Mr. Aregbesola is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in tomorrow’s governorship election in the state.
The stern-looking security operatives had taken over the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, proposed venue of the rally, where the students had planned to adopt the governor as their candidate in the election. Some mobile police officers and soldiers had on Wednesday morning turned back people who had gone to the Park.
The students under the platform of Youth and Students Coalition for the re-election of Mr. Aregbesola, took to the Olaiya Junction in the heart of the state capital and marched to Ogo-Oluwa axis of Osogbo, before they converged on Fakunle area to address members.
The convener of the group, Abiola Oludele, in his address, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be fair enough to conduct credible polls in Osun. Oludele warned that youths in the state would not accept any excuse for failure to organise a free and fair election.
“We want to use this medium to charge INEC to conduct an election that will be seen by all as free and fair. Youth in Osun will take no excuse for their failure and any attempt to go against the popular wish of our people will be resisted”, Mr. Oludele said.
“Youth and students coalition wish to inform INEC and security agents deployed to the state that we bargain for nothing other than free and fair governorship election come August 9.
“People as the owners of votes, we do not need any clearance to monitor, safeguard and protect our votes.
“We wish to state it clearly that we are fully aware that various security agents and others (are) deployed for our protection and as such should not be turned to instrument of oppression and harassment before election.
“It is important for INEC to note that the duties of its officers are not expected to be carried out by any of the security agents in any of the polling units across the state”, the group said.
Reacting to the development, the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy in the Office of the Osun Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, said it was unthinkable that the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government could turn people back from the Nelson Mandela Park at this stage of Nigeria’s democratic journey.
He said: “One is miffed by the audacity of the security agents who dared to stop members of the workforce of Osun and students who wanted to adopt the Governor today and tell the whole world that they are behind Aregbesola.
“But we are consoled by the fact that the people have shown them their power. People have demonstrated that even in the face of intimidation, they are peaceful but resolute on the decision to vote for Rauf Aregbesola”.
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