The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at the last Osun State governorship election, Iyiola Omisore, has revealed the reason why he chose to support the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the rerun election.
Mr Omisore spoke Thursday at a meeting with members of the SDP from across the 30 local government areas of the state in Osogbo.
He said he threw his weight behind the APC at the re-run of the governorship election because the leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun said they did not need his support.
The Ife-born politician came third at the election which proceeded to a re-run after Gboyega Oyetola, the APC’s candidate trailed Ademola Adeleke of the PDP by 353 votes.
Mr Omisore said the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, was discouraged from meeting him, by the leadership of the PDP in Osun State, when he was in Osogbo days before the rerun.
“We gave APC and PDP our manifesto. We dwelled on payment of arrears of salaries, pensions, and gratuities, on local content, employment for our youths and the reorganisation of the educational system, among others,” he said.
“We went to negotiation with a clear mind that Osun must be free and thank God our coalition has produced a new future for the state.
“The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said clearly that our discussion was devoid of any financial commitment. He said they were ready to work.”
A former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines and a leader of SDP in Osun, Yemi Farounbi, also explained that the party’s leaders decided to support any political party that was ready to put the people of the state first.
“Apart from these, we also said the state must return to 6 -3 -3 – 4. That contracts and services must be given to Osun indigenes; that infrastructural development and food security must be given priority because our people must not be hungry and they agreed.
“The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, was the first to come and he came from the airport to Ile- Ife with some senators and Dr Doyin Okupe. We gave him our manifesto and we waited for 24 hours but no response. We heard that they were saying that we wanted to reap where we did not sow. We heard that they said they would win without us and all that.
“Also, former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, who is the director general of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, called and said they were in Osogbo and they would come to see us. But they did not come.
“The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar called and expressed his regret for not being able to come. He said he wanted to come but the leadership of the PDP in Osun State said they should not come because they didn’t need us. That we should go and do anything we want.”
The Osun State governorship election which held on September 22 was declared inconclusive after Mr Adeleke, the PDP’s candidate led Mr Oyetola of the APC by 353 votes.
After a rerun election seven cancelled polling units on September 27, Mr Oyetola overtook Mr Adeleke by 462 votes and was declared governor-elect, although several local and international observers reported anomalies in some of the units.
Reacting to Mr Omisore’s claims, the spokesman of the Osun PDP, Bamidele Salaam, told PREMIUM TIMES that his party never refused to work with the SDP.
“That’s not true. What we know is that Otunba Iyiola Omisore made some demands,” Mr Salaam told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday.
“When you make a political demand, you give room for elasticity. You can’t just be rigid. Our own belief is that the APC promised to drop the charges against him with the EFCC and also return his international passport.”
Asked if he had evidence for his claims, Mr Salaam said, “We have it on good authority that those were part of the deals and we cannot do that because we are not EFCC. He went with the highest bidder.”