OSUN 2018: PDP Promoting Divisive, Dangerous Agenda - Luqman Soliu (RIFA President)


The September 22, 2018 gubernatorial election in Osun State is just few days away while the various political parties (48 political parties) interested in the poll have submitted the names of their flag bearers and their deputies with three main political parties eyeing the exalted seat of the State governor.

The Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) noted that the main political parties are, immutably, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) whose governorship candidate is Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola with Mr Benedict Alabi as his deputy, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) whose candidate is Senator Ademola Adeleke with Mr Albert Adeogun as his deputy while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) is also a party of note which has Senator Iyiola Omisore as its governorship candidate with Alhaji Lawal Azeez Olayemi as his deputy.

Among the main political parties for the exalted seat, only PDP displayed its usual bigotry quest for power while other major parties balanced their nomination of candidates. It should be noted that both the PDP governorship candidate and his deputy are Christians in a state with substantial population of both the Muslims and the traditional worshippers.

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It could have been regarded as a mistake if the party did not play same bigotry politics in the past when both Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Erelu Olusola Obada being the governor and deputy governor respectively were of the same faith.

Is PDP telling the voters that the party is for people of a particular faith or that its members from other faiths are inconsequential for its recognition? No excuse in this case could be genuine if the concerned people have not been crying wolf in the past from where there is none.

Just after the recognition of Late Chief MKO Abiola GCFR and Babagana Kingible GCON by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2018 for the annulled June 12 1993 election victory, some organizations especially those that worked towards the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election rebuked the President for honouring the duo of MKO Abiola GCFR and Babagana Kingible GCON.

Their excuse was that the two were Muslims. Is Osun PDP now trying to replicate the past in a modern Nigeria? However, RIFA is perturbed that those voices see nothing wrong in OSUN PDP gaffe. Is the party telling the electorates it is for a sectional interest or what? The politicians promoting such idea need to know that Nigerians are now monitoring the system unlike before when anything goes.

When Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State declared a day hijrah holiday in 2016, he received the worst attack especially from the sponsored media attack-dogs with various headlines and editorials but none of them till date could condemn or write anything on Governor Rochas Okorocha who declared two-week (18-day) holiday in 2017/ 2018 for Christmas and New Year.

Where is the objectivity of most of our media? Similarly, as Osun PDP plays its religious card, no media raised the issue before now as if they didn’t notice it but guess what would have been the daily headlines had reverse be the case. While RIFA urges members of the party professing other faiths other than the party flag bearers’ faith to remain calm and watchful, it belittles a party that once pride itself as the largest in Africa to continue promoting divisive and sectional interest in the polity.

As RIFA recognizes the right of all political parties to decide who to choose as their candidates, it should be noted that the societal interest they seek to promote also deserves attention.

If, in the past, excellence and competence of those nominated had been disregarded in accusing others of same allegation, then it is contrasuggestible to say the party was oblivious of the dangerous agenda it promotes in Osun State. So, RIFA urges all politicians to always be fair and just in their appointments and nominations if they really mean well for our society.

Before now, had the fanatical partisanship of PDP been done by people of other faiths, many pseudo activists and media practitioners would have engulfed the air wave with criticism but alas they are on sabbatical when it favoured them.

Those fake groups and individuals who usually raise false alarm are hypocritically nowhere to condemn Osun PDP today but if the table turns against them tomorrow, they should cry not as he who comes to equity must come with clean hand.


Luqman Soliu
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)


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