The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Olu Falae, has expressed his commitment to ending the internal crisis within the party ahead of the September 22 governorship election.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday in Osogbo, formally handed to Iyiola Omisore, the certificate of return following his victory at the just concluded governorship primaries of the SDP in Osun State.
Mr Falae’s gesture erases the doubt as to the position of the party’s national leadership on who would be flying its flag at the coming governorship election.
This is in spite of the election of Munirudeen Atanda as candidate by another faction of the party led by Ademola Ishola.
The SDP primaries won by Mr Omisore, just like that of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was direct primaries. He polled 123,485 votes to defeat his runner-up, Mr Atanda, who polled 1,802 votes in absential.
Mr Falae however, told PREMIUM TIMES on Monday in a telephone chat that the crisis in the party would be resolved.
“I have been resolving crisis in Osun in the last five years,” he said. “I can assure you that the crisis will be resolved.”
He also said that he was certain Mr Omisore would emerge winner in the governorship election, arguing that the SDP remained the preferred political party in the country at the moment.
While presenting the certificate to the governorship candidate, Mr Falae said the present APC administration in Osun had brought hardship to the people.
He said workers in the state had gone on for several months without salaries, assuring that the SDP would take over the reins of leadership and turn the state around after the governorship election.
According to him, Mr Omisore would not just be governor but would impact positively on the lives of the people in line with the ideals of the party.
“You are going to be riding the white horse to the government House in Osun state. Your excellency we feel as a party, your experience, your pedigree, your antecedent, that you are the man for the job and the people of Osun state deserve this person with the knowledge to turn the state around because the government in place has failed the people,” Mr Falae said.
“I was there practically, salary has not been paid. So many things, I saw poverty with my own eyes and I believe that you are not just going there to be a governor but you are there to put smile and enrich people’s lives and that is what the party represents and that is the focus and vision if the party.”
Also speaking at the event, the National Secretary of the party, Shehu Gavan, said the party’s direct primaries which produced Mr Omisore demonstrated that Nigerians were tired of the delegate system of conducting primaries which short-changes party members.
“For us at the SDP this is a very serious land mark,” Mr Gavan said.
“We have set the stage for transparency on the conduct of elections and we promised Nigerians that we will conduct free and fair elections devoid of imposition, recklessness and so on an so forth. Coming from a background where candidates are being imposed, we thought that SDP should have a paradigm shift and this is the definition of the paradigm shift.
“Our aim is to create an environment for every Nigerian to have a sense of belonging, a sense of participation and indeed we are about to state that Osun state stands as a reference point. We are glad that the exercise was free and fair, we are glad that the security agencies witnessed it.”
Mr Gavan also said the party would back the candidate during his campaigns and urged him to do well to lead the party to victory
Mr Omisore, in his response, said he would win the forthcoming governorship election.
He said the state was in a deplorable situation with poor health facilities and unpaid salaries.
He said it is unreasonable to tax the citizens without first creating jobs for the people; promising that his government, if given the chance, would ensure that citizens were gainfully employed before being taxed.
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