This evening, the APC in Saki West local Government went through the eye of the needle to snatch an emphatic win against the ruling PDP in a keenly contested rerun election into the Saki West state constituency.
I deliberately used the word snatch, considering the scenarios in the build up to the rerun election conducted in some polling units within the Saki West Local Government.
The APC candidate had been returned elected by INEC in March, 2023.
The PDP and Its candidate however, disatisfied with the return of the APC candidate by INEC had approached the Election petition Tribunals to upturn the return of the APC candidate.
Both the Election petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, sitting as the Appeal Tribunal had voided the return by INEC, of the APC candidate and a rerun election was ordered in some polling units within the constituency.
Prior to today’s rerun election, the APC candidate was left with a very slender margin of victory.
However, after the counting of votes today and tabulations of same, the candidate of the APC was declared winner and returned elected.
This victory by the APC is emphatic and symbolic.
The controversies generated by the 2023 gubernatorial election is still fresh and alive.
While Governor Makinde and the PDP have kept grandstanding and pointing to what it considered ” a landslide victory” in the gubernatorial election, the APC on the other hand felt that Makinde’s victory is a mirage, made possible by some arrangements from above.
The APC can not be said to be wrong.
The results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections clearly confirmed that the Party was in absolute control in Oyo state.
So, one can understand the importance of the rerun in Saki to both political parties.
For the APC, today’s rerun election was a swim against the tides.
Governor Makinde in his characteristics manner left nothing to chance.
Quite a number of PDP political office holders, PMS boys and even Traditional Institutions were mobilized to ensure a PDP victory.
Today’s rerun election is also significant in many ways.
Despite the perceived ” landslide”, the APC was still able to make some showing in some part of Oke Ogun in the March 28 gubernatorial election.
This obviously was attributable to the involvement of certain key figures.
Governor Makinde’s erstwhile Deputy, Eng Rauf Olaniyan is a prominent son of Oke Ogun.
Dr. David Okunlola, the APC Deputy Governorship candidate is from Saki.
Makinde’s Deputy, Bayo Lawal is also from Saki.
A bragging right between these individuals will also always be at stake.
Unfortunately for Makinde’s Deputy, not only his party, but he, also and yet again lost the bragging right, having been trounced at home in the last general election.
Kudos must go to the Oyo APC Executives, Leaders, political office holders who bonded to give us this wonderful tonic.
It is my hope that we will build on this momentum to forge forward as we move to reclaim the state in 2027 God willing.
The Local Government Election is just months away.
If we can snatch this victory from the PDP, with honesty of purpose and determination, what can’t we do?
I hope Abuja will take note of this epic victory and resituate Oyo APC in Its rightful position.
Special kudos must be given to the Oyo APC state chairman, Dr. Isaac Omodewu who have been resilient in his efforts to see that Oyo APC is afloat despite the setbacks arising from the 2023 gubernatorial election loss.
It is not usual for a party to rally round to win rerun elections after losing the gubernatorial election.
Recall that Oyo APC also won the rerun into the House of Reps in Oluyole Local Government.
Mention must also be made of Barr. Waheed Lawal who was as his usual self, up and doing before, during and after the rerun election.
Finally, the gubernatorial candidate of the party in the March 28 election, and former Senate Leader, Teslim Kolawole Folarin must be commended for his usual doggedness and Leadership qualities.
Congratulations to the Oyo APC family!