An Open Letter To Governor Gboyega Oyetola: Start Preparing Your Handing Over Notes Now
By Olalekan S. Badmus
I have been following the political atmosphere in and around Osun state post governorship election of July 16th, 2022 which the incumbent governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressive Congress (APC) lost to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Adeleke Ademola Nurudeen Jackson by a whopping 28,344 margin.
Too many citizens in the state and especially the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it was finally a deserved justice for the ‘narrow’ loss of the 2018 gubernatorial election which coincidentally had the two individuals as the main contenders and ended in favour of Sen. Ademola Adeleke winning by three hundred and fifty-four (354) votes at the first ballot before it was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), after the rerun election which was heavily marred by violence and unprecedented voters intimidation, Gboyega Oyetola of APC was declared the winner haven led Sen. Ademola Adeleke of PDP with four hundred and eighty-two (482) votes.
Although Sen. Ademola Adeleke went to the electoral tribunal for justice and indeed won by the majority judgment delivered on March 22, 2019, and was declared by the court as the rightfully elected governor by lawful votes, Governor Gboyega Oyetola and APC appealed the judgment and was granted a stay of execution upon their application thereby maintaining his status quo as the governor of the state. Sen Ademola Adeleke and the PDP would later go on to lose at the Appellant court and the Supreme Count on grounds of technicalities.
After understanding the history of rivalry between the two leading parties APC and PDP with their respective candidate, it perhaps did not come as a surprise that despite that the July 16th, 2022 election has been duly won and lost, tension continues to cloud the atmosphere in and around the state especially as the candidate of the APC and his party has decided to challenge the outcome of the election at the election petition tribunal, knowing the implication of accepting the outcome without challenging same would practically derail the soon to be opposition party APC in the state and her members ahead of the February 2023 general elections.
I have seen and heard with great surprise and amusement I must add, the APC members in and outside the state expressing with total confidence that Governor Gboyega Oyetola will not vacate the government house and make way for the incoming governor to assume his constitutional duties as the duly elected governor of the state from 27th November 2022 perhaps after getting (political) assurance from their party leaders. One would naturally ignore such gossip and expressions and blame it on their visible ignorance, However, the continuous enchantment of their now official slogan “AÀGBEÉLÈMÓ” (we are not releasing it) by the soon-to-be opposition party APC members in the state without any apprehension from their leaders privately or publicly who are expected to know better than the slogan’s usage which can only be excused during the campaign and certainly NOT after the election has been duly lost is indeed contrary to the forever elusive Progressive and democratic ideology which they cunningly allude their party, APC stands on.
Let me unequivocally state that the ongoing legal process of the election petition tribunal nonetheless, Governor Gboyega Oyetola by November 26th, 2022 would have served out his constitutionally acceptable four (4) years tenure and will be MADE TO VACATE the office of the state governor thereby making way for the duly elected governor Sen. Ademola Adeleke to be sworn in as the governor for the next 4 years in respect of the mandate given to him by the good people of Osun State at the July 16th polls.
The ongoing tribunal procedures are expected to drag to the Supreme Court which will take at least six (6) to nine (9) months and is expected to be brought to a legal conclusion at the supreme court, by which period the tenure of Gboyega Oyetola is expected to have come to an end, November 26th, 2022 to be precise. This means that notwithstanding where the pendulum swings at the tribunal, a party is expected to appeal the judgment and also apply for a stay of execution if necessary which will automatically allow for legal maintenance of the status quo.
As to the joke of over-voting, the report on oath at the Tribunal just shed light on the futility of the claim. Aside from the claim being based on falsified data, when subjected to forensic analysis, only 6 out of the 750 units claimed by Oyetola and APC were found to have such issues of over-voting. Worst still the total votes involved in those units for both parties is less than 2000, Even if the six units are canceled which is assuming without conceding to the above claim, PDP is still leading the APC by 27, 000 plus votes. That is even if the false data from APC is admitted by the tribunal which is very highly unlikely.
As for the now exhaustive certificate claim, Sen. Ademola Adeleke is qualified and has not committed any crime of forgery or false educational qualification. His university degree was based on cumulative academic records of many years and his Foster school certificate was not linked to his university degree. Overall, educational institutions attended and qualifications attained have been verified and found to be legal and satisfactorily genuine.
So I ask; ON WHAT BASIS IS GOVERNOR OYETOLA’S “we-wont-quit-office” CHANTS BASED???
Nigeria is a democratic nation and since the return of democracy in 1999, no public servant has on record served a day more than the constitutionally acceptable 4 years, either as a councilor, chairman, House of Assembly member, Governor, House of Representative member, Senator or President and our outgoing Governor Gboyega Oyetola will not be the first.
It is then preposterous and laughable that statements insinuating total disregard for the provision of law and order are being encouraged to be circulated from the camps of the outgoing governor and the soon-to-be opposition party APC in the state for whatever reason. Governor Gboyega Oyetola should be made aware if he is not, that he is not the first governor to have lost a re-election bid and he would not be the last. A sitting President Goodluck Jonathan lost his re-election bid in 2015 and he left upon completion of his 4 years tenure, the most he can do which he has is to approach the court and awaits its decision by the sideline until it’s been finally decided by the supreme court.
What is expected of the gentleman governor as he is being portrayed by praise-singers (and to prove worthy of being called the same) is to urgently constitute a transition team together with the governor-elect and the soon-to-be ruling party PDP in the collective interest of the state and allow for a smooth transition of executive powers by November 27th and continue pursuing his petition at the tribunal if he so wishes as a private citizen that he will be by then because either he likes it or not he would be made to vacate the office by the said date after serving his lawful 4 years tenure and simultaneously the governor-elect Sen. Ademola Adeleke would be sworn in as governor of the state after being duly elected and declared winner of the July 16th governorship election as required by law.
Conclusively, I want to address the loudly arrogant and mostly ignorant section of the Osun APC members or supporters and by extension to the current state executive cabinet members from top to bottom (every pun intended) that are yet to come to terms with the last governorship election loss to wake up from their incessant slumber which has now invariably turned to their trademark and immediately start preparing for life after BOLA IGE government’s house because November 27th, 2022 is SACROSANCT and a new chapter will be opened in the history book of our dear state.
To the good citizen of Osun State home and abroad and the supporters of the PDP and governor-elect Sen. Ademola Adeleke, I want to assure you that there is no ground/provision in the eyes of the law known to human beings and God in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria today that allows Governor Gboyega Oyetola to remain as the Executive Governor of Osun State beyond November 26th, 2022.
MR GOVERNOR, KINDLY START PREPARING YOUR HANDING OVER NOTES.
Olalekan S. Badmus (Phoenix), a Public Affairs analyst and Social Commentator writes from Osogbo.