Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State yesterday said that those that protested on Friday at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Police headquarters Abuja over the result of the Osun State governorship election were mentally unstable.
Briefing State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed-doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the Osun Governor-elect, Gboyega Oyetola was formally presented to the President, Aregbesola said it was irresponsible of those who participated in the protest to do so, knowing that the outcome of the election was currently being contested in court.
The governor who was accompanied by his Kano State counterpart and chairman of the APC Osun governorship campaign Council, Umar Ganduje, said that Oyetola won the election convincingly.
Asked what was his take on the protest, he said, “I will not even respond to this because what you are referring to is a charade, an act of gross irresponsibility from people who ought to know that after an election, the only option left for every responsible citizen is to go to the tribunal.
“And again interestingly, the other party the party that was defeated in the election is already in tribunal. I don’t now know what the protest you are talking about is meant to do. If you are already in court and you are still doing a street protest either you are not mentally stable or you need psychiatric attention.”
On their visit to State House, he said, “We came with the chairman of the party in the state and the deputy governor elect as well as the national chairman of the party to express our gratitude to the President.
“Yesterday (Thursday), we met with the national chairman to do the same. Before yesterday soon after the receipt of Certificate of Return by the two candidates who won the election to the offices of the governor and deputy governor on Wednesday indeed the President expressed joy and charged us not to relent in mobilizing our people to support his own election and the return of our parliamentarians at the state and national assemblies and made commitment that we will not rest again in mobilizing our people to victory in all the other subsequent elections.
“We let him know the challenges we face and we are very hopeful that with the support we got from him and all other critical stakeholders from the leadership at the national level to leadership at the regional level and the governors of the party in virtually all the states of the federation particularly in the North.
“I do not think there was any election in such an array of eminent Nigerians and personalities particularly governors who committed everything they have to ensure that their party got the upper hand in the election.
“He noted our observations and he assured us that the party will continue to enjoy support with the administration. I want to use this medium to thank all progressives in Nigeria and to assure them that Osun has been the forerunner of victory for our party ever since and we shall continue to lead in telling Nigerians that our party to beat in all the elections.”
The APC Chairman of Osun State Governorship Campaign and Governor of Kano State, Umar Ganduje also said, “We came to thank the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the enabling environment for a true fair election in Osun State.
“We are here in order to present our Governor-elect to Mr. President and to thank him in what he has done in order to allow for free and fair election.”
The Governor-elect on his part promised not to disappoint the people.
He said, “I came to say a big thank you to Mr. President for the support he gave to us during the election and to thank the leadership of our party all over the country for being with us throughout the period and to assure him that by the grace of God, I must run a very transparent government.
The governor, the party have done so well in Osun and I will want to continue to consolidate on those achievements and improve on them in the area of infrastructure, health and in particularly the economy and this is the time to look at the economy to ensure that we have the opportunity of their welfare being properly taken care of.
“It is a continuation of the legacies that he built. I believe that the people have confidence in our party, they believe in us and we will not abuse the opportunity given to us to continue to be in government.”
On the issue of paying salaries to workers, he said, “It is a continuous thing, we have actually been addressing that, recently we have paid about four months of salary backlog and I believe we will settle all the outstanding and we have started even paying full salary and I believe we will be able to sustain it by the grace of God. We will review our IGR to ensure that we are able to look inward for sustainability.”