interviewBy Gbenga Olarinoye
Senator Christopher Iyiola Omisore is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation in the National Assembly and a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State. Recently in Osogbo he spoke with newsmen on some national and state matters.
You are one of the founding fathers of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the state and now seeking to become the governor on the platform of Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) why is it so?
Sequel to my past experience in politics and as one of the founding fathers of Alliance for Democracy (AD) that made me Deputy Governor in 1999, I am sure you are all aware that we had crisis in the party in 2001. The crisis actually started in the year 2000, immediately after the election which brought us into office.
It was when late Chief Bola Ige was appointed minister under the PDP administration at the centre by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and AD leadership under Afenifere disagreed with him. That particular incident gave birth to Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) which culminated in crisis in all the South Western states. So at that point in time there was factions in AD and that is why till today, there is no AD any more. I became the deputy governor here by the grace of God and by that time, myself and Chief Akande had ideological differences.
It was observed that Osun State is lagging behind compared to other states in the country due to poor allocation from the federation account and in terms of other sectors. As one of the senators representing the state in the National Assembly, what are you doing to enhance this status?
I would not agree with you that Osun is lagging behind among among other States. I don't know your data and parameter which you used to measure it; I don't know where you get your information from. As a matter of fact, Osun is not lagging behind at all going by UNDP reports, The State has the largest critical manpower in this country which is critical and specialist manpower and when you have human capital development, you have everything and on the issue of financial support or allocation to state, Osun is the most urbanized in this country.
As a governorship aspirant in the state, fifteen of you are in the race, what would be your plan if party primary does not favour you?
It is good for somebody to have plan but I have the conviction that I don't contest at wrong time. There was no primary I participated in this state that I lost; I won all my primaries in the last fifteen years. I believe this is the time and God's time and there is no need to be skeptical or doubtful about it, all what we should be praying for is that the state should be govern well with the support of everybody. I am trusting God for victory at all times and when you go to war you don't doubt at all, if you doubt to go to war, you are going to lose that battle. I believe in God that I will get the ticket of the party.
There is allegation that your political camp threatened Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II for failing to support your candidacy which brought about tension in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, could you react to this and what is your relationship with the monarch?
On the issue of threat to Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, I read it in the paper that there was threat to Ooni, I am not aware of it. I discuss very well with Ooni and he knows that I am not aware of any threat to him too but the truth is that there is political differences among the people in the town and that does not even translate to issuing threat to Ooni and wanting to burn down the palace.
The palace of Ooni is part of Ife town; it is not anybody's palace. Ooni's palace is Ife monument nobody dares to do anything evil to the palace at all and Ooni is our king and we should preserve and respect him as well, all these are just rumour to cause disaffection among the Ife people and Osun State people in general. I want to tell you there is nothing of such and I want to keep calm and remain focus.
On my relationship with Ooni, I want to say that it is very cordial. The monarch is for all the 15 governorship aspirants on the platform of our party (PDP) and other political parties as well.