Apr 29, 2017
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The constitution of the
federal republic of Nigeria states as follows in respect of the
filling of vacancies in the House of Representatives or the
Senate either through a recall process or the death of a
member ‘(1) Elections to each House of the National
Assembly shall be held on a date to be appointed by the
Independent National Electoral Commission. (2) The date
mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall not be earlier
than sixty days before and not later than the date on which
the House stands dissolved, or where the election to fill a
vacancy occurring more than three months before such date;
not later than one month after the vacancy occurred’. The
sudden death of the representative of the Osun West in the
Senate Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke has left the seat vacant and it
must definitely be filled. As usual permutations are already
flying intrigues and behind –the- scene moves have also
dominated the political scene and all these are for different
purposes. While the PDP has considered it a good opportunity
to show it’s believed acquired strength and power ahead of
the 2018 guber election, to some however, it is an opportunity
to reduce the long list of guber aspirants.  The outcome of the
election would certainly determine where the pendulum would
swing in the 2018 guber election. The APC is the most
challenged as it must take its time before arriving at a
decision on who to pick the party’s ticket.  Recently
nominated as a commissioner, Ejigbo born Mudathir Hussayn
was a member of the senate who was denied a second term
ticket to allow the late Isiaka Adeleke picked the ticket. While
the senatorial ticket moved to Ede, the reps ticket was zoned
to Ejigbo and it brought university Don Professor Mojeed Alabi
into the scene as a reps member.  It might therefore be
practically impossible to present Mudathir Hussayn as the
party’s senatorial candidate. With the mood of the people in
Ede however, allowing the Ejigbo born Hussayn to pick the
ticket might help in breaking the votes from the Ede/Ejigbo
axis while the party would work on the other towns. Sources
disclosed that former Chief of Staff to Prince Olagunsoye
Oyinlola who is currently the Chairman Local Government
Service Commission Dr Peter Babalola an indigene of Ikire
might pick the APC senatorial ticket. Another individual who
might have the ticket zeroed on him is the SSG Alhaji
Moshood Adeoti , the Iwo born Adeoti, Peter Babalola and
the late Adeleke were the leading guber aspirants from the
Osun West senatorial zone before the Ede born Senator’s
death . Also rated high in the APC is former Speaker House of
Representatives Olubunmi Etteh, her senatorial ambition
however predates Adeleke’s death as she had been warming
up for 2019 and had been strategizing ahead of the election.
The development had resulted in a domestic upheaval as her
younger brother Benedict Gboyega is one of the guber
aspirants and it led to collision of political interest as the two
most important seats can’t possibly go to people of same
parents. The PDP is favourably positioned to use the
opportunity of the vacant seat to its advantage if the party is
able to settle the differences involving members of the two
existing factions in the state and ensure they present a single
candidate. The public outrage attendant with the Senator’s
sudden death and the mood of the people in Ede is being
played up by the opposition party and it is being used to its
advantage. Senator Akinlabi Rasheed Olasunkami was in the
senate from 2003 to 2007, he sought for a second term ticket
but was persuaded to allow the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke
picked the ticket while he obviously had prepared for possible
primary he later succumbed to the party leaders and abided
by the directives to pave way for the emergence of the late
Adeleke as senator in 2007.  Akinlabi was later appointed
Minister for Youth Development by late Alhaji Umaru Yaradua.
The opportunity to record a direct political battle between
Adeleke and Olasunkanmi came in 2015 when the former
minister stood as the PDP’s candidate. While many would
have ordinarily assumed that the Ode-Omu born Akinlabi
would simply retain the ticket and face whoever the APC
picks as candidate in the senatorial election, no one is sure of
what could happen. [email protected] gathered that the
party might be strategic in its decision and pick an Ede
indigene as its candidate. An idea of possibly having a
member of the  Adeleke family  picked the ticket might
however meet a brick wall, the best choice would have been
Deji Adeleke but he is known to be greatly apolitical while
Ademola Adeleke is not rated in that category. Former
Speaker Adejare Bello is being considered as the party’s
candidate, Bello served as the Speaker of the state for eight
years, he was the running mate to Senator Omisore in the
2014 election and he is currently a guber aspirant. Another
Ede indigene being considered is the party’s candidate for the
Ede house of assembly seat in the 2015 election Imam
Adebowale Adejimi. Also rated as a possible candidate is
Bade Falade but the disadvantage he has is a seeming
political sabbatical leave he had voluntarily given himself for
months now, meanings might therefore be read to his sudden
resumption and it might not ease earning the ticket for him.
While we keep our fingers crossed and watch as event
unfolds, what is likely to happen in the two leading political
parties in the state is a case of substitution by elimination
which might produce a guber aspirant as senatorial candidate.

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