The Osun West by-election may be over with the announcement of a winner, but there are still some lessons for the APC.
Before the vote, the chubby Adeleke who was fighting to replace his late brother, Isiaka, in the upper legislative chamber, was handed no chance of emerging winner on the platform of the PDP in an APC controlled State.
But he pulled off an upset. Against all odds and the run of play, you may want to add.
Adeleke polled 97,480 votes and won in nine of the 10 local government areas where the election was held.
His opponent, Mudashiru Husain of the APC, polled 66,116 votes and won in only one local government area.
Pulse has been x-raying the various scenarios that played out in Osun West, before and during the vote.
On why Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s political party lost a key electoral battle to the opposition, our team of political editors came up with five explanations:
Governor Aregebesola and his party appeared tone deaf amid grave allegations bordering on the government’s complicity in the death of Isiaka Adeleke who passed away on April 23, 2017.
Aregbesola was also quoted in the local press disparaging the Adelekes and responding rather disappointedly to insinuations that he had once been bankrolled by the Adelekes who possess deep pockets in the Southwest-- all on the campaign trail.
On Saturday, July 8, 2017, most voters trooped to the polling booths to register just how disappointed they had become with the aloofness and arrogance from Osogbo.
Ademola Adeleke was denied the APC ticket in a manner he considered unjust and unfair.
His next move was to defect to the PDP and be handed the ticket just a few days to the election. You can question his morals but not his politics.
The APC’s brand of internal democracy across Nigeria isn’t entirely the stuff that transparent processes are made of. Ask grassroot politicians in Lagos who are most times told to abide by whatever list emanates from Bourdillon.
It is difficult to know why Adeleke was denied the ticket, but to hear the APC and Aregbesola say the sibling of the late politician shouldn’t think he deserved the ticket because of his blood ties to the late senator, was a cheap shot.
That tone cost the APC dearly.
It probably was a spurious and wild allegation to suggest that Isiaka had been murdered by the State.
But in casting thousands of votes for Ademola, the people of Iwo, Ikire, Ejigbo, Ede, Irewole, Isokan and Egbedore felt they were compensating the Adelekes for the death of ‘Serubawon’--one of the most influential politicians to ever come out of Osun.
A coroner's inquest ruled that Isiaka died from an overdose of painkillers and alcohol.
The election wasn’t seen as a referendum on his administration and his party, but after the figures emerged, it may well have been.
A swathe of voters may just be disenchanted with an administration that is owing teachers and civil servants backlog in salaries.
The Aregbesola administration may have delivered on the infrastructure and education fronts, but there’s a reason why stomach infrastructure is still a thing around here.
Losing this pivotal contest may just be a sign of things to come for the APC in the southwest and the rest of the country.
With the economy faltering and Buhari’s ill health taking the shine off some of the party’s insignificant achievements, voters are likely going to hand the APC a cold shoulder going forward--unless their fortunes improve.
The APC over-promised in 2015 and has thus far under-delivered. That may rob off on some of its electoral battles, going forward.
Until the governing party begins to get it right nationally, it may well just begin to kiss some of its senatorial seats and States under its control, some goodbye.