Clement Adeyi, Osogbo and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

Osun state chapter of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) recently elected an Iwo indigene, Munirudeen Atanda, as its candidate for the forthcoming poll on September 22.

The primary which took place at the party’s secretariat in Osogbo was held under tight security, as members of the party across the state voted for their preferred aspirants.

On the ballot paper used for the election, the names of Senator Iyiola Omisore and Yemisi Oladeji, were conspicuous, however, the former was not sighted at the premises where the exercise took place.

Officials of both Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) also witnessed the exercise.

Addressing party members after the exercise, the party chairman, Ademola Ishola, told them to disregard insinuations that another faction of the party exists in the state, claiming that he remains the authentic leader of SDP in the state.

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Ishola called for dedication from members and urged them to reach out to non aligned people of the state and members of other political parties, and convince them on the need to support SDP in the governorship election because of its rich manifestoes and willingness of the party to serve the people credibly.

In a related development, a group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun state, the Integrity Group, has demanded that the next governor of the state must come from Iwo federal constituency. The group said the APC will stand a better chance of winning the governorship poll if it presents a candidate from Iwo zone which it said has not produced any major political office holder since the state was created in 1991.

The state chairman of the group, Dr. Precious Ekundayo noted that Iwo federal constituency has for a long time been deprived of viable political offices, hence the need to consider the zone for the governorship position. Also, Ekudayo who claimed that it was the turn of Osun West senatorial district to produce the next governor, said giving Iwo zone the oppourtunity to present the party’s flag bearer will show that the party has respect for fairness and equity.

He said, “There are three federal constituencies in Osun West senatorial district which are Iwo, Ede and Ikire. Aside, Iwo which produced senator once, the two other constituencies have produced many political office holders including ministers, senators, deputy governors and other positions. It is only Iwo federal constituency that has not produced a governor, deputy governor, minister or federal board member in the last 19 years of our democracy. It is therefore fair and just to zone the governorship position to the federal constituency which comprises of Iwo, Ayedire and Olaoluwa Local Government Areas.”

Ekundayo urged the leaders of the party in the state to also consider religion in choosing the party’s flag bearer, noting that out of the three civilian governors that the state has produced, only one of them is a Christian. He enjoined the leaders of the party to shun money bags and ensure that the best candidate emerge.

The APC stalwart also charged members of the party in all the 30 Local Government Areas to embrace peace and ensure that the party remain united ahead of the next gubernatorial election.