Open letter to the people of Osun By Kunle Oyatomi

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By Kunle Oyatomi

I write this missive against the background of the outcome of the Osun gubernatorial poll conducted on July 16, 2022, with the main protagonists being incumbent Gboyega Oyetola, of the All Progressives Congress, APC , and Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. It is also in the context of the decision of APC to challenge the result of the poll that went in favour of the opposition. I’ll come back to this issue later.

But it suffices to state that whereas many, both in the State of Osun and outside, were apprehensive of what ballot day would dish out, their forlorn hopes were dashed to smithereens. The opposition and their supporters beat the drums of war and violence. For them, it was a do-or-die affair. There would be mayhem if the poll didn’t favour them. They were hardly interested in a peaceful electoral process as required by democratic norms in history and in contemporary times. Thus, morally, they were losers ab initio, regardless of the vote count.

In all respects, members of the opposition worked frantically for their weird wishes to be fulfilled.

They taunted the supporters of APC to be drawn into the provocation game. They falsified facts in the social and mainstream media, in order to push you the peace-loving people of Osun into bloody clashes among themselves. They sought to keep potential voters away and deny the exercise its deserved eligibility. Part of the plan was to make Nigerians question the well-known view of Osun as one of the most peaceful states in the country.

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Overall, the opposition were contemptuous of the sovereignty of the ballot. What kind of party is that, a group so given to the desecration of the power of the people? Pray, what governance would it give to the citizens of a state the whole world had come to respect for admirable and progressive performance in the past four years? The record indicates that the State Osun has moved light years away from the maladministration of the past.

Thankfully, the goal of the PDP was defeated. None of their schemes triumphed. I salute the forbearance and patience of the citizens for overcoming the temptation to fall for the misguided incitements of PDP. Now, it isn’t far-fetched to find out why you didn’t give your political adversaries what they wanted. You were correctly guided by the Yoruba aphorism that says a person in white attire heading for a wedding who accosts a soiled hawker of palm oil wouldn’t engage in any physical contact with the hawker, even if he or she lures him into a combat through defaming insults.

The wisdom in that saying is that the oil dealer has nothing to lose, should there be a brawl. It’s the wedding guest who must protect his honour by resisting the temptation to be dragged into the mud, which is the habitat of the one seeking a fight.

You and APC supporters were politically mature, determined to jealously guard the gains of the past under Oyetola. You refused to trade off these so easily. You had the integrity ethos, which the opposite side didn’t have. A pity!

Even when he was campaigning, Oyetola reminded us all that the Osun and the citizenry he was building had foundations of peace, justice and fairness. He told you all not to be stampeded into acts suggesting a resort to vindictiveness, even if the other side crossed the proverbial red line. I salute you for your courageous restraint, although we all know no one group has the monopoly of violence. But you proved you were wiser, well-tutored and worthy of your calling as true sons of Osun, OMOLUABI.

And when the result of the poll was announced and it didn’t go your way, you still displayed a rare equanimity that has since confounded the opposition, but has earned you more honour. The Nigerian our contemporary society is desirous of creating is the one who believes in the rule of law, not the one who tramples on it and believes that power comes from brute, raw force and money. Just imagine the alleged killing of  two APC’s supporters in Ede, few hours ago at the meeting of PDP people.

Your governor is exhibiting the same noble traits. He has refused to call the people into the streets to engage in rowdy protests that might be hijacked by sponsored hoodlums. The true democrat that Governor Oyetola is, he has bowed to constitutional demands and headed for the tribunal to ask for redress following what his party has perceived as shortcomings of the July 16 poll.

The honourable people of Osun must be commended for towing the path of constructive politics instead of destructive politics in which the PDP is steeped.

 

Oyatomi Esq, is the Director of Publicity,  Research and Strategy of the APC in the state of Osun

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