…says no plan to run for Senate yet
It was seven hours of endless questions all night from the audience, telephone callers online enquiries with Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun till the dawn of today at popular audience participation programme tagged Ogbeni Till Daybreak.
Aregbesola told his audience the major key to the continuation of the milestone developmental programmes and projects of his administration is for the people of the state to identify and vote the right candidate to succeed him in 2018.
He disclosed that his political party, All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state will make sure that whoever is to fly the flag of the party in the governorship election is a person that has in depth understanding of the administration’s six point integral action plans philosophy.
According to the Governor, it is a candidate with the grasp of the policies of his administration that is best suited for the job and will continue the ongoing programmes.
“When it comes to who will succeed me I always pray to God to provide someone that would be better than me. But our party has ruled that nobody should aspire yet,” Aregbesola told the huge crowd that gathered at the WOCDIF Event Centre, Ring Road Osogbo where the event held.
Aregbesola also reiterated his vow to the gathering that he would not leave any project uncompleted before the expiration of his tenure.
The governor equally commended the entire workforce of the state for his understanding, resilience and cooperation in the face of the current hard times arising from economic crisis.
According to him, the inability of his government to pay full salaries was as a result of negative financial pull and not because government is wicked.
“Firstly, I salute the perseverance, patience, commitment, understanding and unalloyed support given by our workers especially at tough times.
“As we all know, the issue of salary has become ubiquitous as many couldn’t pay salaries of their workforce. We couldn’t pay not because we are wicked, but because we are financially challenged.
“We have been rewarding workers based on their performance, diligence, merit and dedication to duties. We have been promoting workers based on their resilience and commitment.
“We have been providing a good leadership to Osun workers on their promotion. The state has been doing everything possible to support workers and prioritise their welfare.”
The Governor also responded to allegation of inflation of contract on road constructions in the state, saying the cost of roads are not the same everywhere in the country.
Aregbesola also said that roads are different in qualities and characteristics and so the amount for the construction of a kilometer road will be based on the quality and its characteristics.
He said, “As we know, the cost of roads are not the same anywhere in the world. We can not compare the cost of a kilometre of road in each of the states. To us, our roads are done with active participation with the officials of Ministry of Works with absolute transparency in the rate and cost.
“The rate is in line with international standard. You should ask how much they construct roads in other states. You can’t compare our roads with sensational roads. We have not inflated cost of any of our projects.
“In the history of Osun, the quality of roads we are constructing had never been seen or done by any government.
“Also, since the history of this state, no administration has constructed the number of bridges constructed by our government in the last six years.”
Aregbesola also debunked the claim that the Osun APC is currently in disarray over who succeeds him in 2018.
He held that the APC in the state is as strong as it is firmly rooted in the grassroots across the state.
He waved the insinuation of disagreement among party members, stating there is no any form of disaffection among the members and loyalists of the party.
Affirming the fact that APC in the state is still one and indivisible, Aregbesola noted that there was no rancour within the party and no threat from opposition either.
He continued, “We are united, connected and we are working so well.
“There is no part of our party’s organisation, administration and management that has suffered in any way.
“Our party is not in anyway being threatened. We are united, connected and working so well.
“If a party in power for six years is working so well and the opposition is scattered, dismembered, uncoordinated, as our opponent is now, where is the fear of threat to our party?
“If there is an incumbent government as peacefully co-existing as we are, then we can brag of such a party. If not in the whole country, our party is one of the parties which had all those who ruled, there is no threat from anybody. We have a very cohesive political structure in Osun.”
On the rumour making the rounds about his senatorial ambition in Lagos, Aregbesola said he has not made any decision to run for political office after the expiration of his tenure November next year.
He however added that when the time to decide comes, he won’t need to take permission from anybody.
He averred that if the nation is sincere about regional integration, the question of where any politician chooses to contest election will not raise any issue again.
“If I want to contest, I can contest anywhere. If we are genuine and sincere about regional rearrangement, then why are we concerned about where a man comes from? Rauf can appear when the time comes anywhere in the region.
“But let me tell you this that there is no such decision yet. On Tuesday November 2004 when I will leave office, we will still have clear six months to election. In other words we still have time to decide,” Aregbesola said.