Court Dismisses Suit Seeking To Disqualify Adeleke As Osun PDP Guber Candidate

An Osun State High Court presided over by Justice David Oladimeji, has dismissed the suit seeking to stop Senator Ademola Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the September 22 election.

The Punch reports that Justice Oladimeji dismissed the suit in the ruling he delivered on Wednesday.

Two members of the PDP: Rasheed Olabayo and Idowu Oluwaseun had filed a suit seeking an order of the court to stop Adeleke as the candidate of the PDP because he did not have the required educational certificate to contest the poll.

But the judge held that he found out that the first defendant was educated up to secondary school level and that the plaintiffs also admitted this in their affidavit.

He, however, said the documents submitted by Adeleke contained some serious and damaging irregularities but added that the plaintiffs did not raise the issue of forgery in the origination summon and failed to prove that the documents were forged.

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6,000 APC Members Join ADP In Osun

About six thousand members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State have dumped the party for the Action Democratic Party.

The defectors were majorly executive members of the ruling APC at the ward and Local government levels, including 8 members of the state Executive council of the party led by the Deputy State Chairman, Alhaji Azeez, Adesiji.
Alhaji Azeez Adesiji announced that 580 members of the Local government executive of the party as well as 5,620 ward executive members had decided to move to the ADP.
Alhaji Adesiji explained that their decision to quite the APC was based on undemocratic practises and impunity reigning in the party.
The former APC Deputy Chairman also added that members of the party at the local levels were abandoned by those he said took over the party.
He charged the leadership of the Action Democratic Party to be fair, equitable and just in decisions as well as other opportunities to promote cohesion in the party.
Welcoming the defectors to the party chairman of the ADP in Osun state, Mr Toye Ola-Akinola assured them of the level playing field in all competitive political offices.
Mr Ola-Akinola said the ADP was more concerned about the Sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy, therefore the would uphold fairness and equity and give all members sense of belongings.
Reacting, the All Progressives Congress APC, Osun State described the defectors as members who feel their interest could be better taken care of somewhere else  despite the fact of being part of the government in the last eight years
In a statement by its Director of Publicity and Strategy, Mr Kunle Oyatomi the APC said the issue involved in the next election was not about an individual, but a collective effort.
The APC maintains that the party with its unprecedented achievements in the last eight years in the state, the people would attract overwhelming support of the people in the next election.
Adenitan Akinola
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NAPTIP Rescues 103 Victims In Osun

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Monday said 103 victims of human trafficking were rescued in Osun.

The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP in Osun, Mr Ganiu Aganran, made this known to newsmen in Osogbo.

Mr Aganran said the victims made up of 78 females and 25 males were being moved out of the state illegally by the traffickers before they were rescued.

He explained that the traffickers made up of 35 males and 24 females are to be prosecuted on completion of an investigation.

According to Mr Aganran, the command had also investigated 23 cases out of which eight had been charged to the court.

He further said that the agency had been able to secure a conviction in no fewer than 352 cases of human trafficking nationwide while more than 8,000 victims were being rehabilitated.

The Zonal Commander described human trafficking as a fast-growing and lucrative business enterprise with over $150 billion realised worldwide annually.

He called for synergy with other sisters’ agencies and stakeholders in fighting the menace of human trafficking.

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Open Letter To Osun Speaker Dr Najeem Salaam, By Akinyemi Oluwaseye

Dear Sir,

Years have continued to tip-toe into my memory with warm reflection about your impactful personality. Your dignity has never ceased to be magnified with integrity and humility. To many, you have been generous like the wind that blows in a heat-filled night. To many, you have epitomized your name, being the ‘Star’ that has illuminated their path to greatness and fulfilled dreams. Your diligence, sense of purpose, knack for excellence and commitment to serving humanity will continue to be ingredients that catalyses your attaining grander heights among your peers.

The sun does not herald to a superficial announcement about her significance. The moon brightens the earth at night without funfair; but when the stars emerge, the beauty of the sky captivates onlookers and wows them into a charming splendor.Sir, may you continue to be the ‘Star’ that entices the memory of human beings with the goodness you do.

You have demonstrated over the years an uncommon concern for those around you and those whose interests you have been entrusted to serve. Working under your stewardship has been expository and highly eventful. I have in actual fact learnt from your stewardship that when we prepare adequately today, chances are that we will not have to repair tomorrow.

