With Senator Iyiola Omisore’s extravagant formal declaration of interest in the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship ticket on Saturday, February 8, 2014, all three aspirants vying for the party’s ticket have thrown their hats in the ring.
Before Omisore’s loud declaration in the state capital, Osogbo, the two other governorship aspirants on the platform of the PDP, Hon. Oluwole Oke, former House of Representatives member and Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, former Minister of Youth Development, had made their declarations for the same purpose.
While Omisore is widely touted as the favourite to represent the PDP in the party’s bid to oust the incumbent, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, efforts to arrive at a consensus were unsuccessful, forcing the party to settle for primaries.
ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with the Publicity Secretary, PDP, Osun State, Hon. ‘Bola Ajao on the party’s next moves, Aregbesola’s much talked about education policy and much more.
Now that the party’s three governorship aspirants have formally declared their ambition, what are the PDP Osun’s plans?
The party’s plans are basically to provide a level playing field for all our aspirants. We must endeavour to put our house in order and get our acts right. The template for the state congress from which the candidate shall emerge will have to be properly articulated. And we move forward as one united family to tackle our opposition now in government of Osun State.
When is the state congress coming up?
It is the constitutional prerogative of the National Working Committee of the party to set dates, time tables and draw guidelines for the internal democracy ideals of the party and of course within the ambit of the law. It is already in public domain that the primary election of PDP for the Osun gubernatorial election will come up on April 5, 2014.
Did the party consider a consensus candidate?
Of course. The consensus option was fully explored. This is as much as possible to avert acrimony often associated with political pursuits, tackle avoidable gridlock, etc. However, the party must be mindful not to fall into the hands of fifth columnists as the constitutional provisions of the party must be strictly adhered to.
With Aregbesola’s popularity in Osun, how do you fancy PDP’s chances come August?
Aregbesola is living in the past. May be he was popular when he was imposed by the fake police report procured judgment and Osun people gave him the benefit of doubt to see whether he will perform or not. But to their dismay, almost four years of being in the saddle, Aregbesola is a huge disappointment to the good people of Osun State.
He is certainly not popular for good reasons but for his notoriety such as
(a) wanton and reckless demolition of hapless peoples properties and means of livelihood
(b) usurping the funds, distorting and disorientating the local government system of administration
(c) declaring public holiday for ritual worship
(d) kleptomania, profligacy, capital flight, etc
(e) harbouring, organizing and training an army of election riggers with their notable exploits in Kogi and Ondo gubernatorial elections and the Osun 180 in Anambra gubernatorial election still very fresh in our memory
(f) non-payment of staff salaries as at when due
(g) gargantuan debt profile for generations of Osun people even those yet unborn when there is little or nothing to show for it.
Now, the Bankers Committee have resolved not to lend money to Osun state any longer. (g) fooling the entire people of Osun State that an airport is nearing completion and would be opened in Feb. 2014. We make bold to say this is absolute lie as we challenge them to show where this airport is.
We can go on and on. Without equivocation, PDP and all the good people of Osun State are on the same page in their resolve to chase away these interlopers and vile capitalists back to Lagos or wherever they came from. They have done a comparative advantage analysis and found out that PDP is the viable alternative, hence their determination to vote en-masse for PDP in the August 9, 2014, gubernatorial election. The indelible records of the PDP led administration of Osun state are glaring for anybody to see.
What would the PDP do differently from the incumbent?
PDP will restore our school system to its functional format rather than this dysfunctional state. One and same school uniform throughout the state shall be abolished and each school shall revert to its original identity. We will give honour and grace back to our revered traditional rulers, workers welfare shall be given a pride of place, and above all, the general welfare of Osun people and buoyancy of its economy shall be the epicenter of our administration.
What is your reaction to the allegation that the principals of Baptist High School, Iwo and Ejigbo where there has been controversies recently were sponsored by the PDP?
This is a very cheap blackmail. Even Ogbeni Aregbesola at Baptist High School, Iwo, himself alluded to the fact that there is a growing discontent and that he himself is ‘Baba’ protester. Therefore, the ‘Pikin’ protesters must be addressed with all the seriousness they deserve and as such the causes and sources of discontent be x-rayed squarely rather than blame the PDP for its catalogue of woes.
What exactly is wrong with Aregbesola’s reclassification of schools?
Aregbesola’s reclassification of schools is a misadventure. From the input, to the output and the possible outcome, it is distortion galore. First, these mega schools embarked upon is absolutely unnecessary as it is uncalled for; there are not many metropolitan cities here in Osun and the number of mega schools so proposed are grossly inadequate.
The 6-5-4 system newly introduced by this state of Osun as against the nationally accepted 6-3-3-4 has nothing meaningful to show for it. Merger of schools have continued to inflict pains and anguish on pupils, parents and teachers alike. Distance from houses with its attendant costs in terms of money, safety, security, etc, lumping of children from various schools into one occasioning lack of effective management of size and population.
Aregbesola’s self self styled unusual government is apt. It is unusual for a government to be a satellite of another. The major preoccupation of Aregbesola is to run the affairs of Osun as if it were a vassal state of Lagos.
– DANIEL FAYEMI