A leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has congratulated Rauf Aregbesola, the party’s candidate and winner of the August 9 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
In a statement, Monday, Mr. Tinubu hailed Mr. Aregbesola for standing firm in the face of state-sponsored terror against his person, his government, and the people of Osun State.
Mr. Aregbesola polled 394,684 votes to emerge winner, beating Iyiola Omisore, his strongest challenger and candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, who got 292,747.
“Your victory is the victory of good leadership over a leadership with tyrannical tendencies,” Mr. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, said.
“You and the people of the State of Osun have sent a clear and unambiguous message to all usurpers and individuals who exploit power to abuse and deny the people their rights. You have bruised the head of tyranny. We have heard you and we take heed as a party, the APC and Nigerians.
“The lessons from Osun abide. We should never take for granted what we have else the gangsters in power will forcefully take it from us,” Mr. Tinubu added.
The APC leader described the build-up to the Osun poll as “abominable.”
“The massing of the military and over sixty thousand security men to intimidate and harass a peaceful people is the sign of an unsecured government and party,” he said.
“It is a pre-condition to manipulate and perpetrate electoral fraud. Under any democracy, there can be no moral or political justification for the security armada against our party leaders and followers in Osun. The implications for our democracy foretells of dire consequences.
“But the APC and its vast membership nationwide will not sit idly by and allow a band of gangsters determine our future simply because they happen to be in privileged positions. Osun has demonstrated that it is possible to confront them. On our part, we accept this challenge.
“Aregbesola runs a government that places primacy on a social welfare philosophy that pursues vigorously the vision of socio-economic empowerment and developmental ethos rooted in the progressive orientation of the Yoruba nation. The people of Osun are lucky to have him as their governor and for a time such as this.
“Our Osun victory reignites and marks the next phase of taking Nigeria back. Osun re-energizes us to the common good, a commitment to the people and an unbending commitment to ensure Nigeria is governed better,” Mr. Tinubu added.
Similarly, the Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, a Yoruba socio-political group, has applauded Osun citizens for keeping faith with “progressive politics that Yorubas are known for, despite the heavy militarization and monetization politics that besieged them.”
In a statement issued by Kunle Famoriyo, the group’s Publicity Secretary, the ARG urged Mr. Aregbesola to renew his zeal for “welfarist” politics as exemplified by Obafemi Awolowo.
“We thank the people of Osun for resisting strange politics that seeks to take root in our land. As the source of Yoruba progeny, they have shown us an example and we are confident they would be better off for it,” the statement said, while calling on all Yorubas to a renaissance of Yoruba progressive politics.