Against the backdrop of the demise of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who represented Osun West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, no fewer than 20 aspirants are struggling to fill the vacant seat as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed the bye election for Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Adeleke, who was also the first executive governor of Osun, died on April 23, 2017.
However, INEC in a timetable released and signed by its Administrative Secretary in Osun State, Ademusire E. A., said that consequent upon the provisions of the enabling statutes that bye elections to fill the vacant seat by National Assembly be conducted within 30 days upon the declaration, the bye election for Osun West Senatorial seat will hold on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
The timetable further revealed that June 15 would be last day for submission of forms, June 22 as last day for publication of forms, June 30 for submission of names and addresses of party agents and July 6 as the last day for campaign by political parties.
Investigation conducted by Nigerian Tribune indicated that among the strong contenders to the vacant seat are the national ex-officio of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Akintola Omolaoye; the state secretary of APC, Ayobami Salinsile; the younger brother to Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Ademola Adeleke; Alhaji Tiamiyu Bello, Mr Tijani Adekilekun and Alhaji Sule Alao all on the platform of APC.
Similarly, contenders on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) include former Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Adejare Bello, Bamidele Sallam, Ajibade Falade, Senator Olasunkanmi Akinlabi, Retired Colonel Olayiwola Falabi among others.
Despite the fact that APC is yet to lift restriction on campaign activities, Nigerian Tribune gathered that the committee set up by party to determine whether the party ticket should be zoned to the home town of Adeleke, Ede, or thrown open to all the local government councils in the senatorial district has submitted its report.
Details of the report revealed that two local governments where Adeleke hails from want the ticket to be zoned to Ede as compensation, while three other local governments preferred that the ticket be made open to all the seven local governments in Osun West Senatorial District.
The local government in Osun West Senatorial are Isokan, Irewole, Ayedaade, Iwo, Ayedire, Ede North and Ede South, Egbedore, Ejigbo and Olaoluwa Local Government Areas.