Osun as a Predictor of Presidential Elections
By Farooq Kperogi
Since 2014, Osun State has emerged as Nigeria’s bellwether state, as Americans call states whose voting patterns almost always align with the winning presidential ticket.
APC’s victory in Osun in 2014, in spite of the intense, all-out PDP-controlled federal effort to swing the election in PDP’s favor, presaged APC’s odds-defying victory in the 2015 presidential election.
In 2018, PDP’s Ademola Adeleke didn’t lose the 2018 governorship election in Osun; APC stole it from him using what no less a person than Buhari himself admitted was “remote control,” which was his euphemism for rigging.
Since there was no consequence for the Osun “remote control,” APC used that same “remote control” to rig the 2019 presidential election without consequence. Just as there were no protests in the aftermath of the Osun rigging, all was quiet when the presidential election was rigged in 2019.
Well, INEC’s improved technology, APC’s loss of its last vestige of reputational capital on account of its infernal dreadfulness, Adeleke’s popularity, and the reputational rehabilitation that the passage of time has helped PDP to acquire all conspired to give Adeleke victory.
I see the same factors at play at the national level now. Like it did in 2014 and 2018, the outcome of yesterday’s Osun State election may foreshadow what will happen next year.
Of course, in politics, particularly in Nigerian politics, nothing is cast in stone. The pattern may be broken.
Nonetheless, should what happen in Osun yesterday replicate itself in next year’s presidential election, Osun would be justified to call itself Nigeria’s bellwether state.
I admit that Adeleke’s victory merely affirms that he’s always been the choice of the majority of the Osun electorate since 2018.
You may sneer at his buffoonish antics like I do, but the majority of Osun voters seem to not mind. Who are we to question their judgement?