Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State began his second term in office on Thursday with a battle cry that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must be sacked from the centre next year.
Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Oyebola Ojo, performed the swearing-in for Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, and also administered the oath of office on the duo for a fresh second four-year tenure.
Leaders of the major opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) moved en mass into Osogbo to celebrate the party’s recent victory over what it believes was the worst intimidation in the history of elections in Nigeria.
Speaker after speaker blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the nation’s many woes, reiterating that the APC remained the only answer for a prosperous Nigeria.
Aregbesola lamented the reversal of the nation’s fortunes, saying that the PDP-led Federal Government has through its maladministration impoverished Nigerians, particularly in the last six years under President Goodluck Jonathan.
He observed that what the country needs at this crucial moment is a radical and total change at the centre so as to rescue the country from its political ebb and economic doldrums.
He stated that the past 16 years of PDP has done nothing but increased the poverty level of the people, adding that only the APC can rescue the nation from precipice the PDP is leading it.
He said: “Lest we forget, the religion of PDP is poverty.
“Nigeria is saturated with leaders who are ever so quick to parade platitudes of their respective religion – denying its faith, essence and positive values.
“We must terminate the regime of self-seeking manipulators who currently parade corridors of power, accruing political profit by turning us against each other and further dividing us along ethnic and religious lines.
“The result of their politics of division is that Nigerians are poorer in the last 16 years whereas Nigeria as a country has never been richer save for recent months when oil price has declined.
“This manifests again in their continued lawlessness evidenced in the desecration of the National Assembly and the travesty at Ekiti Assembly.”
Aregbesola described the journey to Thursday’s inauguration of his second term as a road though rough and thorny, but one he planned for with his innovative programmes and by making the people centre of focus of his administration in the last four years.
He continued: “We are here to celebrate democracy as the ultimate instrument of political empowerment ever bequeathed to humanity.
“The climax was the unprecedented effort to manipulate the election and subvert the will of the people on August 9.”
Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, told the mammoth crowd that gathered at the Osogbo Township Stadium that in the midst of democratic impunities of the ruling Federal Government, the Osun State election epitomised the success of democracy in the country.
Buhari, while congratulating the people of the state for the success of the election, said Osun State offered a promising future for the nation’s democracy amidst perceived unconstitutional removal of the governor of Adamawa State, the alleged shenanigans in Ekiti State election and the orchestrated impeachment moves of speakers and governors in other states of the federation.
Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, said the people-oriented programmes of Aregbesola and that of the APC have shown that people will be on the side of the party, come February 2015.
Tinubu charged the governor to continue his people-oriented programmes like that of giving aids to the vulnerable elders, the Osun State feeding programme and other youth empowerment schemes.
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, stressed that when people are united to fight, no power can defeat them.
Oshiomhole said this was what Osun State people demonstrated by voting Aregbesola for second term.
According to him: “The import of today must not be lost on us.
“The people of Osun showed to the whole world that when people are united in their fight, no power can stop them.
“The right to vote and choose a leader is an exclusive preserve of an individual but that of the people and Osun has shown that change is possible.”
Other APC governors present were Ibikunle Amosun(Ogun), Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos),
Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo was represented by his Deputy, Moses Adeyemo.