Oyetola’s hometown Iragbiji mourns after shocking poll loss

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Following Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Osun State, our correspondent, PIERRE DADAwho traveled to Iragbiji, the hometown of incumbent Governor Gboyega Isiaka on Sunday, captures the vibe of the town after their son’s defeat

Social activities in the ancient town of Iragbaji, the seat of Boripe Local Government Area in Osun State, were at a low point after the result of the state gubernatorial election which took place in Osun State. held last Saturday.

The reason for the change in the atmosphere of the city is not unrelated to the unfavorable result of the election to the people of the community since one of the illustrious sons of the city and outgoing governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, was defeated in the gubernatorial ballot.

All Progressives Congress candidate Oyetola lost the election to Peoples Democratic Party candidate Mr. Ademola Adeleke after securing a total of 375,227 votes while the winner garnered 403,364 votes.

It was found that prior to the announcement of the results by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday, the mood in the city had changed when some unofficial poll results leaked out and the results looked unpalatable to the incumbent governor, who himself even was said to be in town for exercise.

During a visit to the community shortly after the results were announced on Sunday, it was observed that the atmosphere in the town was melancholic and calm. Some townspeople were seen in groups discussing the election issue outside their homes.

It was also observed that the tension had seeped everywhere to such an extent that in some areas visited in the community, the members of the winning party, the PDP, residing in the commune could neither jubilate nor celebrate the victory of their party for fear. to be attacked. by the losers.

During the visit, the bitterness was clearly displayed on the faces of the inhabitants of the community, as many refused to speak to our correspondents. In some areas, the extra persuasion of our correspondents to get some of them talking about the dreadful development has angered them, making them confrontational.

Following the hostility experienced in certain neighborhoods, our correspondent had to remove and hide his INEC electoral jacket in order to conceal his identity when going to the Isale Oyo district of the city.

Security agency vehicles were also seen patrolling across the city to ensure law and order was not broken due to the palpable tension.

However, a man who identified himself as Alhaji Musa reluctantly spoke up, confirming that the townspeople were shocked by the election result. He explained that the anger of the people was born from the fact that the governor was allegedly betrayed by some members of the APC, hence the loss of the election. Musa also revealed that many in the community are in love with Governor Oyetola due to his impressive performance.

Musa said: “It hasn’t worked for us since yesterday because we were 100% sure that Oyetola would win this election for a second term. We are not considering defeat; we were disappointed with the result.

“But God understands all that man does not know because Oyetola has done his best for this state. He is one of the best governors that Osun State has ever produced. He pays the salaries of the workers as they went and he provided great infrastructure, so we don’t know why people didn’t vote for him.

Another resident, Ms Yemi Alaba, said Oyetola’s defeat was a blow to the community. Alaba, who described herself as a PDP member in the city, said she voted for Oyetola because he was her relative and she believed the governor would win the election.

“I am a nominal member of the PDP in this city, but Oyetola is my relative, that’s why I supported him in secret and voted for him on Saturday. But we were disappointed that he lost the election. You too can see what the city looks like if we are in mourning. As Oyetola lost now, we all lost; the whole town of Iragbiji lost. It’s very sad,” she said.

A native and resident of Iragbiji and Islamic cleric, Alfa Adekola Mutiu, also confirmed the sad mood of the people in the governor’s hometown. But as a cleric, he was spiritual in his view of the matter as he said it was divinely predestined that Adeleke would prevail in the just-concluded gubernatorial election.

Mutiu said, “People are unhappy and affected by the loss. For example, in my neighborhood, Ward 6 (in the Oloti neighborhood of the city), we voted overwhelmingly to scare away threats from the opposition. If Oyetola is fired, it’s not because of his power, nor his strength and even his skill, and the same goes for the turnover that resulted in Adeleke’s victory. He was predestinated.

He added, “The important prayer that every man should always say is that his aspiration should always align with God’s plan; otherwise, the man will never recover from the shock when fate twists following an alternate agenda.

“For me, the Iragbiji people and the people of Boripe LGA as a whole, with all they could, love (not for money) and clear minds came out in droves to vote and support our son and governor as he returns to office for a second term.

“However, I thought Oyetola would wipe out all 30 local government areas, looking at the caliber of opponent who opposed him, as the governor’s plans reached into every nook and cranny of the state and I thought that “Such a gesture should be made in good faith. Although I am not a politician, I am an Islamic cleric.

The cleric thus confirmed the peaceful conduct of the election by declaring: “There was no violence anywhere here, none at all. We went out with love. The governor won in Iragbiji and Boripe as a whole.

On the contrary, an indigenous from a neighboring community of Ada in the Boripe North local council development area, Dr. Ibikunle Fakorede, said that there was jubilation in some Boripe local government communities by the supporters. and members of the PDP. He also alleged that jubilant supporters tore down posters of the governor in the streets during their celebration. He did, however, confirm that there was no violence anywhere.

He said: “There have been no incidents of clashes anywhere. There was jubilation among PDP supporters after Adeleke was announced as the winner of the election in Ada, Iree, Aagba and other communities (all in Boripe local government). Governor Oyetola’s campaign posters and banners were taken down by PDP supporters as they jubilant.

Fakorede, who is an APC member in the state, attributed Oyetola’s defeat to lingering infighting among party members that was not resolved before going to the polls; specifically mentioning that the rift between Oyetola’s predecessor and Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola also played a major role in the outcome of the election.

“A lot of things happened (during the election) and a lot of people surrounding Oyetola have no electoral value. I don’t think they worked very well for him.

The face-off between him and Aregbesola was another factor that affected Oyetola’s chances. However, there is no more tension in Osun, as I speak, everything is calm. Everyone is now going about their business,” he noted.

  • Additional reports by Tosin Oyediran
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