Governor Rauf Aregbesola used the opportunity presented by his swearing-in ceremony, Thursday, to hit out at the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, describing it as a party filled with “self-seeking manipulators” who unleash poverty on Nigerians.
At his inauguration for a second term of four years, in Osogbo, Mr. Aregbesola also lambasted the PDP in Osun State for its “divisive tendencies.”
“Our adversaries have taken the road to perdition by seeking to divide our people along religious and ethnic lines. On this path, they will travel alone,” said Mr. Aregbesola, who was re-elected last August.
“Our diversity is our strength; God has bequeathed to us the freedom of choice. We are at liberty to be Christian, Muslim, traditional religious worshiper, atheist, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Ijaw or Efik. What is unnatural and quite strange to Yoruba communal liberalism is to engage in conflict on account such differences.
“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.
“However, what we need at this time are God-fearing and incorruptible leaders who will galvanize our people and judiciously husband our resources to overcome our challenges. 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.”
Mr. Aregbesola said that the result of the PDP’s politics of division was that Nigerians had become poorer in the last 16 years.
“This manifests again in their continued lawlessness evidenced in the desecration of the National Assembly and the travesty at Ekiti Assembly. They have demonstrated without doubt their inability to protect Nigerians and the territorial integrity of our country.
“We must therefore be determined to vote out the party that has brought us to this sorry pass. We must show them the way out. We must let them know that on their way to hell, they will walk alone,” the governor said.
At the August 9 Osun State gubernatorial election, Mr. Aregbesola, who contested under the All Progressives Congress, APC, polled 394,684 votes to defeat Iyiola Omisore, the PDP’s candidate who got 292,747 votes.
Mr. Omisore has since headed to the Election Petitions Tribunal to challenge the outcome of the polls.
On Thursday, Mr. Aregbesola maintained that his victory three months ago is a testament of his government’s achievements over the past four years.
“We have delivered on our six integral action programme. Our performance in the first term endeared us to you and convinced you to give us the mandate for another term,” he said.
“We shall continue on this path and accelerate the speed of development in Osun. Our vision is to deliver 20 years development in the next four years in economic, social and political fields. We shall complete all ongoing projects and start new ones.
“We are not boasting; we are simply acknowledging the enormity of the mandate given to us by our people, even in the face of the most formidable terror machine arrayed against them.
“In the past four years, we have striven to keep faith with the people on the mandate given to us. We set out to re-enact the Obafemi Awolowo tradition of leadership and good governance; a tradition that set the Western Region apart. The formidable challenges notwithstanding, we have delivered largely on our promises.”
The Osun governor also lauded the achievements of the other APC governors, including those who recently defected from the PDP, describing the party as one which promises prosperity, security of lives and property, job and wealth creation, among others.
“All these have been showcased in all the states where our party holds sway in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti (until recently), Edo, Imo, Rivers, Kwara, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Borno and Yobe,” Mr. Aregbesola said.
“This is what we stand for and this is why a greater number of Nigerians continue to accept us and identify with us. Our present travails therefore is temporary. The PDP on the other hand stands for poverty, misery and insecurity.
“They are prepared to sacrifice the entire country as long as their hold on power is intact. Come February next year, Nigerians are going to say enough is enough. We are going to beat them because they are beatable. The God that helped us to beat them in Osun will also beat them for us in the national election. Do not be afraid, do not despair. Victory is at hand.”