By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—A former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba, yesterday, said Social Democratic Party, SDP, in the state would target not less than 500,000 votes in the forthcoming governorship election.
Osoba who stated this at the party’s mega rally held at the Ake’s Palace Ground, in Abeokuta, noted that the party had over 50,000 members on its membership register and directed each member to canvass for at least 10 additional members.
Osoba who spoke in the presence of some leaders of Afenifere, including Pa Olaniwun Ajayi and Chief Ayo Adebanjo, handed over the party’s flag to its governorship candidate, Senator Akin Odunsi, describing him as the best choice for the people in the state.
Others who were at the rally apart from Afenifere leaders were eight current members of the National Assembly who recently dumped APC for SDP, the party’s candidates and other party leaders.
Odunsi as gov candidate
While explaining how the party resorted to Odunsi as the party candidate, Osoba said: “You people of Ogun State told me you want a governor who will share the benefits of democracy equally among the different parts of Ogun State and not a governor of friends and families.
“You said you want a governor who is humble, matured and noble, one who will respect the elders, one who knows the guidelines of the party and will listen to the party, one who will appreciate those who took their stand to vote at the polls.
“Has anyone of you benefited anything in this present administration? You people told me you want a devoted Muslim as a governor, have you seen these attributes in Senator Kamarudeen Akin Odunsi?
“I want you all to fight a reasonable battle with your votes at the polls. In our party, we do not make fetish oaths but oaths with affidavit. We discussed at full length before we chose Senator Odunsi and also his wife will take care of you women. Are you prepared for the battle? Your weapon is your Permanent Voters’ Card, PVC.
“I challenge all of you to mobilise your relatives to the polls to vote for SDP. You must canvass for at least five members of your families.
“We have over 50,000 registered voters and if you mobilise ten more people in your family, that makes it 500,000 votes for SDP.
“You all know that the crowd here is not rented and presently on our membership register in this state. We have not less than 50,000 registered members. We are targeting not less than 500,000 votes in this state.
“If each of the 50,000 members can win 10 members, then that target will be achieved. I hereby urge all of you to be canvassers of votes, particularly outside your neighbourhood so as to make our dream a reality.”
He warned the party members against sale or loss of their permanent voter cards, describing it as “weapons of war” to vote out the present administration in the state.
In his acceptance speech, the party’s governorship candidate in the state accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of neglecting the rural areas.
Odunsi flanked by his running mate and the current deputy governor of the State, Prince Segun Adesegun, submitted that there was no evidence of governance in all the rural areas of the state.
He said his administration if voted into power would focus on a 7-point programme which included; integrated rural development and agriculture; qualitative education; integrated power project; creation of friendly and conducive environment for industrialists towards industrialization and employment creation.
Others were qualitative healthcare service delivery; change from monolithic infrastructural development to all critical sectors and emphasis on the provision of potable water supply.
He emphasized that the party would run an all inclusive government that would “return the state to the path of progress,peace and unity.
“We do not desire a State that will be noted for insecurity or perpetuation of oblique hegemonies. We look forward to a system that will redraw the architecture of the State’s social contract that will engender equity and ensure equalization of opportunities.
“Ours will be an equal partnership in state enterprise, between the government and the governed, between the rich and the poor, the traditional institutions, professional bodies and students. These shall be our engagements-day and night-and on these, we shall deliver the needed benefits through a workable system you can trust.”