Ahead of gubernatorial election in Osun state comes 2022, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have to slug it out again with three of the governorship aspirants who contested the ticket of the party with him in 2018.
Recall VAM News reported that the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Lasun Yussuff declared interest in the 2022 gubernatorial election under the APC.
According to OSUN DEFENDER, the former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti and former Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam are also aiming to clinch the ticket of the party.
It would be recalled that the trio of Yusuf, Adeoti and Salaam contested to be the flagbearer of the APC in 2018 before Oyetola emerged through direct primaries.
But Adeoti did not wait for the APC primaries, alleging that it was schemed to favour Oyetola who was the least popular among the aspirants.
Adeoti defected to the Action Democratic Party (ADP) where he contested the governorship election and polled 49,743 votes.
He returned to the APC in 2020 after much pressure on him by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
However, Salaam who was second to Adeoti in the struggle to zone the APC governorship ticket to Osun West Senatorial District then, participated in the primaries and came third, after which he worked for the emergence of Oyetola at the September 22, 2018 gubernatorial election.
Salam was accused of betraying the ‘West Agenda’ by supporting Oyetola in 2018.
Incidentally, things have fallen apart with Oyetola and Salaam as the later has been sidelined in both government and party affairs.
OSUN DEFENDER reliably gathered that both Adeoti and Salaam will contest the governorship ticket of the party with Oyetola in 2022.
But none of them has come out to declare his intention as the former speaker of the Federal House of Representatives did during the 2021 Ilobu day two weeks ago.
Lasun had on Saturday, November 13, declared that he is interested on the 2022 governorship election on the platform of the APC.
He said: “With love for our state and a fierce commitment to a vision of rapid progress for Osun where the incumbent had been seen to pass the bulk instead of concentrating in further development of the infrastructure which foundation have been hugely laid by his predecessor.
“Without the spirit of continuity, had prompted me to want to come and make great amendment. Government is not about wearing caps, it is about understanding of what is need to be done to banish the scourge of poverty completely in the midst of our people.
“It is with this conviction and some other rudiments of application of political knowledge that I offer myself to serve my dear state once again.”
Yussuff had also during the meeting of Osun APC Elder Caucus (Agba Osun) reportedly told the party’s elders that he would contest the governorship election, a declaration that did not go down well with some of them.
When contacted, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti was not available for comment, same with former speaker, Salam.
However, one of Adeoti’s aide who spoke with Osun Defender under condition of anonymity yesterday said: “Alhaji is interested in the governorship ticket. He is going to contest and he will lead the Osun West Agenda again.
“You know what is happening in our party. You know we cannot win any election with the current situation. It has gone worse from what we had in 2018. APC should choose its governorship candidate from the West if we want to win in next year’s election.”
Speaking with the medium in a telephone interview, one of the leaders of Iwaloye Campaign Structure, said the Ejigbo born politician will contest the governorship ticket of the party with Oyetola.
The APC chieftain who did not want his named mentioned said: “APC’s best bet in 2022 is Rt. Hon Najeem Salaam. He is interested and will contest the APC ticket with Oyetola. You know he is a popular man and a consistent politician. If APC wants to win 2022 governorship election, it should pick its candidate from Osun West. Anything short of that will amount to exercise in futility.”
According to the National Secretariat of the APC, sale of forms for the governorship aspirants began on November 18, 2021, a development that signaled commencement of electioneering campaign within the party.
It would be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier released scheduled July 16, 2022 for the poll.
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