Gov warns opposition parties against inflammatory comments
Barely 17 days to the gubernatorial election in Osun, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, has reiterated that his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, remains the party to beat anytime, any day.
He said his outstanding performance across sectors of the economy had earned him the people’s support and soared his popularity and acceptability as manifested in the unfolding events in the last three and a half years he has been paddling the ship of the State.
He warned members of the opposition parties to desist from politics of acrimony, inflammatory commentaries capable of inciting the public and instigating violence. He urged them to play the game according to the laid down rule.
Governor Oyetola spoke while receiving a delegation of the British High Commission on Tuesday, in Osogbo, the State capital.
The Governor noted that his modest achievements and outstanding performance in the last three and a half years have been rated by the people of the State hence the wide acceptance and warm reception he has been experiencing since the commencement of his re-election campaigns across the visited Local Government Areas of the State.
He said his administration has laboured so hard to maintain the tempo of peace which the state is known for through the implementation of people-centred policies and programmes that had impacted positively on the lives of the citizenry particularly the masses who have been the direct beneficiaries of most of his administration’s programmes.
While describing election as a contest that must be seen as a peaceful race by contestants, Oyetola expressed displeasure over the inflammatory comments credited to the gubernatorial candidate of the main opposition party saying such unguided tantrums could trigger violence and cause havoc on the peaceful atmosphere reigning in the State.
He enjoined the local and international electoral observers, particularly the British High Commission to watch the opposition parties closely because of the unfolding events.
“I must commend and appreciate the British High Commission for its interest in deepening Nigeria’s democracy and for taking the struggle down here with the sole aim of ensuring peaceful, free, fair and credible election.
“Osun remains the most peaceful State in Nigeria and we are doing everything humanly possible to protect that enviable status.
“By the look of things, it has shown clearly that we’re the party to beat anytime, any day. With God on our side, we are confident of victory. God has been so merciful and supportive of our administration, and we have seen the light of this as it has been evident in all we do.
“As you can see, our state has the highest number of registered voters in the country and that shows that our people are ready and willing to vote. In the past three and a half years, God has used us to change the face of the state with landmark socioeconomic and infrastructural development across the nooks and crannies of the State.
“We have constructed over 500km of roads vis-a-vis the reconstruction and rehabilitation of several kilometers of roads across cities, towns and villages. We have revitalised over three hundred Primary Healthcare Centres to ensure that every political ward has a functional healthcare centre. We have been very supportive on the welfare of the people particularly the prompt payment of salaries and pensions and we have been giving support to the vulnerable citizens through many means particularly the monthly food support for 30,000 households. On security we have done creditably well vis-a-vis education sector, agriculture, mining among others.
“It is on these and many other things that we have done that people have been very anxious to ensure that we are back so as to consolidate on our modest achievements and continue with the dividends of democracy they have been enjoying.
“To us, we believe there should be free, fair and credible election because we are there to ensure good standard.
“My only concern has to do with the attitude of the opposition parties particularly the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in terms of preaching violence when they go out for campaign with words like fire for fire and one of them recently said they will use bombs freely during the election, those statements as we all know can incite people and cause unnecessary violence.
“But because we are organised people and lovers of peace, we didn’t look at their threatening comments but rather continue to preach peace. We are a people of peace and we are a government that treasures peace and nothing can make us compromise this.
“We want you to let them know that they (members of the opposition parties) need to be enjoined to ensure peace because the way they are going about this can scare voters to and it could lead to voter apathy. If they are indeed popular enough they should go to the field without preaching violence and chaos.
“By the grace of God, I will emerge victorious and our party -the All Progressives Congress will win the next governorship election”, he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation of the British High Commission, Mr. Wale Adebayo, said they were in the state on pre-election visit as part of efforts to assess and measure the level of readiness and preparation of the political parties, their candidates, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, security agents among other concerned authorities.
“We are the team from the British High Commission and we are here in Osun on pre-election visit to the State to see how prepared the state is for the election. We are here to meet with the stakeholders in the election especially with the key political parties who are contesting for the governorship election in the State.
“We have been to INEC to see how prepared they are for the election and we have also met members of the Civil Society Organizations and we will be meeting the Commissioner of Police to know the level of security measures they have put in place.
“We will meet with the candidates contesting for the election to assess the level of their preparation for the election. Basically, we are here to let you know that we are coming to observe the election as members of international community. It is our responsibility to observe the election process.