You are currently viewing Osun 2022: Oyetola will be re-elected – Omowaiye
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Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Remi Omowaiye has expressed optimism that Governor Gboyega Oyetola will win the gubernatorial election in the state. Omowaiye, in this interview with Assistant Editor, ‘Dare Odufowokan, noted that the governor’s victory at the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election, is a confirmation of his acceptance by party members in particular and the people of the state in general.

How will you describe the primary election of your party, the APC in Osun last Saturday?

Well, that exercise has come and it is now concluded with our party men and women reaffirming their support for Governor Gboyega Oyetola resoundingly with their votes. One thing is certain, the wish of the party members prevailed. Before now, we know where the real members of the APC in Osun stand on the matter of who should be the governorship candidate of the party. But they’ve reaffirmed their position with over 200, 000 party members voting for governor Oyetola to continue in office. So, we just want to ensure that we build on that victory ahead of the general election.

What is your opinion of the adoption of direct primary for the exercise on Saturday?

It is a good option that has given power back to the average party members. I will recommend it for use everywhere. Before now, the practice is for some party leaders to sit down and decide who the candidate will be. But with direct primary, the people will have a say in who represents them. It will also make politicians to sit tight and serve the people genuinely. Many political office holders, once they get to power, they forget about the people. With direct primary, that will definitely change because they now know they people will determine their fate right from the primary election stage. They will now give an audience to party members. It is the way to go and it should be encouraged.


With the outcome of the Osun APC primary election, what will you say of the claims of factionalisation of the ruling party in Osun?


Well, there is no party structure without friction anywhere in the country. Osun is no exception. But to say there are factions in the party is not anywhere near the truth. What Aregbesola’s group, TOP, did was to create the impression that there was a major crisis within the party. And they were using the media to sell lies about the happenings within Osun APC. But for us, we kept working on restructuring the party and strengthening the party and working for the people of the state.

Let me tell you, Governor Oyetola went to the thirty local governments and one area office across the state to solicit support and vote from party members while the TOP candidate and former governor Aregbesola visited only three places to canvass for a vote. So, what magic will they do to win? Politics is about strategies. They used the strategy of using the media to raise alarm and the result was that the whole world paid attention to Osun on Saturday. At the end of the day, the exercise went smoothly and the people decided who they wanted.


The result didn’t come out as a surprise at all. I have always been saying that in Osun APC, TOP members are less than ten percent. And that reflected in the election. We are not saying they are not important, they are but they shouldn’t create the impression that the entire party in Osun is sharply divided into two. That’s not the truth. Rather, we just have a few individuals who are aggrieved for one reason or the other.

Will you say Saturday’s victory is a reflection of the people’s acceptance of the incumbent governor based on his performance?


Before now, APC in Osun state is referred to as the “Afusa” party. That’s a reference to the payment of half salary monthly by the previous administration. But Governor Oyetola stopped that and ensured full and prompt payment of salaries every month. Today, party members are proud to say they are APC members and the governor is doing a lot of projects all over the state. As at now, we have paid over N72billion debt. The party members are happy that Oyetola has redeemed the image of the party. They also understand that PDP is not an option in Osun state.

For every of our projects, we have good reasons for embarking on them. The Olaiya flyover is meant to take care of the traffic bottleneck around that intersection. There have been several accidents around there over the years, some of them fatal. So, to prevent the frequency of accident, we are proposing this interchange at the Olaiya intersection.

Part of our own job is to ensure the security of lives and so we thought it necessary to ensure that those who are coming from Abere for instance can pass through the flyover without necessarily impeding the movement of those plying Alekuwodo and Odi-Olowo lane. It will take a lot of traffic off the regular route and ensure that everybody is able to navigate without causing accidents.

“So, apart from being iconic, it is also an instrument to ensure that there is safety and accidents are reduced to the barest minimum. It is important that we mitigate the possibility of accidents happening at that intersection and that is the purpose of this flyover.


The people of Osun are determined to ensure that Oyetola is returned for a second term. And the governor has also done something. He has returned structure and power to the grassroots. His style is democratic. When he wanted to appoint the cabinet and board members, he asked that names be sent from the various constituencies. So, the members of the APC in Osun state spoke on Saturday, of their conviction that Oyetola is the man they want to continue in office for another four years.

