Mulikat Akande Adeola is not new to electoral contests in Oyo State as a Federal legislative candidate of People’s Democratic Party.
Since 2015, Mulikat Akande Adeola popularly addressed as ‘Alhaja’ by her admirers, has been on the ballot for two times without winning the elections.
And after each contest, she files petition at the tribunal against the declared winner, leading to titanic legal war that usually terminated at the court of highest jurisdiction where her fate is sealed.
In 2015, Mulikat, who was Majority leader of the house of representative in Abuja recontested under the umbrella of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, against the incumbent Chief of Staff to the Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi who flagged under the banner of the Labour Party.
The former lower chamber house leader approached the tribunal seeking to upturn Ogunwuyi victory.
Oyo State National and State Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal, presided over by Justice James Abundaga, dismissed the petition with suit number EPT/ IB/NA/REP/1/2015, filed by the former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande- Adeola, stating that time was of essence in election petition matters.
Four years later, Mulikat was part of those who initiated the struggle to reshuffle the PDP in Oyo State. In an election where Seyi Makinde was the flag bearer of the party for the gubernatorial contest, Mulikat Akande Adeola was the flag bearer of the PDP in Ogbomoso North Senatorial District contesting against someone she once edged out at the polls in 2007, Fatai Omotayo Buhari.
Fatai Omotayo Buhari, after losing the election in 2007 became a Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in 2014 and the Chairman Senate committee for land transport was elected for the second term in 2019. His reelection in an election contested with Alhaja Mulikat Akande Adeola made him the first Senator to win election twice in Oyo North Senatorial District.
Buhari Ibapon as famously called in Ogbomoso, according to the result announced by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer in the district, Professor Jonathan Aileru at the collation centre in Iseyin, scored a total of 107, 703 votes to defeat his closest rival, Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola of the PDP who scored 89, 365 votes.
Like the 2015 episode, Alhaja Mulikat challenged the results of the election, however in a petition No. EPT/OY/SEN/09/2019, the tribunal held that the premise upon which Adeola Akande and her party rested their case was wrong hence awarding a cost of N150, 000 against her and her party.
Although after she lost the election, her party produced more than 70 percent of members of the state House of Assembly due to the coalition that emerged, but she and other coalition members failed to win Ogbomoso North State Constituency. Should we say that was because Alao Akala was on ground? cause I could recalled a saying by the late titan of Oyo politics, Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, which goes thus” no one can defeat me in my local government till I die”.
But Alhaja Mulikat has again thrown her hat into the ring for the 2023 contest as the Oyo North Senatorial candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, after she fell out with Governor Seyi Makinde.
Her die-hard followers believe that 2023 represents her brightest chance to be a senator, insisting that Mulikat Akande Adeola remained the most popular candidate among those on the Oyo North Senatorial District ballot for next year’s election.
They claim that their principal had always won previous contests but had been unfortunately rigged out because of alleged manipulations which were not proven at the level of the courts.
They are thus confident that with the introduction of the Bimodal Voters’ Accreditation System (BVAS) by INEC, the votes would accurately count in his favour come 2023.
But it sounds interesting that the three out of four major political contenders including the incumbent seeking third term – Fatai Omotayo Buhari of the APC, Mulikat Akande Adeola of SDP, Akinwale Akinwole of the PDP, are all from Ogbomoso, while Accord party went for Hon Shina Peller who is from Oke Ogun.
The great question which need answer now is can Alhaja Mulikat with her Social Democratic party win a seat in Oyo State House of Assembly, talk less of Oyo North Senatorial District with the way our democratic process has been monetized? If Oke Ogun agenda being used by Hon Shina Peller works out, which region is she expecting her bulk votes from? or is she playing a spoiler role?
At this juncture, I as a political observer would advise her and other candidates of the SDP to step down their ambitions and support one of the major political parties. Even the late Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala, when he was hot politically in 2015 failed to win his senatorial district. If Alhaja his insisting that she would not stoop low to be a subordinate to someone she considers junior in the political arena, then she should stay away from contesting election because her failure to win this senatorial election in 2023 might spell doom for her political career, signifying that the last time she won an election was in 2011.
writes from Ogbomoso.