Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola was received by a crowd in Ile-Ife yesterday as he kicked-off his second term campaign.
The Ile-Ife Technical College, venue of the campaign, was filled to capacity.
For close to six hours, Ile-Ife, home town of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Iyiola Omisore, stood still for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate.
Aregbesola’s first port of call was the Enuwa palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
Oba Sijuwade said election is not a do-or-die affair, but a civil exercise for the people to choose their leader(s).
He said he met with politicians in the town and warned them against violence, adding: “As a royal father for all, I can only tell politicians to conduct themselves in an accepted manner and play according to the electoral rules. Election is a routine through which people elect those they want to rule them. Therefore, election is not synonymous to bloodshed. This is why I cautioned politicians to eschew violence before, during and after the election.”
The monarch hailed Aregbesola for his achievements in all sectors.
At the campaign ground, the governor urged the crowd to observe a minute silence to pray for the rescue of the kidnapped Chibok school girls.
He reminded the crowd that his first term election campaign in March, 2007, also began in Ile-Ife on a Tuesday, which the Yoruba believe is a day of victory.
Aregbesola said he seeks re-election to perfect the establishment of credible leadership in Osun.
He said though electoral fraudsters stole his mandate in 2007, the shenanigans of 2007 would not happen again in the history of Osun politics.
Aregbesola remembered 12 people who were killed “in their bid to prevent rigging” in their domain.
Listing his administration’s achievements in Ife Federal Constituency, he said: “We have touched lives in all facets of human endeavour. We have constructed over 50.63km of intra-city roads, built six schools and several boreholes, distributed 1,473 pieces of Opon Imo (Tablet of Knowledge) to high school pupils.
“This is in addition to ensuring adequate security by providing equipment to security agencies, providing health care facilities and giving monthly stipends to vulnerable elders under the Agba Osun Scheme. All these we have done and are doing. We want a second term to consolidate on all these achievements as well as lay a solid foundation for credible governance.”
Aregbesola sang various Juju and Fuji songs to drive home his points. He also sang a Christian song, which says “sweep away evil”.
He thanked Ife people for their support and pledged to always protect their interests.
Senators Jide Omoworare (Osun East) and Sola Adeyeye (Osun Central) said Omisore has no mental capacity to serve Osun.
They said the job of administering a state is enormous, adding that Omisore is unprepared and lacks the know-how to do so.
The lawmakers said: “The August 9 election is a referendum to elect Aregbesola for a second term. He is God sent to the people of Osun. In a single term of four years, this wonderful man transformed the state positively.
“The truth of the matter is that Omisore has no mental capacity to govern this developing state. As a senator, Omisore cannot point to anything beneficial he has done for Ile-Ife, not to talk of Osun. What has he brought to his town and state from his much-touted mainstream politics?” Omoworare and Adeyeye urged the people to vote wisely and re-elect Aregbesola.
At the event were the governor’s wife, Serifat; his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; and APC chieftains.
There was a heavy presence of security agents at the rally.
The event was peaceful.