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ON OSUN GUBER RACE- THE INCUMBENT POWER AND THE ZONING SYSTEM B y Abdullahi Tadese





"...Any attempt to marginalize one zone by others may lead to the collapse of the house due to the fact that 'Nineteen (19) cannot be twenty (20) without the inclusion of one.' But we must not get the house collapsed because it always takes time to right the wrongs."- Wisdom Library.

Before narrowing the concept of the topic to the media, let me emphasize little about the zoning system in Nigeria's brand of politics.

Right from the first republic, the political zone of origin has always been a prime factor in sharing political offices, both at the National and the state levels even as well as the local level.
The system of zoning became even more entrenched in our polity in the build up to 2003 general elections when the fanning of the dying embers of tribal sentiments became a potent tool in the hand of do or die politicians to bamboozle Nigerians in their usual manner.

Moreover, the multi ethnic nature of the country and the need to foster equity was a plausible excuse that favours such arrangement.
Usually, the state's zoning system is based on senatorial delimitation which implies rotating the governorship seat between the senatorial zones that make up the state. Other principal and non principal positions are being share equitably. It is this same zoning system that has been practiced by all states of the federation, including our dear own state of Osun.

Now, it no more news that the race to succeed the incumbent governor (Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola) of Osun state in this year 2018 is gathering momentum.
Osun state has three senatorial districts namely, Osun west, Osun East and Osun central.
Before now, the zoning arrangement was largely believed to be premised on these senatorial districts.
Aspirants from the three senatorial districts of the state are laying claim to the coveted position, largely on the strength of a number of unwritten arrangements.

But in the general political arithmetic in the state, the Osun West senatorial district has been favoured by informal rotational method, which all the political elders particularly in APC have been compromised on it, to choose their Candidate from Osun west senatorial district.

Across the party lines, politicians, indigenes, residents and other stakeholders in the state of Osun are daily slugging it out on various platforms and at various occasions for an unending arguments over which part of the state is the next Governor should come from.
But amazingly, the debate goes beyond the usual senatorial zoning arrangement as a new dimension was introduced in to the zoning system because the incumbent administration under  Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was interfered and they decided that all the aspirants should go for primary election.

Meanwhile, there is a reliable information that the incumbent governor was not looking in the direction of Osun west to shop for his successor. Rather an attempt is suspected of being made to foist upon the state an aspirant from Osun central which is also a personality in the incumbent administration, that is why they did not agree with the decision of the elders to choose the Candidate from Osun west.

The incumbent administration believe that all the aspirants in the nook and cranny of the state should go for primary election because the incumbent governor and his aspirant have a strong weapon which is "MONEY." They can easily manipulate the process and delegates with money.

But the question that arise for all is that "can all the delegates be compromised?"

To my own view, I can say " YES" they can, because the fact that two plus two (2+2) is never four (4) in Nigeria brand of politics should be expected to play a role at disrupting the equitable arrangement in the primary election.

As it stands, the majority of the people of Osun State particularly Osun west senatorial district, it is a dishonor and a blatant disregard for their enormous contributions to the success of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola's ascension to power if he dares confirm their speculation. *If this happens, it would be the height of insensitivity on the part of party leadership and a clear case of the mice peeing in to the pot of bean soup, when every one will hold his/her pap.*

Though there is no written document for zoning arrangement in the state. But everything cannot be stated in the constitution of any society. We may reach agreement within ourselves on how to be sharing governmental power so as to avoid undue quarrels because no zone will like to be kept at bay in the scheme of things.
Any attempt to marginalize one zone by others may lead to the collapse of the house due to the fact that "Nineteen cannot be twenty without the inclusion of one." But we must not get the house collapsed because it always takes time to right the wrongs.

People with sense of equity and justice agrees that the agitations of the people of Osun west senatorial district to produce the next governor of the state is overtly justified. And the decision of the people to go with any political party that fields a candidate from the zone if APC fails to do so is understandable.
However, this suspicion of an attempt by the incumbent administration to short change the people of Osun west precipitated a gang-up against the incumbent administration and it contributed in a large measure to the protest vote recorded against the APC in the recent senatorial bye election, where the ruling party smelled the burns of its skin.

Conclusively, I want to urge all the elders in the state particularly in APC and the outgoing governor (Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola) to be pragmatic and straight forward on this issue *because uprisings overwhelming of the silent territories of intimidation will be reflect that the ocean that perished the Pharaoh of yesterday is not dry, but it has been metamorphosised in to the power of masses to challenge man's inhumanity to man.*
If accurate care is not taken APC will loose to opposition and the situation will be like the life of a rat in cat colony for APC.

So therefore, we should be driven by value and competence not by sentiment or greediness.

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