Adeleke, Five Others Battle For Osun PDP Ticket

SIX aspirants are to battle for the governorship ticket of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State during the governorship primary scheduled to hold today (Tuesday, March 8, 2022). The aspirants are Senator Ademola Adeleke, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, Dotun Babayemi, Fatai Akinbade, Dele Adeleke (Senator Ademola’s cousin) and Sanya Omirin.

Senator Adeleke who was the party’s flag bearer in the last governorship election in 2018 defeated Dr Ogunbiyi to secure the ticket. Since then, the Osun State chapter of the PDP has not known peace.

They are expected to renew the rivalry in today’s primary.

The Osun State chapter has been in an internal crisis ahead of the primary. Its chairman, Soji Adagunodo has been removed by the party’s national leadership for allegedly backing Ogunbiyi. He has been replaced with Sunday Bisi.

Several litigations have been filed before the court over the issue. The removal of Adagunodo has further polarized the party.

Adagunodo has also been accused of maladministration, anti-party activities, among others by the disciplinary committee.

There have been several court orders and counter rulings as to who is the authentic chairman of the party. Adagunodo has been elevated to assume the position of the Southwest Zonal Chairman, replacing Taofeek Arapaja.

The party on February 23, 2022, elected 996 delegates for the primary. But, the exercise was marred with violence; two people were killed and a vehicle was torched during the exercise.

The election took place in 332 wards in the state, where members elected three people in each of the wards.

However, an Osun State High Court sitting in Ijebu-Ijesa presided over by Justice A. Aderibigbe gave a nod to the eligibility of 215 wards executives loyal to the faction of former chairman, Adagunodo to participate in the primary.

The motion exparte was filed by Edmund Biriomoni on behalf of 31 ward chairmen from 25 local government areas elected on September 25, 2021 ward congress supervised by Olasoji Adagunodo against the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Osun PDP Director of Media and Publicity, Oladele Oluwabamiji, said despite the court order, the primary would hold and that the national secretariat will decide on the delegate list.

Ademola Adeleke:

Senator Adeleke is popularly called the ‘Dancing Senator’. He came to the limelight after the death of his elder brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke who died while he was representing Osun West senatorial district in 2017.

Afterwards, Demola Adeleke had vied the ticket of APC for the by-election but was denied by Rauf Aregbesola. He subsequently defected to the PDP and he got the ticket.

Adeleke won the Osun West by-election by defeating APC in nine out of 10 local governments in the district.

He also contested for the party’s governorship ticket in 2018 and secured it at the expense of Dr Ogunbiyi. During the election, he faced Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and lost. After the supplementary election, the APC candidate scored 255,505 votes, while the PDP candidate got 255,023 votes.

Prior to the 2018 election, Senator Adeleke was enmeshed in several controversies over his educational qualification. But, he recently he bagged a certificate from the Atlanta Metropolitan State College.

Dr Akin Ogunbiyi:

Dr Ogunbiyi, a businessman, is the Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance PLC. He was the first runner up to Senator Adeleke during the 2018 primary. He is from the Ileogbo community, Osun West senatorial district.

Ogunbiyi won the heart of many party leaders in 2018 because of his educational qualification and business experience.

The Adagunodo faction of the party is said to be backing him. But, reports said he has stepped down.

Dotun Babayemi:

Babayemi was the senatorial candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in the 2019 general election but was defeated by the APC candidate.

He is a son of the late Olufi Gbongan, Oba Solomon Babayemi.

Fatai Akinbade:

Akinbade was the former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) under the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Akinbade is a close ally of Oyinlola and has a lot of supporters in the PDP because he had been the party chairman before he was appointed the SSG. He is an indigene of Ogbaagba, also in Osun West district.

Dele Adeleke:

Dele Adeleke is the cousin of Senator Ademola Adeleke. He became popular because of the role he played during the 2018 governorship election when he was the state agent of the PDP.

He is close to Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde.

Sanya Ominrin:

Ominrin was the Chairman of Atakumosa East Local Government Area of Osun State. He is from Ijesa South Federal Constituency.