The Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has won the All Progressives Congress, APC, primary election for the gubernatorial poll slated for September 22.
Senator Ovie Omo-agege, who stood in for the Chairman of the Electoral panel, Governor Abudul’aziz Yari of Zamafa State, pronounced Oyetola the winner of the contest with total votes of 127,017.
He beat his closest rival, Lassun Yussuf, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who got 21, 975, followed by the incumbent Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salam with a total votes of 19,958.
Oyetola, in his acceptance speech, thanked party members for their supports, adding that the exercise was a litmus test for participatory democracy in Nigeria.
He said the peaceful conduct of the primary election was an indication of new democratic paradigm in the state.
“Osun demonstrated what was possible today by voting peacefully and exercising their democratic rights. The success of the direct primaries in Osun has placed our party, the APC on a path of democratic rejuvination and a rebirth of membership faith in the party.
“So, let me begin by thanking all the card carrying members of the APC in the state of Osun who voted and contributed to making the exercise a success. How can I forget the excitement I saw on the faces of thousands who queued up with their cards to vote?
“From Iwo to Ede, from Ede to Ejigbo, from Osogbo to ijebu jesha, from Ada to Iragbiji, the story is the same – proud APC members happy to exercise their rights.
“I am humbled by the fact that I have emerged the winner of the contest. It was made possible by you the party members and your votes.
“With deep humility and a sense of duty I accept your verdict that I should carry forward the torch of our party in the next elections.
“I assure you that your choice will not be wasted. You have settled for a man steady in his ways, firm in his convictions about the purpose of government, which is to promote the welfare of the people, protect their rights and provide good governance.
“Let me recognize all that came on this journey with me. They ran a keen contest and in the spirit of our party shunned violence. I salute them and stretch out my hands of fellowship and brotherhood to each and every co-contestant for this ticket.
“The victory is for all of us and as we continue our party’s bid to win the election and keep on the good works of moving our State up the global development level, I invite all my co-contestants to join me in the task of winning the election of September 22 and running a people oriented government.
“We have only won the battle. The war lies ahead of us. Our opponents from other parties increase their arsenal to fight with us. But we are ready. We are tested. Like the broom sweeping away the rot, we are set and ready. The 60 days plus ahead will not be easy but i am confident in our ability to protect what we have.
“To our quintessential governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, how can I begin to extol and thank you? Working with you has been like constantly jugging, and through you, serving the people has had a different meaning. I can assure you that all you have laboured to achieve for the goodness and well being of the people will not be in vain. We shall work assiduously to ensure continuity and consolidation of your efforts.
“I thank Gov. Abdul Azeez Yari who led the team from the APC headquarters to conduct the primaries. Under your watch, the people of Osun and our great party witnessed the opening of a new chapter and the needed flip for a rebound of participatory democracy.
“Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, thank you for standing by the people of Osun. You have strengthened the ‘Omoluabi bond’ that we share.”