho and Oke-Ogun.