Prince Bola Ajao, a former chairman of Ifelodun local government, between 2004 and 2007, is the current publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State. He reveals why his party’s standard-bearer in the August 9 governorship election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, will defeat the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Rauf Aregbesola, who is also the incumbent governor, the lapses of the APC government in the state, among other issues.
By Olayinka Ajayi
Today, you are rounding off the house-to-house and community-to-community campaign of your standard bearer in the August 9 governorship poll, Senator Iyiola Omisore. How do you assess the reception of the people to your party in communities visited so far
First and foremost, we would like to put on record our gratitude to God, Almighty for his kindness, mercies and benevolence. The reception has been something else. It is huge, wonderful, tumultuous, encouraging and it is pointing to no other thing than victory that is waiting for Otunba Christopher Iyiola Omisore and the Peoples Democratic Party come August 9, 2014 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
What do you think are the marketability features of your candidate to the electorate in the poll
I challenge anybody to prove any contrary assertion that Senator Iyiola Omisore remains the most visible, the most talked about and the most prominent political figure in Osun State in the last 20 years. This is a very high point. He has been there for the people of Osun State.
He was there as a deputy governor to former Governor Bisi Akande and he performed creditably well. As a senator representing Osun East in the National Assembly, Abuja for two terms, he represented us excellently, distributing democratic largesse to the people of his constituency and beyond. In terms of democratic dividends to the people, he has always been there as a philanthropist, humanist, realist and somebody that can be relied upon. He is very assessible, but very difficult to manipulate.
What do you think Omisore would do differently if he emerges the winner of the election from what Osun people are witnessing under the Governor Rauf Aregbesola
One crystal thing that he would do eminently different is that there would no be any capital flight anywhere. This is a homeboy and son of the soil. Omisore is a practical politician and somebody whose peoples’ yearnings and aspirations have been his topmost priority and major concern. His goal has always been driven by the need to make life abundantly comfortable for the generality of Osun State.
There would be immediate halt of capital flight to Lagos and this would pave way for prosperity and economic empowerment of our hardworking people, who have subjected to debilitating effects of poverty and frustration by Aregbesola’s callous administration.
The APC is kicking against the planned deployment of heavy security for the conduct of Osun governorship election, saying doing so would amount to the militarisation of the nation’s democracy. What is you take on this
Almost everywhere in the world, particularly in the third world countries, the conduct of election has always brought the its modicum of some disturbances, violence, worrisome threats to peace and tranquility.
The only antidote to ensure a free, fair, credible and rancour free election is to have adequate security to ensure that peoples’ precious lives and properties are effectively protected. Anybody that is saying something contrary or hold different position on this matter is planning to benefit from some mayhem and hoping to achieve some sinister objectives through violence. We must give the credit to PDP-led federal government, currently under the able leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan, which has been protecting and sustaining our hard earned and uninterrupted democracy in the last 15 years. In this regard, adequate and effective security are germane to the survival of our democarcy.
Not quite long ago, the ruling APC government in Osun allegedly said your party was collaborating with INEC to perpetrate electoral fraud through the NYSC members, who would serve as adhoc officials during the election. How do you react to this
Was it not the same NYSC members that were used in Anambra governorship poll? Why did the PDP not collude with INEC there? Was is not the corpers that were used in Ondo election and the PDP did connive with INEC to rig the poll, which was won by Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party, ditto for number of places the PDP lost. There is no connivance.
You can see for yourself wherever the PDP and Senator Omisore went for campaign the magnitude of people and intimidating crowd trooping out to show love and sincere acceptance for our party. This is amazing. There is no doubting the fact that our people are seriously yearning for a change from this misrule, misgovernance of these aliens and interlopers in the corridors of power, holding our innocent people by the jugular through harsh economic policies and other programmes, which have no direct bearing or impact on the entire citizenry.
They have grossly mismanaged our economy and succeeded in wantonly and recklessly demolished our properties, without paying compensation and also taken away our source of livelihood. But, Osun people have collectively resolved to send them packing on August 9. There is no need for any connivance or rigging. We are looking forward to a free and fair election, where there would be one man, one vote. From the temperature of Osun people, it is clear and evident that PDP would coast home to victory, while Aregbesola would return to where he came from.
Despite the credentials and what you claimed as the fascinating political profile and achievements of Omisore, coupled with the goodies he has to offer, the APC had insisted that he has nothing for the people of the state against the provision of durable infrastructural facilities and enviable projects of Aregbesola. What’s your take?
What is the basis of comparison between Omisore and Rauf Aregbesola? Where was Aregbesola when Omisore was the deputy governor here? He was just a mere appointee of Bola Tinubu in Lagos. Where was Aregbesola when Omisore was contributing meaningfully to try development of this state?. It was in the hotel suite of Omisore, in Abuja, where the Alliance for Democracy (AD), the political platform upon which Aregbesola’s mentor, Tinubu became what he is today politically.
So, there is no ground for comparison between Omisore and Aregbesola. Comparing Omisore with Aregbesola is like comparing Cosmos with chaos . Omisore is a known name. Aregbesola is not a content in the political vocabulary of Osun, not until 2007 political brouhaha. He never schooled here. He never worked here nor pay tax here to contribute to the commonwealth of Osun State. So, he was just transferred by what we used to have in the days of colonialists by the self-styled Asiwaju of the Yorubas. Omisore has got the discipline, pedigree, human faced programmes and most importantly the backing of the people. Hence, there is no basis for comparing him with Aregbesola.
The APC at the national level called for the postponement of this August 9 election. Do you subscribe to this idea?
How can a student who has worked hard or prepared diligently begin to ask the lecturer or the school authority for postponement of examination? It is a mark of defeat abinitio that they know that terrible failures are pointer to defeat that is imminent. They believed the only way to save themselves from the looming electoral defeat is to call for the postponement of the much awaited governorship election. The call for postponement is unwarranted.
The PDP had done its homework and we have paid our dues by waiting at the sidelines when they were holding sway, inflicting sufferings on the people. Now the entire citizenry have seen that PDP is the better alternative. INEC is not postponing any election and our people cannot take that from the APC. The handwriting is clear on the wall that they are heading towards the exit.
As a result of reported violent clashes between your supporters and members of the APC in Ile-Ife and few other communities, there are fears among the electorate that violence may mar the coming poll. Do you have any assurance to allay the fear of the people?
That is exactly why the federal government is not taking chances or treating the security needs of the election with levity. We want to assure our people that there would be adequate security for them during the election exercise. Nigeria as a country has got what it takes to provide adequate protection for its citizens. That is why we don’t have any fear. We have the confidence in the security agencies to discharge their responsibilities effectively well before, during and after the poll to ensure adequate security and safety for lives and properties.