Ahead of the 2023 general elections, political activities are yet to commence in Ogun State,
The timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) specifies that campaigns by political parties for Presidential and National Assembly elections commenced on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. On the other hand, governorship and State House of Assembly candidates are expected to commence their campaigns on October 12, 2022.
However, checks by our correspondent revealed that electioneering activities are at a standstill in the Gateway State as parties and their candidates refused to launch their campaigns.
no fewer than 13 political parties are taking part in the 2023 governorship elections in Ogun State. The parties are battling for the 40 elective posts in the State – one governor, one deputy governor, three senators, nine House of Representative members and 26 State Assembly members.
As of today, no governorship candidate has flagged-off his campaign in Ogun State among the 13 listed for the post by INEC. Governor Dapo Abiodun, who is seeking reelection has not said a word about the campaign, nor has he formed a campaign committee for the 2023 election.
“I think the governor is very sure of his reelection. He doesn’t see any threat from other candidates. So, he feels he can start his campaign anytime he feels because other candidates are no match to him. Let’s see how it goes,” Adebola Ojo, a resident of Abeokuta told our correspondent.
It could be recalled that the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Yemi Sanusi had earlier barred all the party’s candidates from flagging-off their campaigns, saying the party was waiting for the national headquarters of the party. Though some said this was targeted at former Governor Gbenga Daniel, who is running for the Ogun East senatorial seat. Daniel has since ignored the instruction of the party Chairman. https://dailypost.ng/2022/10/18/ogun-east-ex-gov-daniel-shuns-state-apc-chair-begins-campaign/
Senator Olamilekan Adeola has not done anything like campaigning in Ogun West, nor has Shuaib Salisu taken a step in Ogun Central. This, our correspondent learnt, is in total obedience to the directive of the party.
When he was contacted, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in Ogun, Tunde Oladunjoye, did not want to agree that the party has not started campaigning in Ogun, even as he did not accept the fact that Gbenga Daniel has done his campaign flag-off.
“Please leave the comfort of your bed and go to town. Even as I write this, about 3, 99(sic) youths are walking in Ijebu Igbo. Various candidates have been touring their constituencies,” Oladunjoye replied in a text.
When our correspondent reminded him that apart from Daniel, not even the governor has launched their campaigns, Oladunjoye retorted: “Even Daniel has not flagged-off. Flagging-off is ceremonial. Politicians Campaign everyday.”
Adeyemi blamed the development on the various court cases hanging around the necks of parties and their candidates, expressing optimism that political activities would improve by the end of November.
“I don’t think that the activities are at a standstill. Rather, we can say it’s at a ‘snail speed’ as few candidates have been crisscrossing their Constituencies.
“There is no doubt that all the candidates are being careful, maybe, as a result of the various cases involving candidates of the major political parties in the Federal High Courts. No thanks to the Electoral Act 2022 which had brought sanity into the impunity being exhibited by some politicians in the past.
“There is no doubt that activities will pick up towards the end of November when most of the candidates would have known their plight,” Mr Adeyemi said.
PDP’s court judgment
In the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a court judgment nullifying all primary elections has left the party with no candidates. At the moment, the National Working Committee of the PDP has gone to the Appeal Court asking it to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta. Until then, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Ogun, Ladi Adebutu; his running mate, Adekunle Akinlade and the remaining 38 candidates are currently ‘hibernating’.
But, a member of the PDP said the sacked candidates of the party have been consulting in their various constituencies with the confidence that the appellate court would return them as the authentic candidates. However, the PDP member said there is “no plan to hold any campaign rally at the moment.”
The Publicity Secretary of the party in Ogun, Akinloye Bankole, has said the party would not be deterred by the antics of those he called distractors whose court cases, he said, were being sponsored by the opposition.
Akinloye said the PDP would contest the 2023 elections with Adebutu and others as candidates, saying “we are winning in 2023.”
I will soon start full campaign for Otegbeye of ADC – Amosun
Meanwhile, former Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the APC has declared that he would soon commence a full campaign for Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress, ADC.
Amosun, in an interview with BBC News Yoruba, said he would go all out to seek votes for Otegbeye, despite being a member of the APC.
While agreeing to work for the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, Amosun said he would not support Abiodun of his party, but Otegbeye.
Our correspondent gathered that some members of the APC are currently in court challenging the candidacy of Otegbeye over claims that he could not have suddenly emerged as the ADC guber candidate after contesting the APC primary with Abiodun.
Also, the governorship candidate of the Action Peoples Party (APP), Falana Omoshile, has written to INEC to disqualify Biyi Otegbeye as the governorship candidate of the ADC in the 2023 election.
Falana claimed that Otegbeye’s nomination violated the new Electoral Act, alleging that the legal practitioner did not resign his membership of the APC before becoming the ADC governorship candidate.