Osun State Governor dedicates victory to Osun people, cautions security personnel
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday issued a certificate of return to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State who won the governorship election in the state last Saturday.
The certificate was presented to him by the supervising National Commissioner, Mohammed Wali, at the Commission’s headquarters in Osogbo, the state capital.
Speaking at the event, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, of Osun, Olusegun Agbaje, charged the governor to be magnanimous in victory for the benefit if the state and its people.
He described the August 9 election as one in which INEC was determined more than before to conduct a free, fair and credible election and that the Commission stood tall with the way the election had gone in Osun.
Mr. Agbaje admitted that the election was not completely smooth because political leaders were not too careful in their utterances, which unnecessarily heated up the polity before the election proper.
“We at INEC by the judgement of international communities and observers are pleased that the Osun election is adjudged as the best in the country, though it was not completely smooth, utterances that overheated the polity among other allegations against INEC,” he said.
“Not bordered on these, the commission focused on conducting a free, fair and credible election. We ensured that the distribution of election materials was done without any hiccup, so also voting and accreditation was done without any hitch.
“We will continue to do everything possible to make INEC one of the best in the world. Political leaders must shun all election vices, they must educate their people against this, there is a pressing need for unity among political leaders and others,” the Commissioner pointed out.
The REC commended the people of Osun State for coming out enmasse to vote for their candidate which lend credence to what INEC has stressed on people’s votes will represent the outcome of election.
Responding, Mr. Aregbesola commended INEC for conducting a largely free and fair election which he scored as high as 75 per cent in performance.
He, however, advised the Commission to guard jealously vital electoral materials against being tampered with.
“I want to advise INEC to take seriously the security of election materials, they should be extra vigilant with the materials they used in election. We appeal to you to be alert and more determined to secure materials to avoid compromised staff to tamper with the materials, he said.
“I also want to commend other contestants who enriched the country’s democratic process, they must all come to us on how we can move forward our state. For those who are embittered, we are in no way inducing them not to chart the legal way to redress.
“We must add that while they are seeking redress in court, they can still join us on how we can give meaningful life to our people,” the governor stressed.
Mr. Aregbesola, who dedicated his victory to the people of Osun State for their steadfastness and unflinching support in voting for the continuation of his government, said no democratic mandate was inferior to the other.
He noted that for democracy to be meaningful, whatever honour was given to the president must be extended to anyone that is democratically elected.
On the conduct of the troops drafted to the state, the governor lamented that some of them acted in a manner completely contrary to the nation’s constitution by turning themselves into a terror gang shortly before and during the conduct of the election.
He condemned in strong terms harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest of members, supporters and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress on the eve of the election and the day it was held.
Mr. Aregbesola advised the security agencies to always sieve between genuine and wrong orders so as to know which one to carry out and one to turn down.
“I must commend the security agencies for their commitment to making the election a huge success and violence-free.
“However, one must not fail to mention the overzealousness of few of the security agencies, who in the name of obeying orders, ran riot and clamped down on innocent chieftains, members and supporter of our party. As security personnel, you constitutional role is to maintain law and order as well as protect the people of Nigerian.
“It is therefore criminal of any law enforcement agent to molest, harass or intimidate innocent people let alone killing a Nigerian. You must from now on develop the attitude of resisting wrong orders, which is antithetical to what constitution permits.
“Any order that is giving and which is not supported by the constitution is inimical to good governance and the rule of law. Therefore, whatever order that violates the constitution of Nigeria is criminal,” he said.