January 30, 2023

Osun gov poll: I’ll protect your mandate, Adeleke tells protesters

•Sponsored protest can’t save you —APC

By Shina Abubakar

FOLLOWING protests that took place in some parts of Osun State, after the Election Petition Tribunal’s judgement sacked Governor Ademola Adeleke, on Friday, the governor, yesterday, commended the people of the state and assured them of his readiness to defend the mandate given to him. 

However, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, yesterday, warned the governor that sponsoring protests against what it described as an “explicit judgement” will not save Adeleke from imminent sack.

Adeleke, in a statement, by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, expressed delight at the reaffirmation of popular support for his governorship mandate, assuring the people that “the popular mandate will not be stolen either through front or backdoor.”

The governor said: “I have read stories of multiple protests and I have seen many videos from all over the state. From Central to West and East Senatorial District, I am overwhelmed by your open defence of our mandate. I express my appreciation to our people for their show of support. Your love for me is much appreciated.

“We have not done anything wrong. We won clearly with a wide margin. Local and foreign observers hailed our election as the best in recent Nigerian history. Be assured that by God and man, justice will be done. Our mandate won’t be stolen.

“I urge you to remain calm. We should not take the law into our hands. We have appealed the judgement and we are sure of victory by the Special Grace of God.”

Sponsored protest can’t save you —APC

However, the APC in a statement, by its Acting Chairman, Tajudeen Lawal said the sponsored protests of both Adeleke and his party, the PDP, which were shamelessly staged in some parts of the state, could only worsen their case instead of adding positive value to it at the Appeal court.”

Lawal said: “It was saddening that the sacked Governor Adeleke could be applauding and commending his sponsored protesters who went out to inflict inconvenience and violence on the inhabitants of the state under the guise of protesting the tribunal judgement that was not in the favour of the PDP candidate.

“Our appraisal of the Adeleke-sponsored protests was an unmistakable conclusion that the sacked governor and his party are bad losers who are thinking that they can whip up the undeserved sentiment of the people to curry unmerited favour from the court of the public.

“I must expressly state here that it is still within the purview of your fundamental human right to approach the Court of Appeal for redress instead of sponsoring violent protests in some towns across the state.

“Based on Friday’s tribunal judgement, it is illegal for Adeleke to be talking about any mandate as the authentic election results of the July 16, 2022 governorship election has expressly shown that the PDP candidate has no mandate to flaunt, talk less of claiming any.

“It should be known that the incidence of over-voting, the basis upon which Adeleke was purportedly declared the winner by the INEC as established by the tribunal, is nothing but an unfair play which, if left unturned, is capable of setting a very bad precedent for our democracy. 

“Adeleke should emulate the spirit of sportsmanship and maturity such that was displayed by the APC and Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola having felt cheated, chose a lawful and legal way through which they became victorious today.”