•It’s mere jamboree –PDP
•They’ve nothing to offer–ACN
By OMONIYI SALAUDEEN
The State of Osunenchants with the thrills and frills of politics. After a lull, both the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are gradually building up their drive for new membership. On Tuesday, ACN’s consolidation effort got a boost, as over 5,000 members of the opposition PDP allegedly dumped their umbrellas to embrace the broom.
At a ground-shaking event, broom-wielding ACN faithful took Osogbo, the state capital, by storm, chanting and dancing as they welcomed new members into their fold. But despite all the excitements, the PDP said they remained unshaken by the development. Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Bola Ajao, reacting to the event in an interview with Sunday Sun, dismissed the gathering as mere jamboree.
He said, “It is all propaganda. They cannot hoodwink anybody. We are not disturbed, we are not losing sleep, and we remain unshaken. PDP is waxing stronger in the state by the day. We are putting our house in order, we are mobilizing and making progress in our internal democracy project. Come 2013, PDP will win back the state.” According to him, Osun State people have lost confidence in theACN government and have realized their mistakes.
His words, “The jamboree you saw was a follow up to the recent tour of local governments in the state by our party. And it will interest you to know that in each of the local governments we went several hundreds of ACN members warmly embraced us and joined the PDP. Several numbers of them are also warming up to join us. Very soon, we are going to Ilesha, Odootin and Irepodun local governments where most of ACN members have agreed to join PDP.
The people of Osun State have tried PDP and ACN; they know that PDP is better. Go to the streets and ask the ordinary people, they will tell you they are tired of ACN government. Ajao further berated the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola for parading invisible achievements, adding that PDP would capitalize on the general disaffection among the traders, civil servants and other stakeholders in the state to reclaim its victory in the next governorship election.
“There is disaffection in the state’s civil service, just as traders are lamenting. Since they came in, how many schools have they built? They have demolished all schools built by PDP and completed just only one. All they have been doing is to mend existing roads. They have not embarked on any new project. Even the one they embarked upon, they have suddenly realized they have had their fingers burnt. Yet, their contractors are from Lagos.
We have deliberately decided to keep silent on some of their unpopular policies just to give them the opportunity to do and undo themselves. And now, the people of Osun State are wiser,” he said. In his response, ACN Director of Research and Publicity, Mr Kunle Oyatomi, debunked the allegations as frivolous and monumental lies. “PDP are pretenders; they have nothing to offer.
Their allegations are monumental lies. People took decision independently and came from all the 30 local governments in the state to declare for ACN. It was something they wanted to do and they did it. ACN does not believe in luring anybody. We lure people with our projects. ACN is a party of thinkers; all we do is think about how to move the state forward. You don’t tell a deaf person that the market is over. What they have seen is just a tip of the iceberg.
Very soon, you will see the real figure in PDP and leaders in their respective local governments joining our party. Go to the local governments and see the projects this government has embarked upon. Osun State has been turned into a huge construction site. Farmlands are being cleared for farming,” he said. Clarifying issues on alleged demolition of schools, he added, “Aregbesola’s policy on education is huge. Construction of schools is one.
We had to demolish some of the schools because most of the buildings are the ones inherited from the days of Awolowo and their roofs are already falling on the pupils. Would you say because you don’t want to demolish, then you allow pupils to sit under that condition? PDP are pretenders; they have nothing to offer.”