The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has described the victory recorded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Saturday election as a fulfilment of the vision of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
This was just as Aregbesola described the outcome of the poll as a watershed in the annals of democratic elections in Nigeria.
The governor in a broadcast to the people of the state noted that the election of Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari as president of Nigeria is the culmination of the struggle for the enthronement of a people-driven democratic governance in the country.
Aregbesola reminded Nigerians that Awolowo had in 1983 predicted that the progressive elements in the North and South would one day come together for the liberation of the country.
He pointed out that the progressives have always wanted to come together in the past but their march had always been stopped by cruel fate.
The governor cited the example of intention of the coming together of the progressives under the United Progressives Grand Alliance (UPGA) in the First Republic that was cut short by military rule in 1966.
Aregbesola also pointed out the progressive tendency of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), that produced the Chief Moshood Abiola presidential election of 1993 which was brought to an abrupt end by the military after the election was annulled.
According to him, “the APC however, is an idea whose time has come and there can be no stopping the match of history. It is significant that Chief Awolowo was instrumental to the formation of UPGA and PPA.
“Awoists formed the bulk of SDP in the South West. Also, the dominant party in the South West that became a major partner in APC was an offshoot of Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). I congratulate you all for being part of the making of history”.
He commended the people of Osun for their determination, orderly procession and peaceful conduct before and after the polls, saying that the sacrifice of the whole election day has shown their commitment to the defence of democracy.
Aregbesola said that the pattern of the election in Osun was consistent with what obtained since 2011 general elections barely 6 months after he assumed office and last year’s governorship election in the state.
“It is greatly significant how the election went in Osun. Your enthusiastic response, determination, orderly procession and conduct, peaceful disposition and commitment to the defence of democracy all shone through.
“We saw the various categories of people, young, old, men, women, the aged and the physically challenged, all trouped to the various polling stations to perform their civic duties. Because of vehicular restriction, many had to trek for long distances to get to their polling stations, in order to vote.
“You all willingly sacrificed a whole day to be able to cast your votes to elect the president and federal lawmakers, in order to help shape the direction of the governance of our nation in the next four years.
“You voted and stood by your votes until they were counted and defended the integrity of the election. Your enthusiasm did not wane, even where voting started late and continued till the next day”. The governor emphasised.
He stressed that, with last presidential election, there is a measure of assurance that political power is now returning to the people through the democratic process.