Osogbo, the Osun State capital, literally stood still yesterday, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) kicked off its campaign for the September 22 governorship election.
Gboyega Oyetola is the party’s candidate.
At the event, which was graced by National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, members of the National Campaign Council and chieftains of the party from the Southwest region, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) raised the hand of the party’s candidate, Gboyega Oyetola, and handed over the flag to him.
The rally, which was held at the Oshogbo Township Stadium, was attended by National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Kano State Governor Ganduje, who chairs the committee; Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; their Ondo State counterpart, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Ekiti State Governor-Elect Kayode Fayemi.
Former Osun, Ogun and Ekiti governors Bisi Akande, Segun Osoba and Segun Oni were also on the train.
The APC is one of the leading candidates in the election.
Also in the race are: Sen. Iyiola Omisore (Social Democratic Party), Ademola Adeleke (Peoples Democratic Party), Moshood Adeoti (African Democratic Party) and Fatai Akinbade (African Democratic Congress).
The stadium was filled with supporters who also occupied the spaces outside the stadium.
Welcoming the crowd, Ganduje said what they saw confirmed the socio-economic development of Osun under the APC in the last eight years. He pointed out that the mammoth crowd also confirmed the love the people have for the party. He urged them to vote for continuity. He also said the APC believes in free and fair elections.
Urging the electorate to vote for the APC on September 22, Amosun said Osun is a state of the progressives. He said: “Let nothing change. Let’s troop out in large numbers to speak for the APC with our votes. If you love President Buhari, vote for APC.”
Aregbesola sang a number of songs at the rally and urged the people to vote for Oyetola. Ajimobi described Oyetola’s candidacy as God’s project. Akeredolu said ensuring success for Oyetola requires collective efforts like the broom, which is the party’s logo. For Fayemi, Ekiti has been restored to the progressives circle. He added: “Osun has been in our kitty. So, let’s keep it intact. Oyetola has been a long member of this struggle. He is trustworthy and reliable. Whoever loves Buhari and other APC leaders will support Oyetola. We shall all get to the promised land.”
Oshiomhole spoke of the need to sustain the good legacies of Aregbesola. He recalled that he was in Osun several years ago to organise workers strikes. He pointed out that the transformation of the state under Aregbesola in the last eight years has been massive.
The National Chairman reminded them that Aregbesola took over eight years ago after years of rot.
His words: “Oyetola is a finance expert who has passion for the development of the state. No one can help you govern if u don’t have the skills. He has worked very hard and was very successful in the private sector. He has the capacity to translate his vision to reality. He worked hard as a loyal Chief of Staff to Aregbesola. We hereby present to you a tested and trusted human being to be the next governor of this state.”
While presenting Oyetola with the flag of the party, Osinbajo said God brought a blessing to Osun in Oyetola.
Tinubu described Oyetola as a reliable transformation agent, who is loyal and capable.
He said: “Oyetola is God’s promise indeed. He has been our engine room in years past. He is now coming home to serve you. After succeeding in the private sector, it is good to come back home and serve one’s people. The team will help Osun succeed like Lagos. Youths will gain employment under his leadership. We were surprised when he declared his intention. He is coming to reform the state. Be patient, jobs are coming. He is not a corrupt leader. He is coming to work for you. We held direct primary and the popular candidate emerged. Don’t let anybody deceive you.”
Osoba said he came to thank God for having been born in Osogbo 79 years ago. He urged residents to vote for Oyetola.
Akande explained that the party is the supreme house no member should attempt to destroy, because it is bigger than any member. He added: “Let’s support APC to keep it strong.”
Oyetola thanked God for the day, describing it as special. He said some refer to him as a Lagos boy to discredit him. ” But I’m a true son of Iragbiji. Look at the good works Aregbesola’s APC government has done in the last eight years. Vote for me for sustenance. I have learnt the ropes before coming out to contest. Just do it right on September 22.”