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SENATOR IYIOLA OMISORE DECLARS INTENTION TO CONTEST FOR OSUN STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION UNDER SDP - Read complete speech

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TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE BY SENATOR IYIOLA OMISORE PhD, FNSE, CON DECLARATION OF INTENT TO  CONTEST THE OSUN STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION ON THE PLATFORM OF THE SOCIAL DEMORACTIC PARTY (SDP).

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Fellow compatriots, citizens, residents and great people of Osun State, I welcome you all to this landmark gathering in the political annals of our dear State.

It has become imperative for me to formally address you, and share updates on the political processes towards the forthcoming elections to the highest political position in Osun state, the Office of the Executive Governor.  It is important that we all place the wellbeing of the state at the centre stage of our discussions and decisions.  The issues at hand go well beyond any one person, irrespective of his social class or education.  Osun state, and its indigenes have faced needless difficult times in the past years.  I therefore address you not in my mere capacity, but in deep recognition of the shared pain we have been through on account of bad governance and fiscal irresponsibility.  This remains foremost on my mind, and informs any actions that I have personal taken all of my political career and life. It is important for us all to be aware, that the constitutional pathway to restoration and progress of our state and impacting on the wellbeing of its citizens and residents, can only be guaranteed through membership of a robust political party with respect for its own internal democracy and constitution, as well as for the rule of laws of our nation.  I ask you all to remain absolutely assured that these considerations inform all decisions that I have had to take on my own political positioning and in the interest of every one in Osun state, young and old; male and female and across all economic and social classes.  

I have always viewed a political party as a meeting place for like-minded persons with a shared vision enshrined in a close-knit brotherhood that goes well beyond the traditional bonds of friendship.   Sadly, this in the past few years has not been a reciprocated position and increasingly, it would appear that personality issues have blinded visions, and a commitment to the shared purpose of restoration and total sack of an morally bankrupt government, led by Rauf Aregbesola and his goons in APC have shrunk further and further within into an abyss.  This is has never been my ethos.  

Truthfully blinding attacking that loose sight of vision shall not save our state and improve the wellbeing of our people.  This rather sadly, is the operating environment that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state has found itself.  I recall the words of Nicollò Machiavelli ‘He who blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher, must fall with the greatest loss’.  My purpose, and indeed the broader vision of the citizens and residents in our dear state cannot be served by envy, plots, gossip, lack of respect for due process as well as an arrogant departure from observing the provisions of the party’s constitution or disobeying its national convention decision or particularly as it pertains to internal party democracy deviate from and the essence of democratic principles that we must abide by.  I am very convinced that things shall continue in this way in the PDP of Osun state.  This will undermine our common goal, and shall make it elusive.  I assert very firmly that this is neither my political purpose, nor does it align with my averred democratic commitment.  I cannot, therefore, remain a part of this deviant, visionless political process with ineffective leadership. We must assure that we do not fail the citizens, residents and the boundless numbers of well wishers of Osun state by turning from this atmosphere of envy, plots and gossip, where dishonesty, greed and unbridled ambition prevail to one that embraces collective action within a collegial brotherhood of trusted leadership.

It is pertinent to note the historical pathway of my engagement in the political affairs in Osun state, and indeed at regional and national levels.  I played a pivotal role in the creation of the now defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD) when the country returned back to democratic ruling in 1999 and I became the Deputy Governor of this great state.  It is intrigues, dishonesty and loss of vision in vociferous attacks on my person that led to my departure from the AD and foray in the PDP.

My pathway of commitment to state as a distinguished Senator, and Chair of the Committee on Appropriations speak very loudly of my commitment to Osun state, evidenced in the volume of allocations and projects in the state.  This record remains without a parallel.  My commitment to its citizens is without contest as over many years, I have reached to provide access to jobs, enterprise and social assets for our people through my political, professional, business and social networks.   In moving forward, and way from the PDP, this commitment to Osun state shall remain resolute and unshaken.  It is my state of origin, the people my people, and where ever I go, I shall remain their dutiful son, and leader.  Nothing can change that.  

