TEN governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are said to be in Osun State ahead of the governorship election holding in the state today.
According to an Osun State Government House source, the 10 governors, who are from the South West and the North West, joined the national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, who has been on ground since Thursday.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the people of the state to eschew violent conduct or acts capable of undermining the integrity of the governorship election.
According to a statement by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Sola Fasure, Aregbesola, in a statewide broadcast, warned individuals who might have any intention to disrupt the election that security agencies were on the ground to nip any criminal and undemocratic acts in the bud.
He urged the people to be vigilant and report all suspicious and criminal activities to law enforcement agencies.
The governor described voting as political power in the hands of the electorate which could only be exercised by registered voters with their permanent voter cards.
People, he noted, must, therefore, exercise this civil power responsibly in choosing their leaders so as to help put the right person in leadership position.
The governor advised the electorate to make their choice of candidate carefully and responsibly.
The statement reads in part: “There are two responsibilities here. The first is for those who are registered to vote. They should all come out to vote. Indeed, voting is political power. However, only registered voters with their permanent voter’s card are expected at the polling units.
“The second is responsible voting. This power must be used for the advancement of the state by helping to put the right person in political office. Not everyone has the intellectual, moral and administrative capability and capacity to provide leadership and governance, though everyone has some gifts and can be useful in some other ways. You must, therefore, weigh your choice of candidate carefully and responsibly before making it.
“You must also conduct yourselves peacefully and lawfully before, during and after the election. Display your Omoluabi essence and demonstrate to the world that you are the epitome of civility, character, integrity and decency. Shun every form of violence or acts capable of undermining the integrity of the election and of the state and people of Osun. If you are not a voter or do not have any role to play, stay at home while the exercise lasts. Do not come near the polling stations.
“However, be vigilant. Report all suspicious and criminal activities to law enforcement agencies. You all have a duty to make the election successful.
“There have been concerns that a few anti-democratic elements might attempt to deny citizens their democratic right to vote for the candidate of their choice or coerce them to vote for a particular candidate. Indigenes and non-indigenes alike have nothing to fear. The entire power and resources of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will be deployed to protect you and enable you to exercise your civic rights.
“For the non-indigenes in Osun, your right to reside in any part of Nigeria and enjoy every right and privilege available to citizens of Nigeria in your locality is constitutionally guaranteed. I will protect you and defend your right with every power at my disposal. If you feel the least uncomfortable in any situation, do not hesitate to report to the law enforcement agencies around you.
“The security agencies have been mobilised to all the nooks and crannies of the state. Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear. They should all go about their lawful duties happily, luxuriating in the mood of the season, the celebration of the festival of democracy that comes around at every election cycle.”
“Criminals, anti-democratic elements, poll riggers and those predisposed to violence should steer clear of Osun before, during and after the election. You will have the overwhelming security powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the resolve of the good people of Osun for a free and fair election to contend with.
“I urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to double its effort and make this election hitch-free. The body should conduct a free, fair and peaceful election we will all be proud of.”
The governor, who praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his visit to the state, commended the nation’s number one man for his assistance to the state and noted his commitment to deepening democracy, transparency, credibility and fairness.