The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has urged his predecessor, Gboyega Oyetola, to bury their political differences and work with him in moving the state forward.
Mr Adeleke also called on other political leaders in the state to join him in taking the state to a greater height.
The governor stated this after the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday upturned the verdict of the election petition tribunal and affirmed his victory in the July 2-22 governorship election.
A three-member panel of the appellate court led by Mohammed Shuaibu unanimously dismissed the decision of the election petition tribunal which nullified Mr Adeleke’s victory in January.
But the governor, in a statement he personally signed on Friday, extended hands of fellowship to the petitioners, saying he is ready to work with them in the interest of the state.
“Let me use this opportunity to extend sincere hands of fellowship to former Governor Oyetola and the APC. Let’s build the state together. Let’s unite for the good of our people. The State needs leaders across party lines to join hands for robust and accelerated development of the state,” he said.
“As brothers and sisters, we are all requested to start the process of healing. Forget party politics as the election is over. All members of the political class in Osun state should join hands with me to take our state to greater heights,” he added.
The governor also dedicated his victory at the appeal court to God and the people of the state who voted for him as governor of the state.
” I thank God Almighty and our good people of Osun state. I dedicate this victory to God and my people. This judgement confirmed my earlier position that the judgement of the Tribunal is a miscarriage of Justice. The judiciary has right the wrongs of the lower Court. This has rekindled the confidence of the nation in the integrity of the judiciary as the stabiliser of the judiciary and last hope of the common man,” he noted
“I am particularly glad that the Court of Appeal has ruled that the BVAS machine and voters register are the primary sources, not the report from the server. This has strengthened our democracy and removed a time bomb which the judgement of the Tribunal had planted for our democracy,” he added.
“I appreciate Osun people for standing by me and my party through repeated validation of my governorship mandate at the recent federal and state elections. My party won three straight elections from July 16th 2022 to March 18th ,2023. It was a resounding vote of confidence in my governorship by the people of Osun state. The judiciary has now confirmed the will of the people that I am the validly elected Governor of my state,” he said.
” My appreciation goes to the civil servants, artisans, market people, clerics, students, women and youth. Osun people defended the mandate from 2022 to date.”
He commended the judiciary for ensuring justice is served to him.
“I commend the judiciary for resisting all pressure. Rule of law is strengthened when judgement affirms the will of the people. On behalf of Osun people and my party, the PDP,, we appreciate the judiciary and the men of conscience on the bar and the bench.”
On his part, Mr Oyetola has urged his supporters not to be discouraged by the appeal court judgement, insisting that he would eventually reclaim his mandate
In a statement reacting to the judgment, the former governor’s media aide, Ismail Omipidan, said the party has a ground to approach the supreme court.
“We have heard the judgement of the Appeal Court, but we are yet to receive a copy of the judgement,” he said.
“However, from the snippets we are getting, we believe we have a potential ground to approach the Supreme Court. Our belief in the judiciary remains unshaken, just as my abiding faith in God’s promise regarding the reclaiming of my mandate remains undoubted,” he added.
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“I, therefore, appeal to our supporters and party members to remain calm as we take the next step.”
Acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Tajudeen Lawal, also said the party will pursue the issue to the Supreme Court with a view to ensuring justice is served.
Mr Lawal described the appeal court judgement as just a temporary setback, urging members and supporters of the party not to be discouraged.
“As a law-abiding party which prioritizes the rules of law, we shall pursue the issue to the Supreme Court with a view to ensuring that justice is served,” he said.
“The members and supporters of our party should not be despaired over the judgement as it’s a mere temporary setback which would be redressed in due course,” he added.
“I want to assure our members and supporters that their association with our party will not be an effort in futility as everything legally possible shall be put into motion to seek redress in the prevailing circumstance,” he noted.
“While I am also appreciating the efforts of our legal team led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN in coming this far, I am optimistic that we shall laugh last in our pursuit,” he stressed.
“It is also necessary to remind our people that a governorship election is a process of which its litigation aspect is in three segments one of which was what we have witnessed today. The long and short of my sermon is that we shall meet Adeleke, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Supreme Court.”
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