2011: YORUBALAND NOT FOR VAGABONDS, SAYS DANIEL
Apparently reacting to his predecessor in office, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, who said the opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) would dislodge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the state in the forthcoming general elections, Governor Gbenga Daniel yesterday said Yorubland was not available to vagabonds
Daniel spoke during a political debate organised by leadership of the PDP in the state.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Iyabo Senator Obasanjo-Bello, and Senator Lekan Mustapha shunned the debate.
The debate was organised by the People's Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants in the 2011 elections in Ogun State.
In his opening remarks, Daniel, who spoke at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, said his party, the PDP, was sure of victory in the forthcoming general elections.
It will be recalled that Osoba was quoted as saying that the ACN was an inheritance of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
But Daniel, who spoke in the presence of party members and chieftains, faulted the former governor, saying his administration had performed far better than Osoba's government, which ruled the state between 1999 and 2003.
The debate was organised for the aspirants to sell themselves and their manifestos to the electorate before the party's primaries.
Daniel said: 'Yorubaland is not available to vagabonds. We know those who we can follow. We know the pretenders. This is somebody that had the opportunity of ruling this state, talking at a particular gathering two days ago, he said they are the inheritance of Awolowo.'
Continuing he said: 'In 2003, when we look at the situation of this place, the roof was falling. No air conditioner working. The fact of the matter is that when you compared those people with us, it is sure that God is with us, but human memory is very short.'
Daniel recalled that his party won all the positions available during the last elections, and assured his supporters, 'when we go to the field, we will win and when we go to the law court, we will win. In Ogun, we won 100 per cent, we won with the elite and we won with the masses.'
He also added that when his administration took over the reign of affairs, the state's infrastructural facilities were in deplorable conditions but his government had turned the situation around for the better.
According to him, 'My final challenge is tell them (political opponents) to tell us any government department they have performed better than us.'
He then charged the party supporters, 'arm yourselves with these facts and ammunitions so that when they tell you lies, you confront them with such facts.'
Asking rhetorically, the governor said: 'Where is that inheritance of Awolowo? Where are they coming form? It is important that this kind of information is available to you because this is a season of flies and the facts must be told.'
'With this information at your finger tips, you can challenge them anytime and anywhere. Tell them to name any department of government where they have surpassed what we have done. Confront them with facts because those that are debating today are apostles of this government.'
He charged members of the party not to keep quiet. 'Confront them with facts. What I am doing today is to give you facts and ammunition.'
Meanwhile, despite the on-going reconciliatory efforts by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Gbenga Daniel and Senator Jubril Martins Kuye and other stakeholders in the state, appears to have suffered a serious setback with many other aspirants shunning the debate.
Both Bankole, Obasanjo-Bello and Mustapha who had declared their intentions to contest the election on PDP's platform to return to their respective positions were conspicuously absent.
The debate was moderated by a group of panelists which included Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, former Vice Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Dr. Nurudeen Aliu of the Olabisi Onabanjo University and the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Wale Olaitan among several others.