Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on the people of the state not to allow political parties and candidates that are notorious for bad governance and backwardness to have the chance of ruling the state ever again.
Aregbesola stated this in Ibadan while declaring open a three-day workshop organised for stakeholders on the conduct of peaceful gubernatorial elections in the state by UNDP in conjunction with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The governor said it is important for the spate of development in the state to continue by electing a responsible person to take over from him, just as he emphasised a peaceful atmosphere during elections.
Speaking further at the workshop which had traditional rulers, religious and political leaders, security and civil society organisations as participants, Aregbesola emphasised that traditional rulers have a huge role to play in ensuring that elections are peaceful in their various domains.
He commended the UNDP for rising up to its social responsibility of taking steps through the organisation of series of workshops for various stakeholders aimed at ensuring that the coming gubernatorial elections in the state is free and fair.
Aregbesola said: “I want to say that traditional rulers have a stake in good governance in their various domains as well as maintaining the security. When these two things are in place, it automatically translates to peace and development.
“For instance, before the advent of our administration, people used to live in fear, because Osun State was so insecure that people sleep with one eye closed.
“This is why it is very important that candidates and parties notorious for bad governance and retrogression should not be given a chance to rule the state again.
“Traditional rulers and civil society organisations also have a significant role to play at ensuring that we have a peaceful election; we must all do away with things that negates the principles of free and fair elections if we want to move forward as a people.”
While welcoming participants to the workshop, representative of the Country Director of the UNDP, Professor Mathew Alao, said the peaceful conduct of the September 22 governorship election is very important “because it will serve as an indicator to what will be expected in the general election in 2019.”
Professor Alao stated that through free and fair elections, electorate would be able to vote for candidates of their choice whom they must have chosen through their programmes and manifesto.