BY GBENGA OLARINOYE & OLASUNKANMI AKONI
OSOGBO — GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, yesterday, said, but for God’s intervention and the unflinching support from the people, the state would have been set on fire by political adversaries.
This came as Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, paid a solidarity visit to the governor over recent allegations of attempt to islamise the state and secede from the rest of the country.
Similarly, the Federal Government was called to face real governance and put in place measures to reduce the high level of poverty in the country rather than witch hunt Gov. Aregbesola.
A statement by Semiu Okanlawon, Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, said the governor spoke when the League of Imams and Alfas, South-West, Edo and Delta Zone, led by its President-General, Sheikh Mustapha Ajisafe, paid him a courtesy call in Osogbo.
It will be recalled that the State Security Service,SSS, in a purported secret report, had alleged that the governor planned to islamise the state and secede from the country.
Following this development, there were reports of tension in the state.
Aregbesola said if the plan to upset peace in Osun State had worked, the state would have been in chaos and disorder after widespread allegation of imaginary tension in the state.
He noted that the planned disruption of peace in the state started months ago with various allegations ranging from untrue reports that he had a broken leg, suffered a terminal disease and later that they doubted his sanity status.
American delegation’s endorsement
According to Aregbesola, God intervened and thwarted the enemy’s evil stratagems, saying the three-man American delegation and the Speaker of House of Representatives’ visit had vindicated the state as it was said to be free and peaceful.
He described the clerics’ visit as an affirmation of the support and confidence the people still repose in his government.
It will be recalled that the Christian Association of Nigerian, CAN, Osun State Chapter, had earlier paid similar visit to the governor to reaffirm its support for the government.
The governor said: “Your visit has once more confirmed to the whole world that there is no tension in Osun State. During the week, American delegates and on Saturday, the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, visited the state, which is an indication that the state is peaceful.
”The visit has exposed the lies by those who wanted the state engulfed in chaos. This game-plan did not start yesterday. It has been on for long.
”The first rumour they peddled was that I had broken my leg. Later they claimed that I had a terminal ailment. And, when this did not work, they alleged that I was insane and demanded my physician to make public my health status.”
During the visit, Tambuwal described Osun State as calm and peaceful just as he said allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, against Aregbesola to secede remains a “mere allegations”, until they proved it.
The Speaker, said: “I found no checkpoints or police barricades on the roads coming to Osogbo, the state capital and the entire place looks like symbol of togetherness.
”I have come to Osogbo. I have not seen barricades. I have not seen any security checkpoints, which suggests that there is peace and calm here. The governor is a gentleman. He is down-to-earth and I believe he is committed to the vision of transformation of Osun State and continued co-existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I firmly believe that.
”I believe that after electioneering, politicians across the country should forget about what has gone past irrespective of party affiliation and face governance which is why they were elected in the first place.”
The Federal Government has been called to face real governance and put in place measures to reduce the high level of poverty in the country rather than witch hunt Aregbesola under the guise of a spurious security report accusing him of attempting not only to islamise the state but also secede from the federation.
Rep, others task FG
A member of the House of Representatives, Hakeem Muniru from Lagos State, Wahab Alawiye-King; and a council chairman, Adeyemi Taofeek Alli, condemned what they called ‘the stigmatisation of the Osun State governor in a desperate bid to nail him’.
Muniru, who represents Oshodi-Isolo Federal Constituency 2 in the House, said the security report was an attempt to weaken the genuine developmental plans of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the South-West geo-political zone.
He said: “They see Aregbesola as the arrowhead of our party’s march towards making the Southwest region a role model in developmental governance for others in the country hence the security report aimed at weakening him and other ACN governors and leaders.”