Outstandingly, I have come to realize through your marvelous personality that the best use of power or wealth is to use it to create happiness and prosperity for others. Men are alike in their promises; but only in their deeds do they differ.Your  charitable giving and serving the less-privileged and the down-trodden who crowd your vicinity has shown that you grasp the best ways of power control.

One may be granted a position of authority, but not real leadership. Your composure, smartness and influence as a leader refresh my belief that with personalities like you in power, the State of Osun and Nigeria can attain their great potentials. To many of us, you are a hero. I always see the manifestation of Arthur Ashe’s submissions in you, that “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.”

Sir, as you continue your good works in impacting lives and humanity, many will continue to look up to you because you have not ceased to sustain their trust and confidence. Do not stop being the great,reliable and humble leader that you are. My sincere wishes are that: God propels you to greater heights with uncommon ease and may His Mercies eradicate any jinx that comes your way. Amen. Cheers Sir!

Your Sincerely,

Akinyemi Oluwaseye

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WAEC Certificate Scandal: Fifth Columnists Behind My Ordeal, Says Adeleke

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22 election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has accused those he called “fifth columnists” for his travail.

Addressing reporters in Abuja yesterday, Director of Media and Publicity, Adeleke Campaign Organisation, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, said fifth columnists were playing out an alleged “destructive script of their paymaster” against the PDP.

Rasheed noted that while the campaign organisation recognised the right of any aggrieved aspirant to seek redress, the development, he said, raised discomforting questions about the real motive of the challenging camp.

Recall that A High Court sitting in Osun State on Thursday, gave Senator Adeleke, seven days to produce his secondary school certificate.

In his ruling on the ex-parte application filed by Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu, Justice David Oladimeji, held that granting the leave to restrain the PDP from presenting Adeleke as its candidate due to his inability to present his school certificate to the party may subject the court to mockery, if eventually he presents the certificate.

The judge advised the PDP candidate to present his secondary school certificate before the court on Wednesday, August 1.

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Osun 2018: We Musn’t Allow Our Future To Be ‘Danced Away’ – Olu’ Alabi

Ahead of the September 22 governorship election in Osun State, a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and founder of Itesiwaju Movement, a socio-political group in the state, Dr. Oluwole Alabi, has advised the people of Osun State to consider merit, integrity and professionalism in the choice of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s successor at the poll.

Alabi, a gynaecologist, who doubles as the Chairman of Oranmiyan Foundation in the Republic of Ireland, who sated this in a statement he entitled; “Osun APC Primaries: Everyone is a Winner,” a copy of which was made available to our correspondent. He said beyond the primordial sentiments of candidate’s region, party affiliation and sympathy for family, are the consideration for the image and future of the state.

He commended the leadership of APC for adopting primaries in the candidate’s selection process, saying the new development is against the old practice of ‘consensus,’ which he noted had denied majority of party members opportunity to have input in the candidate’s selection process.

He said regardless of the hitches identified, the process must be encouraged by all lovers of democracy, and pleaded with all other aspirants to jettison personal interest to support the winner of the contest, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.

He described Oyetola as a “consummate professional and Insurance guru,” who he noted possesses the mental and administrative capacity to protect the fortunes of the state, especially in the face of the dwindling finances.

He said; “In spite of the dwindling financial fortune of our dear state, the infrastructural landscape has changed for the better. The magnificent school structures littering every part of the state and the impactful school feeding programme attest to the reform in our education sector. The improved security network, the moral rebirth and agricultural revolution, among many others, are all good legacies Ogbeni Aregbesola will be bequeathing to his successor come this November.

“We cannot, therefore, afford to hand over this state to any ‘circumstantial leader’ who would ‘dance’ our fortunes away, or those working to plunge us back into the days of violent cultism and insecurity without any record of achievements.”

On the choice of direct primaries by the party, he advised APC to entrench the culture and grow it to perfection, saying it would discourage the practice of monetisation and vote buying, the development he noted has subjected Nigeria’s democracy to ridicule.

He added; “It must be placed on record that our parent party, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and like those before it, had promoted ‘Consensus’ as a candidate selection process, and this culture continued under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which produced the incumbent Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Some of the reasons advanced by our leaders were to promote cohesion and discourage rancor that usually follow such elections.

