The standard bearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) during September 22, 2018 governorship poll in Osun, Senator Iyiola Omisore and the national leader of the party, Yemi Farounbi, on Thursday, October 4, defended the coalition with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that culminated in the electoral victory of governor-elect of the state, Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the duo, who spoke in Osogbo, the state capital during a town hall meeting held with members and supporters of SDP in Osun, declared that their resolve to form alliance with the APC on Thursday, September 27, was precipitated by the critical need to protect the overall interest of the state and socio-economic well being of its citizenry.
Basehitz gathered that Omisore, who contended that he decided to place the collective interest of Osun people above his ambition to become the governor, clarified that working relationship and understand evolved between the SDP and APC before the rerun election was completely devoid of any financial term, but good governance of the state.
According to him, “we pride ourselves with good governance in this state, which majorly include our love for civil servants, payment of their salaries as at due, prompt payment of pensioners’ allowance, qualitative education, rejig of our agricultural and commerce sectors, unfettered assess of our people to public benefits, even distribution of resources among the constituents in the state.”
“This also include local content for our tradesmen and women, market women for them to be patronised and our youths, particularly those who were genuine among them, who have not been swayed by the antics of vote buying or small pleasure of one second that led their lives off track. Employment generation for these youths and gainful and pensionable jobs for all our youths.”
“We went into negotiation with a very clear mind that Osun must be first and this state must be salvaged from the winkles of destruction. We are convinced that we must come to the reality of time. Thank God our coalition has produced a hope for the future for this state which we would all share in the next years to come. “We thank you for your patience and understanding with us and we owe you a duty to let you know how we arrived at that stead before we went ahead with the coalition, we thank God for bringing us this far and we thank you all as well.
In his remark, a former Nigeria ambassador to Philippines, Yemi Farounbi, who spoke in Yoruba language, pointed out that the non readiness of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to commit themselves to the implementation of the SDP blueprint caused the breakdown of negotiation with the opposition party.
He stated: “our agreement with the APC government include the payment of backlog of salary arrears to civil servant in three months, returning of the secondary school calendar to 6.3.3. 4 system by the APC government and decentralisation of school uniform policy. “The Senate president, Bukola Saraki, came with some senators. When he came, we gave him the agenda of SDP and he promised to get back to us, but he never got back up till now. “Few days later, Atiku contacted Omisore through the DG of his campaign organisation and former governor of Ogun, Gbenga Daniel.
Later, Atiku called us to apologise that the could not come to us because the leadership of the PDP had told them not to come to us. “Later, the governor-elect of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, came to us for collaborative support ahead of the rerun election. We gave him the blueprint of the SDP and our demands, which he agreed to.”
“He left for London same day to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, who told him to go back to Omisore and SDP to lead the negotiation team of the APC. He came back to meet Omisore in Ife in company of the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Boss Mustapha. It takes two to tango. The APC agreed to our terms and we decided to support them for the rerun poll, with the understanding of forming a coalition government.” “Omisore was not desperate and never selfish about his ambition to govern Osun state and that was why he decided to work with the APC, by placing the collective interest of the people of the state above his personal ambition.”
“We did not collect money from anybody before resolving to work with the APC. We in the SDP cannot be bought over by anybody or group. What we did was to protect the welfare of our workers, promote social and economic growth of the state, push for the payment of salaries of workers”, Farounbi asserted. Omisore further stated:
“In addition to what Dr Yemi Farounbi said, the chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole addressed a press conference few days ago and he said clearly that our discussion, negotiation was devoid any financial term, no money, but good governance of Osun state.” “It was centred on our resolve to work together in all spheres of the economy, welfare of workers. education and they confirmed their readiness to cooperate and collaborate in tandem with the dictates of the coalition.
“I want to thank all of you again of coming this afternoon. We owe you a duty to give a report and we are back to you. From time to time, we shall be doing town hall meeting to ensure that you are kept abreast of what is happening in the state.”