By Daud Olatunji
In Ogun state, four political parties stood out among the 41 political parties recognised by INEC that participated in the last governorship election . They are; APC ; Allied People’s Movement ; African Democratic Congress and People’s Democratic Party.
But, the results of the Presidential and national assembly elections gave the APC wide margins ahead of the three other parties. APC won all the three Senatorial seats and six out of nine of House of Representatives seats in the state. Other parties got one House of Representatives seat each. This development triggered the move for what is called ‘rainbow coalition’ among the parties .
Twenty-four hours to the election however, it became clearer that the next governor would be produced by either APC or APM.
Both APC and APM therefore engaged in some sort of intriques through allignments with various political parties and individuals.
For instance, the APM struck a deal with the leadership of a faction of the PDP in the state whose candidate is the Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial district Buruji Kashamu to adopt its governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade as the candidate . The arrangement worked as the factional governorship candidate of the PDP, Oladipupo Adebutu declared support for the APM and directed all his supporters across the state to support Akinlade .
As the APM was working with both ADC and a faction of PDP to form an alliance, the APC was also making moves to woo other influential stakeholders.
The APC’s first big catch was the former governor of the state , Otunba Gbenga Daniel who had directed all his followers to support the APC Governorship candidate ,Dapo Abiodun at the poll .
Some chieftains of the PDP and ADC defected to APC and declared their support for Abiodun and all other APC candidates in the governorship and house of assembly elections.
Both governorship candidates of the APC and APM have their godfathers who engaged in power play. APM candidate had Governor Amosun and former Minister of Steel Development Sarafa Ishola working for him. Other political gladiators who supported the APM included most Chairmen of local government areas in the state and some leaders of the APC who defected to APM.
But the APC enjoyed the support of political heavyweights such as Vice President ,Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba ; past and present senators and members of House of represrentailtives in the state and many others. Six governorship candidates of different political parties in the state also stepped down for Abiodun ahead of the election in the state while 14 political parties in the state endorsed the APC candidate.
All these people ensured victory for the party in their various polling units,wards and local goverments during the poll.
The results of the election showed that APC defeated the APM and others with a margin of 19,517 votes .
The state Returning Officer, Prof. Idowu Olayinka declared Abiodun winner , having polled the highest number of votes in the Saturday’s election. He said Abiodun of APC, won in 12 out of 20 local governments with 241,670 votes to defeat his closest rival, Akinlade who polled 222,153 votes to come second. The returning Officer further said Isiaka of the ADC polled 110,422 votes to come third while Buruji Kashamu of the People’s Democratic Party who polled 70,290 votes came 4th in the election .
The APM did not however wait for the results to be announced and the winner declared before it rejected the results. The APM Campaign Director -General, Sarafa Ishola alleged that the election which began peacefully on Saturday was allegedly hijacked by hoodlums and “unidentified unform men” during the collation stage. Ishola said the results of the election were manipulated in favour of APC.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress in Ogun state has tackled the Allied People’s Movement for rejecting the result of the election before they were announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Some governorship candidates including Isiaka, Kashamu and Social Democratic Party candidate,Rotimi Paseda have congratulated the governor-elect. However, Amosun had yet to congratulate the governor-elect.