“We would recall that yours faithfully campaigned vigorously ahead of 2015 general election and aspired to represent Irepodun/Orolu/Osogbo/Olorunda Federal Constituency. We worked day and night and demanded that primaries be conducted, be it direct or indirect, to give the people the responsibility of selecting who would represent them. But the party appealed to us, and adopted ‘Consensus’ to return the then incumbent.

“As loyal party members, we accepted the decision in good faith by placing the interest of the party and that of our dear state above personal interest. We worked for the success of the party at the poll, and we were rewarded with victory. The story was the same across the state.

“We are, therefore, happy that our great party endorsed direct primaries involving every card-carrying party members to select our flag bearer ahead of the September 22 election. This was against the old practice of ‘Consensus’ and the call for the use of primaries by delegates. Regardless of the hitches identified, this is a welcome development, and must be encouraged by every lover of democracy. Like every new development, perfection cannot be achieved overnight, but we must continue to work hard to grow it.”

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Osun PDP Protest Saturdays Primaries

hundreds of People’s Democratic Party members stormed the party secretariat in Biket area in Osogbo protesting what they call the manipulation of Saturday’s delegate primary.
The aggrieved members said they were delegates who voted during the exercise, but the outcome did not reflect their wish.
The spokesperson for the protesting PDP members, Mr Funso Babarinde urged the National leadership of the Party to look review the exercise, particularly the ballot papers that were declared invalid.
Mr Babarinde said for the party to be part of the September 22nd governorship election, it was important to do justice to the case.
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Still On Osun Youth Empowerment, By Abiodun Komolafe

On December 20, 2010, Governor Rauf Aregbesola introduced Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) as a “strategic youth management” initiative in fulfillment of his pact with the people as contained in his Six-Point Integral Action Plan.

To the best of my knowledge, Aregbesola’s determination to stop Osun youth from eating losses on their future motivated his interest in OYES as a responsive, youth-sensitive intervention to take the edge off the havocs wreaked by income poverty, ‘promote the culture of hard work’ among our youth and desensitize them to violence. Lest we forget, Osun’s previous pass was the cumulative effect of its past leaders’ incompetence, tactlessness and rhetorical slap-fighting that had so far proved unhelpful to humanity. That the governor could force a hole in a stone, in spite of the state’s lean resources, was therefore a feat that must be applauded by all. His commitment to liberating the youth led to the engagement of 20,000 youth all at once, a manner unprecedented in Africa’s history. So far, the scheme has helped mop up over-40,000 youth off our streets and productively engaged them.

OYES activities include Deployments (comprising The Teacher Corps, Green Gang, Public Works Brigade, Traffic Marshall and Sheriff Corps, etc); Collaborations and Exit Programmes. This revolving scheme has a 2-year lifespan and each volunteer is entitled to a-N10,000.00 monthly stipend.

A strategy in statement turned into action by OYES Management Committee and Commandante on a daily basis for action, command, control and administration, Aregbesola’s intervention through OYES focuses on a life of dignity for all. Unlike what obtains elsewhere, Exit programmes in OYES are designed as value-added elements for the volunteers to acquire life-sustaining skills. Such skills could be in Computer, Agriculture, fish farming or driving. As a matter of fact, all skills are captured!

Once upon a time, OYES had about 82 activities in its basket of Exit Routes! But, in order to widen its scope and expand its reach, new products like Care Givers, Auto Care and Entrepreneurship Training were recently added to the list. Findings even revealed that some cadets were trained in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in China and India; some, sent to Germany to learn new techniques in modern Agriculture while some were trained in South Korea acquire training in Administration. As we speak, over-30% of OYES volunteers serve as O’AMBULANCE Paramedics. Interestingly, more than 280 cadets, trained and ‘exported’ to other states have not only discharged themselves as worthy ambassadors in line with the state’s ‘Omoluabi ethos’, their services in other states have, in return, positively impacted the economy of Osun. It is believed that these new additions, plus Endurance Trek, will go a long way in promoting cohabitation, cohesion and good strength among volunteers.

