The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State has reacted to claims by Rauf Aregbesola, the outgoing governor, that he achieved a lot in the last eight years.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Aregbesola said he has no regrets having led the state for eight years as the governor.
“I have no regrets in governance. Given another chance to govern, I would continue along this same path. To the glory of God, we have just won an election. There is no better way to demonstrate our political sagacity than that.
“However, my party is different from me and if there are areas the party feels I could have done better, they are free to advise the incoming governor to make such amends. It is extremely difficult to maintain our level of popularity over an eight-year period. We got into power at the eleventh hour but that of the incoming governor has been one of ease. It’s a sign of things to come,” he said.
In its reaction, the PDP said Mr Aregbesola is a monumental failure.
According to a statement signed by the chaiman of the party, Soji Adagunodo on Sunday, Mr Aregbesola’s administration is the worst since the return of democratic rule in 1999.
“There is no better indication of the governor’s failure than the dysfunctional educational system, comatose healthcare, gargantuan debt, deplorable road, abysmal water infrastructure and several other negatives which the governor is bequething to his successor.
“It is already on record that it is during the tenure of Ogbeni Aregbesola that Osun was ranked by Budgit, one of the four most indebted states and the least fiscally responsible state in Nigeria.
“It was during these same years that the state found itself on the lowest rung of performance of students in public examinations; a situation which made us a laughing stock even among states hitherto considered educationally disadvantaged in Nigeria.
“Human life and development had never been this compromised as medical doctors, health workers, lecturers, and civil servants embarked on strikes for a cumulative period of not less than three and a half years during Aregbesola’s administration.”
The PDP also condemned the road claimed to have been rehabilitated by Mr Aregbesola.
“The road from Osogbo through Iwo to Ibadan which the governor boasted would be rehabilitated by Julius Berger in 2012 was never started and must today rank among the worst roads in Nigeria. It is similarly on record that a recent survey by an international organisation ranked Osun as one of the three dirtiest states in Nigeria.
“This is in spite of the billions of naira siphoned by local and state government officials in the guise of environmental sanitation.
“It is one ugly legacy which has put the name of our dear state on the dark spot of political discourse within and outside Nigeria,” the party said.
The PDP says it hopes its candidate, Ademola Adeleke, who is challenging his defeat in court, will reclaim his ‘mandate’ at the appeal court.
The last governorship election in state that brought in Gboyega Oyetola of All Progressive Congress was condemned by local and international observers as there was massive vote buying and voter intimidation. Mr Adeleke is challenging the outcome in court.