The Committee for Equity and Fairness, a group under the aegis of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) has called on the party to end marginalization of the people Oyo Federal Constituency by fielding the running mate in the forthcoming governorship contest in the state to Oyo Zone.
According to Newissues, the group’s position is contained in a statement signed by its coordinators, Mr. Abdullahi Olanrewaju Idowu and Tayo Samuel on Thursday.
The statement alleged that Oyo Central Senatorial Zone is yet to produce either a governor or deputy since the return to civil rule in 1999.
The group noted that from 1999 to 2019, a space of 20 years, all governors and their deputies have emerged from other zones but Oyo. The governors include; Alhaji Lam Adesina, 1999 – 2003; Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, 2003 – 2007; Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, 2007 – 2011 and the current occupier, Senator Abiola Ajimobi from 2011 – 2019.
Similarly, Chief Iyiola Oladokun, 1999 – 2003; Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, 2003 – 2007; Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja, 2007 -2011 and Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, 2011 – 2019, the present deputy governor, all come from other zones but Oyo.
“With the current political permutation and the voting strengths and patterns in the 7 Zones in Oyo State – Ibadan City, Ibadan Less City, Ibarapa, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Oke Ogun I and Oke Ogun II and taking a cursory look at the two major political parties ADC and APC, comparing Apple for Apple vis-à-vis the likely zoning arrangement of state political offices by these parties, it is highly expedient that ADC should zone its deputy governorship position to Oyo Federal Constituency,” the statement stated.
According to Idowu, the group’s position is premised on permutations that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, would most likely pick its governorship candidate from Ibadan and its deputy from Ogbomoso, “a zone where the ADC stood no chance of winning the gubernatorial election”.
“Judging from the array of gubernatorial aspirants in ADC, it is certain that the governorship candidate of the party will be picked from amongst the aspirants from Ibadan zone.
“ADC is very strong in Oyo Federal Constituency, and it is a statement of fact that after Ibadan zones, Oyo zone has the largest followership in ADC and it is a good strategy to exploit the voting bloc from the zone to neutralize the likely results that will be coming from Ogbomoso zone during 2019 governorship election.
“From INEC statistical data, Oyo zone has over 250,000 registered voters and Ogbomoso equally has over 250,000 registered voters and politics is a game of number.
“From 2011 and 2015 governorship election results, it was confirmed that Oyo votes were used to neutralize and or consume results from Ogbomoso zone,” the group stated.
Idowu expressed confidence that should ADC consider picking its governorship running mate from the Oyo Zone for the first time, it will be a masterstroke and a bitter pill for other political parties, especially the ruling party to swallow seeing that it will galvanize more votes and also change the political dynamics of Oyo state as this strategy will propel ADC to win the gubernatorial election in the state.
The group appealed to party leaders, elders and state executives, as well as other stakeholders to consider the marginalized Oyo zone to produce the deputy governor in 2019 for the first time in the spirit of equity and fairness.
The statement said that “equity and justice no doubt constitute the hallmark and pride of the Yoruba race. In the socio-economic sphere as well as in the traditional governance structure of the Yoruba people, the principle of fairness is sacrosanct. Indeed, it is the basis for peaceful co-existence, harmonious living, progress and societal development.
“This principle is even more relevant in modern times. The politics of ‘zoning’ and ‘rotation’ are founded on this principle. And many states of Nigeria have found it very efficacious and durable. But we may find it a bit difficult to subject this concept to test in Oyo State – the crucible of Yoruba Politics.”