Governor Rauf Aregbesola has complied with the order of Abuja High Court and restored the sanctity of law by conducting free and fair local government election in Osun State. The Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) says 318 out of the 389 candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) contesting in Saturday’s local government election are unopposed.
Oladitan also said election would hold in only 71 wards out of the 389 wards in the state.
According to him, election will not hold in wards where candidates are unopposed.
He explained that from the onset of the electoral process, 38 political parties registered with the commission to take part in the election. Oladitan, however, added that some parties later withdrew from the process. He added that candidates of six political parties that would be participating in the election satisfied electoral requirements as contained in Section 41 of the 2011 amended Electoral Act.
Oladitan further said that there would be restriction in movement between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the election day, adding that adequate security would be provided for the electorate and the commission`s officials.
Governor Aregbesola has vowed to support the struggle to restore the sanctity of the law and ballot and uphold democracy in the country in compliance with Section 7 of 1999 Constitution as amended. He has been on the forefront of the movement for the restoration of the judiciary and he has rendered several sacrifices to uphold democracy in the country.
Restoration Of Sanctity Of The Law and Ballot Box: With the successful conduct of Osun Local Government Election, the sanctity of the ballot box be restored in Osun State. The outcome of the local government poll has, again, shown that elections are not won on the pages of newspaper or by enormity of media propaganda or noise-making. The great people of Osun State have adamantly refused to be contaminated by the propaganda virus of the Africa’s noisiest opposition political party in Nigeria. This is the most striking thing about the giant strides at restoring sanctity of the ballot box on the country’s electoral polity.
When PDP lost in Osun in August 2014 and 2018 local government poll, they have relocated to the pages of newspaper and screens of politically oiled television stations and radios. When their propaganda refused to make public relevance, they filed papers in court and took over the functions of its proceedings on the pages of newspaper and visual/audio media, yet at the end, their arguments became “orbiter dictum” and woefully failed the litmus test of “ratio decidendi”. They cried and ran to the court of first instance for “justice”, but the court in her hallowed wisdom, sent them packing.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has vacated its order 2017 restraining the holding of elections into the Local Council Development Authorities (LCDAs) and withholding Local Government Allocations in the state of Osun. The court had on December 4, 2017 ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federal government and Ministry of Finance to warehouse statutory allocations to the local government councils in the state, as prayed by three members of the Peoples Democratic Party in a Motion Experte.
Local government in Nigeria is the third tier of government. It supposes to communicate directly with the people through their representatives, it is through an effective local government system that is obligations and duties to the people will be idealized. Aregbesola’s concept of the new system of local government in Osun State with its objective is aimed at standardizing and stabilizing the function and financial resources at the local government level. Aregbesola has identified basic problems of the local government which are revenue mobilization and its effective utilization especially now that they appear to be a comprehensive sources and uses of revenue in the local government.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Osun State governor has said in different fora that he is committed to free and fair election at the local government level. The PDP had alleged that Aregbesola, the Osun State governor had planned to rig local government election in Osun State recently. Aregbesola wants Good governance, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable at the local government level. It is also effective and equitable. And he promotes the rule of law. Good governance ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of resources
Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola , has said the era of conducting elections that are not credible is over in the country, saying Edo State government had put measures in place to ensure that the Local Government election in the state is peaceful, free and fair. The governor said it was high time the people begin to show interest in governance especially at the local government level to ensure that their interest is well protected. He said, “You cannot stay back at home and just expect that things will work well. Yes, we have tried at the State level but we also need credible people at the Local Government level and that is the nearest government to our people and all we have been advocating is about participatory governance. “If you don’t take part, you will not be part of what is coming up and the whole essence is for you to choose people who will really touch your needs and if you sit down at home and people who are not credible gets there, it will not be their fault when they give you bad result and that is what we don’t want.”
What is important to us is to conduct a free, fair and credible election. Local Government election has not taken place in Edo in the last five years but we are happy that we are able to do this and also enhance democratic values that we are trying to build up in this country.” The whole idea is for us to evolve a process where the citizens come out and believe in a process that is credible and then when you do this and people are able to see elections that come at the Local Government level, they will be excited to do it because they know that it’s been credible, peaceful and there is no violence and that is what we as government have been preaching. .
Interestingly, the APC campaigned by way of organising public rallies in all local government headquarters where flags were presented to councillorship candidates with a charge to deepen the campaign from home to home.
APC had campaigned vigorously across the 30 councils, and that PDP was afraid of the ground swell of support for the PDP, hence “they have resorted to cheap lies.”
“We went round all the local government areas campaigning for our candidates, and challenged the opposition to do a semblance of campaign so that people will appreciate who they are voting for. But they chose to sit back, and that it has shown clearly that the people are with us, they are making unfounded allegations.
The outcome of the election was a favourable referendum of the performance of the Governor Aregbesola- led administration, and an indicator of the direction the 2019 election will follow. “It is unfortunate that the PDP in Osun State has, like the proverbial ostrich, buried its head in the sand and is totally oblivious of the political realities on ground in Osun State, that the APC is unshakable, immovable and unperturbed by their ranting and wailing.
Inwalomhe Donald writes from Osogbo, Osun State firstname.lastname@example.org