From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The former governor of Osun State and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has urged members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to push out their women for the governorship primary election holding today in the state.
Aregbesola who is leading a faction of the APC in the primary election, The Osun Progressives (TOP), made the call in a statement signed in his hometown, Ilesa, and made available to the Saturday Sun by his media aide, Sola Fasure.
He said, “I am also appealing to our members to push out the women and let them lead the process by coming out decently and peacefully. This is to demonstrate the customary dignity of women as matriarchs, mothers, wives and daughters, which confers on them the special protection status from violent attacks from thugs and hoodlums.
“You should know that we are first a community of humans before we are a political community. Our peaceful coexistence therefore supersedes every other activity.
The Nigerian and our party’s constitutions make provision for the expression of our preference and choice of leader every four years. This is the heart of the democratic process. It is an inalienable right we should take as sacred and exercise with every sense of responsibility.”
Aregbesola who described the process as two staged process, explained that “the first is intra-party, meaning that our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), will democratically nominate its candidate. The second stage, inter-party, will take place in a state-wide election sometime in July, God willing.
“For this first stage, I am appealing to all our party members to participate but peacefully in the primary election taking place today. They should avoid any form of violence, brigandage and disorderliness. Our party members, especially our supporters, should be resolute to cast their vote, not to be intimidated and scared away. But they should portray themselves and the party in the best form in comportment, organisation and promotion of societal peace and tranquillity.”
He called for caution saying “our overall objective is to have a transparent, free, fair and peaceful election.”