Students, traders, and artisans hit the streets of Osogbo, the Osun State capital on Friday to protest the alleged marginalisation of Osun West Senatorial District ahead of the governorship election on September 22.
The protesters numbering hundreds gathered at the popular Freedom Park in Osogbo as early as 8am, armed with banners and placards with various inscriptions that the senatorial district had not produced a governor in the state since the nation returned to democratic rule in 1999.
They argued that while the Osun Central Senatorial District had occupied the governorship seat of the state for over 11 years and the Osun East Senatorial District would have occupied it for eight years at the expiration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s tenure, the Osun West remained the only senatorial district that had yet to occupy the seat.
The protesters said they were ready to massively support any political party that fields a governorship candidate from Osun West, saying any party that fields candidate from other senatorial districts apart from Osun West would suffer electoral defeat.
The coordinator of the Osun Continuity Movement who led the protest, Mr. Saheed Miftah, said the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke remained the only governor from Osun West to have ruled the state and he spent just 22 months before the military truncated the democratic process.
Miftah said, “In the interest of fairness, equity and justice Osun West Senatorial District should produce the next governor of the State.
“That there is no way anyone can claim that there is no meritorious and competent candidate(s) for the governorship seat from the West Senatorial District.
“The political history of Osun at this moment has arrived at a juncture where it must necessarily see the convergence of merit, competence, equity, fairness, and continuity of the giant developmental strides as what is politically correct.
“Without regards to any political affiliation, this fact must be recognised that the best space for any political party to pick a competent, visionary and progressive-minded candidate from is the West Senatorial District.