Talk of the success of OYES and the passion and support of the governor cannot be discounted. The teachability of the cadets and the ability of the volunteers to accept training and life-surviving skills, in addition to training, duration and size of the cadets are part of the scheme’s success ingredients. It is therefore gratifying to know that a good number of OYES volunteers are now landlords and employers of labour while others have learnt trades that can make them independent. Perhaps the most interesting is that World Bank and Federal Government of Nigeria have adopted OYES template as YESSO and N-POWER respectively.

By the way, that Aregbesola is a success in Osun is already settled in history. But then, “success without a successor is failure.” Even, so concerned about a successor was Abraham, the father of faith, that he had to extract a covenant from God: “Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars … So shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15: 1-6 KJV). In my considered opinion, the roles of the electorate in producing a worthy successor who truly believes in what Aregbesola is doing and can easily buy into this laudable scheme need not be treated with kid gloves. At a time like this, Osun needs leaders who have honour! It needs leaders who will not lie!

Let me state again that one sure way of ensuring that the message of OYES doesn’t die with the messenger is by documenting the state’s development plans and encouraging other states to emulate Osun’s giant strides in this Social Protection intervention.

Another way of preventing the future of OYES from being written in cessation is by facilitating the Social Protection Bill into law. This will make its scrapping by any administration without soliciting input from the public an impossible task. And I doubt if those who have over the years felt its positive impact on the society will support such a move. For instance, major streets in Osun are as we speak cleaner than those in Lagos State because Visonscope has lost the vision of ‘keeping Lagos clean.’  For Osun, the relevance of OYES on its major streets is visible even to the blind. If, for whatever reason the cleaning and other OYES-compliant activities are in any way disrupted, Nigerians will without stress know that OYES is not in control, just as it is in Lagos that some people are now aware that the engine of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) is crippled.

That a fresh batch of 20,000 volunteers, which the current government is expected to hand over to the next administration, is already being prepared, is an indication that OYES has come to stay in Osun! Over and above all, that the governor has graciously approved the teaching of Multiple Sources of Income (MSI), which OYES tends to encourage, in Osun schools is an indication that the scheme will not die, but live!

All said, how I wish appropriate policy frameworks would also be put in place to make OYES part of the state’s civil service structure? How I wish successful OYES graduates were absorbed into the core civil service at the end of their 2-year programme? Isn’t it time for what is good for the goose (in Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (in LASTMA) to be good for the gander (in OYES)?

May principalities and powers, assigned to rubbish our leaders’ efforts in the State of Osun, scatter!

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

O20, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, State of Osun.

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Osun APC Gov Ticket: Aggrieved Aspirants Describe Exercise As ‘Charade’

Aftermath of the Osun All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Primary Election that produced Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, as winner, agrrieved aspirants have voiced out their displeasure against conduct of the exercise.

The winner of the election, Alhaji Oyetola, is the Chief of Staff to the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

Oyetola polled 127,017 votes to defeat the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuf; the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Dr. Najeem Salam; Mr. Kunle Adegoke; Mr. Saka Layonu (SAN), and other contestants.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives came second with 21,975 votes while the Speaker of the House of Assembly came third with 17,958.

One of the aspirants, who participated in the primary, Mr. Kunle Adegoke, described the exercise as a charade, saying it was skewed to favour the winner.

Adegoke said, “What we experienced in Osun today is not a primary  in any way. It was a charade and it was in contravention of basic tenets of democracy.

“I will not dump the party because of the issues. I will remain in the party and correct this anomaly by challenging the process in court.”

He lamented that the party conducted the primary without a verifiable membership data base despite using  the direct primary method instead of  a delegate system.

He also alleged that hoodlums were used to harass and coerce members of the party to vote for Oyetola and that those that resisted were beaten by the thugs.

The Senator representing the Osun East Senatorial District, Babajide Omoworare; Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; and the Chairman of the Osun State Local Government Service Commission, Mr. Peter Babalola, had withdrawn from the election before its commencement.

Adeoti announced his withdrawal from the primary  in a statement made available to our correspondent by the Director of Media and Publicity, Moshood Adeoti Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kayode Agbaje.

Omoworare’s decision not to participate in the exercise was contained in a statement by his Director of Communications, Mr. Tunde Dairo, while Babalola’s decision to boycott the election was monitored on Rave FM, an Osogbo-based private radio station.

