The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the opportunity of the coming 2015 elections to win the confidence of Nigerians by conducting a free, fair and credible general election.
The governor admonished the electoral umpire not to be biased and fall short of the expectations of the teeming masses of the country who are looking forward to an election where the majority of votes will count.
Aregbesola, according to a press release by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, was quoted as stating this when he hosted the state outgoing INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, who paid him a farewell visit at the Government House in Osogbo.
He commended INEC on the conduct of the last governorship election in Osun despite all the forces against a free and fair election saying the commission stood its grounds by allowing the popular will of voters in the state.
Aregbesola held that the August 9 governorship election remains the best ever conducted by the commission, noting that it will be a credit to the commission if that feat is repeated in the 2015 general elections across Nigeria.
He also charged INEC to be above board in fulfilling its landmark promises to survive the antics of those who might want to subvert the democratic wishes of the people.
Aregbesola said, “In spite of everything, INEC has done its beat by bringing civility and honour to the conduct of the last August 9 governorship election in the state.
“The election that we had in Osun was about the best conducted by INEC not because we won, but because the process was seen to be free and fair by all parties.”
On the use of card readers for the conduct of the 2015 election, Aregbesola urged INEC not to renege on its promise of using the technology.
He said, “The deployment of the machine aside from mam making the election credible, will foil attempts by fraudulent people to clone the voters card. The card reader will bring credibility and ensure that the electoral wishes of Nigerians are not jeopardized.
“Our destiny as a people lies on how best we can mobilise and defend the common good of the people”.
Speaking earlier, the outgoing REC, Ambassador Rufus Akeju said his sojourn in the state had helped him in garnering life time experience and challenges.
He noted that it took the intervention of God and his forthrightness to have stayed on the job than expected due to attempt by some alleged desperate politicians who wanted to discredit at all cost.
“There was nothing that they did not say to make sure that our image and reputation were tarnished. But I thank God for His mercies. They alleged that I am a card-carrying member of a particular party.
“We thank God that at the end of the day, all their allegations were unfounded and false. We are happy that we have come and served meritoriously. We wish Osun the best among the committee of states, and long live Nigeria,” Ambassador Akeju said.