Brilliant ideas to make Osun one of the best states in Nigeria were in abundant supply as candidates vying to become the next governor of the state put across their plans to the public.

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At a public debate on Friday, the candidates articulated their plans for Osun residents if voted into office in the September 22 governorship election.

The debate, which was organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation (Yoruba) in conjunction with Rave Radio and the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation, was held at the Olagunsoye Oyinlola Auditorium of the Osun State University, Osogbo, the state capital.

The debate was remarkable as it gave the people of Osun the opportunity of knowing the strength, weakness and the overall fitness of those seeking to govern the state.

The candidates present at the debate include: Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Moshood Adeoti of Action Democratic Party (ADP) and  Fatai Akinbade of Action Democratic Congress (ADC).

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke boycotted the debate.

Education, workers' welfare and the economy dominated the discussion.

With questions that bordered on their plans, each candidate used the opportunity to espouse his mission and vision even as they resulted in personality bashing.

They were all unanimous on the challenges facing the state but disagreed on how to tackle them.

The contestants relied on statistics from the government and other organisations to buttress their points.

One thing was clear to the thoroughly thrilled audience: Whoever emerges winner in the September 22 election, Osun would be in good hands if the words said Friday are matched with action.

Here is how the candidates fared.

Oyetola

As the candidate of the incumbent party APC, Oyetola was placed on the defensive most of the time and this affected his performance during the debate.

Gboyega Oyetola

However, he gave a good account of himself. With occasional smiles on his face, if he was worried by the attacks and taunts directed at him by the other contestants he did not show it.

While he spent most of time explaining how he would make the policies of the incumbent administration better, he also articulated his own original ideas.

He said public service is a noble space and promised to bring the wealth of experience he had garnered in both private and public service to running the state.

He was almost taking off the balance when he was asked to explain how the state government spent N1 billion on a kilometre of road.

He could only respond by saying he was not an engineer.

Omisore

Although, he came late, Omisore was the star of the debate.

He literally stole the show with his masterful delivery, use of statistics and data from government and other international organisations.

Unlike the raucous response some of the contestants elicited from the audience, the few minutes that he spoke, the audience stayed quiet.

He said his vision for Osun is a state where the citizens would live in a secure and prosperous environment.

“I want to build Osun into a place where people can realise their aspirations,” he said.

He said the incumbent government is paying lip service to the development of education.

He promised to resolve the LAUTECH crisis in the first month of assumption of office.

He also promised to create an all-inclusive Osun that represents all interests.

 
Akinbade

He did not disappoint at all. He had spent less than a minute talking before he started drawing loud applauses from the audience due to the brilliance of some of his policies.

As a former Secretary to the State Government under former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, he tactically directed all his responses to the policies of the incumbent, APC government.

This was a smart move as it placed his policies side by side with the incumbent’s and allowed the listener to quickly appraise the better.

He pushed for radical reform in education, teachers’ welfare and infrastructural development.

Moshood Adeoti

Adeoti

Sheu as Adeoti is popularly called displayed his mastery of the workings of government.

He said he had always wanted to offer public service, adding that he worked most of his life in the service of the state.

He said his mission is to create a more prosperous Osun that is driven by quality service, equity and justice.

He said he would run an inclusive government, giving citizens participatory opportunities.

He also took some butt having served the ruling party in the state for seven and half years before resigning and joining the ADP to contest the governorship.

When asked why he took so long for him to resign from the position if he knew the government was not performing, he only said he could do better.

Adeoti was the SSG since 2011 until he resigned in July after failing to secure the APC's ticket.

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