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Understanding Osun PDP Rescue Movement

By Jide Akorede

The political contest heating up Osun state has many dimensions,the one well known been the myth of Rauf Aregbesola’s governance of the last four or so years. The new angle gaining ground  rapidly and assuming upper hand ahead of the governorship election is the rescue mission symbolized by the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party,Senator Iyiola Omisore .

The rescue mission movement was unique for many reasons . First is that it is an amalgamation of several groups some of which are non-political while others are political. The key point here is that the movement transcends the PDP as a political party to embrace professionals ,artisans and many stakeholders who are not card carrying members of the PDP.The flagbearer of the PDP is thus just a symbolism of a huge movement well entrenched across the thirty local governments of the state ,across the federation and among Osun indegene in the diaspora.

The second uniqueness has to do with its technocratic backup which is never directly known to the public. Unlike previous candidature in the governorship race,the rescue mission has strong technical backup which has extensive mapping of all facets of life of Osun state including a statistically designed gubernatorial agenda. The technical capacity of the team enhances its potency as it provides a clear picture of deceitful records of the incumbent while designing  a people oriented alternatives across eight cardinal Programmes.

The third leg has to do with the fallout of the above- the making of an eight point cardinal Programmes which seeks to reorder governance priority and place the people at the heart of rulership. The document already validated is  structured into a rolling four years plan of action with performance indices alongside value for money in all public expenditure . The major message of the rescue document is development and prosperity that leave no one behind.

The diversity of the movement,its technical capacity and a concluded eight point agenda  place it ahead of the incumbent in the impending battle for the heart of Osun People. While the incumbent only designed a programme after assuming office,the challenger here already has a validated document which specified Programmes and projects for first to the fourth years in office including performance and monitoring platforms . While the incumbent thrives on project experimentation with disastrous consequences ,the challenger has specified targets and goals with the people as the ultimate beneficiary.

As the state suffers from public finance mismanagement,wrong priotisation in  project  choices and endemic corruption in project implementation ,the rescue mission alternative plans a due process based project management across all the sectors of governance alongside execution of Programmes which directly reduces poverty,provides dignified employment,restore normalcy in education sector and revive dead local economy. The overall focus of rescue movement  alternative is to remove eccentricity from governance ,enthrone responsive leadership,foists predictability within the context of rule of law and insist on people- centered governance .

As much as the rescue mission alternative is technicaly well grounded ,the political side is also fully on track. Contrary to the belief that the movement is federally motivated,events of the last few days have confirmed its grassroots credential and entrenchment despite years years of propaganda by the incumbent . Four evidence backed up this declaration.One is the capacity of the PDP to overcome the setback occasioned by its initial internal challenges . After the uproar over the party ticket,the party lost only one chieftain who hitherto had abandoned the party for the past three years. Key leaders like Prince Olagunsoye  Oyinlola ,Wole Oke ,Erelu  Olusola Obada ,Olasunkanmi Akinlabi stayed put within the party ,contributing to the realization of the rescue mission.

The second factor was the failure of attempt to discredit the potency of the movement to defeat the incumbent . Those who specialize in undermining the electoral potential of the movement before the presidency and the national leadership of the party were shocked when they realized that the incumbent is on his own reaching out to the presidency to avert imminent defeat . Independent teams sent unknown to the leadership of the movement returned verdict which confirmed ultimate victory for the rescue mission team on August 9.The presidency eventually rejected overtures from the embattled governor and warned fifth columnists against any likely anti- party activities .

On the third count was the successful political master stroke demonstrated in the choice of the gubernatorial running mate of the PDP. The position was not only zoned to Osun West but elders of the party democratically selected  Honourable  Adejare Bello from Ede ,the town with the second highest registered voters in the Osun West senatorial district.The choice destroyed APC scheme to capitalise on Isaka Adeleke’s defection to win Ede, shattered the usual blackmail that Senator Omisore and his allies have shared offices before getting the governorship and produced a very strong leader of the party,Akogun Lere Oyewumi as the Director General of the rescue mission campaign.

More critically as the fourth point is the rallying of  PDP base as the house to house campaign from Ijesaland proved that the PDP is still very strong across the state despite the propaganda and media war of the APC. The turnout at the house to house campaign at Ijebujesa  and Ede  validate the position oF many pundits that APC is more of a paper tiger when it comes to political entrenchment in the state .There is a sense of general awareness of extreme danger the continuity of Aregbesola as governor poses to the collective survival of Osun state . This feeling is real within and outside the grassroots of the state.

If technical competency and political forces are favorable to the rescue mission movement ,there is a more compelling force favoring the PDP led movement.There is a deep seated public anger and disastaifaction with the incumbent .The general mindset of the people is a yearning for change from an oppressive and eccentric leadership of the Lagos installed governor. Records showed that virtually all strata of Osun community have an axe to grind with the governor with most stakeholders waiting to effect change at the earliest of opportunity.This is evidenced among the workers union,artisans and students who have endured brutal  suppression in the hands of the governor.

The above has a fallout- the inability of the governor to run on his records in office. The public disenchantment confirmed a failure of the governor virtually in  all sectors. Education is in comatose; health sectors moribund ; the state is hugely indebted; opon imo is a confirmed scam;agriculture is a study in oppressive collectivization ; and little gain in road construction was over showed by multi billion naira contract inflation.

Desperate efforts to divert attention from this failure of governance also failed because the enlightened people of Osun state indeed accept the need for  change. Interestingly the ploy to discredit the rescue movement as the worst alternative  also hit the rock . Dr Omisore much vilified all along has gained the symphaty of voters for threes reasons some of which were earlier itemized above . One was his dignified conduct at a time his rival has thrown caution to the wind . Two was his successful making of a coalition as diverse and potent as the rescue mission movement and three was his eight cardinal Programmes which directly address the yearnings  and aspiration of Osun people .

In this competition for power,the rescue movement is sure to continue on the path of electoral due process in the face of provocation while directly reaching the people to sell its pro- people ,pro- poor plan of action. Instead of deceitful and  deceptive political marketing,the movement will do more of reality interaction with thousands of Osun people suffering under the yoke of half baked Programmes and disoriented leadership.


* Akorede is a media officer with Osun PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation











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