The Aare Ona-Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has charged political parties participating in the September 22 election and their candidates to play by the rules to ensure a peaceful poll.
Adams, who gave the charge in Osogbo when he paid a courtesy call on the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gboyega Oyetola, said his visit is part of efforts to sensitise people on the need for security, peace and unity in the South-West, not just during the Osun election but also during the 2019 general elections.
He urged political parties and their candidates to see peace at the end of the election as a major condition for their participation in the election by ensuring that their supporters conduct themselves according to the rules of the Electoral Act.
The Aare, who was received by the Director General of the Oyetola Campaign Organisation, Ajibola Famurewa, and the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Information and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, commended Governor Aregbesola for the peace the state has enjoyed and urged all the candidates to ensure that it is sustained no matter who wins the election.
He said the people of the state have no other choice than to ensure that the contest for Aregbesola’s successor does not end in a breach of the peace the state enjoys.
Adams said: “I am here to let you know that the South-West looks forward to Osun, being the cradle of the Yoruba race. The last eight years have witnessed peace and progress in the state. This must be sustained without any breach at all before, during and after the election.
“All of you participating in the poll must play by the rules, knowing well that the progress of your state is tied to the peace therein. Let your campaigns be issues-based. Ensure that your followers are not violent. These are the words we intend to preach to all other parties and candidates whenever we meet them.”
In his response, Oyetola commended Adams for what he referred to as his dogged fight for the elevation of the Yoruba race.
He said Adam’s promotion of Yoruba culture and values over the years had been well documented and that posterity would honour him for his patriotic and revolutionary struggles.
“I thank you for the honour of this visit. I personally have followed your activities and efforts in promoting our culture and tradition.
“On the need for peace during and after this election, we make bold to state that we have been at the centre of creating a peaceful environment in our state since the advent of the Aregbesola administration.
“This was a conscious effort to attract investments and development to our state. It is therefore clear that sustaining that peace is one of our priorities.
“You will do well as a Yoruba leader to impress it on our opponents to see peace and playing by the rules as criteria for the sustenance of our development.
“It can be taken for granted that on our part, we won’t be out to destroy what we have spent eight years of hard labour to build,” Oyetola said.