Pundits say the general election will be a though contest. What is your say on this?


Well, for us in the APC, we are going to prepare well for the general election. We know where the people of Osun stand on this matter but we are not resting on our oars as politicians too. Just as we prepared for this primary election as if we wanted to do a general election, we will also prepare for the general election very well. We will not take anything for granted. We are already reaching out to even those in the opposition camps ahead of the election. We will ensure we keep having the people on our side. The governor has performed and the people are happy with him.

There is that perception that Oyetola has reversed everything his predecessor did since taking office. How will you explain this?

Lennox Mall

It is not just true. Though it is one of those claims that were used to heat up the polity and create the impression of a troubled party, I can tell you the governor hasn’t done anything of such. The feeding programme of the Aregbesola administration, the youth empowerment scheme, the Osun anthem, all ideas of the previous administration, Oyetola sustained and continued with them all. These are laudable ideas that are even being copied by other states because they succeeded.

But for the single uniform policy, no state copied it because it failed woefully here in Osun. The restructuring of the school also failed and it didn’t receive attention from any other state. These are some of the few policies we reviewed in line with the desire of the majority of our people. I am the Commissioner for works and I can tell you that every single road project we inherited from Aregbesola is being attended to. They are being funded and sustained. We are sustaining the good and genuine legacies of Aregbesola.


On the need for reconciliation before the general election, how optimistic are you?

We are very open to genuine reconciliation in line with the interest of the generality of our people. In politics, you must not lose sight of what they people want when cutting political deals. I was speaking with one of those in opposition and he said if the governor wants reconciliation, he must return the state schools to the one uniform policy. That is something we may not be able to do because the people don’t want that. We are approaching them for discussions but not to the detriment of the people. Yes, reconciliation is important and we will pursue it. One of the advantages the governor enjoys is his soft-spoken nature and guided utterances.


The former governor Aregbesola went to a rally while campaigning for Alhaji Adeoti and referred to Oyetola as a moron. The governor didn’t utter a word. And that endeared the governor to a lot of people. The governor prefers to respond to such abuses with actions and good deeds. Aregbesola promised Oyetola Ambode’s treatment last Saturday. But you can see who received painful treatment between the two of them. At least Ambode won his local government in Lagos; Aregbesola lost his ward in Ilesha on Saturday. That is to tell you who got humiliated. As usual, the governor responded with actions.

Are you confident the APC will survive this crisis and go on to win the general election?

The primary election has come and gone. We have made a choice as a party. The time has come for us to be more united ever than before. We will extend hands of fellowship to our members who have shown genuine resolve to return to the party and work for the victory of APC in the general election. The window of reconciliation is still open to those who are members of the splinter group, to have a rethink and join the mainstream party structure. This is where the party is and this is where God resides. It is our belief that with God, success is ours.

Governor Oyetola is a man of peace and has always advocated such. From the beginning, what the governor preaches is reconciliation, even before the party congresses, he has been stressing the need to do so. However, our brothers on the other side embarked on a campaign of calumny to undermine the governor. Besides, they claimed to want reconciliation, but all the while they have been jumping from one court to another seeking to destabilise the party structure, but their efforts to so do have been futile.


APC will perform better in the governorship election than ever before. With Oyetola as the party’s candidate, the people of Osun are happy and ready to vote for him to continue in office-based largely on his performance in his first term. The governor’s chances are brighter now. People talk about a narrow win in 2018. The problem in 2018 had to do with some factors that the APC as a ruling party was grappling with. In 2016, the member representing Ife Central died. My party, the ruling APC came third in the bye-election. In 2017, when Senator Adeleke died and a by-election was done, out of ten local governments, my party won only one. We lost nine to the PDP. So, 2018 was the buildup of a lot of issues. The civil servants then were angry with the issue of modulated salaries, parents were not satisfied with the single uniform policy, the elites and other stakeholders were angry with the school merger policy, and many other issues. In short, the party was fighting too many battles. That was the situation in 2018, but now all those issues are no longer there. We have addressed the issues. So, if there is an election today, there is no way we will lose. We will win and the Oyetola will be re-elected.

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