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Monday, August 11, 2014

Osun Election: Why Aregbesola won

Osun Election: Why Aregbesola won 

IT is no longer news that Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) comfortably beat Senator Iyiola Omisore of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to retain his seat for another 48 months in power in weekend’s Osun State polls. What perhaps is news is the avalanche of reasons for Aregbesola’s convincing victory.

The reasons include: Aregbesola’s modest performance in the last four years; mismanagement of crisis in the PDP and failure to pacify aggrieved leaders like former governors Isiaka Adeleke and Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who had to defect to the APC; failure of the PDP to make capital out of the religious card occasioned by Aregbesola’s re-classification of schools; Aregbesola’s deft grassroots support; Omisore’s Bola Ige’s baggage; the governor’s work in Osogbo; and APC’s loss in Ekiti, which served as a wake-up call leading the leaders to apply useful lessons learnt from the Ekiti episode where PDP’s Ayo Fayose beat APC’s Governor Kayode Fayemi.

This came as Presidency, yesterday, described last Saturday as a very painful day for it and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following the victory of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in that day’s gubernatorial election.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State (2nd left) and his deputy, Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori celebrating their re-election at Freedom Park, Osogbo, yesterday. Photo: Dare Fasube.

The pain of the Presidency nonetheless, supporters of the APC across Osun State, yesterday, burst out in wild celebrations following the affirmation of the victory of the party in the gubernatorial election.

President Goodluck Jonathan was among the first to congratulate Aregbesola on his victory, declaring that the outcome gave a lie to “the false, unfair and uncharitable allegations that measures put in place by the Federal Government for the Ekiti and Osun State elections were partisan and designed to achieve a favourable outcome” for his party.

Following the congratulations from the president, the PDP national secretariat also congratulated Aregbesola while the PDP candidate in the election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, in conceding victory to Aregbesola vowed that he would not be deterred from moving on in his life.

The state branch of the PDP, however, declined to conced, yesterday, as the Osun State chairman of the party, Alhaji Ganiyu Olaoluwa, vowed that the party would challenge the outcome of the election at the tribunal based on what he claimed to have been manipulation of the results by the APC.

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, however, praised the conduct of the election, noting that it was an improvement on recent elections conducted in Anambra and Ekiti States, that logistic challenges were almost wholly absent in Osun State last weekend.

Despite his victory and the sound of jubilation all around him, Governor Aregbesola still railed against what he bemoaned as the militarisation of the process leading to the election. He said that democracy was yet to be fully enthroned in the country.

Aregbesola was credited with 394,684 votes beating Senator Omisore who had 292,750 votes to second place.

The Returning Officer for the election, Professor Bamitale Omole, who announced the results early yesterday, also declared that Aregbesola won in 23 local government areas of the state while Omisore carried the day in the remaining seven local government areas.

It’s a painful day for us —Presidency

The presidency’s reaction to the development in Osun State was given by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Prof. Rufai Alkali, when he spoke to journalists at the headquarters of G2G, one of the support groups for President Jonathan’s 2015 presidential bid in Asokoro, Abuja.

“Today we would have celebrated Osun victory, it is however, a very painful day for us because the PDP candidate and the party had completed their home work and we know the people of Osun are tired of what is happening in the state, but here we are.”

Throwing a jab at the APC, he said: “I hope the APC, which is in the habit of complaining of having security agencies in ensuring enabling environment for election and is consistent in controversy and rejecting election results, will reject this Osun State gubernatorial election result.”


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