Adeoti’s statement partly read, “Alhaji Moshood Adeoti has formally withdrawn his participation from today’s governorship primary of the party. His withdrawal is based on his decision not to add credibility to a skewed and jaundiced process already designed to favour an anointed aspirant.”

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APC Postpones Osun Governorship Primary Election Till Friday

The All Progressives Congress (APC) primary to elect its candidate for the forthcoming Osun governorship election has been postponed from Thursday July 19, till Friday July 20.

The party announced the postponement in a statement issued by Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, its National Publicity Secretary on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement added that a meeting between the Primary Election Committee, chaired by Gov. Abdul’aziz Yari, of Zamfara and Osun APC stakeholders would hold in Oshogbo, the state capital on Thursday.

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The Impending Calamity Called Osun Gubernatorial Election, By Awodire Olatunde

There is an African axiom that says ‘he, who the gods wants to kill, they first make mad’. That is merely a polite way of saying, ‘a dog intent on getting lost will not heed the hunter’s whistle’.

Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in his bid to install a successor against the wish of party members have turned himself into modern day Pharaoh: he has deafened his ears to reasoning. Those who fail to learn from history are consumed by it. There are antecedents to show that Aregbesola’s electoral choice is fraught with danger and failures. Since he became governor in 2014, Aregbesola has not won any election he has not participated in. Under his watch and despite serious opposition from well-meaning party stalwarts, he imposed candidates that lost Ife Central by-election to the opposition in 2016.

In the same vein, the APC lost woefully to PDP Isiaka Adeleke in the 2017 Osun West Senatorial by-election. Is thunder about to strike thrice at the same spot? Is the fear being nursed by party faithfuls across the state unjustified? Is Aregbesola and his handlers once again taking Osun APC for a ride and sacrificing the welfare of the party for selfish interest and personal ego?

The signs are very ominous. Indeed, no election in the history of Nigeria has been shrouded in so much confusion and indignation. 17 aspirants were screened by the Screening Committee on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. One week after not a single aspirant has been given screening certificate. As if that is not enough, just two days ago, the party National Chairman in the Person of Adams Oshiomhole pronounced at the NWC meeting that the candidate of the party would be decided via direct primaries using wards as polling centres.

While the APC constitution gives room for direct and indirect primaries, there is a reason why APC or indeed any party in Nigeria has never used direct primaries in a contest involving more than one ‘genuine’ candidate. There is the argument that direct primaries was used in 2014 APC Gubernatorial primaries. But that point is negated by the fact that APC 2014 primaries was a kangaroo primaries with only an incumbent Aregbesola as the sole candidate. It was more of an affirmation than a competitive primaries. If it was so viable, why has the party or its predecessor, the ACN, AC or AD not adopted it previously. Why did it become suddenly fashionable at a time Aregbesola’s candidate is facing imminent defeat in a free and fair primaries?

Contrary to what the party Chairman and National Chairman would have us believe, the sudden resolve for direct primaries is not altruistic and not meant to serve the larger interest of the party. The process is so convulated and constricted that the conclave to elect a Pope pales into insignificance.

A day to their so-called ‘direct’ primaries, no aspirant, except the Governor’s stooge (Gboyega Oyetola) has seen the membership list. It is not only immoral, it is illegal to deny aspirants the right to verify and authenticate list of party members meant to choose a candidate. It stands to reason that the only reason the Party Chairman and the establishment is hoarding the membership list from 16 of the 17 aspirants is to perpetrate fraud.

There are already evidence that membership list is being doctored in such a way as to undermine a transparent process. In the last few days, OPF – a nebulous group driven by elements like Ajibola Bashiru (Osun Commissioner for Justice), Cabinet members Remi Omowaiye, Bola Ilori, Biyi Odunlade have let loose their hatchet men to collate names of 100 party members each from all the 334 wards in the state. This method is as sinister as it is efficient. The party membership register has not been updated in over 4 years, affording ample room for fraudulent manipulation. In case you are trying to find out these elements antecedents, it is not far-fetched.

They are the same kitchen cabinet of Emperor Aregbesola who did not only oversee serial election loss in Osun but also blatantly engaged in anti-party activities in Ondo State in 2017 by supporting the candidate of AD against their own APC. As usual, they also lost the election. These are the same desperados bent on foisting a fait accompli and subverting the will of loyal party faithfuls.

