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MUST READ: Our Path With People Is Different, By Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam

Dear Compatriots in Osun, I must first express my gratitude to God Almighty for making us to go through the by-election without recording a single loss of life despite the threat of fire and brimstone from some quarters and I appreciate the statesmanship of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for choosing to rise above the fray before,…”
July 14, 2017 7:38 pm

Dear Compatriots in Osun, I must first express my gratitude to God Almighty for making us to go through the by-election without recording a single loss of life despite the threat of fire and brimstone from some quarters and I appreciate the statesmanship of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for choosing to rise above the fray before, during and after the election; a situation that made it easy for the umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct free, fair and credible election without any form of hitch anywhere.

It is on record that Mr. Governor through his proactive measure as the Chief Security Office of the state created a level playing field for all parties to campaign and be heard on media organs including that of the state. While he limited his partisanship to his party’s electioneering campaign. I appreciate his leadership not because he has done the right thing, but because he was capable of subverting the electoral process by virtue of his position as seen in the past but elected not to do it.

The proactive measures and early deployment of staff and logistics to the polling units across the length and breadth of Osun West Senatorial district has given the INEC a moral ground to be called a credible umpire and I thumb up for the commission. Meanwhile, the electorate of Osun West senatorial district have spoken loudly with their votes on the choice they prefer, though not our candidate; it is the will of the people that must prevail, and it has become imperative to work with Senator Ademola Adeleke as our representative at the senate of the Federal Republic.

We shall look forward to work with him in the spirit of democracy if he so desires for our compromise. At this juncture, let me formally congratulate Senator Ademola Adeleke on his new assignment and I wish him a safe delivery on his mandate. As for the fate of our party, All Progressives Congress (APC), I would want to say that the temporary setback was nothing short of weight-shedding exercise, which further confirmed to us that in democracy, you win some, you lose some.

So, it must not be seen as a failure of our party or rejection, but as a challenge to step up our democratic engagement with the people with aim of courting their love and acceptance furthermore. I am glad that the election turned out to be a form of significant protest from our people on some issues we, as a government and as a party have started looking into, and we promise to communicate our steps to address the grey areas that caused us the electoral loss in the by election across the state soonest.

For the opposition that was rejoicing at our temporary setback, I say, enjoy it while it lasts, but know that our party shall rise above the present challenges and regain its grove in the hearts of our people. It is on record that former Governor Adams Oshiomole once experienced the same setback while he called the shot in Edo state as the governor, when he lost two when our party lost two senatorial seats to PDP in 2015, but with the tenacity of purpose and realization by our people that the worst of the progressive leaning is better than the best of the reactionary forces, Oshiomole won his second term election afterward and became a two term governor on the platform of our party before he also handed over power to a worthy successor.

So, the once oppressive opportunists who think they have arrived should put up a thinking cap. Of course, we have our challenges like any human group will have, but we are confident to say that our government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has delivered on its core mandate in terms of provision of security of life and property, our ambulance scheme has made lives of the citizens plying our roads worth living; our youth engagement scheme has become a study for states and federal government.

It is on record that banks and other financial institutions were scare stiff to open for operations before our government took over, but with our security architecture backed by a piece of legislation from the House of Assembly under my watch, our people can now operate their businesses under a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, with God and to our credit.

Before APC administration took the mantle, it is a recent history that our state, particularly the capital city which projects our collective value and unique selling proportion to the world was a glorified village only good for sedentary life, but with our urban renewal plan, the capital city is not only befitting now, but also attracting local investors for its aesthetic.

The opposition wants to paint us as unfriendly to workers, but it seems they have lost memory on how we have ensured that no single worker is laid off, despite the economic meltdown, or that they have forgotten that our government was motivating our workers with thirteenth month salary while the state was buoyant; even when no one demanded for it. It is unfortunate that the opposition is advancing to press destruct button on the present economic meltdown which has made all states, PDP states inclusive, to meet up with their financial obligations including active workers’ salaries and pensions for the passive workers; it is quite pathetic that the opposition is now manipulating our people on the scenario they created with their reckless stealing and massive corruption while it was in power.

Meanwhile, it is on record that some of the PDP states around us and far away in the east and South South have not paid workers February salaries as at July 9, 2017 when this remark is made. Despite the meager resources, our state under the watch of APC administration has become a model in the areas of education with our future inclined state of art schools; we have built roads and bridges, signifying a new twist from pejorative appellation given to our state as “civil service” state which implies a poor state that is incapable of regenerate itself.

Going forward, we have learnt our lessons from the temporary setback witnessed in the just concluded by election, and I am confident to say that our party has started looking into the elements of protestation against us, and our responses would delight our people across the state. I call for calm, reconciliation among some groups who have issues to settle; I call for unity and sacrifice of our party members; I urge our party leadership to engage our members with open heart and “bare it all” interactions and settle rift among the warring parties within the fold.

I urge our people never to succumb to the deceit and propaganda of the power hungry oppressive forces who had once converted our collective resources to their personal earnings, who had long mismanaged our state and country in the recent past. I ask our people to restore their confidence in us, for we have heard your voice loud and clear. May God Almighty never returned us back to proverbial Egypt of corruption and ineptitude, after we had crossed the Red Sea of underdevelopment and massive corruption.

Thanks for your patience. Yours Sincerely, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam Being the open letter to the People of Osun by the Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly who doubles as the Chairman of APC Osun West senatorial campaign Committee after the release of result of the election on July 9, 2017.

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