Osun 2014: Aregbesola, Omisore And Others In Fresh Strategic Battles For Votes

Osun governorship aspirants in fresh battle
Osun governorship aspirants in fresh battle
Beyond the noise and dancing that usually characterise political campaigns, the parties fielding candidates in the August 9, Osun governorship election are employing varied strategies to woo voters and rally them behind their candidates. As it appears, the political think-tank of the parties, especially the two leading ones, APC and PDP, are closely monitoring the activities of each other with a view to identifying the successes and find solutions to plug any openings noticed.
For APC, the party is not leaving anything to chance. It is employing various strategies to secure votes for Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s re-election. Right from the point that campaign committees were erected to man the reelection bid of Aregbesola in all the nine Federal constituencies in the state by the ruling party, it was clear APC would be adopting both centralised and decentralised governorship campaign strategies.
While APC state campaign committee headed by the senator representing Osun Central in the Senate, Olusola Adeyeye, has been forging ahead with the centralised campaigns which are being held in strategic towns across the nine federal constituencies in the state, the committees saddled with the task of seeking votes for Aregbesola in these constituencies are also organising rallies in towns across their various federal constituencies.
Investigations by ‘Sunday Mirror’ however revealed that Aregbesola’s re-election campaign committees in some of the federal constituencies are not holding rallies, especially where the opposition appear relatively strong, but are instead using a more interactive approach to woo voters. It was also discovered that the committees’ strategies to woo voters across the constituencies are also not the same, as the size of resources available, among other considerations, are determinants of the approach being employed by the committees.
Explaining the rationale behind the strategies the ruling party is employing to garner votes for its candidate, a chieftain of the party, Prof. Adekunle Lawal- Oloki, said while the party harbours no fear about the chances of its candidate, it is still going all out to sensitise people to ensure they are not “misled”. Speaking to newsmen in Osogbo, the United States of America-based university teacher said, “people of Osun have seen what our governor has done in less than four years. All the projects across Osun State that the administration of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has been able to put in place are enough campaign points for us. People have seen Aregbesola and the quality of development he has brought, but we are talking to them to ensure no one poison their minds against us.
“In Osogbo/Olorunda/Irepodun/Orolu Federal Constituency where I hail from, besides the state campaigns been held across major towns, individuals and groups have also constituted mobilisation teams and many of these teams have been engaging in house-to-house campaigns to woo voters. “As community leaders, we have also identified some people we considered “undecided”, and we are really concentrating our attention on this particular set of people to rally them behind our candidate. So far, we have recorded huge successes in this area,” he disclosed.
PDP’s decentralised ward by ward campaigns Against expectations of many, who were waiting to see whether or not the main opposition party in the state, the PDP, would be able to mobilise a large crowd for its governorship campaign commencement, the party opted to start its rallies with ward by ward campaigns with plans to later follow up with two mega rallies a few weeks to the August 9 poll.
Sources within the party told our correspondent that building support base for Senator Iyiola Omisore, the party’s governorship candidate, starting from the grassroots and later urban centres, was considered the best strategy to garner votes, bearing in mind the resources needed to mobilise people to a central place for rallies.
It was also learnt that, going into the grassroots would enable the party explain its programs and state why it should be elected on August 9, dwelling mostly on some of the present admninistration’s policies and how the people have been affected by them. The party, since it started ward by ward campaigns on Thursday, June 12 in CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 the border communities in Oriade local government area, has visited about six local councils, meeting with people in the towns and lesser communities to get them behind its candidate.
Speaking on why PDP opted for decentralised campaigns, the Director of Media and Publicity, Omisore Campaign Organisation, Prince Diran Odeyemi said, “We are not taken the issue of our campaign as jamboree; that is why we are engaging voters in their domain, using the opportunity to explain to them what are not being done rightly and what we are going to do to correct the situation.
“The ward-to-ward campaign has given us good idea of the kind of life our rural dwellers are living. We are taken note of their needs, entering pacts with them and it’s going to help us formulate good policies when we form government by God’s grace after the August 9 poll. “I have tagged these people “the forgotten ones” and it was revealing seeing first-hand how they live. We also intend to have two mega rallies that would attract heavyweights into this state. For now, our local government and ward rallies involve only people in the area and no one, except those on the campaign train of our candidate join those in the local government where the rallies are being held,” Odeyemi said.
Apart from APC and PDP that are adopting varied strategies to outsmart each other to get votes, both Labour Party, LP, and Social Democratic Party, SDP, are two other groups fielding candidates in the governorship election that have commenced campaigns. Speaking exclusively to the ‘Sunday Mirror’ in Osogbo on Thursday, the state chairman of the LP, Barrister Timothy Olatunji, said the party was being quiet about its moves so as not to play into the hands of its co-contenders.
Olatunji explained that the party had been engaging relevant stakeholders in different parts of the state to know their needs. He added that all their needs are being compiled and that they are already assuring them of their readiness to give the state the leadership that would benefit the generality of the citizens. “We are keeping our cards close to our chest regarding our campaign. This is deliberate so as not to allow our cocontenders to strategise and plug openings we have created in the various camps of the so called bigger parties. At the appropriate time, the entire state will see what we have been doing to ensure victory for Engr Fatai Akinbade, the candidate of our party at the poll,” Olatunji stresssed.
The candidate of Social Democratic Party, Mr. Segun Akinwusi, and his team have also been visiting council areas in the state for campaigns, but the party appears to be targeting youths. During its campaigns in Ibokun, the headquarters of Obokun local government area of the state, the party promised unemployed but employable youths monthly stipends if it wins the governorship.


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