It is no longer news that PDP chieftain, and Osun governorship aspirant, Senator Iyiola Omisore has decamped to the SDP to enable him to contest the 2019 governorship election. He did so last month and he has promised to wrestle power from the APC.
Since he joined the SDP, the Ife born Senator has been talking tough saying the SDP will produce Aregbesola’s successor.
In a recent interview with City People, Otunba Omisore revealed how since he left the Senate he had concentrated on his professional calling as an Engineer.
“The last few years has been very interesting, he explained. “I went back to my practice, to my first love, which is Engineering, in Practice and in Education. I have gone back to practice Engineering. I went back for professional ethics improvement i.e taking up COREN assignments, going to Universities for accreditation for courses in Engineering, taking up Engineering work, do designs. My company, Iyiola Omisore & Associates has been very busy. I have had some projects I have been doing. It is an Engineering company. I am also a Public-Private practitioner”.
“That is the core of my Ph.D. I am trying to introduce PPP to the Nigerian context, to engage the government, the Public sector and the private sector. I am trying to let them understand the benefits of PPP because infrastructures have gone beyond reach of government. Population has exploded. There is no way how government can find the required infrastructure. There are a lot of bottle necks like legal issues, the framework, institutional challenges, and acceptability issues.
Those are the things I am trying to tackle. I have written books, journals and given lectures about it in the last few years. And of course by the side I have continued to play politics too.
How does he see the performance of Gov.Aregbesola in Osun in the last 7 years? “Its sad. I don’t like condemning people. But THE facts are there for everybody to see. They are glaring. Unfortunately for Gov Aregbesola, there have been PDP governments and AD governments before him. So you can see things that have built up in 12 years have all, gradually, been destroyed and every thing has gone down the drain. Its very unfortunate. In Osun State now we are owing huge salaries and there is nothing to show for it. We have ISPO. It was payment that by signed between Osun State and Federal Allocation up to 2040. Its like 25 years loan ability.
We have a lot of commercial bonds unpaid. The roads are bad, no water, no commerce, no drugs in hospitals, there is capital flight, workers are unpaid, salaries are being owed almost 8 months in arrears, pensioners are being owed. So activities in Osun has come to standstill. Today, Osun is on life support now.” But is he saying there is nothing positive that Gov. Aregbesola has done to move Osun State forward in terms of development? “Like what? In which area? “Tell me, I am listening. You may know it. I haven’t seen it and I should know if any. I am a stakeholder in the state. Apart from all those newspaper propaganda, I can’t see anything he has done.”
The amount of money spent can’t be matched with what is on ground. There have been colossal waste in the last 7 years. I can reel everything out to you”.
With this grim scenario he has painted, how does Omisore think he can turn things around if he wins? “Its not an easy thing.” he admits. “It’s a grim situation truly. Its also not an attractive thing to do. But there is so much pressure on me, from my people and because of the experience I had garnered over the years. I am the most experienced of all the aspirants. I have showed this, I have exhibited this, and people have trusted me over the years. I have the ability and capability to do the job and manage finances both at the Federal level and state levels when I was deputy governor as well. So it will take a lot of ingenuity and courage as well and out of Purposefulness and the will to want to do the right thing. Anybody coming in after Aregbesola must come in and manage the huge debt profile.
As I look at Osun State today, the huge debt is staring at my face too. I have been busy with my team thinking of how we can think outside the box to manage this state. We have to manage this state. That state cannot be sold. It will not die. So, it needs somebody like me who is well read, who is versatile in engineering, in project management and in financing.” Omisore is planning to come in at a time when there are numerous problemS facing all the states, like funding issues and co.
How does he plan to tackle all these? “Like I explained to you, it is not an easy thing to do, but it is not impossible to do. There was a time I met a cross section of Osun people, Osun indigenes. I met with some medical doctors, NULGE, Teachers, and during my meeting with them, I told them that I am frustrated with the way things were going on in that state. They now said they are afraid, that if me I am frustrated with Osun problems what’s the hope for them in that state. So, what I am doing now is, I am trying to take the leadership by myself and look for ways out of it. It can be done. Osun can bounce back again.”
“I am trying to look for ways out of problems facing the state. I believe in my Ability and Versatility, Exposure and Experience and the Courage to want to do the right thing and the Courage to want to give direction, the quality of people to manage the finances and the courage to even raise money at the cheapest rate and to garner grants and aid from international community. My experience and contacts will actually help that state. I am the most experienced politician in that state Omisore told City People that he is the most qualified for the governorship of the state.
The governorship elections is just a few months away. How does he see the quality of aspirants that have come out to contest? “Well, what can I say? None can match all I have told you. I have been around for a long time in Osun State. You know that yourself. I have won elections and lost elections in that state, and today everybody is looking forward to me. So, its even a Burden on me, because whether I like it or not, I have to run, to go in there to change things, to transform things.
So, even, I have no choice in this matter. Every where I go people ask me to come and save them from the rot that the state has witnessed. So, I can’t run away from it, its even a problem for me. And the Bible says whoever begins to plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God. Thats the Biblical injunction. I must not desert those people at this time of their need. So I must provide direction and it means I have to come in to stablise things before I hand over power to the younger people coming behind without experience.
In Osun State today, I am the most experienced technocrat/politician. I am the only one capable of resolving the log jam Osun State is facing today. When people give you a Burden and a Trust, they will understand you. Between the Governed and the Led, between the Leader and the Led, the Governor and the governed, there must be Trust. I have told all of them that we have to rule this state together. We have to find a solution to the issue of salary particularly, because the Bible says the Worker deserves his wage.”
“This is the paramount thing. After resolving the issue of how to pay salaries on due dates then you now go to the second schedule, that is Development for that state, by that I mean Infrastructure, particularly. These days, I go to Universities to lecture, to help out. I have experience in all these areas I have been trying to familiarise myself with the reality on ground and with my ability and capability come up with a lasting solution and what will help is my ability to rise above board and reason beyond my environment.”