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POLITICS

The Dilemma Of Zoning In Osun

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Zoning a widely acclaimed term used  politically or otherwise to determine who holds certain post or where certain project goes has become an indisputable phenomenon in our body polity. Joshua Dada (Oshogbo) reports.

As Osun State warm up to elect a new governor to handle the affairs of the state in another four-year tenure, the agitation for the zoning of the seat to a particular senatorial district in the state has become loud and clear.

Already, the agitation is tearing a party apart in the state, the consequence of which if not addressed immediately may spell doom for the party.

The widely acclaimed agitation is for the governor’s seat of Osun state to be ceded to Osun West Senatorial district of the state.

The argument put forth by the proponent of Osun West for governor agitation is that the remaining two districts namely Osun Central and Osun East have had there fair share of the exalted seat of governor.

They claimed that since the creation of the state in 1991, Osun West only had their own as governor for less than two years while the remaining two districts have been enjoying the seat interchangeably.

According to them, the first civilian governor of the state, late Adetunji Adeleke held the mantle of leadership of the state for just 22 months following a military coup that terminated his regime in 1993.

Chief Adebisi Akande from the Central senatorial district served a four-year term, while Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola also from West who took over from him spent almost eight years in office.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who replaced Oyinlola at the Bola Ige house, in Abere as governor is about to complete his eight year sojourn in Osun government house.

The Osun West people now said it is their turn to occupy the exalted seat for equity and fair play.

The agitation for the zoning of the seat to Osun West started long time ago but the political permutations in various political parties had made it often difficult to be realized.

But, since the political move to replace the incumbent started, there were clarion calls from even elders of the state outside the zone that it is the turn of the senatorial district to lead Osun.

An Elder statesman who had also served in the capacity of governor in the state, Chief Adebisi Akande at his country home in Ila-Orangun while receiving some politicians last year told them that Osun West should be allowed to rule the state for justice and fairness.

Akande, like the agitators went down memory lane and explain why it is pertinent to allow the area govern the state.

Also, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola who was a former governor while supporting the call for the emergence of the next governor from Osun West senatorial district added that the next governor of the state should be a young person and not a old cargo.

The song at every political gatherings not cutting across parties is that it is the turn of Osun West senatorial district to produce the governor of Osun State.

It is obvious that almost all the political parties have the larger percentage of their aspirant coming from Osun West.

For example out of the seventeen aspirants cleared to contest for the governorship seat in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, twelve are from the West senatorial district while almost all the eleven aspirants cleared by the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party PDP are from the zone.

Speaking on their intention to rule Osun, aspirants from Osun West such as Senator Ademola Adeleke, Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, Akogun Lere  Oyewumi, Mr. Akin Ogunbiyi, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, Hon. Adejare Bello and a host of others from PDP anchored their right to the seat of governor on the need for Osun West to occupy the seat of governor in Osun.

Though the chairman of the party, Hon. Soji Adagunodo did not make a categorical statement on where the party will pick its candidate, but the overwhelming demand for zoning the seat to the zone had sent a signal that the agitators are serious about their demand.

Adagunodo once jokingly asked one of the aspirants if the post of Secretary to the government of the state and Speakers seat they have been enjoying for long is not sufficient for them, his followers angrily roared that all they want is the governor’s seat.

Also, at the elaborate declaration of interest by APC governorship aspirants, the overwhelming demand all the way was for somebody from the district to emerge as the candidate of the party.

All the aspirants including the incumbent secretary to the government of the state, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, the incumbent Speaker, Hon. Najeem Salam, Dr. Peter Babalola, Engr. Adeyemi Oriolowo, Hon. Gafar Amere, Mr. Saka Layoonu, and a host of others had as their slogan, ‘it is  the turn of Osun West’.

However, while commending the aspirant for having the courage to come out to rule the state, the state chairman of the party, Prince Gboyega Famoodun always  emphasised that there is no where in the constitution of the APC where zoning of elective post is entrenched.

While promising a free fair and credible gubernatorial primary election, Famoodun called on the aspirants to support whosoever emerged the party flag bearer

Yet, some aspirants who are not from the West senatorial district have argued if it is right to sacrifice merit to mediocrity.

Some of them also requested that the agitation should be narrowed down to zones rather than district umbrella.

An All Progressives Congress aspirant, Barrister Kunle Adegoke from Osogbo in Central Senatorial district insisted that an indigene of Osogbo has never become governor in Osun adding that same goes for Iwo in Osun West.

Conclusively, if there is nothing to gain exclusively in having ones own at the helms of affairs, there will surely be no need for these agitations, this I think is what should be addressed now.



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