Osun 2022 elections: the next governor’s challenge

Jul 13, 2022|Adesola Afolabi

The election season in Nigeria is gradually rolling in. 

In barely three days, another governorship seat up for grabs will be filled, making it the third this year.

Key takeaways:

  • Pollution, environmental degradation, low income, and unemployment are some of the issues on the minds of Osun residents as they head to the polls on Saturday to elect the person that will lead them.

  • While political commentators believe it's a two-horse race with candidates of the country’s leading political parties as the main contenders, whoever wins the elections among the 15 candidates in the race must find a way to overcome Osun’s major economic issue—low income for the state and its residents.

  • Osun consistently receives the lowest federal government allocation (FAAC). But its IGR has been growing—up 53% between 2016 and 2020. Still, the pace of growth is slow. Oyo's IGR recorded more than 100% growth in the same period. And the income is low, Osun's ₦14 billion IGR was the 16th largest in the country last year, but below the ₦23 billion average recorded for the period.

Earlier in the year, in March, to be precise, the people of Anambra chose Charles Soludo, the former deputy governor of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), as their governor. Last month, Abiodun Oyebanji, Ekiti’s incumbent governor’s handpicked candidate, became the state’s governor-elect. And so, in the past month, Stears has been dishing out stories that help readers think analytically about these candidates throwing their hats in the ring.

This time, the people of Osun have to decide between their current governor and 14 other candidates to lead the state, popularly known as Ile Omoluabi (the land of the virtuous). The Yoruba's, a prominent tribe in Nigeria, refer to the state as where humanity started.

Osun is undeniably a state with a proud heritage—for humankind and the Yoruba clan especially. In addition, the state is blessed with enviable resources. For instance, Osun has gold—the world’s 7th most traded product—in commercial quantities. An investor, Thor Explorations, announced that it produced over 7,000 ounces of gold from Osun in February of this year. The state is also littered with monuments, sites, and several priceless artefacts that speak of its rich history. To date, an 18-feet staff carried by Oranmiyan, the grandson of Odùduwà, rests in the state.

Despite these remarkable attributes, Osun's financial base is low compared to other states.

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