- Says PDP did everything to steal people’s mandate
Thousands of people have trooped out in Osogbo, the Osun State capital to celebrate the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was declared winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had, through the Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Bamitale Omole, announced Aregbesola as the winner of the election, having polled 394,694 votes to defeat Senator Iyiola Omisore, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 294,747 and that of the Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, who had a total votes of 8,898.
Aregbesola won in Ayedade, Ifelodun, Ede North, Ola Oluwa, Irepodun, Ila Orangun, Ede South, Atakumosa West, Oriade, Orolu, Boripe and Ilesa West.
The APC candidate also prevailed at Ilesa East, Ifedayo, Irewole, Obokun, Egbedore, Iwo, Osogbo, Olorunda, Atakumosa East and Ejigbo.
Omisore on his part won in Isokan, Ife North, Ife East, Ife Central, Odo Otin, Boluwaduro, Ayedire and Ife South.
“Having satisfied the requirements of the law and scoring the highest numbers of votes, Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress is therefore returned elected,” Omole, said while announcing the result on Sunday morning.
Residents of Osogbo, many of whom observed vigil at the state secretariat of INEC to get the results of the election, danced round major streets in Osogbo and later converged on the Freedom Park, where Governor Aregbesola addressed them.
A good number of residents of the town also converged on the Government House, Oke-fia, Osogbo where they danced to the rendition of an Osogbo-based fuji musician, Alhaji Lateef Agboola.
Also, there was jubilation on major streets in the state capital as people, especially youths danced round the streets with brooms in their hands.
The governor, while addressing his supporters, acknowledged the support he enjoyed in all parts of the state as evident in the outcome of the election, saying people of Osun State had again spoken with their votes that selfish politicians could not deceive them.
Aregbesola, who attributed his victory to the mercy of God upon him, also dedicated his victory to the people of the state, saying the “victory is yours and not mine.”
He promised to complete all the ongoing projects during his second term, and also embark on new projects, stating that the Ogbomosho-Osogbo Road would be dualised in his second term.
Aregbesola’s supporters in other parts of the state, especially Ikirun, Ilesa, Iree, Igbajo and Esa-Oke, also moved round the state in jubilation in wild jubilation.
An elated Aregbesola said being voted for a second four-year term has affirmed that “no might is powerful enough to thwart the will of the people”.
“Our victory is due to the steadfastness and resolute determination of our people to assert and defend their rights. The PDP obviously did all it could in a most desperate manner to steal the people’s mandate,” the governor said in a speech after being declared winner early Sunday.
“We have sent a strong signal to all and sundry that no might is powerful enough to thwart the will of the people,” he said, and warned that “Nobody or party must ever exercise power unreasonably at any level except in accordance with the will of the people to whom sovereignty belongs.”
The governorship poll was keenly fought, mainly between Mr. Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Iyiola Omisore.
To emerge winner of the election contested by 20 political parties, Aregbesola polled a total of 394,684 votes, winning the highest number of votes in 22 of the 30 Local Government Areas of the state.
In his speech, Mr. Aregbesola described the poll as “unnecessarily tense, tortuous and even traumatic process”.
“We witnessed gross abuse of power and, of due process before, during, and even after the actual voting process. It is so sad and unfortunate that what should be a normal, routine process was maliciously allowed to snowball in to a needless virtual war by the Federal Government and the PDP,” he said.
“Osun state was unduly militarized in an unprecedented manner through criminal intimidation and psychological assault on our people. This election witnessed an abuse of our security agencies and amounted to a corruption of their professional ethics and integrity.”
He added: “The security agencies were unprofessionally utilized in Osun state to harass, intimidate and oppress the people whose taxes are used to pay their salaries and provide their arms. Hundreds of leaders, supporters, sympathizers and agents of our party were arrested and detained. Also, hundreds of other innocent citizens including women and the aged were harassed, brutalized and traumatized. In spite of this condemnable repression and abuse of human rights, the unflagging spirit of our people triumphed.”