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Acceptance Speech as the SDP Gubernatorial Candidate in the Osun state 2018 elections

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It has been a very keenly contested primary election.  I am both excited and humbled to have emerged winner, and to have earned the confidence of my peers and the party to be presented as the Gubernatorial candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Osun state.  It was no small feat as my fellow contestants were able and also very well suited to the position.  However one person must emerge leader and to the glory of God I have.  

First, I must give thanks to the Almighty God for He has taken us all this far and by grace, shall lead us all the way to win the elections.  I recognize the participation of Otunba Yemisi Oladeji and Barrister Munirudeen Atanda, who also contested under the banner of the SDP for the coveted position of Gubernatorial candidate.  I am very delighted to work with them and other leaders to take the state forward, and to achieve our shared quest; the restoration of good governance and human dignity in Osun state.  This is remains the unassailable goal of the Social Democratic Party in Osun State 

It is an unreserved honor to take on this leadership responsibility.  I do so in deep humility knowing that it is a call to service at a most difficult time for the citizens and residents of the state.  Much of the hope of our people lies in the outcome of the forthcoming election.  Truly, our campaign cannot be one of rhetoric and empty promises.  Lives have been so negatively impacted on by reckless governance over the past years.  The fortunes of our people have been reversed.  My personal commitment to restoration is real. I am deeply appreciative that there are many like minds in the SDP at all levels who express the same commitment to good governance as well as respect for, and the preservation of human dignity.

I express unreserved appreciation to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the SDP.  Their maturity, wisdom and untainted commitment to equity, fair play and the rule of law is to be commended.  This has resulted in the peaceful conduct of the SDP gubernatorial primary elections in Osun state.  It is trail blazing in Osun state as many other parties struggle with visionless self interest that continues to tear them apart, and they are unable to host similar party elections without rancour.   Our primary elections have been overseen by an incorruptible five member Governorship Committee chaired by Prof. Rufai Alkali.   Supported by Bar. Joseph Abu-as Secretary as well as by Chief Korede Duyile, Madam Delu Jonah and Dr. Benson Ogbonna as members, the committee has ensured that every eligible SDP member freely cast their vote with neither fear nor intimidation.  The SDP primary elections in Osun state was also  monitored and supervised by INEC with effective representation from both national and state levels and in accordance to the Nigerian electoral laws.  Finally, the elections were witnessed by duly accredited international and local observers. 

I must thank all the party members across the 332 wards of Osun state who have participated in the direct primary in which I have emerged as their gubernatorial candidate.   We are in this together.  Our collaborative efforts shall extend to everyone.  I remain humbled by the generosity party members have extended towards my emergence today.  I have watched videos, received flyers, read social media postings, jingles and traditional poems shared in many WhatsApp messages and group postings,  all of these freely donated by selfless committed SDP party members, friends, family and a large number of supporters well beyond the state.  Your commitment shall remain an inspiration and a motivation that shall ensure that I remain accountable to our shared aspiration that prosperity and development in Osun state shall leave no one behind. 

SDP’s respect for order and the rule of law is supreme!  I thank every one most sincerely.  
Our journey formally begins today.  This is the first of many victories for the SDP in the state and at all levels.   Our agenda for restoration of good governance and human dignity shall be driven by three strategic imperatives; (a) Accountability (b) Equity and (c) Professionalism.  Our approach to governance shall not only be inclusive but shall harness local capacity to bring the much needed hope for tomorrow to our citizens.  We shall ensure fiscal responsibility, promote public sector performance, establish citizens driven platforms for accountability, improve procurement processes to ensure that they do not leave local contractors and vendors behind and above all we shall ensure that pensioners, and the aged are not left our of our robust restoration agenda.  Osun state young persons are key to the restoration agenda.  Our actions today determine their future.   Our manifesto shall restore the hope of  a bright tomorrow to these young leaders.  The process of developing the SDP manifesto of restoration shall engage everyone.  We shall not fail in our effort to ensure that our programmes are not only visible but they reverse the current trend of irresponsible governance and fiscal recklessness of the past year.

I take this on with both courage and hope.  I recall the famous words of Winston Churchill as he led the British Army from victory to victory. ‘Victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival’ The citizens and residents of Osun state shall survive and thrive.  The watch word of the SDP is progress.  It shall leave none behind.

I thank you all.

Senator Iyiola Omisore PhD, FNSE, C.Eng, CON
Former Deputy Governor of Osun state and 
SDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Osun 2018 Elections

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