SENATOR Iyiola Omisore, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in the September 22 governorship election in Osun State has clarified issues on why his party decided to form a coalition government with the All Progressives Congress (APC), a decision he said led to victory for APC candidate, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, in the September 27 rerun election, thereby making him the governor-elect of the state.
Omisore, a former deputy governor of Osun State and Chairman Appropriation Committee in the Senate, speaking with Tribune Online, said his party, before the run-off opened the window of opportunity for both the APC and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to work together with it, but it was only the APC that agreed to its terms and conditions, which primarily, was to adopt “SDP’s robust manifestos” that centre on good governance, human capital development and welfare for Osun State people.
He revealed that, after the APC agreed to its proposals, a decision was finally reached after due consultations with his party’s leadership and members in all the 30 local governments in the state, for the forming of APC and SDP coalition government.
Omisore affirmed that part of the agreement was for the revamping of education, health and other sectors in the state, saying, these were the conditions APC agreed to, assuring that the party had agreed to adopt and implement SDP’s programme.
According to him, “Our decision to form a coalition government is based on a party that is ready to work with SDP to adopt and implement the core values of our party which is social justice, equity and good governance.”
“The PDP and APC approached us for coalition based on our performance and grassroots network, especially since the seven areas where the rerun was to take place were SDP’s stronghold. We won in those areas, and we agreed to work with the APC which accepted our proposals and we ensured that the party won in the election.
“It was only the SDP that was not involved in vote buying or election rigging, and as the public can see, the incidences of vote-buying before the rerun was peculiar with both the PDP and APC.
“Our core values and philosophies as indicated in the SDP manifestos, ‘Restoration Agenda,’ was presented to the APC and PDP representatives who approached us for support and formation of a coalition government, but it was the APC delegation led by its chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, that agreed to implement our programmes as entrenched in SDP manifestos.”
Such core SDP programmes, the APC had agreed to implement, according to Omisore, include, “Professionalism and Performance in the Public Sector,” which by interpretation, he said, “Workers must be motivated and trained,” likewise, “Payment of the accumulated salaries, pensions and arrears within the first three months of the administration, to be followed by payment of full salary to all categories of workers.”
Speaking further, Omisore said, the core SDP programmes which was negotiated with were, “Revamping of Education Sector; which will see to the regularisation of the school traditions, such as reverting to each school having its uniform as was the practice; Equity in Access to Services across Osun State; Local Content and Innovation in the Investment and Development of the state; Focus on robust and Effective security of all and sundry, likewise, Restoration and uplifting the condition of service for Obas and Chiefs in the state.”
He said his party structure would ensure that the SDP ‘Restoration Agenda’ sold to the APC “is fully implemented in the coalition government we have both agreed to form,” as he assured his supporters and the generality of Osun State people that their interests would be protected.
Omisore averred that it was the same proposal for a coalition government the SDP gave the APC high-powered delegation initially led by Dr Kayode Fayemi, the newly elected governor of Ekiti State, it also discussed with the PDP representatives headed by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.
However, a source had hinted that Omisore didn’t close the door against the PDP, saying, “It is on record that he met with PDP representative, Senate President Saraki, before Dr Fayemi who later came to woo the Ife-born politician, while the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had also sought to arrange a working agreement with Omisore in Osogbo.”
But all these PDP leadership efforts to work with the SDP and Omisore, it was said was frustrated by the Adeleke’s political camp and family, who, a source said, believed since they had made it to that level, they could win the rerun without Omisore’s input.
The source further disclosed that the brother of Ademola Adeleke, Deji, had said the family would not allow Omisore to “share in the glory of their victory and take it upon himself that it was him that made Adeleke a governor in Osun State, supporting it with a claim attributed to the spokesperson of Adeleke’s campaign that the family would find it difficult to work with Omisore who it was said was the reason their late brother of Ademola left PDP to the APC before his death, fearing the possibility of Omisore being in charge of all things, hence it was said the Adeleke family opted out of working with PDP.
Also, it was said that Omisore, who had been a member of the PDP before he was “frustrated” out of the party, had worked for the victory of Ademola Adeleke to secure the PDP senatorial ticket when he was denied of it in his former party, APC, and he also worked for Adeleke’s victory at the polls, not only that, he had worked as a Senator for the emergence of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as a PDP governor in Osun State, likewise others he helped to secure PDP government appointment, yet, at a payback time for him, he was denied the PDP governorship ticket until he left to secure it in SDP.
It will be recalled that, Omisore, all through his campaign had spoken against “bad governance in Osun State, and together with his party, SDP, prepared a manifesto with five thematic pillars which had also been commended by the European Union (EU) delegation that came as election observers, with many other political thinkers who had commended SDP as the only party in Osun election that had a working manifesto.
Omisore had, as stated in SDP blueprint, proferred solutions to how the unemployed youths and others would be offered gainful and pensionable jobs, stock hospitals with drugs, create welfare package for workers, construct good roads and open opportunities for investments in the state, and harness business opportunities in the state, and block leakages.
He had spoken of the need to judiciously spend the monthly allocation of the state, which he said if well managed could be enough to pay salaries, as he also promised to pay all arrears for Osun worker’s salary within the first 100 days of his administration, abolish the single uniform for Osun students and return to 6-3-3-4 system of education, offer qualitative health delivery system and revitalisation of agriculture in the state, among other promises he said he would fulfil as the state governor.