OsunDecides2022: Six things you need to know about governorship election

Tomorrow, Saturday, 17th July, voters in Osun State will go to their various polling units to elect a governor that will be in charge of the state for the next four years. 

In recent weeks, public interest in the election has gathered momentum, especially on social media, and stakeholders have intensified preparation to achieve a hitch-free exercise. 

Nonetheless, here are six outstanding things about the polls in Osun tomorrow: 

Peace Accord signed by political parties

13 political parties are confirmed to have signed an agreement for the peaceful conduct of Saturday’s Osun gubernatorial election. However, the Labour Party, arguably the third force in the elections was conspicuously absent at the venue of the peace accord meeting in Osogbo on Wednesday. 

Some of the parties in attendance were the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Action Alliance (AA).

Among those who were absent include the Labour Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Peoples Redemption Party.

Heavy security 

The Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has deployed 21, 000 personnel in Osun for Saturday’s governorship election. While also, the Commandant General of the   Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,   Dr Ahmed Audi, has announced the deployment of 11, 226 officers and men to cover the 3,763 polling units, collation centres, flashpoints as well as critical national assets and infrastructure during the Osun poll.

INEC inputs: some modifications and increased voter registration 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has moved 12 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and five National Commissioners to the state for the exercise.

The Commission has also relocated the polling units situated in front of palaces, politicians’ houses, religious centres and other controversial areas. Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State. Additionally, polling units were moved away from controversial areas to open spaces and public buildings.

According to INEC, a total of 1, 955, 657 million registered voters are eligible to participate in the Osun gubernatorial election, an increase from 2018, when the state had 1, 668, 524 million voters. 15 political parties would present candidates for the election and scramble for these votes. 

No women, all men candidate

Out of the 15 registered candidates representing the various political parties, there is not a single woman. In fact, no woman is selected or featured for the role of deputy governor in the state. This is unlike the last polls in 2018, out of the 48 candidates contesting the governorship election, only four candidates are women. They are; Rufai Adebisi Mujidat of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Jegede Hannah Taiwo of the Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP), Ayodele Mercy Tosin of the Restoration Party (RP), and Adebayo Rasheedat of Peoples Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL).

Osun has previously produced two female deputy governors. They are Titi Laoye Tomori and Erelu Obada.

OsunDecides2022: Six things you need to know about governorship election
OsunDecides2022: Six things you need to know about governorship election

History may repeat itself or change

Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the ruling APC, who controversially won in 2018, after defeating Ademola Adeleke of the PDP, is standing for re-election.

Adeleke had won the initial election as declared by INEC but was defeated in the rerun by Oyetola to succeed Rauf Aregbesola, who ruled the state for two terms.

The rerun was called after the first round was declared inconclusive on account of Adeleke’s margin of victory being smaller than the number of cancelled votes in seven polling units.

However, pundits predict that just like in 2018, the contest would remain a two-horse race and a straight contest between PDP’s Adeleke and Oyetola.

Seventh governorship election in the history of Osun State

The success of Saturday’s polls will mark the seventh governorship election in Osun.

The state was carved out of the old Oyo State on August 27, 1991, by the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida.

The first democratically elected governor of the state, Isiaka Adeleke, took office in January 1992 and governed till November 1993, when the military junta of Mr Babangida dissolved all political offices, after the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

The July 17th, 2022 Governorship Election in Osun State would, therefore, be the 7th to be conducted since the creation of the state in 1991.

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