Nigeria Remains In Political Bondage – Aregbesola

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state on Sunday, 10th August, 2014 lamented that Nigeria remains in political bondage and expressed the urgent need to set the country free.

Aregbesola said this while reacting to his victory in the Saturday’s governorship election in the state and the oodles of traumatic challenges he faced before he won the race.

Aregbesola said it was so sad and unfortunate that the contest that should be a normal, routine process was allowed to snowball in to a needless virtual war by the Federal Government and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

His words: “Ordinarily, this should be a moment of joy and celebration consequent upon the hard earned triumph of the people’s will. However, this election shows that democracy is still gravely endangered in Nigeria. We witnessed gross abuse of power and of due process before, during, and even after the actual voting process”.

The Governor bemoaned that Osun state was unduly militarized in an unprecedented manner through criminal intimidation and psychological assault on the people. He frowned that the election witnessed an abuse of security agencies and amounted to a corruption of their professional ethics and integrity.

He added that the security agencies were unprofessionally utilized in Osun state to harass, intimidate and oppress the people whose taxes were used to pay the salaries of the security operatives.

“Hundreds of leaders, supporters, sympathizers and agents of our party were arrested and detained. Also, hundreds of other innocent citizens including women and the aged were harassed, brutalized and traumatized. In spite of this condemnable repression and abuse of human rights, the unflagging spirit of our people triumphed.

“Our victory is due to the steadfastness and resolute determination of our people to assert and defend their rights. The PDP obviously did all it could in a most desperate manner to steal the people’s mandate,” Aregbesola said.

The Governor said, “despite our victory, it is pertinent to condemn and also point out the fact that the number of accredited voters in most local governments was less than half of registered voters. Against this trend, it is curious that the bulk of the PDP candidate’s votes came from only four local governments, namely: Ife Central, Ife East, Ife North and Ife South”.

Aregbesola said the outcome of this election reflected the unswerving determination of Osun people to ensure that democracy triumphs in Nigeria. He noted that Osun people have sent a strong signal to all and sundry that no might is powerful enough to thwart the will of the people.

“This should always strengthen our resolve to ensure that as from now on, every vote must not only be counted in Osun but must count in this country as a whole. Nobody or party must ever exercise power unreasonably at any level except in accordance with the will of the people to whom sovereignty belongs”, Aregbesola said.

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