Osun 2022 in an Era of Big Power Struggle Analytics

Osun 2022 in an Era of Big Power Struggle Analytics

It is not strange in the Nigerian politics that incumbent political leaders always ensure installation of their successors. Governors want to have successors that they have interest in. Presidents want to have successors who are most likely to do their bidding after leaving office. In most cases, according to political analysts and social commentators, Nigerian politicians do not want to leave office for successors who would abandon their initiated policies and programmes. Despite these, we have seen a number of situations where the anointed successors worked against the interest of their ‘political godfathers’ few months and years after.

As Osun people have less than a year to go to another poll, our analyst takes a loot at the ongoing power struggle between Governor Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, the current Osun governor and Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, the immediate past governor and Minister of Interior. While Engineer Aregbesola hold the ace, the current governor was the Chief of Staff to him. This, according to our analyst, and Governor Oyetola’s relationship with Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress’ Chieftain, helped Alhaji Oyetola in winning the 2018 governorship election. The election was keenly contested between the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party, which fielded Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke as its candidate.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, the state election holds on July 16, 2022. Party primaries are scheduled for between February 16 and March 12. Like what Osun people were exposed to during the 2018 election, campaign activities have started indirectly without recourse to the electoral body guidelines. As expected, the rift between the two leading parties [APC and PDP] is growing every day. Conflicts within the parties are also having different phases every day. Some members have been punished for going against the parties’ policies, rules and constitutional provisions. For those who felt cheated, alternative solution has been the creation of groups.

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No doubt, the growing power struggle will have impacts on the chance of the ruling party in 2022. Already, the proliferation of social media pages or accounts among the Ileri-Oluwa group more than The Osun Progressives group affords the political structure of the governor to surpass the Osun Progressives group, which has adherents of Engineer Aregbesola.

Our analyst reports that during 2018 electioneering campaign, De-Rauf, Oranmiyan, R-Connect, Progressives Media Team among others within the political structure of Engineer Aregbesola and those established by the loyalists of governor Oyetola collectively promoted and marketed Oyetola candidacy. Now, the collective communication strategy has turned to individualistic communication strategy as members of each camp provide narratives and counter-narratives on how former governor mismanaged the state and why he needs to allow the current governor to govern the state without his [Aregbesola] interference.

These narratives have significantly contributed to how the people in the state see the two politicians in relation to their different political groups, our analysis reveals. Our analysis shows that people are seeing IleriOluwa group more positive in the Osun Progressives group than seeing TOP positive in IleriOluwa. Seeing IleriOluwa negative in TOP is much than seeing TOP negative in IleriOluwa. These have significantly contributed to Osun peoples’ interest in the two personalities between January 1 and July 31, 2021, our analysis reveals. With 71.4% accuracy of our modeling of positive and negative frames of viewing IleriOluwa and 85.7% of the TOP, we can say that the two groups are having divided share of the people’s mind in the state on the digital sphere.

Exhibit 1: Osun Population Interest in Aregbesola and Oyetola [January-July, 2021]

Based on the insights and our earlier position on the impacts of the ongoing power struggle between the two politicians, we expect significant influence on governance in the state early 2022 because the two camps will have a few months to the election day. They are expected to strategise and restrategise towards winning party primary election by March 2022.

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