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  • Updated: January 13, 2022

Osun 2022: Strengths, Weaknesses Of Prominent PDP Aspirants

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Francis Ezediuno
Francis Ezediuno

Francis Ezediuno is a journalist who is self thought on application of social media in news gatherin...

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Even as the Osun State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is bracing up to select a candidate in this year's Gubernatorial Election, there has been a carnival-like mood in the party.

Just like in previous years, aspirants have surfaced and from all indications, the 2022 race for the PDP governorship ticket is more colourful given the mix of the old and the young, including those who were never expected to pick up the party’s nomination form.

This article will examine the strengths, pedigree and weaknesses of each aspirant with a view to shedding light on the persona of each candidate.

1. Alhaji Abdulfatai Akinbade
Alhaji Abdulfatai Akinbade

Born on April 2, 1955, Akinbade, a Civil Engineer by training, served as commissioner in different capacities under three successive military administrations in Osun State,

In 2001, he was elected Chairman of Osun State PDP before he became the Secretary to the State Government in 2003, in which capacity he served till 2010.

It will be safe to refer to Alhaji Akinbade as a veteran governorship aspirant as he was a contender for the governorship seat in 2011 until the Aregbesola administration came on board and truncated the scheduled 2011 gubernatorial election in the state.

In 2014, Akinbade dumped the PDP for Labour Party where he contested the gubernatorial election, only to return to the PDP in 2018 to contest again.

He however left the PDP again to pick the gubernatorial ticket in ADC for the 2018 election.

Alhaji Akinbade is once again running on the platform of PDP to lead the state for the next four years

To date, Akinbade’s greatest political credential remains his being a three-time commissioner, SSG, and party chairman, making him one of the aspirants in the PDP that needs no introduction.

The former SSG hails from Osun West Senatorial District, which is agitating to produce the next governor of the state since they have never produced a governor, except the 22 months stint the late Isiaka Adeleke had under the Ibrahim Babangida transition.

It must however be noted that Akinbade’s greatest undoing as he contests the PDP primaries slated for January 26, is his inconsistency and what many believe to be his life and death ambition to be Osun governor.

Aside from his constant dumping of the PDP to pick gubernatorial tickets elsewhere, Akinbade comes from one of the smallest local government areas of Osun State, which may be a disadvantage in terms of numbers in the election proper if he eventually wins the PDP ticket.

Also to his disadvantage is the popular belief that he does not have the financial muscle to run a well-oiled electioneering campaign.

2. Ademola Adeleke

Senator Adeleke

Senator Ademola Adeleke, popularly referred to as the dancing Senator, is no doubt a household name in Osun, not because of any outstanding achievement but on account of him being the younger brother of a former governor of the state, late Senator Isiaka Adeleke aka Serubawon.

It will be recalled that Senator Adeleke had an almost free ride in replacing his brother, Isiaka at the Senate when the former governor died in 2017.

Still riding on the popularity of his brother and a family with deep pockets, Senator Ademola Adeleke won the PDP governorship ticket in 2018 and went on to narrowly miss becoming governor after his victory in the first ballot was declared inconclusive.

Adeleke hails from Ede, where his family is highly respected and can be sure of bulk voting coming his way in any election, just as funds for electioneering campaigns would not be a problem for him.

The above notwithstanding, Senator Adeleke comes with negative baggage that has refused to go away; his educational background and questions surrounding his certificate.

His certificate forgery case before an Abuja High Court, may, among other things like the uncertainty about his religion and rumours that he takes orders from his elder sister, work against him either at the primaries or the election proper.

3. Akin Ogunbiyi

Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, an aspirant on the platform of the PDP in 2018, is the Chairman, Mutual Group of Companies.

The astute businessman became a household name in 2018 shortly before the PDP primaries where he was a major contender facing Senator Adeleke squarely for the primaries. He however lost under controversial circumstances.

Arguably the most read among the aspirants with a PhD, Ogunbiyi has attended quite a number of leadership training outside the country, with great administrative skills and experience.

He is an aspirant with good followership among the elites.

Ogunbiyi however has issues that may work against him in the forthcoming primaries, as he has been accused of abandoning his supporters after the election, being too assertive and independent-minded who could become high handed if given power.

Some party members also accused him of not doing enough to rescue the former Chairman of the Osun State PDP during his trying period.

He has also been tagged an errand boy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which he denounces at every opportunity. 

4. Dele Adeleke


Dele Adeleke
Young Dele Adeleke came to prominence during the 2018 governorship election result collation when he was the returning officer for his uncle, Senator Ademola Adeleke.

His five-star performance in the face of intimidation during election result collation warmed him into the heart of the teeming youths of the state.

A thoroughbred professional, Dele has over two decades of a flourishing career in the banking industry.

As the face of the youth, he has been a unifying factor between the group led by his uncle and that of the former chairman of the party.

He has been a peacemaker and for this reason, he was called upon to rescue the party.

With the huge popularity his family enjoys in their hometown, Ede, this could be a great advantage.

The above notwithstanding, a good number of members of the party that suffered from the vindictive posture of his uncle are still not comfortable with him, believing he could tow the path of his uncle, while others believe he could bow to family pressure and withdraw from the race.

5. Dotun Babayemi

Dotun Babayemi

Dotun Babayemi came to the limelight through his programme, 'Alafia Dotun', a free medical programme that has impacted the lives of a lot of people across the state.

His political adventure began during the 2018 governorship election in Osun State, when he was a major sponsor of the ADP and in 2019 when he contested on the party’s platform for the Osun West Senatorial District, where he garnered 44, 000 votes, an unprecedented feat for a new party, which is a testament to his level of acceptance in the state.

Dotun however later joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and showed interest in running for the senatorial seat.

The aspirant, who schooled in Nigeria, England and the United States, is a lawyer and an entrepreneur with over 20,000 staff under his direction.

Popularly referred to as Omoba Dotun Babayemi (ODB), born December 5, 1966, to the family of late (Oba) Dr. Solomon Babayemi, who was the immediate past Olufi of Gbongan in Ayedaade local government area of the state, currently sits atop a group of companies, Fort Knox Group, with interests in security solutions and telecommunications.

Though Dotun is not new to politics, he is not well-rooted in the politics of the PDP, while many also see him as too polished for the kind of politics played in Osun State.

He however has a mass appeal due to his philanthropic gestures and is believed to be a major force in the forthcoming election, taking into consideration the large voting strength of his local government, Ayedaade.

6. Sanya Omirin
Sanya Omirin

Sanya Omirin is a former Chairman of Atakumosa East Local Government Area of Osun State and a former Commissioner of the Revenue and Fiscal Mobilization Commission.

He is a grassroot mobiliser and a stabilising factor in the party.

Being an entrepreneur with interest in the hospitality industry and farming, Omirin’s strength is in his firm control of his local government. 

Sanya is however from Ijesa South Federal Constituency where Rauf Aregbesola, the immediate former governor of the state hails from.

Many are of the opinion that the Ijesa already had their eight years as governor and should allow other areas of the state to have their turn.

It is also believed that the voting strength of his local government is another disadvantage for him.

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Francis Ezediuno
Francis Ezediuno

Francis Ezediuno is a journalist who is self thought on application of social media in news gatherin...

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