By Gbenga Olarinoye & Charles Kumolu
OSOGBO—Re-elected Governor of Osun state, Mr Rauf Aregbesola yesterday dedicated his certificate of return to the people of the state for their steadfastness and unflinching support in voting for the continuation of his government.
Aregbesola spoke at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s Headquarters in Osogbo, after the presentation of the certificate of return to him by the supervising National Commissioner, Ambassador Mohammad Wali.
He commended INEC for conducting a largely free and fair election in which he scored 75 percent.
Aregbesola however advised INEC to guard jealously vital electoral materials against being tampered with.
According to the governor, “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. 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”.
On the conduct of the troops drafted to the state, Aregbesola lamented that some of them acted in 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 alleged harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest of member, supporters and chieftains of the All Progressive Congress, APC, on the eve and the day of election and advised the security agencies to always differentiate between genuine and wrong order to know which one to obey or disobey..
Aregbesola said “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 overzelousness 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 kill a Nigerian. You must from now on develop the attitude of resisting wrong orders, which is antithetical to what constitution permits.”
On his part, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, of Osun, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, charged the governor to be magnanimous in victory for the benefit of the state and its people.
Agbaje described the August 9 election as one in which INEC was determined more than before to conduct a free, fair and credible election, saying INEC stood tall with the way the election went in Osun.
He said: “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 over-heated the polity among other allegations against INEC.”
”Not bordered, the commission focused on conducting a free, fair and credible election. We ensured that the distribution of election materials were done without any hiccup, so also voting and accreditation were done without any hitch.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Ife Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Makinde, has called on the Osun State Commissioner of Police, to mobilise his men to Ile Ife, and ensure the supporters of APC in the town are protected from being intimidated by those, who allegedly prevented some of them from voting.
He also regretted that he could not perform his civic responsibility on the Election Day, following a siege laid by security agencies to his residence.
At a briefing yesterday in Lagos, Makinde described his party’s victory at the polls as a sign that Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had been rejected in the South West geo-political zone,