Unfortunately for them the people are wiser. Years of oppression and imposition have opened the peoples eyes to see beyond the smokescreen. Just two days ago, 26 out of 32 State Exco members sat and unanimously sought the removal of the state party chairman for what the described as ‘dicatorial and divisive acts of imposition capable of derailing the party’s chance of winning 2018 gubernatorial election’.

All Osun West leaders (including the aspirants and cabinet members in Aregbesola government) have dissociated themselves from any attempt at imposition and have threatened to boycott the primaries if the party insist on overnight direct primaries. All the 44 ward Chairmen in Osun East has followed suit with a press conference denouncing the desperate attempts to shift the goal post at the middle of the game. They, like Osun West, have also taken their case to Chief Bisi Akande in the hope of having a last minute solution. Osun has never been this divided in its history.

Tomorrow is primaries, yet, there is no guidelines or modalities for the concocted direct primaries they are intent on shoving down our throats. Security reports have prevented the Primary Committee led by Governor Abdul-aziz Yari of Zamfara state from engaging the aspirants. There is the distinct possibility that they would not show up. No one is prepared for any primaries. Since the date set by INEC for submission of candidates name (form CF 001 and 002) is sacrosanct, the unpalatable prospect of Osun APC inability to meet the deadline looms large. Unless, it receives sense, Osun APC is staring at creating an inglorious history of being the only party (incumbent for that) to fail to have a candidate for its gubernatorial election. Of course, there is the option of consensus.

In fact, it is alleged in many quarters that the ultimate design of Aregbesola is to create melee and grand confusion in such a manner as to make the emergence of a candidate through a primary impossible with the aim of picking Oyetola as a consensus candidate. That plan in itself is dead on arrival. If Oyetola cannot even navigate a free and fair primary of party members, pray, how does he intend to win a general election. You dont need a rocket scientist to know that that the reason Oyetola is running from pillar to post and trying to subvert the process is because he is hugely unpopular. You cannot blame him too much. Oyetola lacks the requisite practical experience to run for any elective office. He has not contested as a councillor in his life.

How anyone thinks the highest office in the land should be bequeathed to such greenhorn defies all logic. Oyetola desperation and the difficulties he has faced despite all the resources and state apparatus at his disposal is a clear indication of his well celebrated unpopularity. The people have been taken for a ride and pushed to the wall and they would do everything to retain their dignity.

There is no doubt these are difficult times for Osun APC and the only redeeming feature is for it to retrace its step, field a loyal and widely acceptable candidate that can rally disillusioned and dispirited members for victory at the polls. Aregbesola and whoever is controlling him must know that the interest of the party must supercede personal interest. It is evident that Oyetola is not flying and attempt to foist him on the electorate is a recipe for disaster. Osun West is a classical example on how to build concensus by listening to genuine agitations of party member. The gains of Ekiti must not be eroded and made a pyrrhic victory by wrong choice of candidate.

The falling of a dry leaf is a warning to the fresh one. Aregbesola should not leave an empty shell, a carcass of a party for members that have stood by his side through his trying period. That would be the height of unforgivable betrayal.
AWODIRE OLATUNDE writes from Atakumosa East Local Government Area of Osun State

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Osun 2018: I Have Not Abandoned My Gubernatorial Ambition, Says Salaam

Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Najeem Salaam, has debunked reports making rounds on the Social Media that he had abandoned his gubernatorial ambition, saying the report was fake and baseless.

Mr Salaam stated this in Osogbo, the Osun State Capital at his official declaration to contest the guber race.

He said those reports were being used against him as the Speaker of the state House of Assembly.

“The meeting I attended in Lagos with party leaders – Governors Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state, and our state Chairman was targeted at ensuring victory for the party in the coming election.

The Speaker declared his support for the emergence of the next governor of the state from Osun West Senatorial District in the interest of fairness, justice and equity”.

“Late Isiaka Adeleke who came from the West, only spent 22 months as Governor of the state but Chief Bisi Akande and Olagunsoye Oyinlola who spent four and eight years respectively were both from the Central District.

“It is equally essential to note that the incumbent, Governor Rauf Aregbesola who will complete two terms of eight years in November came from Osun East Senatorial District,” he said.

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