Again and again, those who must accuse me claim that I possess a strong and independent personality as well as a mind of my own.  This is an acknowledge trait of leaders of distinction.  It is the stuff that those who must make a difference in difficult times are made of.  As Amit Ray, the famous life coach asserts “Leadership grows like tall trees. It needs both toughness and flexibility - toughness for accountability - flexibility to adapt changes with a compassionate & caring heart for self and others.” I am humbled that those who are weak and ineffective leaders, with neither this toughness nor flexibility identify this important leadership asset in my personal life and interactions. 

I am also very quick to note that this leadership personality can only be misconstrued by mischief and visionless leadership as arrogance. It is with the flexibility of the collaborative leader that I closed ranks with others during the Osun West Senatorial District by-election.  As I have acted in the past, athe vision of good governance, commitment to overall rather than personal good prevailed.  I shied away from the evolving motor of ‘Divide and Rule’ that was taking over the PDP choosing to in the words of Johann Wolfgang van Goethe ‘Unite and lead, a better one’.  I joined other PDP party leaders who had very divergent and disjointed views.  My engagement brought in not only cohesion but leadership that is known to be focussed and tough to our assailants, yet flexible to the brotherhood of vision within the party.   I worked for the party’s candidate even against pressure from leaders and admirers that I so much cherish. Some even advised that the anti-party role played by the other camp that caused the party’s defeat in the 2016 Ondo State governorship election should not be forgotten. As a loyal party man, I ensured the party’s interest prevailed. 

Regrettably, the visionless polarization of the party in Osun State along these two factions by weak, ineffective leadership continues in spite of the fact that it is still a subject of litigation. It is alarming that the very weak national leadership elected for the party in the December 9, 2017 national convention is unable to restore peace through genuine reconciliation and ensure a non-biased congress is held. The prevailing hostile atmosphere in the party does not present the opportunity for any intervention from me.  The party, in its legendary impunity decided to go against the decision of its own convention that upheld the Ward congress held all over the state. The National leadership under perceived inducement of some party leaders in and outside the state with questionable motive decided to influence the congress and so, the PDP in Osun State is in disarray, with a more than huge potential of leading the state to remain in prolonged political captivity over the next four years should it fail to win the September 22, 2018 governorship election.  Along with so many others, I must step up in true leadership against this possibility in the interest of those who have in pain and in the gripping depth of poverty borne the impact of the financially inept and morally bankrupt governance of the past 8 years under Rauf Aregbesola-led APC government.

Visionary leaders in the state, including my humble self, remain undeterred in our purpose to ensure a state that enables everyone.  The quest to lead a process that keeps this vision in sight requires that I opt out of the political impunity in the PDP as it is currently constituted.  The forces that have now seized the PDP in a stranglehold are on a mission very much against my conscience and indeed my very being.

Engaging and working with like-minded leadership, we have sought for an alternative platform that will assures both credible and legitimacy that will rescue Osun state from its current reckless misrule.  Our quest for an alternative political platform is basically in pursuit of a credible political structure that would guarantee that our people enjoy the benefits of accountable leadership at the state level from now.

Notwithstanding my enormous contributions over the past years or so to building the PDP, after very deep thought and the widest consultations with my God, my family, my supporters in and outside Osun state, It is with great concern that I have made a very expedient decision today, to withdraw my membership from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and join the Social Democratic Party (SDP); a party that believed in a balanced, equitable and truly functional Nigeria. On the platform of the SDP, I shall with the support of my supporters, followers, and the electorate of the state, seek the nomination to contest for, and by His grace, be elected as the Executive Governor of Osun state on September 22, 2018.

While I have always regarded the entire state as my constituency, as a democrat, I will continue to align with the forces of change that would guarantee justice, prosperity, peace and happiness for our peoples.

I thank you all

Senator Iyiola Omisore PhD, FNSE, CON
Osun State, May 2018

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