TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY RT.HON. NAJEEM FOLASAYO SALAAM, PhD, ON BEHALF OF THE OSUN PROGRESSIVES (TOP) ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2022 AT THE OLU OSUNGBOHUN HALL, NUJ PRESS CENTRE, IWO ROAD, OSOGBO.
Gentlemen of the Press,
TOWARDS PROGRESSIVE RESURGENCE IN THE STATE OF OSUN
I sincerely welcome you all to this briefing. I welcome leaders and members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun present here and thank you for your steadfastness, courage and patriotic love for our party, our nation and more importantly, our state, Osun. We must thank them especially for their belief that we must salvage our heritage regardless of the circumstances of the prevailing misunderstandings.
I also thank and express appreciation to the members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm for their professionalism and balanced report and the support you continue to give to our tendency in Osun APC in particular.
We are gathered here today, given the trajectory of our party and the electoral misfortune we suffered in the governorship election of July 16, 2022, leading to our painful loss, to espouse our resolve and the way forward. We are here to inform the generality of our members and admirers that the progressive party that promotes their interest, protects their values and guarantees their rights is alive and ready to champion their cause once again.
Our party has a tradition of progressivism dating back to Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group in the First Republic. It metamorphosed to the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Second Republic, coalesced into the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the aborted Third Republic and emerged as Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999. It has since then transmuted into Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and now the All Progressives Congress (APC). Its name and the epoch notwithstanding, this tradition makes the people and their welfare the centre of politics and government. Whenever this tendency detracts from this raison d’etre, it loses power.
The progressive government of Awolowo’s AG provided free education, integrated rural development, quality healthcare delivery, enhancement of agriculture and industrialisation which boosted the living standard of the people and created a 50-year development gap between the South-West and other regions.
This is our tradition, the tradition that brought us to power in 1999, returned us to power again in 2010 and kept us in power for three terms. Progressive governance in Osun, headed by our leader, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, gave the state its biggest development fillip in all ramifications. We are going back to our roots. The present setback is a mere distraction.
Therefore, I, Right Honourable Najeem Folasayo Salaam, conscious of the huge responsibility of history and the support of our sincere and committed progressive leaders and members in the State of Osun, declare cessation of hostilities and invite all genuine progressive to an all-inclusive meeting for the rebuilding of our party within the next one week.
We are therefore extending our hand of fellowship to everyone who is a progressive at heart and loves good governance in our party, in the other parties and independents who are hitherto not aligned to any party.
Consequent to this, and to demonstrate our readiness for this leap of faith, I have the mandate of our leaders and members to invite other progressives in other caucuses in the Osun APC and other parties and like minds across the state to join us in this endeavour.
This is a call for unity of purpose in our party and beyond. It is a call for burying the hatchet and work for the greater good and service to humanity through progressive governance.
With the sole objective of ensuring ‘FREEDOM FOR ALL AND LIFE MORE ABUNDANT’ for the people. Our party is the platform for OMOLUABI politicians not the theatre of absurdity for all comers, regardless of character.
I am here to announce the dissolution of factional tendencies of all shades in the party with the sole objective of harmonising all core OMOLUABI PROGRESSIVES on a rebuilding mission that will bring us back to the leadership of our State and people.
We are hereby dissolving The Osun Progressives (TOP) and the faction of Party associated with it to facilitate the unity of purpose that this time requires. For effective closure, we will have a truth and reconciliation forum within the party when fully restructured with a sole purpose of preventing any recurrence of the ugly past.
With this hand of fellowship and the olive branch, it is my belief that a new vista of hope, vision, passion and action will emerge in our Party.
We are OMOLUABI in politics and everything we do. Omoluabi is the Yoruba encapsulation of the total person. An Omoluabi is a person of honour and integrity. An Omoluabi is chivalrous, enlightened, spiritual, kind-hearted and public spirited. An Omoluabi is not greedy, vicious, selfish or self-serving. Omoluabi personifies the very best of virtues.
We shall preach political virtue, in line with our tradition and relentlessly pursue public good – the greatest good for the greatest number. No one will be left behind on our watch. We will seek political power for service and we shall hold it in trust for the people. We shall continue our journey into greatness. God helping us!
I thank all the good people of Osun for their continued support for our tendency. I thank especially the traditional rulers, community leaders, trade union groups, the organised private sector, market groups and their leaders, transporters, traders, students, artisans and other well-meaning people. You are all welcome to join us in this endeavour.
Once again, I call on our genuine leaders, members and supporters to embrace this new effort to rebuild our Party.
I thank you all for your attention.
Long live APC
Long live The Progressives
Long live State of Osun
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria
APC SERVICE WITH HONOR AND INTEGRITY