As the September 22 governorship election in the state of Osun approaches, political groups within the All Progressives Congress (APC) have started mobilising for the party, even though, the party is yet to lift ban on campaigns. KEHINDE AYANTUNJI monitored the tours of the Oranmiyan Group to various Local Governments and reports.
Few months to the gubernatorial election in the state of Osun, it seems all the structures within the All Progressive Congress (APC) are not giving anything to chances. Among the leading group working assiduously to expand the capacity of APC is Oranmiyan Worldwide, one of the socio-political organizations that mobilized supports for the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in 2007 Governorship Election.
As far back as 2005, the Oranmiyan group has been known in the state to be a grassroot mobilising group for the progressives from the days of the Alliance for Democracy, to Action Congress (AC), to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), which has now metamorphosed into All Progressives Congress (APC).
To garner support for the APC ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state, Oranmiyan has embarked on visitation to its members across the state with the sole message of supporting Governor Rauf Aregbesola to produce a successor that will sustain the current development in the state.
Oramiyan train recently visited Ife-East, Ife Central, Oriade and Obokun Local Government to interact with members of the group and other party stakeholders to review the governor’s Six Point Integral Action Plan which formed his pact with the people and mobilise support for the APC in the coming election.
The vocal issues during the tour led by the Oramiyan top echelons, including Hon Lanre Opadoyin, Mr Toyin Orungbe among others were the excellent performances of Governor Aregbesola on infrastructure, economy and education in Osun East Senatorial Districts and how the governor will produce a successor that will continue his porgrammes.
Speakers after speakers during the tour unanimously agreed that the performance of Governor Aregbesola has placed the APC in a better position to defeat any candidate from the opposition party in the state, saying his policies and programmes, no doubt directly impacted every family.
Sadiat Ibraheem from Ife Central local government during the interactive session commended the governor for sustaining good relationship with the workers despite the economic recession that incapacitated the state and made it “extremely difficult to pay salary” .
According to her, it takes a leader with commitment to development and welfare of the people to be able to manage such situation in the face of provocations, condemnations and mischief.
Sadiat said, “We are proud of Mr Governor, he has provided the needed infrastructure for the state to kick start rapid development, we are also proud of his social services and empowerment programmes, including the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and School Feeding Programme that have become models in Nigeria and Africa.”
“All we need is a credible candidate that will possess the capacity to sustain the standard and improve on it, the task before Oranmiyan now and our party is to unite to chart a common front ahead the governorship election in the state”.
In Oriade and Obokun, the story was not different except agitation for more appointments and improvement of the welfare of party members. Mr Busari Aderanti while speaking in one of the places visited said the governor and the party leadership must as a matter of urgency prevail on some state and national assembly members who have neglected their electoral constituencies and party members for years, saying all political office holders, both elected and appointed have significant roles to play for the continuity of the APC to be a reality. Busari complained that some beneficiaries of the recent local government council leadership and political appointees from the council are adopting winners-take-all attitudes by not accommodating others in running the affairs of their various councils.
He called on the party leaders to intervene and unite the party in the federal constituencies, saying, “the governor can never be everywhere, political appointees in our areas are his representatives, and they are expected to provide responsible leadership”.
Responding to some of the issues raised in Ibokun, Hon Lanre Opadoyin appreciated Governor Aregbesola for making the group proud of his achievements in the last seven and half years, saying the promises made by the group during previous campaigns in line with the six-point integral action plan of the administration have been fulfilled.
Opadoyin said, “We thank Mr Governor who has not put Oranmiyan to shame, his performance has become a standard of good governance and that is why we are bold to be here to engage you, what I observed is that it is a consensus that the governor is a trailblazer who has changed the face of Osun for better.
“That is more reason why we must all be careful and united to ensure that the good works are not stopped, we must buried our differences and chart a better course for the benefit of the state and our party at large.
Another leader of Oranmiyan group, Mr Olajide Sadiq, while responding to the welfare issues reminded the party members that it was Governor Aregbesola that first introduced massive local government board appointments when the state economy was so buoyant to make governance at the grassroots level more participatory.
“What I want all of us to understand is that it took God’s intervention for Nigeria to come out of recession, for two years, it was a difficult decision for Mr Governor to appoint Commissioners as a result of paucity of fund. The success we are celebrating today that Osun is among the best state in Nigeria economically with the least poverty rate was the result of hard work, not a tea party and to sustain the legacy, we must rally support for the government and the party”.
He urged party members to close ranks and double their efforts in mobilizing support for the party.
It is the believe of all the speakers during the mobilization tour that Aregbesola has surpassed the achievements of all previous administrations as evident in all the developmental projects across the state.
Each of the speakers particularly hammered on the investments in youth through OYES, Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme (OREAP), Micro-finance Schemes among others; investment in education, particularly on the construction of new schools that can compete with any such school all over the world; and several other social intervention programmes which the administration of Aregbesola has received several accolades on.
They particularly noted that the school feeding programme of the administration has significantly boosted the enrolment into public schools, while the introduction of Tablet of Knowledge, popularly known as Opon Imo has made teaching and learning easier.
They also stressed that the procurement of 25 Armoured Personnel Carriers, 120 security patrol van, helicopter for aerial surveillance and incentives for security agencies in the state have helped a lot in the reduction of crime rate, saying that there is need to support the APC for the continuity of the programmes, policies and projects of the present administration.
Other members of Oranmiyan team includes Alaba Popoola, Folasade Sadiat Aremu, and Adedeji Afolayan among others.