The social activities in the ancient town of Iragbaji, the headquarters of the Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State were at a low ebb following the outcome of the state governorship election held last Saturday.

The reason for the change in the atmosphere of the town was not unconnected with the unfavourable result of the election to the people of the community as one of the illustrious sons of the town and incumbent governor of Osun State, Alhaji  Gboyega Oyetola, was defeated in the governorship poll.

Oyetola, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress, lost the election to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Ademola Adeleke, after scoring a total of 375, 227 votes while the winner polled 403, 364 votes.

It was gathered that before the announcement of the results by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday, the mood in the town had changed when some unofficial results of the poll were filtering in and the results were appearing unpalatable to the sitting governor, who himself was said to be in the town for the exercise.

During a visit to the community shortly after the announcement of the results on Sunday, it was observed that the atmosphere in the town was melancholic and calm. Some residents of the town were seen in groups discussing the election issue in front of their houses.

It was also observed that tension had permeated everywhere to the extent that in some areas visited in the community, members of the winning party, the PDP, living in the town could not jubilate nor celebrate the victory of their party for the fear of being attacked by the losers.

During the visit, the bitterness was clearly shown on the faces of the residents of the community as many declined to speak with our correspondents. In some areas, further persuasion from our correspondents to make some of them speak about the ugly development aroused their anger, thereby making them to be confrontational.

Following the hostility experienced in some areas, our correspondent had to remove and hide his INEC’s election jacket so as to hide his identity when getting to the Isale Oyo area of the town.

Vehicles of security agencies were also sighted patrolling from one end of the town to the other to ensure that law and order were not broken as a result of the palpable tension.

However, a man who identified himself as Alhaji Musa reluctantly spoke, confirming that the residents of the town were shocked over the outcome of the election. He explained that the anger of the people was borne out of the fact that the governor was allegedly betrayed by some members of the APC, hence the loss of the election. Musa also disclosed that many members of the community were in love with Governor Oyetola due to his impressive performance.

Musa said, “It has not been okay with us since yesterday because we were 100 per cent sure that Oyetola would win that election for second term. We did not envisage the defeat; we were disappointed with the result.

“But God understands everything that man does not know because Oyetola tried his best for this state. He is one of the best governors Osun State has ever produced. He pays workers’ salaries as and when due and he provided landmark infrastructures. So we don’t know why the people failed to vote for him.”

Another resident, Mrs Yemi Alaba, said the defeat of Oyetola was a big blow to the community. Alaba, who described herself as a member of the PDP in the town, said she voted for Oyetola because he is her kinsman and she thought the governor would win the election.

I am a nominal PDP member in this town, but Oyetola is my kinsman, that was why I supported him secretly and voted for him on Saturday. But we were disappointed that he lost the election. You too can see yourself how the town looks as if we are mourning. As Oyetola has lost now, all of us have lost; the entire Iragbiji town has lost. It is very sad,” she said.

An indigene and resident of Iragbiji and Islamic cleric, Alfa Adekola Mutiu, also confirmed the sad mood of the people in the governor’s hometown. But he as a cleric was spiritual in his perception of the matter as he said it had been divinely predestined that Adeleke would carry the day in the just concluded governorship election.

Mutiu said, “The people are not happy and are touched by the loss. For instance in my ward, Ward 6 (in Oloti Area of the town), we voted massively to scare the opposition’s threats. If Oyetola is returned, it is not by his power nor might and even competence, and the same applies to the turnaround that brought about Adeleke’s victory. It has been predestined.”

He added, “The important prayer every man should always say is that their aspiration should always align with God’s plan; else man may never recover from the shock of when fate twists as a result of an alternating agenda.

“For me, the Iragbiji people and residents in the Boripe Local Government Area as a whole, with all in their capabilities, love (not for money), and clear minds came out en-masse to vote and support our son and governor in returning him to the office for a second term.

“However, my thought was that Oyetola would clear all the 30 local government areas, looking at the calibre of the opponent who contested against him, because the governor’s projects reached every nook and cranny of the state and I believed that such gesture should be returned in good faith. Although I’m not a politician, I’m an Islamic cleric.”

The cleric so confirmed the peaceful conduct of the election as he said, “There was no violence anywhere here, none at all. We trooped out with love. The governor won in Iragbiji and Boripe as a whole.”

On the contrary, an indigene of a neighbouring community of Ada in the Boripe North Local Council Development Area, Dr Ibikunle Fakorede, said there were jubilations in some communities of the Boripe Local Government by the supporters and members of the PDP. He also alleged that the jubilant supporters were tearing the posters of the governor on the streets during their celebration. He, however, confirmed that there was no violence anywhere.

He said, “There was no incident of clash anywhere all through. There was jubilation among the PDP supporters after the announcement of Adeleke as the winner of the election in Ada, Iree, Aagba and other communities (all in Boripe Local Government). The campaign posters and banners of Governor Oyetola were removed by supporters of the PDP as they were jubilating.”

Fakorede, who is a member of the APC in the state, attributed the defeat of Oyetola to the lingering internal wrangling among members of the party which was not resolved before going to the poll; mentioning specifically that the rift between Oyetola’s predecessor and Minister for Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, valso played a major role in the outcome of the election.

“Many things happened (during the election) and many people that surround Oyetola have no electoral value. I believe they didn’t work very well for him.

The faceoff between him and Aregbesola was another factor that affected the chances of Oyetola. However, there is no tension in Osun again, as I speak, everything is calm. Everybody is now going about their businesses,” he noted.

  • Additional reports by Tosin Oyediran

Post a Comment