Adeleke, PDP celebrate as Oyetola studies results

There was jubilation yesterday in Ede, home town of the Osun State Governor-elect Senator Ademola Adeleke, and other major towns across the state, following his victory at the weekend poll.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, who was declared winner by the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC), polled 403,371 votes to defeat Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 375,027 votes.

Residents trooped out to celebrate with traditional drums and brigade bands, singing and dancing at his residence.

Excited youths and women groups stormed the palace of the traditional ruler, the Timi of Ede, Oba Muniruden Lawal, to congratulate him and his chiefs.

Many people on motorcycles and open roof vehicles moved round the town to celebrate the victory.

Adeleke has hailed the outcome of the poll, which took place in 30 local government areas of the state.

In his acceptance speech at his Ede country home, he dedicated the victory to the memory of his deceased elder brother and former governor, Senator Isiaka Adeleke.

The PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, said the outcome of the poll will determine next year’s general elections.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also congratulated the governor-elect, stressing that the wish of the electorate should be respected in democracy.

But, Oyetola in his reaction to the verdict, called for calm among his supporters, saying that the party will react at the appropriate time. He said the results were being studied by the ruling party.

Adeleke said he was overwhelmed by the love and support of the electorate.

He pledged his total commitment to the best interest of the people and the state, saying: “I give praise and adoration to Almighty”.

Adeleke added: “I praise the courage and determination of the good people of Osun state. I commend men and women of goodwill, the young and the old.

“I am overwhelmed by your love and support.

“Our state has turned a new page. We have launched a landmark path for progress and prosperity of our people.

“It is therefore, with strong faith in God and trust in our people that I accept my election as the Governor of Osun state.

“I pledge my total commitment to the best interest of the state and the people.”

He added: “I dedicate this victory to my late brother, His Execllency, Sen. Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, and every indigene of Osun state, and to all my supporters and friends”.

Oba Lawal, who spoke with reporters, thanked the people for electing Adeleke.

He said: “My feelings cannot be expressed because it happened so sudden but we thank God for the victory.

“I am happy because our son is now the governor-elect and we thank God for that.”

The traditional ruler, however, described Adeleke’s victory as a victory for the whole state and not for Ede alone, adding: “It is a victory for the whole people of Osun because he had a wide spread of votes across the state.

“It is not only votes from Ede alone that gave him the victory, but the synergy between the people of the state that brought him to power”.


Buhari congratulates Osun people

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari noted that the outcome of the election had expressed their choice of whom they wanted to lead them.

The President noted that the successful conduct of the election was a testimonial to the maturity and commitment of all stakeholders.

He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates Senator Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), following victory of the party in Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Osun State.

“With the election over, the President expresses conviction that the people of Osun have expressed their will through the ballot, and the will of the people must always matter and be respected in a democracy.

“President Buhari notes that the successful conduct of the election is a further testimony to the maturity and commitment of all stakeholders – the electoral body, security agencies, political parties, the media, civil society and the electorate- to further strengthen the integrity of the electoral process in the country.

“The President reassures the nation that the commitment of this administration towards having credible elections remains unshaken.”


Oyetola to supporters: be calm

Oyetola appealed to his supporters to remain calm, saying that the results were being studied.

He said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ismail Omipidan, in Osogbo, the state capital, that APC had taken cognisance of the results.

The governor, however, noted that the party would be responding appropriately after studying the results and consulting with critical stakeholders.

Oyetola, who called on his supporters to remain calm, urged the people to go about their businesses without let or hindrance.

The governor also called on security operatives to ensure maintenance of law and order.

PDP National Chairman Dr. Ayu; presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar; former National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus; and PDP governors have hailed the outcome of the poll.

Ayu said: “We went back to the drawing-board, and today, we have reclaimed our victory.

“Today is, therefore, not just a day of double restoration – it’s a day of redemption too. It restores PDP to power and redeems the Osun people from the scourge of mediocrity, empty promises and excuses.

“You have kept faith with the PDP. You refused to be intimidated. You refused to be bought over with foodstuff and 30 silver coins. You said no to thuggery and vote-fraud. You have done well”.

Atiku said the election was a referendum on the APC administration at the centre and across the states under its control.

Atiku said: “The referendum on the administration of the APC has commenced with the verdict of the people of Osun State in electing Senator Ademola Adeleke, while we know that the 2023 general election will be a full referendum.

“It is inconceivable that Nigerians will reward the APC for the failings of the last seven years.

The PDP Governors Forum, in a statement by its chairman, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, said Osun voters were attracted to Adeleke’s kind heartedness and love for his people.

Welcoming the governor-elect to the fold of the PDP Governors Forum, Tambuwal attributed the victory to the sagacity, hard work, teamwork, skillful campaigns, efficient resource allocation, openness and humility exhibited by Adeleke.

He said: “He concentrated on issues that mattered most to Osun people and they responded in kind, bestowing on him and PDP an earth-shaking victory of historic proportions.

“This victory is a lesson for all. It shows that everyone matters in politics, particularly the electorate. It also confirms the famous dictum that God’s time is the best.”

Secondus said Adeleke’s victory was a clear demonstration of the people’s goodwill in appreciation of the efforts of the Adelekes in the development of the state.

In a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, the former party chair praised the Osun people for standing up for democracy through their avowed determination to ensure that their will prevailed in the state.


Aregbesola’s reaction

Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior and former governor of Osun, Chief Rauf Aregbesola has reacted to Oyetola’s defeat.

The minister had opposed the governor’s re-election bid at the primary.

He supported Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, former Secretary to Government (SSG), but Oyetola won the primary.

Aregbesola subsequently described the primary as a “sham of an election”.

The minister was absent from the APC mega rally in Osun last week, which was attended by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate, as well as governors and other party stakeholders.

He also did not vote in the election and some reports claimed he travelled abroad.

An hour after the result was announced, the minister posted a cryptic message on his verified Facebook page.

He quoted chapter four, verse 17 of the book of Daniel. The minister wrote that “The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.”

“Osun Le Tente.

“‘This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.’- (Daniel 4:17).”

The post was later pulled down with Aregbesola’s spokesman Sola Fasure saying it was not authorised.


Vote buying marred Osun polls, says National Peace Committee

The National Peace Committee yesterday decried what it described as “incidences of vote-trading”, which marred the last weekend governorship election in Osun State.

The group, led by former Military Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar, said those who participated in the ‘bribery’ should be prosecuted.

However, the group said while the election was not devoid of “the scourge that is vote trading”, the stakeholders, including INEC, security agents, observers, civil society organisations and the media, should be commended.

The group enjoined Adeleke to be benevolent in victory, adding that he and his party should eschew triumphalism that may make peace building difficult after the fractiously fought election.

It also urged those who may be disappointed by the outcome of the exercise to use constitutional channels to express their grievances.

In a statement titled: “Osun Governorship Election: How democracy triumphed over violence”, and signed by its chairman, Gen. Abubakar, the group congratulated the people of Osun over the peaceful election.

However, the group frowned at the vote-buying, insisting that the criminal offence should not be treated with levity.

Abubakar stressed: “We strongly decry the incidence of vote-buying recorded during the elections. This criminal offence should not be treated with levity because it threatens the credibility of the process.

“It reduced the privileged selection of those who steward our commonwealth through our electoral process, as being transactional.

“We must hold to account all who would muddy the springs from which we as people seek to drink from collectively by such action of bribery, but the giver and receiver.”

<<The Nation>>