Oyo State has always been a state whose political intrigues analysts have found hard to predict when it comes to electioneering. The state is known for sudden changes a week to elections. As a young man, I have lived in the city of Ibadan, Oyo State’s capital, for more than a decade. I have observed that the state’s political game is quite peculiar.
The state has over five gubernatorial candidates from different parties vying for the post. About five candidates are well known names within the Pacesetter State.
About five candidates are from the same senatorial district. Olufemi Lanlehin, the ADC candidate, is from Oyo Senatorial district, the district of the current governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. Adebayo Adelabu, Seyi Makinde, Hakeem Alao and Sharafadeen Alli are also from this district. This means votes from Oyo South would be shared by these candidates. Only the most influential would win.
Adesoji Akanbi is a senator representing ADC(African Democratic Congress) which is the party of Solagbade Oluwafemi Lanlenhin. This might be an added advantage for the 65-year-old Barrister Lanlehin. Both served in the Senate at some point.
The influence of the present governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, cannot be overemphasized in the district. He might work for the party candidate, Adebayo Adelabu, though his original choice was Olasunkanmi Tegbe but the party aligned with Adelabu and he had to capitulate.
The south senatorial district has about 9 local governments including the Ido and Ibarapa axes. Sharafadeen Alli of Zenith Labour Party is from the Oyo South Senatorial District. There might be problems for the former SSG(Secretary of the State Government) because his newly formed party was introduced into the state a month ago. In the Oyo South Senatorial District, Baba Ladoja is a popular figure. Baba Ladoja’s influence might work tremendously for the ZLP guber candidate. Sharafadeen Alli is also from the district too. Oyo South is a puzzle to any guber candidate.
Seyi Makinde is a known name in the state in and out of the district. He has been in politics for more than a decade now. He contested during the last elections(2015), coming fifth behind Teslim Folarin.
Among the contestants, he is the only one contesting for the second time asides Dr. Alao Akala. Seyi Makinde is well-known in the district. PDP has a strong membership in this district, an factor that might work well for it’s guber candidate. One of the local governments that might determine who the winner would be is Ibarapa. Ibarapa has always been a PDP stronghold. It might be a very good opportunity for Oluseyi Makinde to win in the district because of his party’s influence in both Ibarapa North and East Local Government Areas. The people of Ibarapa love Ogundoyin, a famous businessman. Due to the influence of Ogundoyin’s son, Debo, PDP might win in the state.
It is rather important to note that the people of the Oyo South Senatorial District mostly follow parties rather than personalities.
(Jeremiah Oluwaferanmi is a public analyst based in Ibadan).